Director, Heliophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate

Washington, D.C
Jul 17, 2019
Jul 24, 2019
Full Time


The Director of the Heliophysics Division reports directly to the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Associate Administrator (AA)and supports the AA in determining and presenting the Heliophysics Program to NASA senior management, the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress. In partnership with other SMD Directors, the incumbent supports the AA in providing the overall guidance, strategy, focus advocacy, and budget for NASA?s Science Program.
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  • Directs the planning and implementation of a national Heliophysics program compatible with the priorities of the scientific community and within a balanced program.
  • Implements and manages a program for scientific flight investigations and planning and formulating recommendations for future flight programs for Heliophysics, in concert with overall SMD strategic planning.
  • Ensures an effective program of research and analysis of Heliophysics science data and dissemination of results of the studies to the public and to the scientific community.
  • Establishes policy and objectives as a basis for the planning and formulation of a national program in Heliophysics science.
  • Develops budgets, policies and priorities for programs, including providing scientific and technical leadership to guide implementation of relevant programs at NASA centers, Government research laboratories, academia and private industry.

Travel Required

25% or less - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • First time SES appointees are subject to a one-year probationary period.
  • A financial disclosure statement is required upon appointment into the SES.
  • Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security Clearance.
  • Occasional travel may be required
  • This is a drug-testing designated position


Technical Qualifications:

1) Extensive working knowledge of the scientific discipline areas associated with the study of the Sun and the interaction of the Sun with the Earth and the solar system.

2) Demonstrated ability to manage a multi-disciplined highly sophisticated scientific organization with activities ranging from research and analysis of Heliophysics science data to mission planning and execution.

3) Demonstrated ability to serve as a liaison to the domestic and international scientific community to identify science priorities, mission concepts, and potential partnerships.

To qualify, candidates must have the skill and ability to perform the duties described above as demonstrated by progressively responsible supervisory/managerial experience, normally with several years at the GS-15 level or equivalent, which demonstrates clearly the ability to manage people and resources. Candidates must also demonstrate qualifications in the managerial and technical areas noted below. See the SES Handbook and NASA's Guide to Effectively Preparing Executive Core Qualifications for more information. IMPORTANT: CANDIDATES MUST FULLY ADDRESS ALL ITEMS UNDER EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS AS WELL AS ALL ITEMS UNDER TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU COMPLETE YOUR ANSWERS OFF-LINE IN ADVANCE OF BEGINNING THE APPLICATION PROCESS, SO THAT YOU CAN INSERT THEM INTO THE ELECTRONIC FORM. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS ARE NOT SAVED. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS:1. Leading Change - Involves the ability to bring about strategic change, within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. 2. Leading People - Involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organizations vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. 3. Results Driven - Involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. 4. Business Acumen - Involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. 5. Building Coalitions - Involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.


Candidates must possess a bachelor's degree, preferably an advanced degree (PhD, MS/ME) in physical science, mathematics, or engineering that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, or electronics.

*PhD and at least 10 years of demonstrated experience as a researcher and/or practitioner in Heliophysics preferred.

Additional information

NASA continues to lead the Nation on a great journey of discovery, seeking new knowledge and understanding of our planet Earth, our Sun and solar system, and the universe out to its farthest reaches and back to its earliest moments of existence. NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the Nation's science community use space observatories to explore the secrets of the universe, to search for life elsewhere, and to protect and improve life on Earth. The Heliophysics Division studies the Sun and its ever-extending atmosphere, the solar wind, and its interaction with planets and the galactic environment. Heliophysics is also responsible for the scientific advances that help improve predictions of space weather and safeguard the journey of humans from Earth to the Moon and eventually Mars. The Heliophysics portfolio has a total budget of approximately $700 million per year.

Any applicant tentatively selected for this position may be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation. This announcement is for a career appointment to a position in the NASA Senior Executive Service (SES). Persons entering the SES for the first time are subject to a one-year probationary period. A financial disclosure statement is required upon appointment into the SES. This statement will be used to avoid conflicting situations in employment through advice and counseling. 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

Relocation expenses may be paid consistent with NASA's policy.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Applicants will be evaluated by an Executive Resources Panel based on the managerial and technical qualification requirements stated in this announcement. Eligible candidates will be placed in qualified and highly-qualified categories. Interviews, and qualification and suitability inquiries may be requested. The highly-qualified will be referred to the appropriate official who will recommend selection.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

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 need to submit your resume and answer the screening questions and supplemental information. You must also respond to both the Executive Core Qualifications (Managerial Qualifications) and the Technical Qualifications. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. 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 unless we make you an employment offer. 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 fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may use that as a basis for withdrawing our employment offer.

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.

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