Interdisciplinary- Computer Engineering Advisor/Mathematics Advisor/Computer Science Advisor

Washington, D.C
Sep 21, 2021
Sep 24, 2021
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Full Time


This position is located in the Technology Centers Division of the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The primary purpose of this position is to serve as the Technology Centers Division's lead for its Advanced Computing research branch, as well as serve as the Advanced Computing authority, leader, and senior advisor supporting DHS Senior leadership.
Learn more about this agency


The Technology Centers Division conducts enduring, foundational basic and applied research activities into cross-cutting scientific, engineering, and technological areas to ensure advancements in science and technology are harnessed for cutting edge solutions to operational challenges, and technical SME capabilities are available to S&T and the Department for decision making. The Technology Centers are the source within S&T for scientific, engineering, and technology expertise and solutions to widespread challenges across DHS mission spaces. Technology Centers Division is responsible for: maintaining S&T's technical baseline competency and awareness of the state-of-the-art/art-of-the-possible in key science, engineering, and technology areas. Advancing the state of science and technology where needed to address operational gap areas common to multiple missions/multiple portfolios. Exploring emerging technology areas and their potential threat and/or application to current and future DHS missions. Providing cross cutting solutions against challenging and persistent DHS mission needs and Component requirements. Delivering rapid-response expertise to urgent needs.

As an Advisor your typical work assignments may include:
  • Setting vision and providing strategic and technical leadership for research, development, test and evaluation initiatives and investments in emerging advanced computing technology to meet Departmental needs.
  • Providing expert advice and counsel on varying projects related to the advancement of computational methods and algorithms, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum information systems, and modeling and simulation within the portfolio.
  • Creating and communicating forward-looking research agendas as well as engaging in strategic technical discussions to provide timely awareness of relevant issues, threats, vulnerabilities to inform on emerging technology, high priority requirements, policy and strategy at the highest levels.

Travel Required

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

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US citizen to apply for this position
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation
  • You must be able to obtain/maintain a Top Secret/SCI security clearance.
  • You must submit to a pre-employment drug test
  • Selectee may be required to serve a one-year probationary period
  • Selectee may be required to serve a one-year supervisory probationary period.
  • Selectee will be required to complete an OGE 278, Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure form.


You qualify for the ST grade level (starting salary $132,552) if you possess three years of specialized experience one of which must be equivalent to the GS-15 grade level, or equivalent in the federal service, and/ or public and private sector. At least one year of this experience must have been in planning and executing difficult programs of national significance or planning and executing specialized programs that show outstanding attainments in the field of research or consultation. For this position, specialized experience includes ALL of the following: 1) advanced computing-related research, development, test and evaluation programs 2) research, development, test and evaluation related to advanced computing disciplines 3) proven leadership skills in Federal government; private sector with strong interpersonal skills and experience in dealing with a diversity of people in different situations 4) a strong understanding of research, development, test and evaluation management and 5) extensive knowledge of advanced computing and computational sciences, and skill in orchestrating a collaborative environment through teamwork, collaboration, accountability and a customer service mentality to help strengthen internal partnerships and enable collaborative problem solving.

All qualifications and eligibility requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: Current or former Federal employees MUST submit a copy of their SF-50 Form which shows competitive service appointment ("position occupied" block 34 on the SF-50 should show a "1"), tenure group (block 24 should show a 1 or 2), grade, and salary. IF YOU DO NOT SUBMIT ALL OF THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CONSIDERATION AS A STATUS CANDIDATE.

Current or Former Political Appointees: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the HR Office. Failure to disclose this information could result in disciplinary action including removal from Federal Service.

Mandatory Technical Qualifications
TQ1: Demonstrated senior-level experience in providing technical thought leadership to shape research and development strategies, representing an organization in the federal interagency and international arenas, applying innovative RDT&E approaches to solving problems, and building and leveraging partnerships (interagency, international, academia, industry).
TQ2: Contributions to advancing the field/state of the art and extensive application of expertise in the advanced computing domain, which may include but not be limited to, computational methods and algorithms, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum information systems, and modeling and simulation, to the management of research, development, test, or evaluation.

You must submit TWO written Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs) narrative statements that clearly and concisely document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questionnaire. Note: Responses to MTQs must not exceed 2 pages per MTQ, for a total of 4 pages.


ST incumbents are expected to possess a graduate degree in the physical sciences, ideally in a specialized field of mathematics, computer engineering, or computer science or an engineering field related to mathematics or computer science.

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; applicant's resumes and supporting documentation should only reflect education received from schools accredited by such institutions. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following Website:

If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency (a U.S. private organization's interpretation that such education has been deemed at least equivalent to conventional U.S. education programs) with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For more information regarding evaluation of foreign education for federal employment, please visit the U.S. Department of Education webpage.

Additional information

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select "Employee Benefits." Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more. ( )

Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) Expenses will not be paid.

Veteran's Preference - Veteran's Preference does NOT apply to ST positions.

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation for a Top Secret/SCI clearance as a condition of placement in this Special Sensitive position. This review includes financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.

Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U. S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change

Pursuant to Executive Order 12654 and DHS policy, DHS is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace and, therefore, conducts random and other drug testing of its employees in order to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Headquarters personnel in safety- or security-sensitive positions are subject to random drug testing and all applicants tentatively selected for employment at DHS Headquarters are subject to drug testing resulting in a negative test result.

If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.

DHS uses e-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify , including your rights and responsibilities.

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 supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience, education and training will be rated using a job questionnaire based on the following competencies or knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform this job:
  • Drug Testing
  • Integrity/Honesty
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Partnering
  • Problem Solving
  • Technical Credibility
  • Writing

If you are placed in the Best Qualified category, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.

To preview the job questionnaire and application, click

If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have overstated your qualifications and/or experience, you will be removed from consideration or your score will be lowered.

Consideration may be given to performance appraisals and incentive awards as an indicator of quality of prior experience. No points will be awarded.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the federal government, you are not ICTAP eligible. View information about ICTAP eligibility on OPM's Career Transition Resources website. To be considered eligible under ICTAP, you must be placed in the well-qualified category for this position, as described above. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement.

Peace Corps / VISTA volunteers , and people with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the required documentation, click on the links above and contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.

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

  • Your resume
  • MTQ Statement: Require your Mandatory Technical Qualficiation Narrative (4-page limit) - A narrative statement specifically addressing the mandatory technical qualifications. Each technical qualification must be addressed separately. Narrative statements must not exceed 2 pages for each individual technical qualification(s); may not exceed 4 pages in its totality.
  • Your responses to the job questionnaire
  • Are you a current or former federal employee? Must Submit: Your most recent SF-50 showing your current grade and tenure; (you may be removed from consideration if not submitted). An SF-50 showing highest (permanent) grade ever held, if different from your current grade. NOTE: Performance award, Realignment, and Detail SF-50s will not be accepted as proof of grade and tenure. With-in Grade/Range Increases, and SF-50s with dates that show proof of you holding the grade for at least a year) to support meeting time in grade requirements. (NOTE: You may need to submit more than one SF-50.)
  • If education is required: Submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable) or a list of coursework with hours completed. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualification requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. For example, specific courses accepted for college-level credit by an accredited U.S. college or university, or foreign education evaluated by an organization recognized for accreditation by the Department of Education as education equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. college or university. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information. If applicable.
  • Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)? Submit a copy of your: - Agency notice - Most recent performance rating - Most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location
  • Are you a current or former political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee? Submit a copy of your applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment: - Position title - Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee) - Agency - Beginning and ending dates of appointment
  • Are you applying under Schedule A hiring authority for persons with severe disabilities? Provide: Evidence of your intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability obtained from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefit.
  • You may be asked to provide a copy of your recent performance appraisal and/or incentive awards.

  • 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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