Scientific Research Positions and Recruitments

The CRESST II cooperative agreement enables scientists, normally at the Ph.D. level, to come and work on-site at GSFC, as employees of the partner universities for period of ~ 6 months to many years. They are recruited to work on one-to-many individual space science and technology research projects related to the disciplines of Astrophysics and/or Solar System Exploration Sciences. These positions are soft-money, with no guarantee of long term funding. Many scientists see the GSFC research as a step in building toward a long term career in astronomy; some of our scientists are remain associated with GSFC for their entire career. Research may be observational, theoretical, modeling, or instrument development.


Characteristics of CRESST II scientific research positions include:

  • Depending on the experience and qualifications of the new hire, they may be hired by one of the four universities at the faculty research associate, post doctoral, assistant research scientist, associate research scientist, or the senior scientist level. Positions as Research Engineers are also available as needed.

  • Salaries are set by the employer, within fully-loaded cost parameters provided by the civil service sponsor, and are coordinated between the university partners in order to minimize differences between partners. CRESST II compensation packages for recent Ph.D. are generally competitive with Physics and Astronomy PostDocs for the DC area. Salaries for more senior researchers are set on a case-by-case basis, based on scientific productivity, research experience, skill set, and the nature of the position. Promotions and salary increases are based on merit.

  • Appointments are typically one year renewable, though some may be of 2-3 year duration, depending on the situation. Assistant Research Scientist appointees and above become faculty members of their respective employing institutions.

  • CRESST II scientists are encouraged to write research proposals both as co-investigators as well as principal investigators. Successful PI proposals are awarded through grants to the partner institution, on behalf of the PI. Generally-speaking, PI proposals must be submitted by the CRESST II partner only after the scientist has become an employee of the university.

  • While the positions are soft money, CRESST II works on the basis of an annual budget and many positions are associated with developing and operating missions at GSFC and hence have a funding lifetime of several to many years.

For more information on CRESST II research scientist positions, especially from current NPPs at NASA/GSFC, please contact the CRESST II Program Manager.

Current CRESST II Recruitments:


Early-Career Positions in Cosmic Infrared Background Program with Euclid (The position will remain available until filled. Applications received by Friday, May 17, 2024, will receive best consideration.)


Postbaccalaureate Positions in Astrophysics Science and Solar System Exploration Divisions at Goddard Space Flight Center (The application deadline is Sunday, March 31st at 11:59 pm EDT).

Updated: 2024-Apr-18

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