Career Opportunities

Opportunity for IPA/Detailee Program Scientist Positions in NASA Headquarter’s Heliophysics Division

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has an immediate need for up to approximately two scientists with expertise within the Heliophysics Division science portfolio to serve on assignment as Program Scientists under the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program or through a detail assignment (for current Regular Government Employees).

Under authority granted to NASA in the NASA Flexibility Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-201, 118 Stat. 461 (5 U.S.C. 9801 et seq.)), the initial IPA appointment will be for up to two years, with the possibility of reappointment up to a total of six years. The Intergovernmental Personnel Act provides for the temporary assignment of personnel between the Federal Government and state and local governments, colleges and universities, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and other eligible organizations; all applicants must be from an IPA-eligible organization. A detail assignment would use the same appointment length as the IPA assignment, as negotiated between NASA and the individual’s home agency.

NASA Program Scientists tackle a wide variety of challenges, have substantial influence on NASA strategic planning, and can help shape the long-term scientific direction of programs and projects that they oversee. This provides a unique opportunity for scientists to gain insight into Heliophysics policy and programs, to better understand the proposal review process, and to manage scientific programs/projects with multimillion-dollar budgets.

An individual in this position will execute tasks both common to the Program Scientist role and particular to specific assignments. NASA encourages applicants to envision potential duties of interest beyond common Program Scientist activities. Additionally, NASA has identified activities and projects as possible opportunities for IPA/detail Program Scientist involvement.

The time spent at NASA Headquarters enables and enhances career growth: some individuals return to their home institutions to continue academic research, while others move on to management and leadership positions in the Federal Government, academia, at observatories, or in the non-profit sector. Training and mentoring programs are available, on both a formal and informal basis, which further enables individuals to advance their careers.

NASA is open to both on-site (Washington, D.C.) and remote work arrangements. On-site workers will be offered regular travel back to their home institutions. Remote workers will be required to regularly travel to Washington, D.C.

More information on the opportunity, eligibility, and the application process can be found in the full announcement.