Engineering and Physical Sciences Researcher – Mid/Experienced Level

NSA National Security Agency


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Fort Meade, MD

Engineering and Physical Sciences Researcher – Mid/Experienced Level
Fort Meade, MD

Posted: 2019-07-01 – Closing: 2019-09-30

The professionals at the National Security Agency (NSA) have one common goal: to protect our nation. The mission requires a strong offense and a steadfast defense. The offense collects, processes and disseminates intelligence information derived from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. The defense prevents adversaries from gaining access to sensitive classified national security information.

The NSA’s Research Directorate conducts world-class scientific research and makes advances in cutting-edge technology that supports some of our nation’s core defense/intelligence services and systems. Our researchers are subject matter experts, consultants, inventors, collaborators, and visionaries. Some of our research facilities include a cleanroom with nano and microelectronic fabrication capabilities, RF and photonic high speed characterization tools, 3D fabrication equipment, and cryogenic test fixtures in modern low-vibration laboratories.

The NSA is located in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. Home to many commercial collaborators, universities, government laboratories, and sponsors, the D.C. Metropolitan area is not only a great place to live, but an ideal place for a young scientist/researcher to launch a career.

The NSA currently has opportunities for highly motivated Engineering and Physical Sciences Researchers to provide expertise, guidance and support to the development and implementation of mission capabilities that align with mission driven challenges. Individuals in this positions are responsible for:

– Identify research challenges to enhance the NSA mission
– Leverage research approaches and methodologies
– Conduct research, including experiments and investigations
– Analyze data using appropriate tool sets
– Review scientific or technical literature to support research efforts
– Serve as a subject matter expert to support research and development efforts to propel mission efforts
– Attend conferences and communicate with people in a particular technical field to keep abreast of new technologies and information

Ideal candidates are those with a desire for continual learning and possess strong problem-solving and communication skills. The successful candidate will demonstrate expertise in one or more of the following technical areas:

– Discovery, Understanding, and Optimization of Novel High Performance Computing (HPC) Systems: Research areas include architecture design and application development, system software development for HPC, development of large-scale data analytics applications using HPC/GPU systems or techniques, development of interconnects for HPC systems, energy optimization of HPC systems, and modeling and simulation of various pieces of HPC systems.
– Neuromorphic Computer/Machine Learning Applications
– Integrated Photonics: Research goals will include the fabrication of devices and integrated photonic systems suitable for application in high speed interconnect solutions, beyond Moore’s computing, novel sensor systems, and photonic communications.
– High Speed Fiber Optics and Photonics: Research goals will include the study and prototyping of high speed fiber optic systems and photonic communication systems including advanced wavelength and spatial multiplexing techniques.
– Discovery, Understanding, and Optimization of Novel Functional Materials: Research goals will include the identification of device properties suitable for application in emerging memory, photonics, stacking and logic devices. Likely physical properties under study would include electron spin, magnetization, strain/phase, molecular confirmation, optical emission / absorption, etc. of various materials.
– Cryogenic Device Test and Evaluation: Research goals will include the testing of devices at cryogenic temperatures and the design and fabrication of cryogenic test rigs to measure the dissipated energy from devices designed to operate at 4 Kelvin.
– Electromagnetic Systems and Novel Antenna Design: Research goals include the development and prototyping of novel antenna structures including 3D printed structures and advanced array development.
– Microelectronics Fabrication: Fabricate CMOS, III-V, and/or photonic devices using in-house and foundry fabrication services. Must have cleanroom fabrication experience (lithography, dry etching, etc.). Familiarity with the use of novel physical layer techniques for providing innate mechanisms that enable TRUST in hardware components and systems throughout the Supply Chain lifecycle.
– Microelectronic circuit and/ or system design engineering. Possess familiarity with one, or more commercially available design CAD tools.

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
On-the job training, Internal NSA courses, and external training will be made available based on the need and experience of the selectee.

Monday – Friday, with basic 8hr/day work requirements between 0600 to 1800 (flexible).

Position Summary
As an Engineering and Physical Science professional, you will use your skills to create the systems and tools that will be used to enhance the operation of intelligence. You will advise, administer and perform scientific projects, such as planning, designing, and constructing specialized equipment, and ensuring adherence to sound engineering and scientific standards and principles. The NSA offers multiple areas of focus for facilities engineers, including computer, architectural, electrical, mechanical, and structural. In addition, we are seeking skills that include computer design, microelectronics, radio frequency design, and systems engineering. Apply your science and engineering skills to protect the nation.

How To Apply – External
To apply for this position, please click the ‘Apply’ button located at the top right of this posting. After completing the application for the first time, or reviewing previously entered information, and clicking the ‘Submit’ button, you will receive a confirmation email. Please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept emails from

***PLEASE NOTE: U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. Reasonable accommodations provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph.

This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans’ Preference to 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 a veteran claiming veterans’ preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.

Please note that you may be asked a series of questions depending on the position you apply for. Your responses will be used as part of the screening process of your application and will assist in determining your eligibility for the position. Be sure to elaborate on experiences in your resume. Failure to provide the required information or providing inaccurate information will result in your application not being considered for this position. Only those applicants who meet the qualifications for the position will be contacted to begin employment processing.

Please Note: Job Posting could close earlier than the closing date due to sufficient number of applicants or position no longer available. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

DCIPS Disclaimer
The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.

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