The Science & Exploration Directorate, Solar System Exploration Division, Astrochemistry Laboratory (Code 691) is seeking a cross-disciplinary scientist to study agnostic biosignatures. The successful candidate will coordinate research across disciplines that will focus ocean worlds, astrobiology, and exoplanet science and technology. The research is expected to place an emphasis on geochemistry, biochemistry, prebiotic chemistry, and technology development.Learn more about this agency
- Apply scientific methods, including exploring and defining problems, planning the approach for study, analyzing data, conducting or analyzing field work, interpreting results, and documenting or reporting findings.
- Design or direct the development of unique or leading-edge experimental systems to meet specific scientific or mission requirements relating to these objects.
- Document and report study results to management and contractors.
- Perform a key role in resolving issues that significantly affect both research and flight programs related to life detection approaches and technologies.
- Perform experiments related to solar system, ocean worlds, Mars, and an astrobiology interpretation of data or characterization of compounds and processes to differentiate biological from geochemical and atmospheric sources.
- Plan, coordinate, conduct experimental studies in disciplines such as geochemistry, biochemistry, prebiotic chemistry, and tech development resulting in design guidelines that would affect program/mission capability and operating procedures.
- Provide guidance and technical advice to other scientists and program specialists in agnostic biosignatures.
- Provide research, but are not limited to, empirical and theoretical investigations in agnostic biosignatures (life as we do not know it) with a focus on distinguishing abiotic from biotic chemistry.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- This position is open to U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S
- Position subject to pre-employment background investigation
- You must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement
QualificationsIn addition to the basic education requirement (shown below), 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.
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. To qualify for GS-13, you must have one year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 level conducting empirical and/or theoretical research into agnostic biosignatures with a focus on distinguishing abiotic from biotic chemistry; perform experiments in disciplines such as geochemistry, biochemistry, prebiotic chemistry, and/or technology development as related to solar system exploration with an astrobiological interpretation of data or characterization of compounds and processes to differentiate biological from geochemical, atmospheric, and/or astrophysical sources; and assist with research, fieldwork, instrumentation, and/or flight programs related to life detection approaches and/or technologies.
To qualify for GS-14, you must have one year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level leading empirical and/or theoretical research into agnostic biosignatures with a focus on distinguishing abiotic from biotic chemistry; coordinating and leading experimental studies in disciplines such as geochemistry, biochemistry, prebiotic chemistry, and/or technology development as related to solar system exploration with an astrobiological interpretation of data or characterization of compounds and processes to differentiate biological from geochemical, atmospheric, and/or astrophysical sources; and managing/planning research, fieldwork, instrumentation, and/or flight programs related to life detection approaches and/or technologies.
Your resume must include a clear and detailed narrative description, in your own words, of how you meet the required specialized experience. Experience statements copied from a position description, vacancy announcement or other reference material constitutes plagiarism and may result in disqualification and losing consideration for the job.
You must have successfully completed a bachelor's or graduate degree with a major in either a) engineering from a college or university that has ABET accredited engineering programs or b) Physical Science, Mathematics, Life Science, Computer Science*, or other field of physical science.
*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.
Degrees in engineering technology are not considered qualifying for this position.
To find out if a school has an ABET accreditation, go to http://www.abet.org.
Degrees must have been received in the year of, or any year subsequent to the original date of accreditation.
Engineering degrees earned outside the United States: Engineering degrees earned outside the Unites States must be recognized by a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), often known as accords. These are non-governmental agreements among organizations that accredit academic degree programs. MRAs recognize the substantial equivalence of mature accreditation systems and programs accredited by signatory organizations within their jurisdictions. For a listing of Signatories, please visit, https://www.abet.org/global-presence/mutual-recognition-agreements/is-your-program-recognized/.
Science and other related degrees earned within the United States: Science and other related degrees 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/.
Science and other related degrees earned outside the United States: 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, visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
Additional selections may be made for similar positions across NASA within the local commuting area(s) of the location(s) identified in this announcement. By applying, you agree to have your application shared with interested selecting official(s) within NASA. CTAP/ICTAP will be cleared for any additional selection from this announcement.
This position is announced under Direct Hire authority.
If you have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), you must:
- Indicate your eligibility when applying for a position. The questionnaire asks you to identify your ICTAP/CTAP eligibility.
- Meet the minimum qualifications requirements for the position
- Submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP as indicated in 'Required Documents'
For additional information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, click here - https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/#ictap.
This is a research position and will be filled at the GS-13 or GS-14 grade level. Promotion to the GS-14 will not be automatic but will depend on the impact of the person and contributions to the research work.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this position based on how well you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements listed in this vacancy announcement. To determine your qualifications and referral status, we may review your resume and supporting documentation and compare it against your responses to the vacancy questionnaire. Overstating your qualifications and/or experience in your application materials or application questionnaire may result in your removal from consideration.
You will be assessed on the following competencies:
Planning and Evaluating
NASA considers 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.
A complete application package includes a resume, required documents and completion of the vacancy announcement questionnaire. Please see this guidance: What to include in your resume. Your resume should describe your specialized experience and support your answers to the vacancy announcement questionnaire.
The following documents are required:
While a transcript is the preferred proof of qualifying education, you may submit any of the following items:
- An unofficial transcript
- A copy of an official transcript
- A copy of a degree (i.e. a picture or scan)
- A list of completed/credited courses that includes, the title, course code, and number of semester, quarter or classroom hours for each course (i.e., BUAD- 101-Introduction to Business, 3 Semester hours)
There may be other supporting documents (licenses, certification, veterans preference, etc.), depending on your answers to the questionnaire and job announcement description, that you may need to submit.
If you are a surplus or displaced employee (CTAP and ICTAP), submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP. This includes copies of your agency notice, most recent Performance Rating and most recent Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) noting current position, grade level, and duty location.
Official documents are required at the time of appointment for verification of eligibility and qualifications.
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
A complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration.
To begin the application process, click on the 'Apply' link. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application.
Follow the prompts to select your resume and/or other supporting documents to be included with your application package. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the "Include Personal Information" section as you deem appropriate and click to continue with the application process. You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify all required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application.
If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.
If you have questions about this announcement, you may contact the agency toll free at the phone number located below. Be advised - application materials faxed, emailed, and/or mailed to Goddard Space Flight Center will not be accepted for this announcement.
Agency contact information
NASA Shared Services Contact Center
AddressGoddard Space Flight Center
8800 Greenbelt Rd
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Explore the Extraordinary
Calling all the innovators, pioneers, visionaries, and adventurers! We are diverse group of professionals united by a common purpose: to discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity. We're building on our rich legacy by embarking on new and exciting missions, both on Earth and beyond and we're looking for fresh ideas to help us get there. Do you have a passion for exploration? Do you want your work to leave an enduring impact? Join us in a career that can take you farther than you can imagine. At NASA, our work is more than just a profession-it's a lifelong pursuit, a passion, and a chance to change the world. NASA is more than astronauts. We are scientists, engineers, IT specialists, human resources specialists, accountants, writers, technicians and many other kinds of people working together to break barriers to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Explore the extraordinary, every day; explore a career at NASA!
Visit our careers page
Learn more about what it's like to work at Goddard Space Flight Center, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.
Once you submit your application package, you will receive an acknowledgement email. Throughout the process you will receive regular status updates through USAJOBS. To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login), all of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/.
If you are found qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. Whether or not you are contacted for an interview depends upon the location of the position and the judgment of the hiring manager.
If you are selected, you will be notified by phone or email with a tentative job offer. If you fail to meet the conditions of employment or any other pre-employment requirements, such as missing a scheduled appointment, we may rescind a tentative job offer.
An official, written job offer will be issued once all requirements have been verified.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does 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.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/597755900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.