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Research Scientist / Computer Systems Researcher – Entry to Expert Level (N1214456)

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NSA National Security AgencyFort George G. Meade Complex, MD
Pay Plan: GG, Grade: 07/1 to 15/10
Open: 2023-08-08, Close: 2023-10-03

NSA Research Scientists are actively expanding the boundaries of what can be accomplished with artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-machine teaming, software reverse engineering, data science, novel architectures, cyber security, high performance computing, and computational linguistics. Our experts generalize mission problems, advance the scientific state-of-the-art to solve problems, and work with other NSA organizations to get solutions in front of mission users and decision-makers. Our researchers also have the opportunity to collaborate regularly with the scientific community, academia, industry, and other government laboratories; publish papers on unclassified aspects of our work in scientific journals and at conferences; transfer NSA technology to the marketplace through open source software releases and public-private partnerships; serve as faculty members at local universities; and participate in university and K-12 STEM outreach activities across the country.

Successful candidates should have demonstrated success in conducting Computer Science research and a proven track record of turning research ideas into running prototype-grade systems. As a Research Scientist, other responsibilities may include:

– Conducting scientific experiments, documenting results, and communicating with colleagues, customers, and decision makers
– Training, testing, and deploying machine learning models
– Applying software engineering principles to design and/or develop software applications
– Designing and optimizing algorithms, data structures, modeling, and analytics to solve real-world scientific problems
– Using principles, techniques, procedures, and tools to architect and facilitate the development of hardware solutions
– Developing methods and applications for tools to exploit and analyze computer systems and network vulnerabilities

Job Summary
Are you looking to apply your computer science and other technical expertise to develop technologies and tools and be a part of cutting edge innovations? Come join our team of experts! NSA is in search of Research Scientists and Senior Research Scientists to solve complex problems, test innovative approaches and research new solutions to make the U.S. and its allies safer and more secure. Help protect national security interests as part of the world’s most advanced team of computer science professionals.

The qualifications listed are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position.

Degree must be in Computer Science (CS) or Computer Engineering (CE). Other STEM fields (e.g., Engineering, Mathematics, or Information Systems (IS)) may be considered relevant if the programs contain, at minimum, a concentration of courses in the following foundational CS areas: algorithms; computer architecture (not network architecture); programming methodologies and languages; data structures; logic and computation; and advanced mathematics (for example, calculus, discrete mathematics).

Relevant experience must be in one or more of the following: computer systems research, simulation/model development and prototyping, software design, programming, computational science, algorithm analysis and design, reverse engineering, designing/developing computer or information systems, including engineering hardware or software, machine learning, artificial intelligence, visualization, human-computer interaction, data science, or high performance computing.

Entry is with a Bachelor’s degree and no experience. An Associate’s degree plus 2 years of relevant experience may be considered for individuals with in-depth experience that is clearly related to the position.

Entry is with a Bachelor’s degree plus 3 years of relevant experience or a Master’s degree plus 1 year of relevant experience or a Doctoral degree and no experience. An Associate’s degree plus 5 years of relevant experience may be considered for individuals with in-depth experience that is clearly related to the position.

Entry is with a Bachelor’s degree plus 6 years of relevant experience or a Master’s degree plus 4 years of relevant experience or a Doctoral degree plus 2 years of relevant experience. An Associate’s degree plus 8 years of relevant experience may be considered for individuals with in-depth experience that is clearly related to the position.

Entry is with a Bachelor’s degree plus 9 years of relevant experience or a Master’s degree plus 7 years of relevant experience or a Doctoral degree plus 5 years of relevant experience. An Associate’s degree plus 11 years of relevant experience may be considered for individuals with in-depth experience that is clearly related to the position.

The ideal candidate should have excellent problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills, and possess a range of knowledge and experience in at least two of the following areas:

– Programming (low level, high level, parallel)
– Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
– Simulation/model development and prototyping
– Software engineering
– Hardware engineering
– Architectures and Distributed Computing
– Algorithm analysis and design
– Reverse engineering
– Operating systems and/or device driver development (desktop/server/RTOS)

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
Salary offers are based on candidates’ education level and years of experience relevant to the position and also take into account information provided by the hiring manager/organization regarding the work level for the position. Salary ranges vary by location and work level. This position is hiring for Maryland.

Salary Range: $81,233 – $183,500 (Entry/Developmental, Full Performance, Senior, Expert)


Cross-organizational mentoring is highly encouraged and readily available for all employees. Training is available through: continuing education classes provided by our internal school, vendor training, and a variety of tuition assistance programs. You can also take advantage of work assignment or travel opportunities, both stateside and abroad, or direct engagements with other Intelligence Community agencies.

Work/Life Balance

As Federal employees, job security is unmatched. In addition, our employees enjoy: relocation assistance, flexible work schedules, generous leave programs, free on site fitness centers at many locations, available paid personal fitness time within your normal work schedule, flexible health and life insurance, Federal retirement pension, matching employee retirement contributions to the Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for up to 5% of salary, and competitive pay.

Typical work schedule is Monday – Friday, with basic 8 hour/day work requirements between 0600 and 1800 (flexible).

How to apply
U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. 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.

Due to time sensitive communications regarding your application, please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept email from no*****@in*****************.gov. Please review the job posting thoroughly to ensure you meet the described qualifications and are aware of all associated requirements. 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. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as job postings could close earlier than the closing date due to sufficient number of applicants, or the position is no longer available. You may be asked a series of questions depending on the position you apply for. Your responses will be used as part of the application screening process and will assist in determining your eligibility for the position. Be sure to showcase within your resume those experiences relevant to this position. 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 all position qualifications, may be contacted to begin employment processing. Please remain diligent in monitoring email and your SPAM folder. Reasonable accommodations may be provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. Please visit our Diversity link for more information.

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.

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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JBNSA / An Equal Opportunity Employer / N1214456


NSA National Security Agency