Job Opportunity: Program Scientist in the Planetary Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate has an immediate need for one or more scientists with expertise in planetary science to serve as Program Scientists in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The Division is responsible for the scientific exploration of our Solar System and for improving our understanding of planets. These opportunities are being made available under a standard detail arrangement if you are a NASA civil servant, or under the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA).

NASA Program Scientists tackle a wide variety of challenges. These include: developing, operating, and maintaining Research & Analysis grants programs; serving as the Headquarters scientific lead for one or more Planetary Science missions; and helping implement and communicate the Planetary Science Division’s strategic goals. Program scientists can have substantial influence on strategic planning and can help shape the long-term scientific direction of missions and programs that they oversee.

It is preferable for most Program Scientists in the Planetary Science Division have at least six years of post-Ph.D. experience. The ideal candidate will be skilled at working in a collaborative team environment; will be able to adapt to work simultaneously on numerous programs and missions; and will be able to foster productive relationships with staff working on the space missions they oversee, and with the US astrophysics community at large. Disciplinary expertise in one or more areas of planetary science is essential, but the ability to place this knowledge in the broader context of planetary science is equally important for the success of the Division’s programs.

Positions are available from June 2020, though the start date is flexible. Applicants should email a curriculum vitae and cover letter as a single PDF file by April 10, 2020 to For more information about the position, please contact Stephen Rinehart at