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Science Advisors to the Fleet

Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global science advisors are civilian scientists, engineers and technologists selected to participate in a one- to three-year career development tour. Selected through a nationwide competition sponsored by the Naval Research Enterprise, these professionals report to Joint, Navy and Marine Corps commands worldwide and remain focused on programs relating to all aspects of naval warfare.

Science advisors serve as a command’s senior liaison with science and technology organizations in government, academia and industry. They communicate needs and requirements back to the ONR and Naval Research Enterprise to help shape science and technology (S&T) investments. Lastly, advisors leverage the naval science and technology community to provide rapid technology insertions, long-term investment leverage and surge capability in support of high-priority fleet issues.

At the start of their tour, science advisors receive cross-cultural training for foreign assignments and additional on-the-job training as needed. Over the course of their service, advisors develop firsthand knowledge of current warfighting, readiness and tactical priorities such that, upon tour completion, they have acquired a technical advantage and a sharper focus on technology needs and capabilities in a military operational and strategic environment.

Science advisors serve as the chief of naval research’s S&T ambassadors at their commands, using leadership skills in decision-making, communications and problem-solving, and participate in decision-making at the senior flag/general officer senior executive service (SES) level. These assignments are intended to provide a stepping stone to an SES position and afford participants with the potential to become a defense leader.


Federal employees with status at all naval research, development, test and evaluation (RTD&E) activities who meet the qualification requirements and all regulatory requirements listed in the vacancy announcement are eligible. Science advisors remain employed by their home activity during their assignment – and the home activity is required to show support for its candidate’s application with the provision of a nomination letter.

How to Apply

Vacancies are listed on a rotational basis or as needed. Applicants should apply through the USAJOBS website, please see the Employment Opportunities section under ONR Global for more information on how to apply. In addition, an endorsement letter from the applicant's commanding officer or technical/executive director is required for selection consideration.

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