Deputy Project Scientist, Europa Clipper

Posted on
Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Science Division
City: Pasadena
State/Province: California
Country: United States
Contact Person: Cheryl Cooperstein
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Application Due Date: Tuesday, November 30 2021
Web Link:

Job Title: Deputy Project Scientist, Europa Clipper Project

Location: Pasadena, CA


The Science Division of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Europa Clipper Project, managed for NASA by JPL, seek a Deputy Project Scientist for the development, cruise operations, and tour operations phases of the Europa Clipper mission. The purpose of the Europa Clipper mission is to investigate the habitability of Jupiter’s moon, Europa.  This mission seeks to address the NASA’s strategic science goal of ascertaining the potential for life elsewhere in the solar system by investigating the capacity of Europa and its deep ocean to harbor life. The mission is currently in its final system design and fabrication phase, toward a planned launch in Oct. 2024, arrival at Jupiter in 2030, and first encounter with Europa in 2031; the nominal end of prime mission is 2034. The successful candidate will be a highly motivated individual with previous direct mission experience and broad planetary science expertise.


The Deputy Project Scientist reports to the Science Division Manager and Project Scientist and has all the authority and responsibility of the Project Scientist in those areas they are tasked to work in, or when acting in the absence of the Project Scientist.  Above all, the Deputy Project Scientist assists the Project Scientist in responsibility for the scientific integrity and overall scientific success of the project.

Specifically, in close collaboration with the Project Scientist, and in conjunction with the Deputy Project Scientist from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the JPL Deputy Project Scientist will fulfill the following roles:

  • Assist management of the Project Science team, to ensure the scientific integrity and overall scientific success of the mission, ensure that the scientific return of the project is maximized within the project constraints, and coordinate with Europa Clipper science team members in making science recommendations to the project; 
  • Interface with Europa Clipper Project Management, Project systems personnel (flight system, mission system, payload office, project system engineering, and mission assurance), and NASA Headquarters representatives on programmatic and science issues;
  • Have key responsibilities for organizing and participating in Europa Clipper Science Team meetings;
  • Organize and conduct meetings of the Europa Clipper Investigation Scientist team, and interface with that team;
  • Assist in organizing Europa Clipper’s science leadership meetings (Principal Investigators, Deputy Principal Investigators, and science working group co-chairs);
  • Represent the Project Scientist at key project meetings, including project change control board, waiver board, and risk board meetings;
  • Lead preparation of science input to regular project reviews, such as: Project-level Monthly Management Reviews, Quarterly presentations, and Monthly Project Status Reports;
  • Generate and present science materials as necessary to support project reviews, and represent the Project Scientist in additional forums and presentations;
  • Assist in instrument science issue identification and resolution;
  • Serve as owner and custodian of science requirement documents;
  • During operations at Europa, potentially serve as chair of the tactical science planning group;
  • Organize workshops, conference special sessions, and special journal issues pertinent to Europa Clipper science;
  • Perform review and approval of project science documents for export compliance as an export technical liaison;
  • Assist in organizing science communications and outreach;
  • Assist in interfacing with the leadership of the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) science team;
  • Perform science analysis, including advising a postdoctoral and/or graduate student researchers.


Qualifications and Skills:


  • Ph.D. in planetary science, physics, geology, chemistry, astrobiology, or a related scientific discipline, with typically a minimum of 8 years of related experience;
  • Extensive knowledge of, and ability to represent, broad areas of Europa science;
  • Be recognized as a leader by the planetary science community, through a record of invited presentations, authorship of review articles, and service on conference organizing committee or to professional societies;
  • Demonstrate a strong record of planetary science research, through publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • Demonstrate ability to represent the Europa Clipper mission through science conferences, public talks, planetary science committees, and related presentations;
  • Possess technical knowledge of missions, instrumentation, and spacecraft;
  • Have recent experience working in a team environment, where consensus building was required;
  • Possess strong verbal and written communications skills;
  • Demonstrate a strong record of practices that uphold the values JPL focuses on, including openness, integrity, quality, innovation, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.


  • Demonstrated strong leadership skills through activities such as participating in or leading development of a scientific instrument, participating in or leading scientific review and advisory committees, or organization of a significant research collaboration;
  • Knowledge of NASA policies and procedures;
  • Recent experience that brings additional and complementary science and engineering expertise to the Project Science team;
  • Recent experience showing technical and science knowledge of a deep space or orbital spacecraft mission;
  • Working knowledge of several remote and/or in situ instrumental techniques as applied to planetary missions;
  • Familiarly with the Europa Clipper mission science requirements, instruments, and procedures in particular.

To view the full description of this unique opportunity (including EEO statement and NASA requirements) and apply, please visit:–Europa-Clipper_R1074. Applications received by November 30, 2021, will receive full consideration.