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Job Title Geologic and Geochemical Postdoctoral Research
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-2010198
Job Description
The Geodesy and Geophysics Division of the Basic and Applied Research Office conducts research to understand the geospatial distribution of isotope ratio and trace element signatures that support and augment geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) analysis. A number of published studies suggest that naturally occurring isotope ratios of many common elements in water vary by geographic region.  The Visiting Scientist selected for this position will apply geologic and geochemical interpretation and analysis skills in collaboration with other NGA project scientists as they develop new methods for analyzing information contained in geochemical signatures.
Specific areas where these skills would be applied include:
  • Systematic analysis of isotope ratio and trace element data from publicly available sources.
  • Systematic analysis of current models that describe the distribution of geochemical signatures.

This selected candidate will accomplish the following tasks:
  • Identify relevant publicly available information on the geospatial distribution of isotope ratio and trace element signatures.
  • Systematically analyze available information to determine applicability to GEOINT analysis.
  • Analyze and interpret other data sets originating in NGA.
  • Collaborate closely with government, university, and contractor staff.
  • Work with NGA and other US government scientists to improve overall geologic and geophysical analysis capabilities.


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 universities and other government agencies will expose fellows to a broad 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 have received or must be completing a Master’s, Ph.D. or post-doctoral appointment with backgrounds in chemistry, geochemistry, geology, environmental science or a closely related field where geochemical interpretation has been performed.
  • Current college or university faculty members on sabbatical are also eligible.   
  • Other applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Applicants should have experience in collecting, coordinating and analyzing data as a member of an interdisciplinary team and as an individual researcher 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 1-2 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 two 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 for 1 year.  The appointment may be renewed for an additional year based upon recommendation of NGA and subject to availability of funds.  This is a full time residency appointment with NGA.  Work will require SCI clearances and drug testing, and work will not begin until all security processes and drug testing are completed successfully.  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.  D.C. area facilities will move to Springfield, VA in 2011.  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 participant 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 the host installation.  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 Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education 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 form or a current curriculum vitae containing the information on the form
·         2 completed reference forms
·         1-2-page statement of research interests
·         Optional demographic form
Please reference Project #NGA-2010198 when calling, emailing, or writing for information (see contact information below).  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


The program is open to qualified U.S. citizens ONLY without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran.  

·         The “Questionnaire for National Security Positions,” Standard Form 86 (SF-86) and “Fingerprint Chart,” Standard Form 87 (SF-87) September 04 must be completed by the selectee to initiate a background investigation. Instructions for completing these forms will be provided following appointment acceptance.  All documentation must be completed within two weeks of appointment acceptance and required clarification must be completed within two weeks of request.
·         Top Secret security clearance with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) required (may take 4-5 months to complete).  As a mandatory prerequisite for the appointment to this facility, the applicant must be a U.S. Citizen.  Clearance determinations are based upon careful consideration of the following:
        o Allegiance to the United States
        o Foreign Influence
        o Foreign Preference
        o Sexual Behavior
        o Personal Conduct
        o Financial Considerations
        o Alcohol Consumption
        o Drug Involvement
        o Emotional, Mental, and Personality Disorders
        o Criminal Conduct
        o Security Violations
        o Outside Activities
        o Misuse of Information Technology Systems
·         Applicants must undergo a comprehensive background investigation and be adjudicated in accordance with the guidelines set by “Director of Central Intelligence Directive 6/4” and DoD 5200.2-R, “Department of Defense Personnel Security Program Regulation.”  Available, reliable information about the person, past and present, favorable and unfavorable will be considered in reaching a determination.  Each case will be judged on its own merits, and any doubt concerning personnel being considered for access to classified information will be resolved in favor of national security.
·         A counterintelligence polygraph will be required.
·         NGA is a drug-free workplace.  Initial and random drug tests will be conducted. 
Number of Openings 2
Degree Specialization Geochemistry, Geology, Geophysics, nvironmental Science
Degree Required Master Degree Graduate, PhD - Graduate, PhD ABD, PhD Student