Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Archive Date: 
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 


Trust Fund (Non-Federal), Indefinite

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) invites applications for the position of (Technical) Astrophysicist within the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC).  The CXC operates the Chandra X-ray Observatory under contract with NASA. The mission has been in operation since July 1999.  The employee will undertake a significant role in the CXC, working with CXC science and IT specialist staff to maximize the scientific return of the data obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The employee reports to the Chandra X-ray Center Data System (CXCDS) manager, and provides scientific coordination of, and input to, the design, development, and integration of software to support the CXC’s scientific fitting data analysis package and other scientific software supported by the group. The employee is expected to conduct a program of research in the area of x-ray astronomy and high energy astrophysics with Chandra and other observatories.

A thorough knowledge of astronomy, physics, or astrophysics, and demonstrated experience working with X-ray astronomy data, is required. The successful candidate will have advanced knowledge of modern computer techniques, simulation and data analysis techniques, including optimization methods and Bayesian statistical methods commonly used in the analysis of X-ray astronomy data. The successful candidate will have experience with standard astronomical X-ray data analysis packages such as CIAO, FTOOLS, XMM/SAS, Sherpa, or XSPEC, as well as computer languages and operating systems such as C++, Python, MacOS, Linux, and Git. The candidate will communicate the results of her/his research via scientific papers, technical memoranda, conferences, or meetings. We offer a challenging environment working in partnership with CXC scientific and engineering staff to produce the highest quality data.

Duties include:

  • Lead the design, development, testing and implementation of advanced data analysis algorithms to meet the science requirements.
  • Evaluate advanced scientific and numerical algorithms taking into consideration the rapidly evolving technology and where the trends and future are in astronomical data analysis systems.
  • Design and implement software following the CXC software design standards.
  • Conceive and conduct a program of independent observational or theoretical research in high energy astrophysics.
  • Participate in meetings and conferences to discuss current research results and projects.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.

We will only accept applications on line for this position. To view the complete vacancy announcement and online application procedures, please visit

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
Human Resources