NASA Science Workforce Initiatives

In 2020, the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) commissioned the Agency Science Workforce Study Team to develop workforce strategies targeted towards the broad science community. The study team sought to:

  • Formalize the career paths available for NASA’s science community
  • Identify systemic developmental gaps that may impede advancement or limit preparedness for key science positions and career paths
  • Clarify science leadership roles, accountability and authority and the optimal policy guidance needed for these key positions, especially for strategic level missions
  • Identify communication strategies and mechanisms to ensure career opportunities and development requirements are broadly available for the science workforce
  • Identify developmental strategies for all key positions that may broaden the scientist’s knowledge, skills, and experiences to better prepare them for senior level roles and responsibilities

The team delivered its final report in February 2021 and provided findings and recommendations in three areas: career paths, leadership development, and the role of the project scientists.

Science Career Path Tool

A colorful diagram illustrating the NASA Science Career paths of Supervision, Mission, Research Analysis and Application, Technology development and Science Program Management

This tool features common science roles across five distinct career tracks and provides useful information about the NASA science workforce.

Several workforce teams were formed in the spring of 2021 to help implement these recommendations. Here are the various workforce initiatives coming out of the Science Workforce Study:

View the current status of each recommendation coming out of the Science Workforce Study.

A table explaining the recommendations that came out of the workshop

Science Career Path Tool Town Hall - October 20, 2022

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