[ES_JOBS_NET] R & D Scientist, Geospatial Science, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Christine Wiedinmyer Christine.Wiedinmyer at Colorado.EDU
Tue Jan 16 15:03:46 MST 2018


Job Title

20180553 R & D Scientist



JET Job Family



Springfield, VA

Job ID


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Full/Part Time







Source: External Applicants Only
Open: 2017-12-18
Closed: 2018-03-03
Band: 05
Org: R
Location: Springfield, VA

Cover Letter

Applicants are NOT required to submit a cover letter. The entire cover letter cannot exceed the specified limits provided in the Cover Letter field (3,000 characters). Pages exceeding this limit will not be considered. The cover letter is recommended but is not required for employment consideration with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Applicants should place their narrative information in the Cover Letter / Other Professional Details field.

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule

PROMOTION OPPORTUNITY: Promotion opportunities allow applicants at all band levels to be considered.  Qualifications for NGA positions do not include specific time-in-band requirements.  NGA will emphasize quality of experience, rather than duration, and assess how the quality of the experience demonstrates possession of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies necessary for successful job performance in the NGA occupational structure.

Band 05   $131,767 - $161,900

PERMANENT CHANGE IN STATION: PCS expenses are authorized.

Pay is only part of the compensation you will earn working for the Federal Government. We offer a broad array of benefits programs and family friendly flexibilities to meet the needs of you and your family.

For more information on the array of benefits programs, please visit https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/nga/ngabenefits.html



Position Summary

ASSIGNMENT DESCRIPTION: R&D Scientists apply the scientific method in one or more disciplines (e.g., Photogrammetry, Geodesy, Computer Science, Mathematics, Image Science, Human Terrain Analysis) to advance Geospatial Science and enhance Agency tradecraft.  They conduct and develop novel scientific research projects and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration to further scientific inquiry and application.  They provide technical guidance and oversight, report results, and advise management on new and evolving technology.  They address a variety of complex data-related analytical problems by applying quantitative and qualitative analytic methods.

Additional Position Info

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Research Scientists at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) leverage science and technology investments made by industry, academia and other government agencies including DARPA, IARPA, and NSA Research, to accelerate delivery of new capabilities to NGA. They develop capabilities and implement prototypes that are subjected to rigorous, objective, independent testing/evaluation prior to transition to users in the intelligence community and DoD. NGA is seeking research scientists in the following areas:
1) Geospatial Cyber. Develop, manage/monitor research projects and personnel in cyber-based pattern-of-life discovery, mobility modeling, geospatial inference, and protection from threat to GEOINT data and methods. Strong background in computer science, mathematics, statistics, or related field is desired as is substantial supervisory experience.
2) Environment and Culture. Build and manage programs related to modeling and detection of biological, chemical, or nuclear proliferation activities. Candidates must have experience leading multi-disciplinary research projects and teams focused on developing complex models. An advanced degree and strong background in computational biology, genetics and proteomics, biochemistry, or related fields is highly desired.
3) GEOINT Assurance. Develop new technology-based capabilities to enable NGA to sustain the agency's GEOINT data, sensors, and analytics against threats from adversaries.  Candidates should have demonstrated ability and strong interest in developing his/her own research program in artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, operational resilience, and space situational awareness. A strong background in physics, astrophysics, computer science, mathematics, statistics, or related field is required. Experience with mathematical modeling that can be applied across multiple research projects is desired.
4) Anticipatory Analytics. Develop quantitative models of human dynamics using spatiotemporal datasets, data-driven collection, automation, and activity-based intelligence (ABI). Utilize spatiotemporal datasets to develop quantitative models of human dynamics. Particular challenges associated w/data this group analyzes include correlation across data sets assembled from multiple types of sensors, pattern recognition in high volumes of sparsely sampled data, and operational demand for near-real time and predictive analytics. A background in statistics, computer science, predictive analytics and math/stat modeling and extensive experience building and managing research programs is desired.
5) Automation. Develop, manage and monitor people in programs in the hands on creation of new computer vision algorithms to address mission requirements in full motion video, wide area motion imagery and ground level video. The candidate must have extensive experience with design and implementation of video data management and video exploitation for computer vision algorithms, preferably machine learning related. Experience in a computer vision or a video exploitation related field and published research in the field of Motion GEOINT and/or computer vision using a variety of geospatial data types is critical.
6) Automation. Develop, manage and monitor research projects working with satellite and ground level imagery, leading new computer vision research projects. The candidate must have subject matter level experience with design and implementation of data management and state of the art computer systems for computer vision algorithms, object detection and classification and image segmentation, preferably machine learning related.
7) Geophysics. Formalize/enhance the current/emerging R&D efforts in particle physics so as to gain best return on investment of R&D efforts on counter-proliferation via innovative approaches to enhance modeling/detection of subatomic particles. The candidate should have experience in neutron detection and related instrumentation, be familiar w/ Large Area Picosecond Photo Detector (LAPPD) technology, picosecond electronics, battery systems, and the integration of ruggedized instrumentation.
8) Spectral. Provide technical expertise to ensure NGA readiness for future Electro-Optical (EO) space systems. Assess system performance capabilities using surrogate data and deliver new methods of processing that leverage specific system characteristics. Experience in astronomical image processing, clutter suppression techniques, framing focal plane arrays, sensor calibration, and processing of images for non-literal analyses is key. Requires strong knowledge of remote sensing fundamentals with cognizance of the state of practice in machine learning, computer vision, and data science for automated content extraction from noisy measurements. Must be prepared to rigorously test, evaluate, and adapt potential solutions and facilitate collaboration between NGA and government and commercial data providers.

Mandatory Qualification Reqs

MANDATORY QUALIFICATION CRITERIA: For this particular job, applicants must meet all competencies reflected under the Mandatory Qualification Criteria to include education (if required). Online applications must demonstrate qualification by providing specific examples and associated results, in response to the announcement's mandatory criteria specified in this vacancy announcement:

EDUCATION REQUIREMENT: A. Education: Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Science, or a related discipline that includes 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in Science, Mathematics and/or a related Engineering Science. Such coursework includes, but is not limited to, Astronomy, Cartography, Chemistry, Computer Science, Dynamics, Electrical Engineering, Geodesy, Geography, Geology, Geophysics, Geospatial Information Systems, Mathematics, Orbital Mechanics, Photogrammetry, Physics, Remote Sensing, or Surveying. Although not mandatory, coursework in differential and integral calculus is preferred. -OR- B. Combination of Education and Experience: A minimum of 24 semester (36 quarter) hours of college education in any areas listed in option A plus experience that demonstrates the ability to successfully perform the duties associated with this work. As a rule, every 30 semester (45 quarter) hours of college work is equivalent to one year of experience. Candidates should show that their combination of education and experience totals to 4 years.

Highly Desired Skills

QUALIFICATION CRITERIA: In addition to the mandatory qualifications, experience in the following is desired:

1. Demonstrated research skills and experience as evidenced by previous, documented efforts, citations of work and publications in peer-reviewed journals, and receipt of patents and/or awards in a STEM related topic;
2. Demonstrated knowledge and background in Research and Development policies, structure, and interrelationships of the Intelligence Community and other Federal Agencies as well as Academia and Industry;
3. Demonstrated ability to administer, coordinate and direct programs and projects in the multiple areas of science and research related to geospatial intelligence functions;
4. Documented experience managing and monitoring technical personal and programs;
5. Experience briefing scientific research and communicating results to a range of stakeholders;
6. Ph.D. degree desired, but a minimum of a Master's degree in physical sciences, biological or chemical sciences, computational sciences, geospatial sciences and remote sensing, engineering mathematics, or related fields, with at least ten years of experience in research and development is preferred.   Demonstrated knowledge and R&D accomplishments in any of the following areas is highly preferred; such as: computer science or information technology, geospatial sciences, geography, any geoscience or GIS area, remote sensing, physics, molecular biology, computational biology, genetics and proteomics or biochemistry;
7. Knowledge of NGA, its multidisciplinary tradecraft, mission, organizations, and partners and knowledge of the organizations, processes, programs, and policies of the DoD and the National Intelligence Community.

How To Apply - External

Application submission involves applying using the Intelligence Community's Applicant Gateway on-line application process.



As a condition of employment at NGA, persons being considered for employment must meet NGA fitness for employment standards.

- U.S. Citizenship Required
- Security Clearance (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information)
- Polygraph Test Required
- Position Subject to Drug Testing
- Two Year Probationary Period
- Direct Deposit Required

How Will I Be Evaluated?

APPLICANT EVALUATION PROCESS: Applicants will be evaluated for this job opportunity in three stages:

1) All applicants will be evaluated using the Mandatory Qualification Criteria,
2) Qualified applicants will then be evaluated by an expert or panel of experts using a combination of qualification criteria to determine the best-qualified candidates,
3) Best-qualified applicants may then be further evaluated through an interview process.

Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the Assignment Description, Additional Information Provided By the Selecting Official, and the Qualification Requirements; and then construct their resumes to highlight their most relevant and significant experience and education for this job opportunity. This description should include examples that detail the level and complexity of the performed work. Applicants are encouraged to provide any education information referenced in the announcement. If education is listed as a mandatory requirement, only degrees obtained from an institution accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, US Department of Education will be accepted.

In accordance with section 9902(h) of title 5, United States Code, annuitants reemployed in the Department of Defense shall receive full annuity and salary upon appointment. They shall not be eligible for retirement contributions, participation in the Thrift Savings Plan, or a supplemental or redetermined annuity for the reemployment period. Discontinued service retirement annuitants (i.e., retired under section 8336(d)(1) or 8414(b)(1)(A) of title 5, United States Code) appointed to the Department of Defense may elect to be subject to retirement provisions of the new appointment as appropriate. (See DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 300, at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives.)

All candidates will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation.

NGA provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applications will only be accepted online. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us at recruitment at nga.mil. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

DCIPS Disclaimer

NGA utilizes all processes and procedures of the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). Non-executive NGA employees are assigned to five distinct pay bands based on the type and scope of work performed. The employee's base salary is established within their assigned pay band based on their unique qualifications. A performance pay process is conducted each year to determine a potential base pay salary increase and/or bonus. An employee's annual performance evaluation is a key factor in the performance pay process. Employees on term or temporary appointments are not eligible to apply for internal assignment opportunity notices.

This position is a DCIPS position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601.  DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to preference eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are an external applicant claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you must self-identify your eligibility in your application.

This position is funded by the National Intelligence Program (NIP).

Additional Job Requirements

You must be able to obtain and retain a Top Secret security clearance with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information. In addition, you are subject to a Counterintelligence Polygraph examination in order to maintain access to Top Secret information. All employees are subject to a periodic examination on a random basis in order to determine continued eligibility. Refusal to take the examination may result in denial of access to Top Secret information, SAP, and/or unescorted access to SCIFs.

Employees with SCI access and who are under NGA cognizance are required to submit a Security Financial Disclosure Report, SF-714, on an annual basis in order to determine continued eligibility. Failure to comply may negatively impact continued access to Top Secret information, Information Systems, SAP, and/or unescorted access to SCIFs.

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