Distinguished Visiting Scientist (731-500)

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Universities Space Research Association
Moffett Field
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program Distinguished Visiting Scientist (DVS) will conduct sabbatical research at the SOFIA Science Center and promote interchange between senior researchers worldwide and SOFIA scientists. The intent of the program is to strengthen and advance areas of research that are of particular interest to SOFIA through the exchange of ideas, research methods, and technical expertise.

The DVS will foster innovation in the SOFIA program by infusing new ideas and perspectives into the program from across the scientific community. The DVS serves as a consultant / collaborator to the SOFIA science team, assists the SMO Director on matters of policy in an advisory capacity, and contributes to the research portfolio of SOFIA.

This is a visiting position, with appointments up to two years, but they may be for considerably shorter periods and for less than full salary support for cases when the DVS has other salary support.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify research or programmatic activities to pursue which support the SOFIA mission
  • Conceive, plan and lead investigations on problems of significant complexity, novelty, and importance.
  • Serve as high-level interface with collaborating groups within and outside USRA and NASA.
  • Represent USRA / SOFIA by presenting papers and serving on scientific panels at scientific meetings.
  • Give invited talks, review papers, and / or lead topical sessions at scientific meetings or symposia.

Required Qualifications:


  • PhD in Physics / Astronomy


  • 15+ years of research experience
  • 10+ years of experience in an academic environment as a full-professor, mentoring research fellows
  • Recognized preeminent astrophysicist with outstanding scholarly record

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: 

  • Demonstrated scientific reputation with authorship of papers that have been accepted as major works in the field
  • Ability to conduct research at a level of complexity, quality and scope such that results often have a significant impact on the current scientific understanding and knowledge related to the field of endeavor.
  • Ability to provide scientific leadership and mentor research staff.
  • Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as productive member of a senior management team.
  • An effective communicator at all levels in the organization, with strong oral and written skills and a willingness to share information.
  • A collaborative and flexible style.

Working Conditions:

This job primarily operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit, use hands.  Keyboarding for large time spans each day will be a significant part of this position.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may occasionally be exposed to fumes or airborne particles.  The employee may be exposed to moving equipment, vehicles and mechanical parts.  The noise level in the work office environment is typically mild.  The environment on the aircraft during flight operations may become noisy and tiring. The employee must be capable of performing all duties in a technical / scientific setting including offices, laboratories, shops, and aircraft maintenance facilities as well as on the aircraft / observatory, both while on the ground and during flights.  The employee may need to lift and / or move up to 25 pounds.


  • This position is based at NASA AMES Research Center Moffett Field, CA but travel may be required to Armstrong Flight Research Center and international locations.


Applicants should apply to the posting at https://usracareers.silkroad.com/ and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at www.usra.edu.

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Application Deadline: 
Monday, May 28, 2018
Selection Deadline: 
Monday, May 28, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
No Status Given (Opted Out)
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