Systems Capability Leader for Nuclear Systems

Wallops Island, Virginia
Apr 20, 2021
Apr 27, 2021
Full Time


The Systems Capability Leader for Nuclear Systems provides subject matter expertise of NASA's critical capabilities in the nuclear systems discipline (e.g., fission power, radioisotope power, nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion) to meet current and future missions by enabling NASA leadership to make informed decisions about both investing and divesting in order to ensure that the agency has the right mix of people and assets to carry NASA's mission forward.
Learn more about this agency


The Capability Leadership Model is a key component of the Agency's initiative to establish a more efficient operating model that maintains critical capabilities and meets current and future mission needs. System Capability Leadership is targeted to those areas that need (1) a greater coordination and alignment across NASA Mission Directorates and Centers, and (2) an integrated strategy toward advancement of Agency objectives for future human and robotic exploration of the solar system.

The NASA Systems Capability Leader for Nuclear Systems represents NASA's nuclear systems community across multiple Mission Directorates, Centers, and external entities. The incumbent will:

- Lead System Capability Leadership Team of nuclear system-specific subject matter experts from across the Agency for the nuclear systems discipline in support of NASA's robotic and human exploration missions.

- Identify and assist in the strategic planning and coordination of nuclear systems development and technology efforts across mission directorates and centers.

- Interface with other government agencies related to nuclear systems to identify synergies, and coordinate and integrate common requirements, policies, and standards.

- Identify nuclear systems technologies and architectures, then integrate results to develop a set of technology and flight system options and priorities that are unique to advancing both ground and space qualified nuclear systems capabilities.

- Provide Agency-wide insight and advice around the technical content of nuclear systems capabilities, standards development, tools/methods, workforce skills, asset utilization, and external disposition.

- Examine the current state of the nuclear systems discipline, recommend the future direction of research and development, and develop associated strategic technology capability plans.

- Formulate and advocate for an Agency-level 'Strategic Vector' for the nuclear system capability.

- Maintain awareness of and engagement with the nuclear systems community outside of NASA to complement and support NASA requirements.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • The individual selected will be required to file an 'Executive Branch Personnel Financial Disclosure Report (OGE-278) in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.
  • Successful completion of a background investigation commensurate with the risk and sensitivity level of the position.
  • Successful completion of pre-employment and random drug screening may be required.
  • Must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


The position requires a broad understanding of the state of the art in nuclear systems technologies, as well as insight into current and future technology development efforts and mission requirements such that the systematic application of advanced nuclear systems technologies can be assembled into an appropriate architecture to allow for future and enhancements to operational efforts in robotic and human exploration missions. Also, the position requires demonstrated multidisciplinary skills in the nuclear systems area and the individual's credentials in the nuclear systems field should be of national stature.

Candidates must possess expert knowledge and at least 3 years of directly related specialized experience with the following:

(1) advancing nuclear systems capability (e.g., fission power, nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion, radioisotope power) that includes demonstrated multidisciplinary skills in associated areas (e.g., power, thermal management, etc.);

(2) systematic application of technical knowledge directed toward the development and management of new or substantially improved nuclear systems capabilities, technologies, standards, hardware, software, processes, and techniques;

(3) knowledge of crosscutting capabilities that will require coordination with multiple other disciplines and System Capability Leadership areas (e.g., power, thermal management, autonomy, propulsion, cryogenics, materials, etc.);

(4) knowledge of the state of the art of nuclear systems technologies and flight systems, including insight into current and future commercial and other government agency technology development efforts and the potential for systematic application of such technologies; and

(5) experience building and leading multi-disciplinary teams including engagement with other government agencies.

At least 1 year of this experience must have been in planning and executing difficult programs of national significance or planning and executing specialized programs that show understanding attainments in the field of nuclear systems research or consultation. At least 1 year of the specialized experience must be at least equivalent to experience at the GS-15 level.

Your resume must include a clear and detailed narrative description, in your own words, of how you meet the required specialized experience. Experience statements copied from a position description, vacancy announcement, or other reference material constitutes plagiarism and may result in disqualification and losing consideration for the job.

To meet the minimum qualification requirements for this position, you MUST address each Scientific or Professional (ST) Evaluation Criteria separately not to exceed a total of ten (10) pages. If you fail to do so, your application will be rated ineligible. Where applicable, please cite experience directly related to the specialized experience requirements outlined above. For the full definition of the ST Evaluation Criteria and Process please click here . Please include your full name on all documents submitted.


1. Education Level and Training

2. Technical Excellence and Contributions

a. Experience/Accomplishments
b. Technical and Strategic Problem Solving
c. Publications and Information Transfer

3. Awards and Recognition

4. Outside Professional Activities

5. Corporate Cooperation and Technical Leadership Skills


This position has a positive education requirement. To be eligible, you must clearly state in your resume the following: degree, major and/or minor, and college/university.

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in engineering, physical science, mathematics, life sciences, computer science, or other field of science.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs. These education credentials must be deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, click here .

Additional information

The selectee receives a temporary promotion and serves for a period of 3 to 5 years. Upon conclusion of the temporary promotion, the selectee will then return to an appropriate position at a grade level no lower than the grade previously held. This temporary promotion may be converted to a permanent appointment without further competition. This temporary promotion may be terminated at any time.

NASA may discuss and consider candidate duty station location after selection, which means that the duties can be performed at any NASA location.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

All qualifications requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement. You will be evaluated based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applicants that meet minimum eligibility requirements outlined in the Qualifications and Education sections of the vacancy announcement will be referred to a panel of subject matter experts for further evaluation. The panel reviews the resume and responses provided to the ST Evaluation Criteria, which are standard for all NASA ST opportunities, as outlined above. The panel evaluates the candidates' experience against each criteria and determines which candidates will be interviewed. The panel will make a recommendation to the appropriate approving authority.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

You must provide a complete application package. If you do not provide all required information, you will not be considered for this position. Only provide the following:

1. Resume showing relevant work experience (start/end dates stated in month/year, description of duties), applicable education at a minimum, and your contact information. For current or previous Federal employees, it should also include the Pay Plan, Series and Grade for each work experience entry. Limit your resume to 10 pages. If more than 10 pages are submitted, only the first 10 pages will be reviewed to determine your eligibility/qualifications.

2. ST Evaluation Criteria narrative responses. Limit your responses to 10 pages. If more than 10 pages are submitted, only the first 10 pages will be reviewed to determine your eligibility/qualifications.

You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your eligibility and the information provided in your application package. For example, we may request transcripts, SF-50s, etc. Therefore, we encourage you to have these documents prepared and ready when requested by the agency. If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.