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Physical Scientist -DTRA

Department of Defense (DoD)
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
Phone: (614)692-0259
TDD: 1 800 750-0750

Mission Statement

At the Defense Threat Reduction Agency we work as One Team in support of our mission: Safeguarding the United States and its allies from global weapons of mass destruction threats by integrating, synchronizing, and providing expertise, technologies, and capabilities. We have an inclusive work environment that promotes a highly-qualified and diverse workforce capable of meeting the demands of such a critical mission. Whether your career is in an administrative support staff position or in a professional/technical area such as science, engineering, accounting or program management, DTRA offers a unique opportunity to join an innovative team of professionals dedicated to making the world safer. If you’re ready to be entrusted with helping to safeguard the United States and its allies, DTRA offers a rewarding career with competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits and many professional development opportunities


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

  • Conduct 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.
  • Implement 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).
  • Interface 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.
  • Provide on-site training, operational, scientific and technical support to the organization sponsored training and exercise and other JCS/theatre sponsored exercises.
  • Serve 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.

Occasional Travel May Be Required

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.
  • Subject to rotation to Germany, Hawaii, and Ft. Belvoir, VA.

This position has a Basic Requirement for the 1301 series:

A. 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.
B. 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, July 17, 2017.

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:
1.Mastery Knowledge and experience associated with advanced concepts, principles, and theories of the physical sciences involving radiological/nuclear (R/N) detection and experience in the research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) of science and technology programs related to R/N detection, effects and defense measures.
2. Ability to communicate effectively in writing, including technical writing.
3. Ability to review and Interpret existing and/or pending policy, regulations, and legislation.
4. Skill In effective oral communication to both technical and non┬Čtechnical personnel.

Time-in-Grade Requirements: Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements for merit promotion consideration. Time-in-grade is the 52-week requirement Federal employees in competitive service, General Schedule (GS) positions at GS-5 and above must serve before they are eligible for promotion (advancement) to the next grade level. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements including time-in-grade, time-after-competitive appointment, minimum qualifications, and any other regulatory requirements by the closing date of this announcement: Monday, July 17, 2017

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.

OVERTIME: Occasionally
TOUR OF DUTY: Flexible
TELEWORK ELIGIBILITY: This position is telework eligible
SELECTIVE SERVICE REQUIREMENT: Please visit https://www.sss.gov for more information.

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

Performance of duties can sometimes require physical exertion over long periods in a field environment, such as walking over uneven terrain, standing for long periods (up to 8 hours) and moving heavy equipment (up to 50 pounds). Some operational support missions may require limited exposure to chemical, biological radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) hazards. The incumbent will sometimes be required to wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including a protective mask, and may be required to participate in the DoD Immunization Program.

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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