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Job Details

Research Associate




Remote, Virginia, United States


Our intended hire timeframe for this role is between May - June 2023. If interested in this role, expect a lengthy hiring process.

The Leidos Corporation is seeking Research Associates in accordance with overall technical direction, guidance, and protocols provided by grantees, subcontractors, and the National Science Foundation. The Research Associate position supports a variety of scientific research projects in the physical and astrophysical sciences at remote Antarctic field stations, works with advanced scientific instrumentation, assists in the collection of data, and carries out research protocols for NSF grantees.

About the Antarctic Support Contract:

Leidos Antarctic Support Contract (ASC) is the prime contractor to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). Leidos supports the NSF’s Office of Polar Program’s Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics by aligning with their Mission and Vision Statements:

  • Vision: Expanding our scientific reach in Antarctica through increased operational and logistical effectiveness.

  • Mission: To provide the operational and logistical platform necessary for the U.S. to conduct world-class science in Antarctica and maintain its active and influential presence on the continent.

Leidos ASC provides science and logistics support for approximately 150 science and technical events across three geographically remote research stations; McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, and South Pole Station and several deep field sites across Antarctica. Each station or field site supports world class research across multiple science disciplines. The planning and implementation of science support requirements in Antarctica is a critical part of our mission.

This position is an alternate position for the Research Associate role. Deployment to Antarctica may be required for this position. Regardless of deployment, the individual in the position must successfully complete the physical and dental examinations as required by the NSF for deploying to Antarctica. Failure to meet these requirements will result in withdrawal of employment offer or other employment action.

This position will require deployment if the alternate is selected to fill the primary slot. In the case that an identified primary cannot deploy (whether due to PQ failure or other potential issues), an alternate will be selected to fill a primary slot.

If required, this position will deploy for the Austral Summer season (October 2023 - February 2024). After which, employment with Leidos will be terminated.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Maintain, troubleshoot, and repair a variety of equipment used in the long-term monitoring of physical phenomena including (but not limited to): magnetometers, spectrophotometers, CCD cameras, and other radio and optical equipment.

  • Use digital and analog electronic equipment to diagnose and repair instruments and computer hardware failures.

  • Support grantees by ensuring timely problem resolution, minimizing data collection interruptions, and notifying grantees of outages, issues, and maintenance schedules.

  • Maintain appropriate project log books, documents and email records.

  • Update standard operating procedures.

  • Administer, operate, and maintain the computer-based acquisition data systems.

  • Coordinate with other departments on computer configurations and networking topology issues such as firewall access and IP addresses.

  • Receive and inventory capital equipment, instruments, materials, and supplies.

  • Maintain accurate inventory of spare parts for equipment and instruments, and prepare resupply lists.

  • Assist with life-cycle management and inform researchers/staff on replacement timelines.

  • Occasionally conduct briefings on research and tours of facilities for distinguished visitors.

  • Other duties as required.

Site-Specific Duties and Responsibilities: There are three Research Associate positions, one at McMurdo and two at South Pole. Following are additional duties at these stations: Maintains, operates, and repairs cryogenic dewars, associated equipment, and compressed gas cylinders. Manages LN2 and GN2 supply for the station. Provides manual labor as needed including excavating buried experiments and performing station maintenance. Participates in community duties, which may include washing dishes and cleaning common areas.

(McMurdo ONLY): Typically deploys from early Oct for one year; summer only (Oct - Feb) and winter only (Feb - Oct) deployments are possible.

Education and Required Skills:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in Mechanical, Electrical, Aeronautical or other Engineering, Astronomy, Astrophysics, or Physics is required.

  • Two years’ experience in laboratory or observatory technical work. Laboratory or observatory technical work should include operational experience utilizing experimental, physical, optical, or atmospheric science equipment. Experience handling cryogens preferred but not required.

  • General electronic troubleshooting experience required, with a minimum of two years of experience in the use of multiple commercial software packages as well as DOS and Windows operating systems.

  • Basic understanding of RF and power equipment (RF attenuators, filters, LNAs, switches, switching power supplies) desired. Experience with network interfaces helpful.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication abilities required. Knowledge of MS-Excel and Word required.

  • Must be organized, able to multi-task, and able to work without direct supervision.

  • Successful conflict resolution experience or training, and a flexible attitude.

  • Experience working with diverse groups of people in high stress situations.

  • Familiarity with legacy versions of Windows operating system, and experience with Macintosh and Linux/Unix platforms desired.

  • Fluency with networking topics and file transfer tools desired.

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Public Trust security clearance.

Per contract requirements, selected candidates must be US Citizens.

Pay Range:

Pay Range $63,050.00 - $97,000.00 - $130,950.00

The Leidos pay range for this job level is a general guideline only and not a guarantee of compensation or salary. Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity, alignment with market data, applicable bargaining agreement (if any), or other law.