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Physical Scientist, DTRA

Department of Defense (DoD)
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)


We are seeking a candidate with a strong academic background and past experience in R/N detection. The candidate should be able to analyze R/N threats and related detection problems in order to provide operational, scientific and policy solutions to the Contingency and Exercises Department and supported units. The candidate’s background in R/N detection development and detection theory should accompany the ability to effectively communicate and instruct both technical and non-technical audiences, from the individual to the senior official level, in conducting effective R/N search operations. The prospective candidate should have experience in the interpretation of both detection and spectroscopic R/N data, and the operational recommendations that would accompany data analysis and interpretation.

As a Physical Scientist you will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Conducts formal presentations and briefings within the organization, other DoD components and agencies, federal departments and agencies, and allied partners on radiological/nuclear (R/N) response capabilities, technical challenges, program, and policies.
  • Implements broad inter-service, interagency and international R/N national security programs and policies.
  • Assist in the development, documentation and communication of region-specific R/N detection Concepts of Operations (CONOPs) and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs).
  • Interfaces with high-ranking and executive officials throughout DoD, U.S. D/As (to include National Laboratories), National Security Staff, industry, local, academia, and with military and scientific officials of foreign governments.
  • Provides on-site training, operational, scientific and technical support to the organization sponsored training and exercise and other JCS/theatre sponsored exercises.
  • Serves as a Contingency and Exercise Department focal point by providing support and input to program planning, management, review, and oversight of specific short duration R&D programs related to radiological/nuclear matters.

Travel may be required on an occasional basis.

Key Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Application materials must be received by 11:59PM EST on the closing date.
  • This is a drug testing designated position.
  • This is an overseas position.

This position has a Basic Requirement for the 1301 series:
Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.
or Combination of education and experience — education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

*NOTE: Failure to provide transcripts will result in you being rated ineligible for this position.

The experience described in your resume will be evaluated and screened from the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPMs) basic qualifications requirements. See: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/1300/general-physical-science-series-1301/ for OPM qualification standards, competencies and specialized experience needed to perform the duties of the position as described in the MAJOR DUTIES and QUALIFICATIONS sections of this announcement by Monday, August 22, 2016.

You must have one year Specialized Experience equivalent to the GS-12 level in the Federal service (experience may have been gained in the private/military sector) giving the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position. Experience must be reflected in your resume.
Specialized experience required for this position is:

  • Experience with field radiological/nuclear (R/N) detection and detectors and their capabilities;
  • Experience calculating the effects of radiation shielding and associated doses and interpretation of radiological data and spectra;
  • Experience with nuclear weapons design and associated technology and radiological threats;
  • Experience with radiological/nuclear (R/N) response operations.

Specifically you will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Knowledge and experience in the management of research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) science and technology programs associated with Radiological/Nuclear R/N, effects, and defense measures.
  • Skill in effective oral communication to both technical and non-technical personnel.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing, including technical writing.

Please review the General Application Information and Definitions at:

Substitution of education may not be used in lieu of specialized experience for this grade level.

Foreign Education: For further information, click on the following link:

OVERTIME: Occasionally
TOUR OF DUTY: Standard
TELEWORK ELIGIBILITY: This position is telework eligible

SELECTIVE SERVICE REQUIREMENT: For more information please visit https://www.sss.gov

Please review the General Application Information and Definitions at:

Subject to pre-employment drug testing and periodic random drug testing thereafter.

Must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.

This position is subject to rotation to Germany, Hawaii, and Fort Belvoir, VA.

Hiring Incentives such as, but not limited to Recruitment, Relocation and Retention Incentives, Superior Qualifications Authority (SQA), Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) may be authorized on a case by case basis and are subject to budgetary availability”.

Candidates must meet the physical and suitability standards both prior to and during employment in this position.

All applicants must meet qualifications and eligibility criteria by the closing date of the announcement.

Security Clearance

Top Secret/SCI

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