Research Astrophysicist, AST, Fields and Particles

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Greenbelt, Maryland
Posted
Jul 14, 2019
Closes
Jul 16, 2019
Function
Analyst, Research
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

The Sciences and Exploration Directorate, Astrophysics Science Division, X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory (Code 662) is seeking an expert to discover, disseminate, and apply new or expanded knowledge in the study of high energy emissions of black holes, neutron stars, supernova remnants, clusters of galaxies and/or other cosmic sources of X-ray emission.

As identical vacancies are identified, additional selections may be made.
Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • You will conduct scientific investigations of astrophysical systems utilizing the radiation they emit in the X-ray band.
  • Investigations entail leading observational programs using Chandra, XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, NICER or other missions, or the use of data from suborbital instruments and may be multi-wavelength or multi-messenger in nature.
  • You will utilize the regimes of imaging, spectroscopy, and/or timing data to study astrophysical sources. Examples of such sources include clusters of galaxies, galaxies, stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and/or black holes.
  • As a nationally recognized researcher, you will lead and carry out analysis and interpretation of data; and utilize X-ray spectroscopic, imaging and/or timing techniques to contribute to knowledge of cosmic X-ray sources and their underlying physics.
  • You will publish research results in refereed scientific journals and present at scientific conferences.
  • You will participate in the planning, execution and analysis of XRISM Performance Verification (PV) phase observations. These investigations have special significance for the success of observational programs with the XRISM mission.
  • You will lead the development of efficient, science-driven approaches to ground and on-orbit calibration of state of the art hardware including optics and/or detectors.
  • You will develop methods of modeling instrument performance, including laboratory astrophysics investigations.
  • You will provide fundamental physics questions related to detector and/or optics performance, modeling of detector and/or optical performance; and/or testing and calibration of flight units.
  • The primary instrumentation to be supported is that of the XRISM mission, either its optics or detectors.
  • You will participate in and/or lead concept development for future missions.
  • Future instruments to be supported include those developed for ESA's Athena mission as well as instruments on sounding rockets, Explorer missions, and as yet undefined facility-class missions.
  • For future instruments, you will develop, review, and provide recommendations for proposed project requirements, develop the science case for missions, perform public advocacy, and develop the technical mission concept.
  • You will participate in the development of mission proposals to be submitted to NASA and possibly international space agencies by providing input to refine and promote the science case.
  • You will participate in mission studies requiring science input, e.g., developing an observing plan and modeling instrument performance.
  • You will participate in feasibility studies and proposal development for MIDEX/SMEX/MOO class missions under definition within the GSFC X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory.


Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
14

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must possess at least a Bachelor's Degree or equivalent.
  • You must complete a financial disclosure statement.
  • A one-year probationary period may be required.
  • You must meet all qualification requirements by appointment date.
  • Position subject to pre-employment background investigation.


Qualifications

In addition to the basic education requirement, you must 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.

GS-14: Specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-13) is defined as designing and conducting scientific investigations of astrophysical systems, based primarily on the radiation they emit in the X-ray band, with emphasis on pathfinder scientific investigations for the XRISM and Athena missions; leading in science-driven calibration approaches for X-ray astrophysics instrumentation; leading in the analysis and interpretation of data related to astrophysical systems.

GS-13: Specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-12) is defined as conducting scientific investigations of astrophysical systems, based primarily on the radiation they emit in the X-ray band, with emphasis on pathfinder scientific investigations for the XRISM and Athena missions; performing science-driven calibration approaches for X-ray astrophysics instrumentation; performing analysis and interpretation of data related to astrophysical systems.

NASA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the public that we serve. We do not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. If you identify as a member of this diverse workforce, you are highly encouraged to apply to this position.

Education

Basic Education Requirement: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in Aeronautical Engineering, Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Architecture, Astronautical Engineering, Astronautics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science*, Earth and Planetary Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics (Pure or Applied), Applied Mechanics, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Physics, Oceanography, Optical Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering Physics, Space Science, Structural Engineering, Welding Engineering or other appropriate physical science or engineering field. Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

*Note: Curriculum must include 30 semester hours of course work in a 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.

When there is a positive education requirement, or you are using education to qualify as a substitution for experience, official transcripts will be required at the time of selection to verify that you meet the educational requirement or substitution.

A degree(s) 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 http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/.

Engineering degrees must have been awarded from a college or university school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). To find out if a degree meets this requirement, go to http://www.abet.org.

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

Foreign Education: 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 and such education has been 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: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

Additional information

Identification of promotion potential in this position does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for an actual assignment and performance of higher level duties.

Please list your General Schedule (GS) equivalency on your resume for every federal position you have held.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. See 'How You Will Be Evaluated' for definition of well qualified. Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP consideration must indicate their eligibility when applying for a position. The USAJOBS resume asks you to identify your ICTAP eligibility; the NASA Supplemental Information asks you to identify your CTAP eligibility. If you are selected for the position, you must be prepared to submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location.

As a condition of employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your resume.

NASA's Applicant Guide provides the information needed to assist you in determining whether or not you can claim 5 or 10 point veterans preference. You should not submit documents to prove your eligibility for veterans preference at this time. However, you must be prepared to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form) as requested by the Human Resources Office. Veterans preference will only be considered based on what is supported For instance, if you claim 10-point preference, but are only able to document 5-point preference, you will be considered accordingly. If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.

Your USAJOBS account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.

Fair Employment Opportunities for Applicants
NASA Credit for National Service

The payment of relocation expenses is authorized.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

NASA uses an automated system (Resumix) that matches the competencies extracted from your resume to the competencies identified by the selecting official for the position. Based on the competencies you match, you are placed in one of three categories identified as 90, 80, or 70 pt. quality categories, which are defined as:

90 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and has experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

80 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

70 pt. Category - Fails to meet criteria described in the 80 pt. category.

Additional application guidance is available in NASA's Applicant Guide .

Information for Veterans : The Category Rating Process protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet qualification requirements and have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed at the top of the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.

For the purpose of the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), candidates rated in the top quality category are considered well-qualified.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Required Documents

NASA's application process has been specifically developed to ensure that we only ask you for the information we absolutely need to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility. In order to apply for this position, you only need to submit your resume and answer the screening questions and supplemental information. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. (For example you need not submit narrative 'KSA' statements; they are not required and will not be evaluated.) In this way we allow you to focus on preparing a resume that best describes your background and abilities. For assistance in preparing your resume, consult the Applicant Guide . Nothing further is required until requested by the Human Resources Office. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume. For example, we may ask you to provide academic transcripts or proof of Federal employment status. If you are claiming veterans' preference, we may ask you to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form). If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Similar jobs