National Security Agency


Computer Systems Researcher (43451092)
Location: Fort Meade, Maryland - United States
Posted: 11/23/2017

Computer Systems Researcher

Responsibilities 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 need to maintain our core Computer Science group is vital to provide the technical capabilities necessary to successfully execute NSA's mission. The increased complexity of supporting NSA's mission requires world class researchers, programmers, and developers who operate in teams in areas such as software engineering, reverse engineering, information technology infrastructure, high performance computing, data science, architectures, computer security, and networking in order to design and develop advanced tools, techniques, and systems. Description of Position Computer Scientists design, develop, deliver, and/or operate solutions to hard computer science problems within a scientific framework. The solutions may arise in the forms of forensics and attack attribution, protection of critical networks, active systems warnings and indicators, active penetration into target systems, knowledge discovery of passive and active systems, or other computer science mission support. Computer Scientists are hired into positions directly supporting a research office, technical mission office or the Computer Science Development Program (CDP). The CDP is a 3 year development program designed to produce professional level Computer Scientists through an intensive, structured program of formal training courses and diverse work assignments. The purpose of the Computer Science Development Program (CDP) is to develop a network of computer science professionals prepared to discover, design, develop, deliver, and operate solutions to hard computer science problems throughout NSA. Highly qualified early career computer scientists are provided opportunities for career broadening assignments and systematic development of knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to excel in the computer science skill field at NSA. Successful graduates of the program are expected to be agents of change in the Agency's adaptation to rapidly emerging and evolving technology in its mission space and in its approach to information technology management. As a Computer Scientist, other responsibilities may include: - using principles, techniques, procedures, and tools to architect and facilitate the development of hardware solutions - applying software engineering principles to design and/or develop software applications - developing methods and applications for tools to exploit and analyze computer systems and network vulnerabilities - designing and optimizing algorithms, data structures, modeling, and analytics to solve real-world scientific problems Skills The ideal candidate is someone with a desire for continual learning and strong problem-solving, analytic and interpersonal skills who is able to: - work in a team environment - communicate effectively - handle multiple assignments - synthesize information to solve complex problems- - apply knowledge data structures and algorithms to software engineering problems - develop, diagnose, and/or operate complex computer systems Specialized skills and experience in one or more of the following is required: - Programming (low level, high level, parallel) - Computer systems research - Simulation/model development and prototyping - Software engineering - Hardware engineering - Computational science - Algorithm analysis and design - Reverse engineering Qualifications Salary Range: $68,586 - $85,464 (Entry/Developmental) *The qualifications listed are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position. 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. 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. Degree must be in Computer Science (CS). Related fields (e.g., Engineering, Mathematics) 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). Information Technology (IT) or Information Systems (IS) degrees may be considered relevant if the programs contain the amount and type of coursework equivalent to a CS major. Relevant experience must be in computer systems research; simulation/model development and prototyping; software design; programming; computational science; algorithm analysis and design; reverse engineering; and/or designing/developing computer or information systems, including engineering hardware and/or software. Salary Range: $79,334 - $105,663 (Full Performance) *The qualifications listed are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position. 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. 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. Degree must be in Computer Science (CS). Related fields (e.g., Engineering, Mathematics) 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). Information Technology (IT) or Information Systems (IS) degrees may be considered relevant if the programs contain the amount and type of coursework equivalent to a CS major. Relevant experience must be in computer systems research; simulation/model development and prototyping; software design; programming; computational science; algorithm analysis and design; reverse engineering; and/or designing/developing computer or information systems, including engineering hardware and/or software. 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 and 1800 (flexible). How To Apply - External To apply for this position, please click the 'Apply Now' button located at the top or bottom of this page. After completing the application and clicking the 'Submit Final' button, you will receive a confirmation email. Emails regarding your application status will be sent periodically. Please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept emails from noreply@nsa.gov. ***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 will be asked a series of questions and your responses will be used as part of the screening process of your application. Your responses will assist in determining your eligibility for the 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 the qualifications for the position will be contacted to begin employment processing. 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.

Additional Requirments / Information

Job Capacity:Employee (full-time)
Minimum Education Level:See Job Description
Visa Sponsorship: No
Related Industries:Other

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a world leader in signals intelligence and information assurance. We carry out some of the nation’s most important and sensitive intelligence activities to secure information superiority for America and its allies.


We have two primary missions. Our information assurance mission is the defense: it protects U.S. information by preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to our information systems. Our signals intelligence mission is the offense: collecting foreign signals and producing intelligence to give U.S. policy makers and warfighters the decision advantage. NSA also enables network warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.


As the nation’s top cryptologic organization, we employ the best and the brightest, who use their intelligence to solve some of the nation’s most difficult challenges. We are a world-class cyber center, the largest employer of mathematicians in the country, as well as a national leader in foreign language analysis and research.


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