• Help



    NASA is currently seeking interested applicants for a Senior Level (SL) position as the Director of the Agency?s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. SSERVI is chartered to enable world-class multi-disciplinary research pertinent to the science and human exploration of the Moon, near-Earth asteroids and the moons of Mars. The SSERVI Director plans, directs, and coordinates all scientific activities of the Institute, manages communications and advocacy with key NASA stakeholders and members of diverse science communities, assists key HQ sponsors in the solicitation and selection of community-based research teams, and cultivates international partnerships. Applicants should have demonstrated leadership skills and experience in defining strategy and implementation plans, in managing diverse groups of people towards a common vision, and in conducting effective communications and advocacy to key stakeholders. Familiarity with how science is conducted and managed is desirable, but there is no requirement for the Director to be an active research scientist.

    This position is assigned to the Office of the Center Director (Code D) at the Ames Research Center. The selectee receives a term appointment, serving for a period of 3 to 5 years, with potential to convert into a permanent appointment without further competition. Please refer to the "How You Will Be Evaluated" section for additional application instructions.

    This announcement is open to all U.S. Citizens and Nationals. This position is being announced concurrently with vacancy announcement number AR18C0035. Current NASA civil service employees on career, career conditional, non-competitive, and NASA term appointments with conversion eligibility wishing to be considered under merit promotion procedures must apply to vacancy announcement AR18C0035 here ->Announcement #AR18C0035. Only one position will be filled as a result of these two vacancy announcements.

    ***This vacancy has been amended to extend the closing date to 05/14/2018.***

    Learn more about this agency


    The major duties required of the SSERVI Director are leadership, management and advocacy. The Director provides executive leadership of the Institute and its geographically dispersed and multi-disciplinary science teams. He/she identifies new focus areas where competitively-selected and community-based research teams contribute to Agency scientific and human exploration objectives. The Director works to ensure that the sum of the Institute?s research portfolio is greater than the sum of its constituent teams. The Director is responsible for enhancing the effectiveness and impact of SSERVI by identifying a strategy for integrating international partners into the Institute?s activities. He/she ensures that the Institute remains at the cutting edge of using technology to enable effective and efficient use of virtual communications tools to integrate the geographically dispersed SSERVI teams.

    The Director manages the day-to-day activities of the Institute?s core staff of civil servant and contractors at NASA?s Ames Research Center. These activities include: oversight of the Institute budget and implementation of cooperative agreements with external science teams, annual negotiations of operating budgets with stakeholders at NASA Headquarters, performance reviews of Institute employees, oversight of support contracts, and development and regular reporting of Institute highlights and budget status to HQ stakeholders. The Director leads a staff of about 12 contractor and civil service staff, plans and determines evolving resource needs and allocations, and executes budgets and schedules.

    The Director is the primary advocate for the Institute to NASA senior management, the sponsoring HQ Mission Directorates, Ames Research Center management, current and prospective international partners, the lunar and planetary scientific communities, and the public at large. Advocacy includes strategic and tactical discussions pertaining to the Institute?s vision to integrate science research into NASA?s current and future plans for human exploration. The Director is expected to organize and host an annual science conference at Ames, and to develop and maintain vigorous external communications with the science and exploration communities, and to the general public.

    Supervisory status


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • Help


    Conditions Of Employment

    • Position subject to pre-employment background investigation.
    • Selectee must complete financial disclosure statement.
    • A one-year probationary period may be required.
    • Frequent travel may be required.


    1. Demonstrated abilities in leading high-impact and multidisciplinary science or technical research programs involving distributed groups from government, industry or academia, and the ability to effectively communicate with the disparate researchers and their communities.

    2. Demonstrated abilities in directly managing scientists and/or technical staff, and in managing budgets.

    3. Demonstrated abilities in advocating for science or technical programs to program sponsors in government, industry or academia, and in creating an effective communications plan for stakeholders and the general public.

    You must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


    To qualify, candidates must have the skill and ability to perform the duties as described and possess science management or technical management experience, at least one year of which is in a position at or equivalent to the GS-15 grade level work.

    In practice, this translates into leadership and management of major programs involving significant funding levels beyond those typically associated with a single research or product group. These skills must be demonstrated in areas of direct control featuring extensive scope and complexity, with multiple interfaces. The specific technical work should be considered ?state-of-the-art? and path-breaking in its field, independent of the specific research or technology domain. Applicants must have demonstrated creative leadership and outstanding managerial competence over research and development programs to overcome a variety of exceptionally difficult and complex factors. Applicants must document their experience in meeting goals and commitments.

    Candidates satisfying the above qualifications will be further evaluated by a panel of subject matter experts
    against the following Senior Level (SL) evaluation criteria. (Candidates who meet all these General Criteria
    will be subsequently evaluated against the Technical Qualifications described in the next section; see also
    the "How You Will be Evaluated" section for additional information.) While a candidate need not meet
    every element under the SL evaluation criteria categories (e.g., all elements under Technical Excellence and
    Contributions) unless specifically noted, the body of experience, qualifications, and contributions must
    indicate strong evidence that the candidate meets all or most of the criteria expected of an Agency SL
    employee. Experience in these criteria must be addressed within your resume:

    NOTE: The elements within the numbered categories below are examples of experience for that category.



    Please refer to the "Educational Qualifications" section of this vacancy announcement.


    a. Experience/Accomplishments - Significant high-level experience in the discipline (required). High level
    of originality and creativity evident in approaches to problems in work products. Contributions are highly
    influential within the Agency and the discipline. Innovative contributions, such as new designs, techniques,
    or processes, enabling technologies, capabilities, or program enhancements. Impact on key Center and
    relevant NASA and national programs.

    b. Technical problem solving - Formulates effective approaches to solve problems of exceptional difficulty.
    Interacts/collaborates with other Centers, agencies, industry, and academia. Personally and substantially
    contributes to the solution of complex programs with little or no supervision.

    c. Information Transfer - Recognized as an authoritative source of information by other agencies or private
    sector organizations. Represents the Agency as a leader in the field. Presents at conferences of discipline
    experts or meeting of Agency senior management. Authors publications, reports, complex policies or
    decisions with wide scope and impact. Interacts with individuals and organizations to share knowledge and/or transfer technology to the public domain.

    d. Impact on Customers - Leads/organizes activities that apply technology or discipline expertise, assures
    customer satisfaction, and/or fosters technical maturation and technology transition. Accomplishments mark
    the candidate as a major contributor to the field within and external to the Agency. Is considered an authority
    in the field in contacts/consultations within and outside the Agency. Demonstrates knowledge of outside
    state-of-the-art research, developments, or initiatives and the ability to apply that knowledge effectively.
    External requests for consultation (benchmarking best practices), for developed software, techniques,
    policies, processes, data, etc. Develops collaborative activities with other Centers, agencies, industry, and
    academia. Personal competencies have demonstrated significant impact Agency program/projects, thereby
    significantly contributing to the accomplishment of Agency goals and objectives.


    Major awards and honors by peer organizations. Fellowship in major technical or professional societies, if
    applicable. Invited lecturer or presenter at major national or interagency meetings. Invitations to serve on
    important committees or in key assignments within NASA or other government agencies. Center and
    Agency honor awards and medals, or equivalent honors. Recognition from academia, industry,
    Headquarters, other Centers, and internal organizations (letter, commendations, or other citations).


    Participation in professional society activities. Committee leadership in professional groups. Member of
    major national or interagency advisory panels. Technical courses taught as adjunct or guest professor or
    technical short course instructor.


    Cooperation/leadership that displays significant leadership skills in participating in or directing technical
    team activities, as well as coordinating those activities within and outside the Center. Initiative/supervision
    that consistently exhibits personal initiative to execute duties with little, if any, direct supervisory input.
    Coaching/mentoring that demonstrates evidence of coaching and mentoring less experienced senior employees or colleagues. Diversity/multiculturalism that demonstrates sensitivity to cultural difference and demonstrates leadership in bringing about cultural awareness within the workforce.


    Basic Education Requirement: 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. Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

    A degree in Astronomy, Physics, or Space Sciences is preferred

    Additional information

    Under the NASA Flexibility Act of 2004, individuals appointed under this announcement may be converted to permanent appointment, either non-competitively or through internal agency competitive placement procedures. Conversion is not guaranteed, and term conversion eligibility is contingent on the employee meeting all legal requirements.

    This term appointment may be extended beyond the initial appointment date, for a period not to exceed a total of five years.

    As a condition of employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your resume.

    Your USAJOBS account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.This appointment may be extended beyond the initial appointment date, for a period not to exceed a total of six years.

    In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your resume. NASA's Applicant Guide provides the information needed to assist you in determining whether or not you can claim 5 or 10 point veterans preference. You should not submit documents to prove your eligibility for veterans preference at this time. However, you must be prepared to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form) as requested by the Human Resources Office. Veterans preference will only be considered based on what is supported. For instance, if you claim 10-point preference, but are only able to document 5-point preference, you will be considered accordingly. 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.

    The payment of relocation expenses is authorized.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Resumes will be collected by an automated system (Resumix). Candidates will be evaluated on the competencies they possess that are directly related to the duties of the job, as described in this announcement. Candidates should refer to NASA's Applicant Guide for assistance in developing a complete
    resume. If you meet the Genereal Qualification requirements, we will further evaluate your resume to determine the quality and extent to which your background (experience, education, training, etc.) relates to the Technical Qualifications (TQs). A category rating method will be used to evaluate candidates.

    All candidates will be assigned to either the Minimally Qualified, Qualified, or Highly Qualified category based on the degree to which their competencies meet the General Qualifications, including the Senior Level (SL) evaluation criteria, and Technical Qualifications. All candidates in the Highly Qualified group, which is the highest quality category, may be referred for consideration to the Executive Resources Panel for this position. A human resources specialist will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the Panel. In certain instances when a large candidate pool exists within the highest quality category, additional weighting of scores may occur to further distinguish the best qualified candidates.

    The three categories identified as Highly Qualified, Qualified, or Minimally Qualified categories are defined
    Highly Qualified Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the
    basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and has experience in the same or
    similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.
    Qualified Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic
    qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency
    in the primary requirements of the position.
    Minimally Qualified Category - Fails to meet criteria described in the Qualified category.
    Additional application guidance is available in NASA's Applicant Guide
    Candidates referred will be further evaluated by a panel of subject matter experts against the Senior Level
    (SL) evaluation criteria under the "General Qualifications" section of this vacancy announcement. While a
    candidate need not meet every element under a category (e.g., all elements under Technical Excellence and
    Contributions) unless specifically noted, the body of experience, qualifications, and contributions must
    indicate strong evidence that the candidate meets all or most of the criteria expected of an Agency SL
    employee. Experience in these criteria must be addressed within the submitted resume.
    Information for Veterans: The Category Rating Process protects the rights of veterans by placing
    them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet qualification
    requirements and have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed at the
    top of the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.

    Background checks and security clearance

  • Help

    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 the screening questions and supplemental information. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. (For example you need not submit narrative 'KSA' statements; they are not required and will not be evaluated.) In this way we allow you to focus on preparing a resume that best describes your background and abilities.

    For assistance in preparing your resume, consult the Applicant Guide. 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. For example, we may ask you to provide academic transcripts or proof of Federal employment status. If you are claiming veterans' preference, we may ask you to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form). 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.

    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.

  • Help


    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.


    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • Help

    How to Apply

    This vacancy is being filled through NASA STARS, an automated Staffing and Recruiting System. NASA partners with USAJOBS in providing a seamless application process. Before you begin the application process, please read the vacancy announcement carefully and have all required information available. You may begin the process of submitting your resume by clicking on the "Apply Online" link. In order to be considered, you must submit a resume completed on the USAJOBS site. When completing your USAJOBS resume, please remember that NASA limits resumes to the equivalent of approximately SIX typed pages, or approximately 32,000 characters including spaces. NASA does not accept resumes uploaded to USAJOBS from a second source or documents attached through USAJOBS' document attachment feature. Once you submit your resume to NASA, you will be asked to provide additional information, including statements addressing the NASA SL or ST Evaluation Criteria. Because your answers will not be saved until you complete the entire application, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS IN A SEPARATE TEXT DOCUMENT AND INSERT THEM INTO THE ONLINE FORM. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS ARE NOT SAVED. To receive consideration do NOT answer the questions with "see resume". You may edit a previously submitted application if the announcement is still open.

    If you are unable to apply electronically for this position, submit your resume and supplemental questions to: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Resume Operations Center, Mailstop: HS50, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812. DO NOT submit your resume directly to the Center advertising this vacancy. Mailed resumes must be received by the close of business on the closing date of the announcement. Hard copy resume requirements are provided at: Hard Copy Resume Requirements.

    If you are a first time applicant, we recommend that you review NASA's Applicant Guide to ensure that you are providing a complete resume. Failure to submit the supplemental data and a resume that contains all of the required information may result in loss of consideration for positions in which you are interested.

    All applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

    Agency contact information

    ARC Exec Jobs


    NASA's Resume Operations Center
    4200 Rideout Road, Mailstop HS50
    Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812
    Learn more about this agency

    Visit our careers page

    Learn more about what it's like to work at Ames Research Center, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.


    Next steps

    If you are found to be a highly qualified candidate by the Panel of subject matter experts, you will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration. Although you may or may not be contacted during the selection process, we will always advise you about the outcome of the announcement. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the individual identified in the Contact section.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/494969900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.