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Job Title:
Astronomer (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow), IS-1330, Grade 11; $74,129 to $96,363 per year
Type of Position:
Trust Fund Temporary - Not To Exceed Two Years With The Possibility Of Extension For A Third Year.
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:


This is a position of Astronomer (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow) in the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division. The purpose of the position is to train postdoctoral researcher to conceive, plan and conduct highly specialized research in astronomy.  The incumbent will be expected to perform scholarly research and participate in making contributions to the physical fields of science. 


The individual will work on observational and modeling research related to the detection and characterization of planets using the microlensing technique.

Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Conduct a program of research and scholarship in the area of the detection and characterization of microlensing exoplanets under the supervision and direction of the Principal Investigator
  2. Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research by, for example, preparing papers for publication in scientific journals, and preparing and presenting findings at scientific meetings, as required
  3. Support, as required, the development of proposals for research funding
  4. Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of your research group, School and Institute
  5. Perform other scientific duties identified by the Supervisor such as:
    • Contribute to analysis of microlensing data from the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network by (a) leading the analysis of light curves, (b) refining data reduction and analysis pipelines, (c) conducting a search for planet candidates, and (d) implementing software to assess the planet sensitivity of the observations.


Basic Requirements:

A. Degree: in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science, or electronics. The course work must have included differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy and/or physics.


B. Combination of education and experience -- at least 30 semester hours of courses equivalent to a major in any combination of astronomy, space science, physics, mathematics, and electronics, with required course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to the basic requirements, candidates for the grade 11 must also possess one of the following:

A. Master's or equivalent graduate degree; or

B. Minimum of one year specialized experience equivalent to at least grade 9 in the normal line of progression for this occupation.  Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position such as experience analyzing microlensing light curves

C. Combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience equivalent to the above.

Conditions of Employment

You must be fully vaccinated for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine.


Have an approved Reasonable Accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements. Please see additional information regarding reasonable accommodations below.  

Additional Vacancy Language Regarding COVID-19

The Smithsonian Institution has a mandate requiring all employees (federal and trust), affiliated staff (including volunteers, interns, and fellows), and the contractors who work with us to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee’s duty location or work arrangement (e.g., onsite, telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment or onboarding with the Smithsonian Institution, if after November 22. The Smithsonian Institution will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required exemption from this requirement. This requirement applies to employees, affiliated staff, contractors who are working on-site, and those teleworking in whole or in part. Limited exemptions to the Smithsonian Institution’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be considered on a case-by-case basis for selected candidates who inform the Smithsonian that they cannot be vaccinated because of a disability, including certain medical conditions the Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers contraindications to the vaccine, or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Additional information and instructions regarding Smithsonian’s COVID-19 mandate will be provided at the time of selection.   

APPLICATION PROCEDURE We will only accept applications on line for this position.  For complete information about this position and the online application procedures, please visit:  USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace


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