Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program with DTRA | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program with DTRA

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Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) within the Department of Defense (DoD) established a postdoctoral fellowship program within the College of Information, Sciences and Technology (IST) and The Pennsylvania State University.


The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) partnered with The Pennsylvania State University in 2008 to develop and execute a postdoctoral fellowship program at DTRA. The partnership was recently renewed, and will continue through 2016. This partnership addresses critical scientific, technical, and engineering needs to support DTRA’s mission to reduce the threat posed by Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program:

The objective of this fellowship program is to assist DTRA in addressing critical scientific, technology and engineering needs for reducing the threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  This program will enable DTRA to utilize mission-critical expertise possessed by highly qualified candidates who hold doctoral or terminal professional degrees in relevant scientific, technical and engineering disciplines.  This program supports the Basic and Applied Sciences Department within DTRA ( *Please do not contact DTRA directly.

Postdoctoral Fellows will be selected based upon their research background, knowledge of fields and technologies related to WMD, and their demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication skills.  Key science and technology skills include: nuclear and radiation physics; weapons engineering; chemistry of materials, structural, electrical and mechanical engineering; broad-based nano-technological science and applications; weapons effects and system response technologies; physics, chemistry and biological sciences related to detection, characterization and destruction of WMD materials; medical and pharmaceutical sciences; information technology, modeling, data visualization and advanced computational sciences; social, adversarial and behavioral modeling and analysis.

Postdoctoral fellowships are offered in one of five positions, each of which is within one of the five Thrust Areas in the Basic and Applied Sciences Department.  Detailed information on each position, including specifications on preferred research backgrounds, can be found in the links for each Thrust Area:

  • Thrust Area 1: Science of WMD Sensing and Recognition
  • Thrust Area 2: Network Sciences
  • Thrust Area 3: Science for Protection
  • Thrust Area 4: Science to Defeat WMD
  • Thrust Area 5: Science to Secure WMD

Fellows will not engage in their own research. Fellows will provide subject matter expertise for basic and early applied research efforts, analytical support and technical advice to the establishment of requirements, and technical oversight of scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding related to long-term Combating WMD needs.

Qualifications and Benefits:

A qualified candidate for any of the positions in this opportunity will:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be capable of obtaining a Secret level security clearance (or already possess one)
  • Have a doctoral degree in their field
    Graduate students who are on track to defend or have defended, and are approaching graduation with a doctoral degree are encouraged to apply. Degree need only be conferred before the start of the fellowship.

Candidates should note that while this is a fellowship with The Pennsylvania State University, the position itself is in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and interested applicants should be willing to re-locate to the greater Washington DC area.

Fellowships benefits include:


Open positions are posted as soon/often as they are available to Interested applicants should search that website for Graduate/Student/Postdoc type positions, located at the University Park Campus for Postdoctoral Fellowships at the College of Information, Sciences, and Technology.


Jan Mahar Sturdevant ( for more details, or to inquire about open positions.

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