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Chief Scientist

Organization: Office of Naval Research
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Job Type: Senior Executive/Leadership
Salary (per annum): $165,300 to $226,300
Appointment Type: Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) / Temporary 2 years (initial assignment)
Work Schedule: Full-time
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed: Yes
Telework Eligible: Yes as determined by agency policy

This assignment is open to individuals eligible under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA).

Position Summary

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Chief Scientist, Office of Naval Research, located in Arlington, Virginia through an assignment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA). Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin 07/18/2022 and continue until a selection is made.

As a nationally recognized scientific expert, provides authoritative counsel and advice to the Chief of Naval Research (CNR), Vice Chief of Naval Research (VCNR), Office of Naval Research (ONR) Executive Director (ED), and other senior ONR and Department of Navy (DoN) leadership on the technical excellence and relevance of the ONR Science and Technology (S&T) portfolio. Works closely with the ONR Basic and Applied Research (BAR) Portfolio Champion, the Portfolio Council Chair, and Portfolio Council members to analyze advancements across a broad range of scientific and technical disciplines, identify research gaps, develop S&T strategy, and recommend new initiatives as well as adjustments to current research efforts to meet current and future naval needs. Represents the DoN at the highest level of technical meetings, fosters, and leads collaboration with numerous DoN, Department of Defense (DoD), and other government agency, academic, industry, and international partners. Executes a range of technical tasks assigned by the CNR and the ED:

  • Work closely with the Basic and Applied Research (BAR) Champion, Portfolio Council (PC) Chairs, and Portfolio Council (PC) Members.
  • Advises ONR Senior Leadership on all aspects of technical portfolio (Strengthening the management capabilities of Federal agencies, State, local and Indian tribal governments, and other eligible organizations).
  • Lead a variety of basic research internal and external portfolio assessments and reviews.
  • Lead basic research policy related activities (Facilitating an effective means of involving state and local officials in developing and implementing Federal policies and programs).
  • Lead basic research related engagements and outreach (assisting the transfer and use of new technologies and approaches to solving governmental problems).
  • Manages corporate activities including Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), Applied Research for Advancement of S&T Priorities (ARAP), & Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
  • Ensures alignment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), In-House Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR), Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG) and Office of Naval Research 03X Department technical activities.
  • Ensures Basic and Applied Research (BAR) data collection and analytics allow full exploration of portfolio output.
  • Author biennial Naval Research Enterprise (NRE) S & T Strategy document.

Position Description

This Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) position serves as the Chief Scientist for the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and is responsible to the Chief of Naval Research (CNR) for its effective and efficient management. The ONR is an Echelon I major command under the Secretary of the Navy. It is chartered by Public Law 588 of 1 August 1946 (10 USC sec. 5021-5024). Its mission is to encourage, promote, plan, initiate, direct and coordinate S&T for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to provide for maritime superiority. ONR manages the Department of the Navy’s (DON) science and technology program and has management and oversight responsibility for the Naval Research Enterprise consisting of ONR Headquarters; DoN’s corporate laboratory, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL); Office of Special Projects (PMR-51); and ONR Global field offices worldwide.

The position recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option(s):

Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment: Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment with a Federal agency include employees of State and local government agencies or institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, and other eligible organizations in instances where such assignments would be of mutual benefit to the organizations involved. Initial assignments under IPA provisions may be made for a period up to two years, with a possible extension for up to an additional two-year period. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and ONR provides the negotiated funding toward the assignee's salary and benefits.

  • Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens.
  • You must be employed in a career position with your employer or an accredited U.S. Institution for 90 days or more.
  • You must have approval form your non-federal employer to serve on a Detail Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment.
  • Assignees serve on a detail to ONR and remain employees of their parent organization for all purposes except that they are subject to certain Federal and DoD regulations.
  • Assignees continue to be paid by their parent organization, and as such, remains covered under their permanent employer's leave and benefit system.
  • ONR will reimburse the parent organization for the allowable amount of compensation.
  • Assignees to ONR are not eligible to participate in Federal retirement, group life insurance, or health benefits programs.
  • Federal Agencies do not offer permanent positions as a part of IPA assignments.
  • ONR may authorize per diem allocation for an IPA assignee.
  • Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a favorable pre-employment security investigation.
  • A TOP SECRET CLEARANCE is required for this position.
  • To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

The successful candidate will possess an established record of significant achievement in research, administration, and increasing leadership responsibility in academe, industry or government. Additionally, the Division Director must be experienced and competent in technical, financial and administrative management. The incumbent must work well with people, be an effective communicator, and be committed to continuously develop the diversity of talents and skills of the team.

The Qualification Requirements of the position are listed below:

Executive/Managerial Requirements

  1. Leading Change. Demonstrated ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Includes the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
  2. Leading People. Demonstrated ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. Includes the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.
  3. Results-Driven Leadership. Demonstrated ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Includes the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
  4. Business Acumen. Demonstrated ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
  5. Building Coalitions. Demonstrated ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Professional/Technical Requirements

  1. Education strongly preferred at the Ph.D. level or equivalent professional experience or a combination of education and equivalent experience in civil, mechanical, material, or industrial engineering or a closely related field in engineering and physical sciences.
  2. Substantial contributions and strong evidence of engineering research administration as evidenced in publications and innovative leadership in the academic research community and/or professional leadership and awards.
  3. Demonstrated broad knowledge of diverse fields of engineering research and demonstrated ability to relate different fields of engineering and science to research problems critical to technological advancement.
  4. Knowledge of grant and contract administration, fiscal management, and budget preparation with experience in engineering research support.

How to Apply

Please submit a current CV accompanied by a cover letter or supplemental statement that addresses the qualification requirements of the position. Applications should be transmitted electronically.

Apply by Email

Contact Information

Please direct all general inquiries to Human Resources Office, Office of Naval Research, e-mail at and commercially at (703) 696-4649.