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Bioscience & Biotechnology Group Lead in Mountain View, CA at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 4/15/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) supports NASA for fundamental scientific research towards USRA’s and NASA’s missions to benefit humanity.  The purpose of this position is to establish a Bioscience & Biotechnology Group Lead who will oversee the Bioscience and Biotechnology technical area. 

Position Summary:

The Group Lead is responsible for technical performance of assigned research projects, as well as staffing and career development for technical staff assigned to the group. The Bioscience & Biotechnology Group Lead is responsible for continued execution of existing research projects, as well as pursuits for new projects that position the group to continue to grow the impact of its research and development activities over the long-term. The Bio Lead will work in a collaborative team along with other scientists and engineers, to directly perform research and development and lead a group in research and development for both scientific and technical advancement.


Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Lead and supervise the group to be consistent with USRA’s mission and core values
    • Oversight: Oversee the portfolio of funded projects assigned to the group including NASA task orders, USRA funded projects, and externally funded awards.
    • Reporting: Develop monthly, quarterly and annual progress reports with task leads, communicating task progress against milestones/schedules, and reviewing and providing analysis for monthly financial variance reports.
    • Task Order Management: Support Task Leads in developing responses to new or modified tasks: Evaluate requirements, identify skills required, risks/mitigation, develop task plan, budget, subcontracts or other resources as required.
    • Relationship Management: Manage relationships with project sponsors (e.g., task requesters), including a minimum monthly check-in for each project and communication regarding any new tasks or task modifications.
    • Participate and support Human Resources Business Partner in recruitment and hiring activities associated with the group, including support for writing position descriptions, reviewing resumes, conducting applicant interviews and working closely with human resources.
    • Timesheet Oversight: Review timesheets, expense authorizations and expense reports of personnel in the group; ensuring compliance with USRA policies and procedure.
    • Performance Reviews and Professional Development: Conduct performance reviews and support professional development for assigned personnel, including support of career path planning and rewards and recognitions.
    • Compliance: Support compliance with USRA and contract specific requirements by group members, including travel requirements, and publication requirements.
    • Collaborations: Enhance the group’s technical leadership by facilitating innovative pursuits among the group’s staff.
  • Serve in the role of a Technical Area Lead (TAL) on the NAMS contract
    • Report to the NAMS Site Manager for NAMS contract responsibilities
    • Responsible for performance of all tasks in this technical area, this includes the role of primary interface with the NASA task requesters, communicating progress against schedule and milestones, staffing, risks and discrepancies, safety, and task-level issues and solutions
    • For new or modified tasks, works closely with NAMS contracts and finance personnel, leads development of task plans, budgets, subcontracts or other resources as required
    • Coordinates monthly and quarterly task progress reporting, supports financial variance analysis, and attends NAMS staff meeting
    • Oversee team’s compliance with contract requirements including procedures for conference and travel, publication clearance, property, safety and security.
    • Coordinate with R&D Collaboration activities organized by the NAMS Chief Technologist and NAMS Partner Liaison (see R&D Collaborations Plan).
  • Satisfy USRA's non-profit mission by making a distinctive impact through scientific and technical accomplishments in the assigned projects.
    • Directly perform, and publish, research at the highest standards.
    • Engage academic, industrial, and government research communities in collaborative research through activities such as seminars and other talks, workshops, and conferences.
    • Expand awareness of the group’s research results and capabilities through participation in relevant research communities, professional societies, and industry associations.
    • Maintain an awareness of funding opportunities, and seek and obtain funding to ensure continued growth of the impact of the group’s research efforts.
  • Work effectively with others including functional staff for day-to-day operations and efforts to improve operational excellence.


Required Qualifications


  • Ph.D. in a relevant domain required.


  • At least 3 - 5 years of post-doctoral research experience in the relevant domain with international publications.

Licenses, Certifications: 


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills, and experience interacting with the media.
  • Familiarity with federal contracts and cooperative agreements.
  • Understanding of government, academic, and industrial research environments.
  • Have an impeccable reputation for excellence, integrity, and accountability.


Working Conditions:

Work will be performed in an office or computer lab environment.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; talk or hear.  Keyboarding for large time spans each day will be a significant part of this position. The employee may need to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. 



Employee must be willing and able to travel. Role may require domestic and international business travel.

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


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