Employment Type:
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Signals Intelligence Collection Program (SICP) - 30000976
(This job is no longer available)
National Security Agency | Fort Meade, MD
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Job Description

(Please read this entire job advertisement before applying)

Would you like to spend next summer developing real-world technical solutions and/or working in an operational foreign intelligence collection-related assignment to acquire data critical to the security of our country? Does the prospect of applying your computer, technical, analytic, social science, communication, problem solving, and/or crticial thinking skills to the National Security Agency's Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) mission intrigue you? Are you currently enrolled as a college freshman, sophomore, junior or as a senior intending to pursue a Master's degree in the same major as your undergraduate studies? If you answer "yes" to these questions, you could be one of the next Signals Intelligence Collection Program (SICP) summer interns to join the NSA team in the spring of 2019. As a SICP intern, you get to work directly supporting the United States Intelligence Community, national-level decision-makers and our armed forces operating around the globe.

About the Program

NSA's SICP provides top performing, TS/SCI-cleared college students the opportunity to support the U.S. SIGINT Service as a salaried intern during their college summers. The SICP has traditionally selected college students pursuing computer science, computer engineering, or related STEM degrees who would complete projects involved the development, production and modification of tools, software applications and/or hardware. The SICP now also looks for students who are computer savvy but may not be overly focused in technical curriculum who, nevertheless, have the ability to apply their learnining and skills to assist in technical development or operational scenarios. Students will have the opportunity to leverage their skills to support the development of collection strategies across a vast architecture, implement mission initiatives in accordance with lawful compliance, manage collection tasks, and understand critical mission data flows. All of this effort is completed in resposne to high priority U.S. national and tactical foreign intelligence requirements.

SICP interns are mentored by experienced SIGINT professionals who conduct SIGINT collection operations and/or build and modify state-of-the-art collection capabilities. Some SICP interns will have the opportunity to enhance their computer science and engineering knowledge and skills. Otherswill sharpen their analytic, problem solving, research or critical thinking talents to solve real world collection challenges. Students will leave SICP having gained a new appreciation for the value and utility of their field of study. SICP interns will also have the opportunity to discover various career paths they could pursue in the future as full-time NSA employees. Finally, the friendships and networks SICP interns build during their tour can last a lifetime.

Those pursuing computer science or engineering-related majors have in the past been assigned to SICP capabilities development projects, but now could also be assigned to hybrid development/operational assignments. Mathematics of Physics majors with a CS-related minor or second major are also welcome to apply for technical projects. We may also have a need for students majoring in social sciences such as History, International Relations, Political Science, Behavioral Studies, Economics, Area Studies, or Telecommunications; however, some computer competence is essential for any student being considered for the SICP.

This "earn while you learn" opportunity provides exceptional college students a hands-on, real-wrold work experience during a salaried summer internship. SICP intern selection, projects and operational assignments are predicated on a student's: learning, skills and experience; faculty/employer recommendations; extracurricular activites; and academic achievement. This rigorous 12-week program challenges high achieving students to devise strategies, find solutions to complex challenges, design and create computer programs, test hardware and sofware, build and secure websites, analyze and display data, discern the best methods of collection, develop accesses, analyze and discern results, and/or develop processing techniques that satisfy foreign intelligence requirements.

SICP Interns are hired into a temporary appointment status for a total of no more than 12 weeks. They are expected to work all 12 weeks. The SICP traditionally runs from the end of May through the middle of August. Competition to become a SICP intern starts with each student submitting a complete, precise and informative application packet (see below). Returning interns from previous years must submit new employment applications. This year, SICP applications are accepted from 01 August to 31 October 2018.

Student applications will be evaluated against the various projects or assignments requirements submitted by the sponsoring NSA organizations. Depending on the type of project/assignment for which you are considered, proficiency in a number of technical disciplines plus your interview responses will be evaluated during the selection process. The list below contains examples of some of the skills that could be required, again depending on the project/assignment:

- Programming language skills and experience such as C, C++, Java, etc;
- Competency in scripting language experience in Python, Perl, JavaScript, etc.;
- Web development experience using such tools as: HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.;
- Programming on and use of the Linux OS, Windows, OS X and other platforms;
- Basic experience with repository source controls systems (SVN or GIT);
- Ability to conduct Refactor Analytics;
- Average knowledge and competence in telecommunications, computers, networks and the internet;
- Learning in subject areas that allow for understanding how and why actual foreign intelligence targets operate, socialize, and communicate. Some of these area include but are not limited to: History, Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Area Studes, Telecommunications and others depending on the position requirements;
- Understanding of digital networking basics such as IPv6, HTTP, TCP/IP, CCNA Certs, etc.;
- Radio frequency and waveform analysis knowledge and experience;
- Database development and storage using such tools as SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, etc;
- Mathematics competencies in areas such as Algebra, Number Theory, Calculus, Probability, Logic, Applied Mathematics, etc;
- Hardware programming and development experience including examples of software development projects you completed;
- Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) development, Hardware Descriptive Language (HDL) syntax, VHDL, or Verilog experience;
- Digital Logic Design and Verification (State Machines, Pipelining, Test Benches, etc.);
- Reverse engineering and compuer forensics knowledge and experience;
- Cyber Security tools and applications experience for example - Wireshark, VMware, Kale Linux, etc.;
- Data Analytics and algorithm development; use of Apache Hadoop/Pig; statistical modeling; datamining/analysis; network modeling; and similar tools for big data;
- Understand data flow diagroms; understand system engineering process; using tools like Camero and Kibana;
- High Performance Computing (HPC) analytic and software skills and experience.
- Sound writing and interpersonal communication learning and skills;
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills that support actively and competently conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to believe and action.

Of course, not all of these skills are required for each candidate, but they are provided to give applicants a flavor of the competencies that can be necessary to successfully complete the various project/assignments available.
In order to be considered for SICP, each applicant MUST fit the following profile:

- Be a U.S. citizen;

- Be eligible to be granted a TS/SCI TK security clearance and successfully complete a background investigation that includes passing a Full-Scope Polygraph;

- Must have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all college work completed;

- Be a currently enrolled college Freshman, Sophomore or Junior at time of application. Those entering their Senior year at time of application cannot be considered unless they are immediately entering graduate school in the fall of 2018 pursuing the same major;

- Be available for operational and technical interviews and other applicable processing, both in-person and via telephone, between the months of December 2018 and March 2019;

- Be pursuing a major in fields such as Computer Science, Electrical and/or Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Data Science or Information Systems; or fields such as Political Science, Area Studies, International Relations, History, etc., along with having demonstrated computer competence.

Prior SIGINT experience gained through the military or prior internships are regarded as desirable but not mandatory.

Should you not fit the profile above, we strongly encourage you to apply to a better fitting intern program other than the SICP.
Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
- Are paid a competitive salary commensurate with their education level (GS Washington-Baltimore location pay scale);

- Receive annual leave, sick leave, time-off for morale building activities and paid federal holidays during the internship;

- Can participate in agency-wide extracurricular programs;

- Are eligible for round-trip airfare to and from school or privately-owned vehicle (POV) mileage reimbursement up to the cost of a government-issued airline ticket if they attend schools beyond a 75 mile radius of the facility to which they are assigned; and,

- Can request subsidized housing accommodations if their school is located beyond a 75 mile radius of the facility to which they are assigned.

Note: Daily transportation to and from work is neither provided nor reimbursed. Students participating in the program are highly encouraged to bring their POV. Carpooling with other students MAY be available but NOT guaranteed.

Work Schedule - Interns generally work Monday to Friday, eight hours per day. Flexible work schedules and credit hours are avilable.
How To Apply - External
To be considered for the Signals Intelligence Collection Program, you must submit a complete application package between 1 August and 31 October 2018. Any part of the required application documentatino not received by the closing date will result in the application being closed-out. The application package consists of:

An Online Resume on the intelligencecareers.gov Website:

- Resume Objective (Do not leave blank):
             - Provide your motivation for applying to the SICP relative to your future professional, personal and academic goals. Make a case as to why this program will be good for you and how NSA can benefit as well, especially ina long-term investment.

- Work Experience:
            -There's no need to enter "Unemployed" for the present as it is assumed you are a full-time college student, unless you are also working;
            - Your past and current work experience employment (including volunteer work); and,
            - Your extracurricular and school activites relevant to this internship

- High School and College Education History:
           - Enter your high school education information requested in the template;
           - Current college/university, current majors, minors, expected degree and graduation date, cumulative GPA and hours of credit earned.
           - Previous degrees, college/university attended, major, graduation date, overall GPA ( if applicable);
           - If completing undergraduate degree in May 2018 and immediately pursuing graduate school, include your university information, projected degree and projected graduation date. (The candidate must provide proof of admittance before starting as an intern in SICP)

- Job Training:
- You should list relevant college/training courses taken that relate to the field in which you desire to focus your internship; and,
- If you already know your Spring 2019 Semester courses that might be relevant to the application, please list them here in addition to your Fall 2018 Semester courses.

- Licenses and Certifications:
- List any relevant licenses and certifications you have earned (excluding driver's license); for example, CCNA certification.

- Languages:
- Your relevant foreign languages and whether you have been tested (computer languages should be listed in "Other Professional details").

- Other Professional Details:

- DO NOT insert a cover letter here - one is not required for the SICP.

- This is the "catch all" block. Any information about you that you want us to know that is not already captured, please include here. Your proficiency levels in any/all computer programming languages, operating systems, specific application(s), network tools and applications, web apps and tools, cybersecurity tools, database tools and apps, mathematics disciplines, general computer skill level, and/or any of the social science subjects mentioned above. Other interesting facts about you are also welcome here such as honors, activities, publications, awards, scholarships, competitions, and student teaching or any other capabilities they you have that provide insights about you to better evaluate your application positively.

- Business-type Resume:
- A second business-type resume that highlights: Education details (including GPA); Related Coursework; Technical Skills and level of competence (i.e., Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced); Projects or Competitions; Relevant Work/Volunteer Experience in chronological order; Professional/Honors/Service Organizations; and Extracurricular/Outside Activities.

- Transcripts:
- Official Transcripts may be issued directly by the Registrar, or issued to you by the Registrar, and then sent with your application materials. Only originals via post, photocopies of originals via post, scanned copies of originals via e-mail (PDF format only) will be accepted. If your Registrar is capable of directly sending electronic transcripts, you are asked to have them sent directly to you and then e-mailed (PDF) to us as an attachment by you. You should not send hyperlinks for transcripts that are only accessible via a website with a password or text versions thereof. We may ask for additional transcripts after the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Semesters end depending on your progress in the selection process.

- Two Recent Letters of Recommendation (LOR):
- Two separate LORs are required and must have been written and signed in 2018 on an institution's/company's official letterhead.  If you applied last year's SICP (FY 2018), you must provide two new LORs. Keep in mind that you should identify and engage with professors and/or former bosses you intend to leverage for LORs as soon as possible, preferably as soon as you complete reading this announcement. While we know many students are portrayed as "outstanding" in the LORs, we are looking for examples and magnification of learning, skills, experience, capabilities and successes. The more we know about you, the better your chances. Authors may e-mail LORs directly to Summer_SIC@nsa.gov.
IMPORTANT: When applying online, you may only submit the online resume. Please email all other required documentation to Summer_SIC@nsa.gov. It is absolutely imperative that complete application packages (i.e., Application resume using the NSA online resume builder (See above), a business/college resume, a current transcript(s) covering all completed college work, and two recent LORs) arrive to the SICP Program Management Team (PMT) on/or before October 31st. If you apply to other programs you must separately e-mail your documents to Summer_SIC@nsa.gov. If these documents are not received by the SICP PMT by 31 October, your application will be closed out. Documents (including transcripts) will NOT be shared between programs.

If you have specific questions about the Signals Intelligence Collection Program, please contact us at the e-mail address Summer_SIC@nsa.gov or call 443-479-3864.


U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. Reasonable accommodations are provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph.

This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.
DCIPS Disclaimer
The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS).  All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.

About National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a world leader in Signals Intelligence. We carry out some of the nation’s most important and sensitive intelligence activities to secure information superiority for America and its allies. 

We have two primary missions. Our Information Assurance mission is the defense: it protects U.S. information by preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to our information systems. Our Signals Intelligence mission is the offense: collecting foreign signals and producing intelligence to give U.S. policy makers and warfighters the decision advantage. NSA also enables network warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

At the nation’s top cryptologic organization, we employ the best and the brightest, who use their intelligence to solve some of the nation’s most difficult challenges. We are also the largest employer of mathematicians in the country, as well as one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research.