NASA Pathways Intern - Student Trainee (Engineering)

Hampton, Virginia
Nov 06, 2019
Nov 14, 2019
Full Time


This position is in the NASA's Pathways Intern Program and provides students pursuing an engineering degree with the opportunity to explore NASA careers and gain meaningful work experience. This position is for an engineering student trainee in the Safety-Critical Avionics Systems Branch in the Research Directorate at the Langley Research Center (LaRC).
Learn more about this agency


  • Designing and developing methods and systems that will aid in assuring safe operations of unmanned and increasingly autonomous vehicles.
  • Developing expertise implementing enhanced positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) techniques, and developing and operating alternative positioning, navigation and timing (APNT) systems.
  • Develop expertise in areas of Bayseian estimation techniques, modeling and simulation methods, verification and validation (including flight testing), aircraft hardware modification, autopilot programming, data analysis and experiment design.
  • Assist engineers in planning, implementing, and/or managing activities associated with programs and/or projects. Provides input for strategies that address engineering program/project issues and assists in implementing decisions.
  • Researches and/or analyzes engineering-related issues or problems. Determines pertinent issues and collects relevant information from a variety of sources. Reviews information and applies analytical techniques.
  • Recognizes situations or issues that require the attention of a more experienced engineer/specialist or are potentially precedent setting.
  • Provides advice and guidance regarding technical issues. Interprets established and pertinent regulations and operating guidelines and/or conducts analytical investigations using scientific methods.
  • Initiates contacts with Agency employees, supervisors, and managers to give technical advice and guidance on common technical practices and procedures pertaining to areas of responsibility and delegation of authority.
  • Organizes information, interprets results, and prepares data for inclusion in professional work briefings, study papers, research manuscripts, or project reports.
  • Prepare and present well-researched and logically organized presentations related to work assignments.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U. S. citizen or national.
  • Enrolled/accepted in an accredited educational institution.
  • Pursuing a master's degree or higher.
  • Maintain enrollment at least half time as defined by the institution.
  • Have and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.9 on a 4.0 scale.
  • You will be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation.
  • You will be required to sign a Pathways Participant Agreement.
  • Available to work at least 640 hours prior to completion of degree.
  • This appointment will start no earlier than March 2, 2020 and no later than June 22, 2020.
  • You must meet eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


Starting GS grade levels are determined by education level:

GS-9: Completed one academic year of a master's program OR accepted into a doctorate program OR in the first year of a doctorate program.

GS-11: Completed one year of doctorate-level study.

You will only be considered for the highest grade for which you qualify.


The following majors are preferred for this position:

Aeronautical Engineering, Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Architecture, Astronautical Engineering, Astronautics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Life Science, Earth and Planetary Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics (Pure or Applied), Applied Mechanics, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Physics, Oceanography, Optical Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering Physics, Space Science, Structural Engineering, Welding Engineering, or General Engineering.

Degrees in engineering technology are not qualifying for this position. Engineering degrees must be from a college or university school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum. To find out if a degree meets this requirement, go to

Additional information

Interns may be promoted to higher grades based on the amount of education completed and acceptable performance. However, promotions are not guaranteed.

You will be expected to comply with Center Pathway policies located at:

The supervisor and Intern will agree on a formally-arranged schedule of school and work rotations. A rotation is a defined period of work or school study, usually a semester, a summer, or a quarter in length.

This vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional positions within 90 days of the closing date of the announcement.

You will serve a trial period for the duration of the Intern appointment.

Interns may be considered for conversion to a term or permanent appointment within 120 days of completing
degree requirements provided they:
  • Successfully complete an academic course of study with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.9 (on a 4.0 scale);
  • Complete a minimum of 640 hours of work experience before completing degree requirements;
  • Meet the qualification requirements for the position to which they are converted; and
  • Maintain acceptable performance.
Eligibility for conversion does not guarantee that NASA will offer conversion. At NASA, term appointments last from one to six years. If an Intern is converted to a term appointment, they may later be converted to a permanent appointment without competing.

The Intern may be converted to an Engineer position with promotion potential to the GS-13.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

We will review your resume and your answers to NASA-specific questions to ensure that you meet eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications. Your answers to the NASA-specific questions supplement your resume. Please be sure that your answers and your resume are accurate, as NASA is not authorized to alter them. If the information in your resume differs from your answers to the questions, we will use your answers to the questions to determine your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications, you will be further evaluated based on the preferred majors listed under 'Education.'

Veterans' preference applies in the hiring process. In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veterans' preference when you apply. Veteran's preference will only be granted based on what is supported by the documentation you provide. For more information about Veterans' Preference, please visit this link .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

NASA's application process has been specifically developed to ensure that we only ask you for the information we absolutely need to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility. In order to apply for this position, you only need to submit your resume and answer a short series of NASA-specific questions. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. Nothing further is required until requested by the human resources office. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume and your answers to the NASA-specific questions. For example, we will ask you to provide academic transcripts. If you are claiming veterans' preference, we will ask you to submit proof of veterans' preference (DD214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus the proof required by that form). If you fail to provide the requested documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw the job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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