Director of Heliophysics Science Division

Greenbelt, Maryland
Dec 01, 2020
Dec 09, 2020
Executive, Director
Full Time


The Heliophysics Science Division is an organizational element of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate. The Division is divided into five laboratories whose chiefs report directly to the Director. The major areas of space science that comprise the Heliophysics Science Division include Solar Physics, Heliospheric Physics, Geospace Physics, and Space Weather. Also included in the Division's program are important activities in planetary magnetospheres.
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This position reports to the Director of Sciences and Exploration Directorate. The Director of Heliophysics Science Division:

- Is an internationally recognized authority in one or more of the following areas: Solar Physics, Heliospheric Physics, Geospace Physics, and Space Weather.

- Develops and conducts a broad program of research, both experimental and theoretical, in Heliophysics, Solar Physics, Heliospheric Physics, Geospace Physics, and/or Space Weather.

- Disseminates the results of research through presentations at professional meetings and makes contributions to the scientific literature.

- Serves as the expert technical consultant for the Agency in the area of Heliophysics.

- Serves as a Project Scientist, Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, Participating Scientist, or as an Interdisciplinary Scientist on NASA missions.

- Responds to Announcements of Opportunity from NASA Headquarters.

- Oversees the construction and delivery of flight hardware to sounding rocket, satellite, and spacecraft projects.

- Oversees the analyses of the data from experiments and the publication of results in the scientific literature.

- Participates in Agency and interagency committees and panels involved in the planning and implementation of Agency and national research programs in the field of space science.

- Develops and implements a vision for the organization's science objectives and new Heliophysics mission concepts.

- Advocates and develops a long-range plan for organizational science objectives without significant changes in allocated resources (e.g., civil service staffing, contractor support).

- Manages and oversees data analysis, science operations, and outreach activities.

- Provides scientific definition and support for new Heliophysics mission concepts, across the whole mission lifecycle from proposal/formulation to operations.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • The individual selected will be required to file an 'Executive Branch Personnel Financial Disclosure Report (OGE-278) in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.
  • Initial Senior Executive Service (SES) Career appointee is subject to a one-year probationary period.
  • Successful completion of a background investigation commensurate with the risk and sensitivity level of the position.
  • Successful completion of pre-employment and random drug testing may be required.


You must have the skill and ability to perform the duties described above as demonstrated by progressively responsible supervisory/leadership experience, normally obtained over several years by serving in positions at the GS-15 level or equivalent.

To meet the minimum qualification requirements for this position, you MUST address each Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) and Mandatory Technical Qualification (MTQ) separately. If you fail to do so, your application will be rated ineligible. We recommend you provide two (2) examples of relevant experience for each ECQ. Responses to ALL ECQs must not exceed ten (10) pages; MTQ responses must not exceed one (1) page per MTQ. Please include your full name on all documents submitted.

If you are currently serving under a career SES appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program and been certified by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) you MUST address the MTQs, but do not need to address the ECQs.

When preparing your responses to the ECQs and MTQs, you are encouraged to follow the Challenge, Context, Action, and Result model outlined in the OPM's Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualification and NASA's Guide to Effectively Preparing Executive Core Qualifications . For a sample template on how to format your ECQ narrative visit NASA's Executive Leadership Opportunities .


ECQ 1 - Leading Change: The ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

ECQ 2 - Leading People: The ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

ECQ 3 - Results Driven: The ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

ECQ 4 - Business Acumen: The ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ 5 - Building Coalitions: 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.

MTQ 1- Recognized in the international science community for research achievement in Heliophysics, with demonstrated experience and management of space-based Heliophysics investigations. This includes experience in data analysis and management, science operations, outreach activities and providing high quality scientific definition and support for new Heliophysics mission concepts, across the whole mission lifecycle from proposal/formulation to operations.

MTQ 2- Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing a vision for the organization's science objectives and new Heliophysics mission concepts. This includes advocating for those objectives, justifying resources required, and developing a long-range plan without significant changes in allocated resources (e.g., civil service staffing, contractor support) while fostering a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment.


This position has a positive education requirement. To be eligible, you must clearly state in your resume the following: degree, major and/or minor, date degree awarded, and college/university.

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in engineering, physical science, mathematics, life sciences, computer science, or other field of science.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR 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. 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, click here .

Additional information

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

All qualifications requirements must be met by 12/16/2020. You will be evaluated based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

We will review your resume and required documents to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the basic qualification requirements, your application will be evaluated based on your narrative statements addressing the ECQs and MTQs. Your application will then be referred to and evaluated by an Executive Resources Panel (ERP) and will be placed in one of the following categories: Not Qualified, Qualified, or Highly-qualified. Candidates may receive an interview and/or a reference check. The ERP will make a recommendation to the appropriate approving authority.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

You must provide a complete application package. If you do not provide all required information, you will not be considered for this position.

1. Resume showing relevant work experience (start/end dates stated in month/year, description of duties), applicable education at a minimum, and your contact information. For current or previous Federal employees, it should also include the Pay Plan, Series and Grade for each work experience entry. Your resumes must not exceed ten (10) pages or 32,000 characters.
2. Executive Core Qualifications narrative responses, if applicable.
3. Mandatory Technical Qualifications narrative responses.

You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your eligibility and the information provided in your application package. For example, we may request transcripts, SF-50s, SES Candidate Development Program certificate, etc. Therefore, we encourage you to have these documents prepared and ready when requested by the agency. 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.

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