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Job Title Data Scientist Research Appointment
Company Summary The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) provides timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security objectives. Geospatial intelligence is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. Information collected and processed by NGA is tailored for customer-specific solutions. By giving customers ready access to geospatial intelligence, NGA provides support to civilian and military leaders and contributes to the state of readiness of U.S. military forces. NGA also contributes to humanitarian efforts such as tracking floods and fires and in peacekeeping. NGA is a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and a Department of Defense (DoD) Combat Support Agency. Headquartered in Springfield, VA, NGA operates major facilities in the St. Louis, MO and Washington, D.C. areas. The Agency also fields support teams worldwide.
Location Springfield, VA
Position Id NGA-14-378
Job Description


NGA InnoVision is seeking a data scientist with demonstrated ability and R&D experience in statistical/quantitative analysis and model based exploitation of large data sets of geospatial, remote sensing, and open source data.

Over the past decade, the volume, quality, and variety of geospatial data for military, intelligence, and civil applications has increased dramatically. As a consequence, ever greater demands are being placed on analysts to extract salient information and provide integrated interpretation across multiple sources to support tactical, operational, and strategic decision making. While novel tools have provided incisive capabilities, the current analytic portfolio does not support the speeds, efficiencies, and sensitivities needed for future high-tempo missions. In order to meet these goals, next generation cloud based systems leverage advanced models and data treatments to identify abnormal events while also predicting future behavior. To this end, the visiting scientist will work within NGA InnoVision to identify opportunities to leverage existing multi-int data sets to generate summarized, aggregated, or transformed data sets that distill data down to more easily understood and acted upon data sets.

This appointment is available in the Washington, D.C. area.



Selected fellows will have the opportunity to perform research on topics of interest to the U.S. Government and to interact with leading scientists performing research and/or advising NGA. NGA’s extensive partnering relationships with other government agencies will expose fellows to a broad government research community. Program participants will have the opportunity to meet government decision-makers and learn directly from them about the role of scientific research in government activities. Furthermore, fellows have the opportunity to learn how research products transition from the proof-of-concept stage to integrated production systems.



·         Applicants should be a practicing research scientist with a specialization in math, computer science, or other relevant discipline.  Current college or university faculty members on sabbatical are also eligible.

·         Other applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

·         Applicants must have strong software development, prototyping, and demonstration skills as well as extensive experience with interaction instrumentation and associated data analysis.

·         Experience working with remote sensing and geographic data is highly desirable.

·         Ability to integrate with large data repositories and high-performance computing a plus.

·         A self-motivated ability to work across diverse scientific teams and staff is expected, and publishing findings in various scientific fora is highly encouraged

·         Applicants should have experience working within a research environment and show an ability to conceptualize a broad research agenda, to plan and execute specific research projects, and to meet task deadlines and goals. Applicants should have excellent verbal and written communication skills.

·         U.S. citizenship is required for the applicant. Please see further eligibility under Security Requirements.

·         A background check will be conducted for a Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) security clearance. Completion of a Questionnaire for National Security Positions is required. Details can be found under the Security Requirements section. Visiting scientists are also subject to Counterintelligence Polygraph examinations in order to maintain access to Top Secret information.

·         NGA is a drug-free workplace. Initial and random drug tests will be conducted.



Participants will be selected based on a 4-page maximum statement of research interests, relevant experience, academic performance, overall technical expertise, publications, recommendations, and compatibility of background with basic and applied research programs and projects at NGA and/or the host installation.



The statement of research interests should describe previous research experience and outline the relevance to this project. The research interest statement is a significant component of the selection criteria and should be no longer than four-pages. NGA and the selected candidate will work cooperatively to define mutual research assignments and goals in support of the NGA mission and the candidate’s educational pursuits.



The initial appointment period will be not less than 3 months and may be up to 1 year. The appointment may be renewed for up to 2 additional years, total appointment not to exceed three years, based upon recommendation of NGA and subject to availability of funds. This is a full time residency appointment with NGA. Participation will require SCI clearances and drug testing, and work will not begin until all security processes and drug testing are completed successfully. Applicants should be aware that due to security requirements, applications should be submitted no later than 11 months prior to desired start date. During the entire period of the award, participants must devote their activities to the approved research program and must be in-residence at an NGA facility or other approved facility and not at their home institution. NGA operates major facilities in the St. Louis, MO and the Washington, D.C. area, with headquarters in Springfield, VA. NGA approval is required before participants may accept additional monetary aid or other remuneration from another fellowship appointment or similar grant during the period of award.


Participants will be working in a classified environment. Approval for any publication of articles or presentations during the appointment is subject to the NGA process for public release of information. The requirement for publications and presentations to undergo a NGA public release process extends beyond the term of the appointment when a research product, article, or presentation contains information directly arising from participation in the appointment. For inventions conceived of or reduced to practice during the appointment, the fellow shall assign to NGA a perpetual world-wide royalty-free non-exclusive irrevocable license to practice the invention on behalf of the Government. An intern or fellow may hold a copyright in information created by the intern or fellow during the appointment.



The selected candidate will receive a monthly stipend. The stipend rate is determined based upon level of education, training, and experience. Inbound travel and moving expenses may be considered and reimbursed according to established policies. Limited travel and other costs will also be reimbursed for training related to the project as approved by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and NGA. The participant does not become an NGA employee, and there are no fringe benefits paid.


The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. Health plans are available through ORISE for Postgraduate Internship or Fellowship participants. The monthly stipend is intended to cover costs for health and medical insurance. NGA does not provide additional compensation for these expenses.



Applications are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Selections are made as openings occur throughout the year. NGA expects there to be multiple positions. The Visiting Scientist Program for NGA is administered by ORISE. A complete application package consists of:

·         Application

·         Current curriculum vitae or resume

·         Two completed reference forms

·         Transcripts

·         Statement of research interests (four page maximum)


Please reference Project #NGA-14-378 when calling, emailing, or writing for information. For immediate consideration applicants may forward their resumes or curriculum vitae to the email address listed at the end of this announcement. Additional information and application material can be found on the following website


Number of Openings 1
Degree Specialization math, computer science, or other relevant discipline.
Degree Required Master Degree Graduate, Master Degree Student, PhD - Graduate, PhD Student