LISA Precision Measurement Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center

Job Summary

Scientific / Technical Staff
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory
Number of Positions Available
5+ Years
Could the duration be extended?
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

Greenbelt, MD
United States

Job Description

The Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is seeking a research astrophysicist with expertise in metrology, precision measurement, and/or instrumentation for gravitational wave detection to support NASA’s participation in the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission.

This position is for a Research Astrophysicist (civil service scientist) Term Hire not to exceed 2 years with the option to extend to a maximum of 6 years, and the option to be made permanent without further competition. 

LISA is a mission led by the European Space Agency to build and operate the first space-based observatory of gravitational waves with sensitivity in the millihertz band and a wide variety of applications in astrophysics, cosmology, and fundamental physics.  NASA’s contributions to LISA, which are being led by the Goddard Space Flight Center, include the delivery of critical instrument systems of telescopes and precision laser light sources.

The selected individual will work with the existing LISA team at Goddard, including scientists, engineers, project managers, and support staff to contribute to the successful delivery of the instrument systems. Duties will include designing and conducting verification and validation of instrument prototypes and flight models; contributing to system-level models of instrument performance; and interfacing with precision measurement scientists at ESA and other European partners. While support for LISA is the primary focus for this position, the employee will also have opportunities to propose self-directed research to study gravitational waves or other areas of astrophysics.

This will be a 2-step process. The first phase, through May 31, 2024, seeks declarations of interest in this position via a submitted letter of interest and other documents (see below). The second phase will be a USAJOBS posting, anticipated in June 2024. Those who respond during phase 1 will receive additional notification when the respective USAJOBS opportunity opens. Note that phase 1 is the ‘strongly encouraged’ phase and phase 2 is the ‘required’ phase.

The position will reside at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC.  

US citizenship is required at the time of the Phase 2/USAJOBS application.  Those who are expecting U.S. citizenship by the time of the Phase 2 opportunity are encouraged to submit materials during Phase 1, even if they do not yet have their U.S. citizenship. A Ph.D. degree is preferred. This is an early to mid-career position that will be posted at the GS-13 and GS-14 levels.

Interested applicants should contact Diana Elben ([email protected]) by 5/31/2024.  Please use the subject line “2024 LISA Precision Measurement Scientist”.  Inquiries about the position may be addressed to Dr. John Baker at [email protected].  Additional application material will be required in Phase 2 via the USAJobs website; the USAJobs posting is anticipated sometime in June 2024.

NASA GSFC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Type
Compensation Range
$117,962USD to $181,216USD

Application Details

Application Instructions
Interested applicants should contact Diana Elben ([email protected]) by 5/31/2024. Please use the subject line “2024 LISA Precision Measurement Scientist”.
Publication Start Date
2024 Apr 16
Application Deadline
2024 May 31


Dr. John Baker