Research and Development Engineer (Systems Security Research Engineer)

Penn State University

Reston, VA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
  • 04 – O – Exempt
  • 05 – P – Exempt
Work Unit:
Applied Research Laboratory
Research Transition and Integration Center
Full/Part Time:


The Communications, Information and Navigation Office (CINO) at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State University (PSU) is looking for a talented, experienced, and highly motivated Systems Security Research Engineer to join our Research Transition and Integration Center (RTIC). The mission of the RTIC is to guide the rapid transition of applied technologies and capabilities to sponsor environments by efficient transition, integration, and execution of programs. You will lead security engineering acquisition and participate in securing and protecting critical IT infrastructure and data during project research, development, and integration with research sponsors, assuming a technical leadership role and interacting with other PSU/ARL staff and sponsors while spending a majority of time working in a classified environment at a PSU/ARL facility located in Reston, VA. Responsibilities include: Lead security-related sponsored research acquisition and execution for RTIC; lead efforts for continuous information system security improvements, including recommendations for further information system security enhancements; lead and advise RTIC efforts for sponsor-led system accreditations of project systems; advise engineers on the implementation of information assurance and information security protection, and recommend into program development and execution environments; perform analysis, identify and implement protection solutions, and prepare and maintain engineering and security-related documentation; advise, engineer, implement, and monitor cyber and physical security measures for the protection of computer systems, networks, and information specific to RTIC projects; work with sponsors to identify and define system security requirements; leverage security requirements, design cyber security architectures, and develop detailed cyber security designs; develop standard operating cyber/IT security policies and procedures for projects; provide oversight and accountability to security policies and procedures administered; coordinate and assist with information/cyber security inspections, including remediation of incidents and vulnerabilities; and develop technical solutions and security tools to help mitigate security vulnerabilities and automate repeatable tasks. This job will be filled as a level 4, or level 5, depending upon the successful candidate's competencies, education, and experience. Typically requires a Master's degree or higher in an Engineering or Science discipline or higher plus ten years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience for a level 4. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. A Master’s degree in Information Science and Technology, Computer Engineering, or Computer Science is desired. The following is preferred: Certified Computer Information Systems Security Professional - Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (CISSP-ISSEP); detailed knowledge of Intelligence Community Directive 503 (ICD 503), National Institute of Standards and Technology 800-37 (NIST 800-37), and NIST 800-53; familiarity with cloud based environments, especially Amazon Web Services (AWS); and experience briefing senior U.S. Government and company executive leadership. The following are required: Experience as or supporting a Principal Investigator or Program Manager; Certified Computer Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); and Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). You will be an integral member of RTIC’s multi-disciplinary Chimera team, where you will work within an agile environment with developers, scrum masters, subject matter experts, project liaisons, product owners, and product manager(s) to scope, develop, and transition quality engineering solutions. Therefore, we are looking for someone who has the ability to work and thrive within a team environment, who has strong communication skills, both oral and written, possesses excellent problem solving skills, has the ability to think analytically, and independently derive innovative solutions. You also must be willing to travel (limited). You must possess a current U.S. Government Top Secret/SCI clearance and you must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Employment with the Applied Research Laboratory will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen. This is a one-year, fixed-term renewable appointment.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088