Research Astrophysicist, Research AST, Atmospheres and Ionospheres (Direct-Hire)

Greenbelt, Maryland
May 20, 2022
May 25, 2022
Analyst, Research
Full Time

  • Serve as an expert consultant for agency programs of national scope and impact, providing advice on the problems in a scientific field.
  • Apply scientific methods, including defining scientific problems, planning the approach for study, analyzing data, interpreting results, and documenting findings.
  • Propose for research funding from sources as Principal Investigator or co-investigator for collaborative research.
  • Research will answer important questions relative to the middle and upper atmosphere/ionosphere system, confirm or modify current thinking or theories and lead to significant changes in methods, techniques, processes or practices.
  • Serve as a team lead for critical scientific problems recognized as exceptionally difficult.
  • Provide solution of problems at this level represent a major scientific advance of national/international proportions.
  • Work as a recognized national authority and serve as a top technical expert and advises on a national level in the field of physics of the middle and upper atmosphere.
  • Perform research that is presentable and publishable; research is at the leading edge of knowledge as defined by the research community.


Conditions of Employment

  • This position is open to U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S
  • Position subject to pre-employment background investigation
  • You must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement
  • Please see the "Additional Information" section for important information about COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal employees.


In addition to the Basic Education Requirement (in the Education section below), to qualify for this position you must meet the requirements below and have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade, which has equipped you with the particular competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of the position described above.

To qualify for GS-15, you must have one year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 level
  • providing technical guidance or leading teams in research programs;
  • planning and executing proposals to develop independent funding streams for future projects;
  • participating in modeling development and completing research in middle/upper atmosphere physics that is informed by whole atmosphere modeling efforts.
Your resume must include a clear and detailed narrative description, in your own words, of how you meet the required specialized experience. Experience statements copied from a position description, vacancy announcement or other reference material constitutes plagiarism and may result in disqualification and losing consideration for the job.


Basic Education Requirement: You must have successfully completed a bachelor's degree with a major in a) engineering from a college or university that has at least one ABET accredited engineering program or b) Physical Science, Mathematics, Life Science, Computer Science*, or other field of physical science.
*Note: A computer science curriculum must include 30 semester hours of course work in any combination of mathematics, statistics and computer science. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 must be in any combination of statistics and mathematics which includes differential and integral calculus.

If you did not complete a qualifying bachelor's degree, you may be eligible if you have obtained a graduate degree in an AST qualifying field, as listed above.

Degrees in engineering technology are not considered qualifying for this position.

Engineering degrees earned within the United States: Engineering degrees earned within the United States must be from a college or university that has at least one ABET accredited engineering program. To find out if a school has at least one ABET accredited program, please visit .

Engineering degrees earned outside the United States: Engineering degrees earned outside the United States must be recognized by a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), often known as accords. These are non-governmental agreements among organizations that accredit academic degree programs. MRAs recognize the substantial equivalence of mature accreditation systems and programs accredited by signatory organizations within their jurisdictions. For a listing of Signatories, please visit,

Science and other related degrees earned within the United States: Science and other related degrees must have been awarded from colleges or universities that are accredited by recognized accrediting organizations. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, go to .

Science and other related degrees earned outside the United States: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs. These education credentials must be deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: .

All degrees must have been received in the year of, or any year subsequent to the original date of accreditation.

Additional information

If you are selected, NASA may request information regarding your vaccination status for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Additional selections may be made for similar positions across NASA within the local commuting area(s) of the location(s) identified in this announcement. By applying, you agree to have your application shared with interested selecting official(s) within NASA. CTAP/ICTAP will be cleared for any additional selection from this announcement.

If you have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), you must:

- Indicate your eligibility when applying for a position. The questionnaire asks you to identify your ICTAP/CTAP eligibility.
- Meet the minimum qualifications requirements for the position
- Submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP as indicated in 'Required Documents'

For additional information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, click here - https://