Job Opportunity: XRISM Support Scientist

Applications are now being accepted for a support scientist to work in the X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) Guest Observer Facility (GOF) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. The position is funded through the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Sciences & Technology II (CRESST II).

XRISM is a collaborative mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), with European Space Agency (ESA) participation. The objective of the mission is to investigate celestial X-ray objects in the Universe with high-throughput imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy. XRISM carries microcalorimeter-based Resolve and CCD-based Xtend instruments and is currently scheduled to launch during the Japanese Fiscal Year 2022 (April 2022–March 2023).

The support scientist is expected to become an expert user of XRISM, with a high level of knowledge of the instruments and analysis software. The scientist will be responsible for assisting the community in making the best use of XRISM by testing the software and pipeline-processed data for scientific accuracy, by contributing to the creation and maintenance of documents, and by answering individual questions from the astronomical community.

This position is a full-time position, with approximately 75% of the time devoted to the XRISM GOF responsibilities described above. The remainder is available for self-driven original research projects, preferably in high-energy astrophysics or other science areas with direct applicability to XRISM. We anticipate this position to be a multi-year position.

Candidates for the position must have a Ph.D. in Physics or Astronomy, or a related field, by the date of the appointment. A proven record of scientific research in X-ray astrophysics is also required. Preference will be given to those having experience with high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy as well as those exhibiting the ability and inclination to provide thorough, readable, and user-friendly documentation.

Restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may require that the successful candidate work remotely, at least initially. We would expect the candidate to transition to on-site work once GSFC resumes full on-site access, but this expectation can be discussed as part of the hiring process. The candidate may be required to be vaccinated; see details near the end of this posting.

The position will remain available until filled. Complete applications received by September 21st will receive full consideration. Candidates should provide a cover letter, curriculum vitae including a complete publications list, a 2–3-page statement of research interests, and contact information for three references via email to Ms. Katherine McKee (katherine.s.mckee@nasa.gov).

For more information about the duties or XRISM, contact Dr. Brian Williams (brian.j.williams@nasa.gov). For information on UMCP and CRESST II, contact Dr. Tracy Huard (thuard@umd.edu).