National security work not only offers rewarding careers, but also competitive pay. However, getting started in the field can sometimes be a challenge without a clearance or understanding of national security work. So, when organizations like NASA or the Intelligence and National Security Foundation (INSF) find ways to sponsor scholarships or team up with schools, it increases the talent pool. The INSF is not only dedicated to addressing contemporary intelligence and national security challenges but they also have an eye towards advancing the intelligence field as a career choice. In order to pull in more IC talent, INSF is offering four awards up to $5,000 each for eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Preferred majors include: Intelligence Analysis, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, International Affairs, National Security Studies, Public Policy or comparable field of study. Applications are due COB June 11. This scholarship program highlights the dedication of the national security community to build interest and pathways in so that we continue to attract the best and brightest talent.

Contract Opportunities to Watch

Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) In order to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fusion Energy Science’s (FES) Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program to conduct research critical to the development of commercial fusion energy, Commonwealth Fusion System (CFS) has been awarded three grants in collaboration with U.S. National Labs. One lab collaborating with CFS, a startup commercializing fusion energy, is University of Maryland’s Quantum Technology Center (QTC) with $1.5 million allotted for their project titled High-Field Quantum Diamond Magnetometers” – out of the $11 million the DOE has set aside for 10 projects focused on Quantum Information Science (DIS).

“The DOE grant will enable experimental validation of the high-field quantum diamond magnetometers and demonstration of robustness in extreme environments,” said QTC Founding Director Ronald Walsworth, who is also a Minta Martin Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics.

“I’m pleased that the University of Maryland will be receiving new funding from the Department of Energy for projects in fusion energy sciences,” said House Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer in the DOE announcement, whose district includes the University of Maryland. “With this funding, the University of Maryland will help lead critical research on fusion energy, which is vital in our work to combat the climate crisis and move our nation toward cleaner sources of energy. I congratulate the University on this exciting funding and look forward to seeing the research they produce.”

Key Employer in the Cleared Industry

Leidos Growth is only possible when there have been successful leaders at the helm over the years, and Leidos continues to have leaders that put the organization on the trajectory of growth and success. Ready to join?

Cleared Job of the Week

Machine Learning Engineer If you have the technical proficiency, love data and mathematics, and want to be in a career that is making the rules as it goes, a career in machine learning might be the right path for you.  Your coding and programming knowledge should include Python, R, Java, and C++. Then, of course, you’ll need everything from statistics and mathematics to data structures and algorithms. Cloud computing, machine learning frameworks, model optimizing and validating, and so much more. So, start with a computer science, math, or physics major for your undergrad, and then work up from there – either by building slowly with the experience route, or go the next step with a graduate degree.

For cleared candidates, contractors like Applied Insight, GDIT, or Leidos all have open positions that need your technical experience and education, as well as, your security clearance.

Growth Opportunities

One school year may have just finished up, but NASA is already prepared for the 2021-22 school year with a new competition for student teams to design, build, and launch experiments on suborbital rockets and high-altitude balloon flights. NASA will also host virtual events for educators to listen to agency experts and learn about opportunities for their students. Entries will be accepted beginning in August.

Teams of students in grades sixth to 12th can submit ideas, and the winning teams will each receive $1500 to build their payloads as well as an assigned spot on a NASA-sponsored commercial suborbital flight. The project is aimed to inspire the next generation in space exploration, coding, and electronics. Early exposure to NASA and STEM careers is a valuable ticket to not only infusing energy into current ideas but also building up the future of space discovery.

“This competition is an exciting opportunity for students across the country, whether they’re already passionate about space exploration or looking for a new challenge,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). “Student teams will get hands-on experience creating and building their own experiments and then get to see them fly to suborbital space, just like NASA engineers and university researchers.”

“NASA is committed to providing students with hands-on experience and real-life problems the agency faces,” said Mike Kincaid, NASA associate administrator for STEM engagement. “These challenges are a fun and educational experience for the future STEM workforce to develop the necessary skills for NASA to continue to be successful. I am confident they will go on to accomplish great things.”




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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.