Senior Scientist for Space Weather

Silver Spring, Maryland
Oct 05, 2022
Oct 12, 2022
Full Time

This announcement has been extended to 10/20/22.

The physical worksite for this position is located in Silver Spring, MD, However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is currently under a maximum telework posture due to the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, this position is currently under a 100 percent telework schedule. The position's telework schedule will likely change in the future when NOAA moves away from its maximum telework posture. At that time, the incumbent will be expected to report to the physical work site in accordance with the updated status requirements of their supervisor. The nature and scope of future telework opportunities will be subject to the unit's telework policy, any applicable bargaining unit agreements, and supervisory approval. Payment of relocation expenses, as applicable, will be paid in accordance with this Job Opportunity Announcement. Non-compliance with the supervisor's telework-schedule requirement could result in adverse action, including separation.

The Senior Scientist serves as the principal scientific authority and the lead scientist focused on applied research in the field of space weather. Specific duties of the Senior Scientist for Space Weather include:
  • Provides the principal scientific guidance to NESDIS leadership, during the formulation of performance requirements and architectural stages, as well as safeguarding those scientific requirements during the implementation phase. Serves as the key scientific adviser to the in decisions impacting performance, cost, and schedule as well as decisions that trade among competing instrument suites and operational constraints on the spacecraft. Assists the Space Weather Portfolio in optimizing space weather scientific research performance.
  • Serves as independent space weather expert and representative of the science and user communities responsible for ensuring the scientific integrity at all stages of satellite development. Supports the formulation of the mission-level architecture of spacecraft and instruments to optimize scientific return. Provides authoritative space weather research and scientific rationale to define the instrument suites with performance requirements for measurements and derived products that satisfy user needs, including utilization of data by operational models and associated model development. Reviews mission-level scientific performance during the implementation of missions.
  • Evaluates and transforms user requirements for data, products, and services for applicable technical requirements. Works with the NOAA, NESDIS user community to define the users' needs, operational requirements, and space weather science data product requirements for the mission. Serves as the chair of applicable working groups and provides leadership in assuring that the instrument data are effectively used by the ultimate clients of the mission through education and proven ground techniques.
  • Maintains technical liaison with NASA and other agencies, helping ensure approved space weather programs have the required capability to sustain NESDIS satellite remote sensing. Provides technical and/or engineering support for international cooperation with U.S. operational remote sensing satellite systems, including compatibility of space weather systems and ground data processing functions.
  • Communicates with interagency and international counterparts on matters of scientific coordination including World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and European Organizations for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). Convenes science and application working groups to suggest revisions of the system requirements for senior management review and to review program accomplishments.
  • Evaluates and recommends approaches to science algorithm research and development; and, evaluates and recommends improvements in the instruments and ground processing. Communicates findings and recommendations to the Space Weather Portfolio and NESDIS senior leadership, to other NOAA scientists, and to the data users. Responsible for the study and projection of present and future needs, establishing goals, the formulation of alternative policies and ways of meeting these needs, and reevaluating progress to assure that objectives are realized in putting the plans into effect.
  • Directs systematic, critical, intensive investigation toward the development of new or fuller scientific knowledge to improve capability of NOAA's operational mission of providing forecast, warnings and s. Develops the principles, criteria, methods, and a body of data of general applicability for use by others.
  • Establishes requirements for technical objectives and characteristics, devises and evaluates concepts for design approaches, and develops standards and test plans to assure reliability, system compatibility, and to demonstrate under realistic operating conditions.

  • Requirements

    Conditions of Employment

    To meet the minimum requirements for this position, candidates must demonstrate their experience in their narrative responses to the Mandatory Professional/ Professional Technical Qualifications (MTQs/PTQs) questions and all narrative responses must be fully supported within their resume.

    Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to clearly show that the candidate possesses the required professional/technical qualifications set forth below.

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Professional Technical Qualifications: Applicants must clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess technical attributes in the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs).

    Key Requirements:
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret with SCI security clearance.
  • Newly appointed ST members must serve a 1 year probationary period.
  • Position is subject to pre-employment background investigation.
  • Public Financial Disclosure (OGE-278 filing within 30 days is required).
  • Position is subject to random drug testing.

  • Qualifications

    To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must possess all of the Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs). These qualifications would typically be acquired through education, experience, and training which reflect progressive development and achievement in leading teams and/or projects for a comprehensive business program in a complex organization. An individual's total experience and education must demonstrate the ability to perform the duties of the position.

    All applicants will be evaluated by a panel to determine the degree to which they possess the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). To be rated and considered for this position, applicants are requested to fully describe their experience in each of the following PTQs:

    Professional Technical Core Qualifications (PTQs):
    PTQ 1 - At least 3 years of comprehensive knowledge and experience in remote sensing satellites, their instrumentation, ground control, data acquisition and processing system, as well as high-level technical capability in the range of scientific disciplines as related to state-of-the art space weather remote-sensing satellite development.

    PTQ 2 - Demonstrated knowledge and experience in the area of applications of space weather satellite data and services for end-user purposes with at least 1 year of experience in planning and executing specialized programs that show outstanding research attainment.

    NOTE: Responses to PTQs must not exceed 2 pages per PTQ, for a total of 4 pages.


    A. A degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.


    B. A combination of education and experience (education equivalent to one of the majors mentioned) that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    Additional information

    Background Investigation: This position is designated as Top Secret with SCI and requires that a background investigation be conducted and favorably adjudicated in order to establish security eligibility.

    Public Financial Disclosure: This position is covered under the Ethics in Government Act, which requires comprehensive financial disclosures from employees. The appointee will be required to file a Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE-278), within 30 days after his/her appointment, and then annually thereafter.

    Qualifications Approval and Probationary Period: Persons newly selected for a career appointment to a Scientific and Professional position (ST) will be required to serve a one-year probationary period. If an employee has completed their 1 full year probationary period requirement under the current position they were competitively selected for, and were selected for a ST appointment, they will not need to complete a new probationary period.

    Direct Deposit: All Federal employees are required by P.L. 104-134 to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.

    Drug Testing: Applicants tentatively selected for employment in any position are subject to designated and/or random pre-employment and employment urinalysis. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment and/or removed from employment with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

    Selective Service: Male applicants born after 12/31/1959, who are required to register with the Selective Service under section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act, must be registered (or must have registered at the time they were required to do so) in order to be eligible for appointment. For more information, visit the SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM web site at

    Veterans' preference: Veteran's preference does not apply to ST positions.

    False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired, you may be fired after you begin work, or you may be subject to fine, imprisonment, or other disciplinary action.

    SSN: You will be required to enter your full social security number (SSN) only to initially access and create an account at the OPM USAJOBS website; however, only the last four digits will appear in your resume. Please DO NOT put your SSN on pages within your application package. Privacy Act - Privacy Act Notice (PL 93-579): The information requested here is used to determine qualifications for employment and is authorized under Title 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 3361.

    Signature: Before you are hired, you will be required to sign and certify the accuracy of the information in your application.

    Application materials: The materials you send with your application will not be returned.

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: The Department of Commerce provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify Gerry Coffee, the servicing Human Resources Specialist, either by e-mail at or by telephone at 240. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. TTY users may contact us via the Federal Relay Service, 1-800-877-8339.