The Sciences and Exploration Directorate, Astrophysics Science Division, Observational Cosmology Laboratory (Code 665) is seeking a skilled scientist to work o the development of advanced near-infrared and visible detector systems and astronomical instrumentation.Learn more about this agency
As identical vacancies are identified, additional selections may be made.
Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected. A review may be required to determine the appropriate grade level of the position and supplemental materials may be required from the selectee. Please keep this in mind when indicating the lowest grade you will accept.
As a Research Astrophysicist, specializing in Stellar, Galactic, and Extra Galactic Astrophysics, you will be a Principal Investigator (PI) or project member, conducting an independently-directed program of research aimed at developing advanced near-infrared astronomical detectors and instrumentation for use on space-based telescopes.
You will lead or participate in the development, characterization, test and integration of astronomical instrumentation. You will develop low-noise, large-format visible and near-infrared detectors for use in astronomical observations of stars, galaxies or the universe. Testing can include detector noise measurements, electronic testing, thermal stability tests, and integration testing.
You will provide leadership both in the long-range goals of the Observational Cosmology Laboratory and in the immediate problems of implementing new ideas into the conception and design of new technologies for astrophysical research. You will perform pre-project planning duties, such as concept development, master integration planning, and programming design for scientific projects, taking into account feasibility, costs, and economics. You will oversee the conception, design, proposal, fabrication, testing, launch and calibration of astrophysical instruments. Specific areas of development include large-format detector arrays, photon-counting detectors and other advanced detector systems for future astrophysical observatories operating at visible and near-infrared wavelengths.
You will conduct astronomical research that is relevant to the science objectives of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), or other current or future space telescopes. Research may include the structure and constituents of the universe, including dark energy, dark matter, and ordinary matter; the formation and evolution of galaxies, including the dark matter, gas, stars, metals, morphological structures and active nuclei within them; and stellar populations and star-formation processes in nearby galaxies. Observational research may use archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, or other NASA missions. Experimental research may include the development of advanced technology, detectors, instrumentation or equipment that will contribute to new or expanded knowledge in cosmology or astrophysics.
You will serve as a technical expert in implementing and evaluating complex and innovative scientific projects. You will coordinate and integrate the planning, programming, development, oversight, scheduling, and overall management of resources for multi-phase scientific projects. You will ensure a progress schedule is maintained and take remedial action to ensure the proper relationship between work efforts and total project development. You will review resource estimates and ensure proper distribution of project resources. You will keep abreast of changes and cost variations from design through development/installation to ensure completion on time and within the designated budget.
Occasional travel - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- A one-year probationary period may be required.
- Applicants must possess at least a Bachelor's Degree or equivalent.
- Occasional travel may be required.
- Position subject to pre-employment background investigation.
- Selectee must complete a financial disclosure statement.
You must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
QualificationsIn 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 leading and conducting studies of the sky with satellite and sub-orbital payloads designed to measure the spectral and spatial characteristics of electromagnetic radiation from the universe, the Big Bang, extra-galactic, galactic or stellar objects, and to interpret these data in the context of astrophysical and cosmological phenomena; and leading technology development for space-borne instrumentation.
GS-13: Specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-12) is defined as contributing to studies of the sky with satellite and sub-orbital payloads designed to measure the spectral and spatial characteristics of electromagnetic radiation from the universe, the Big Bang, extra-galactic, galactic or stellar objects, and to interpret these data in the context of astrophysical and cosmological phenomena; and contributing to technology development for space-borne instrumentation.
To receive consideration, your resume MUST contain your complete degree information (i.e., type of degree-received, year degree received, and major area of study). If you have received a degree in Computer Science, you MUST list all courses you have taken which meet the education requirements as stated in the qualification requirements section as well as the semester hours awarded. You MUST include the descriptive title, course code, and number of semester/quarter hours. (i.e., CMSC-435-Software Engineering, 3 Semester hours) If this information is not provided, you will lose consideration for this position. Please note that degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position. If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.
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.
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
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.
The payment of relocation expenses is authorized.
How You Will Be Evaluated
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
Drug test required
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.
Please be sure to review your resume on the ?Review tab? by clicking on 'Your Resume.' Ensure that the correct copy of the resume you have selected has been transferred from your USAJOBS account. If you fail to validate the information in your resume, you may not be appropriately evaluated for this position. Also, please be sure to review and complete the Supplemental Information questions.
To receive consideration, you must submit a resume and answer NASA-specific questions. The NASA questions appear after you submit your resume and are transferred to the NASA web site. If you successfully apply, USAJOBS will show your application status as 'resume received - complete.' If your status is 'Application Started,' you have not successfully applied. Do not rely on a USAJOBS email to confirm successful application. Only an email from NASA confirms a successful application.
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.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
This vacancy is being filled through NASA STARS, an automated Staffing and Recruitment System. NASA partners with USAJOBS in providing a seamless application process. Before you begin the application process, please read the vacancy announcement carefully and have all required information available. You may begin the process of submitting your resume by clicking on the 'Apply Online' link. In order to be considered, you must submit a resume completed on the USAJOBS site. When completing your USAJOBS resume, please remember that NASA limits resumes to approximately 32,000 characters including spaces. NASA does not accept resumes uploaded to USAJOBS from a second source or documents attached through USAJOBS' document attachment feature. Once you submit your resume to NASA, you will be asked to complete a short series of additional questions. You must finish the entire process in order to have a complete application package and receive consideration. Your answers will not be saved unless you finish the entire application. You may edit a previously-submitted application, if the announcement is still open. If you are unable to apply electronically for this position, submit your resume and supplemental questions to:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
4200 Rideout Road
Resume Operations Center/Mailstop: HS50
Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812.
DO NOT submit your resume directly to the Center advertising this vacancy. Mailed resumes must be received by the close of business on the closing date of the announcement. Hard copy resumes requirements are provided at: Hard Copy Resume Requirements. If you are a first time applicant, we recommend that you review NASA's Applicant Guide to ensure that you are providing a complete resume. Failure to submit the supplemental data and a resume that contains all of the required information may result in loss of consideration for positions in which you are interested. All applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
Agency contact information
Talent Acquisition Office
AddressNASA's Resume Operations Center
4200 Rideout Road, Mailstop HS50
Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812
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Candidates for NASA positions are evaluated using our automated staffing and recruitment system, NASA STARS, which compares your skills and experience as described in your resume with the requirements of the position. If you are found to be a highly qualified candidate, you will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration. (In some cases, individuals with priority for special consideration must be considered and selected before other candidates.) Whether or not you are contacted for an interview depends upon the location of the position and the judgment of the selecting official. At NASA, we pride ourselves on efficient and timely recruitment actions, and you can normally expect to learn the outcome of the selection process in a fairly short period of time. In addition, to ensure that you can measure progress for yourself, NASA provides you with regularly updated information on the status of the vacancy announcement.
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- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
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Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/504713900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.