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Job #: R-00118885
Location: San Diego, CA
Category: Research Scientist
Schedule (FT/PT): Full Time
Travel Required: Yes, 10% of the time
Shift: Day
Remote Type: No Remote
Clearance: Top Secret
Referral Eligibility: Eligible
Group: Leidos Innovations Center (LInC)

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The Leidos Innovation Center (LInC), has an opening for an Instrument Scientist to help build, test and operate novel optical sensors that demonstrate new sensing concepts for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) sensing.  This may include work at wavelengths from ultraviolet through terahertz.  The Instrument Scientist will work with teams of specialized engineers and scientists, as well as external partners from industry and academia, to implement and demonstrate sensing concepts at different levels of maturity from laboratory testbeds to advanced prototypes. The ideal candidate has training and experience with optical sensing, particularly remote/standoff spectroscopy as applied to CBRN.  This includes theoretical and experimental knowledge of optics, detectors, data acquisition, and signal processing.  The successful candidate will be able to describe instances of contributing to the technical work as part of cross-discipline teams in the development and integration of sensing solutions.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the productivity of teams composed of fellow researchers, data scientists, data engineers, and software engineers to execute complex R&D programs.
  • Under the guidance of a Principal Investigator or Task Lead, build and run optical experiments to address CBRN sensing challenges.
  • Support both internal and customer reporting requirements.  This includes technical/scientific descriptions and engineering documentation.
  • Contribute to the development of creative and innovative R&D approaches to solving major sensing challenges and work with potential sponsors (customers or internal champions) to secure funding for new research efforts based on those topics.

Basic Qualifications:

  • B.S. degree in engineering or science with relevant coursework and research. (MS highly preferred)
  • 2+ total years of experience with at least one year building and operating optical benches.
  • Knowledge of the state-of-the-art in optics, lasers, detectors, data acquisition, and signal processing.
  • Data analysis skills and experience with either Python or Matlab for data processing.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative team environment, interacting with specialists in a broad range of technical disciplines.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be a US Citizen and have the ability to obtain a Top Secret security clearance (no clearance needed to start)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • M.S. with track record of relevant publications in peer-reviewed conferences and journals.
  • Experience with infrared optics and remote spectroscopy.
  • Experience working with lasers.
  • Coding skills with experience using low-level languages such as C++ to operate instrumentation and/or process data in real-time.
  • Existing security clearance


Pay Range:

Pay Range $63,050.00 - $113,975.00

The Leidos pay range for this job level is a general guideline only and not a guarantee of compensation or salary. Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity, alignment with market data, applicable bargaining agreement (if any), or other law.

About Leidos

Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company’s 46,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $14.4 billion for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2022.  For more information, visit

Pay and Benefits

Pay and benefits are fundamental to any career decision. That's why we craft compensation packages that reflect the importance of the work we do for our customers. Employment benefits include competitive compensation, Health and Wellness programs, Income Protection, Paid Leave and Retirement. More details are available here.

Securing Your Data

Beware of fake employment opportunities using Leidos’ name. Leidos will never ask you to provide payment-related information during any part of the employment application process (i.e., ask you for money), nor will Leidos ever advance money as part of the hiring process (i.e., send you a check or money order before doing any work). Further, Leidos will only communicate with you through emails that are generated by the automated system – never from free commercial services (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) or via WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. If you received an email purporting to be from Leidos that asks for payment-related information or any other personal information (e.g., about you or your previous employer), and you are concerned about its legitimacy, please make us aware immediately by emailing us at [email protected].

If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact your local law enforcement and report the incident to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Commitment to Diversity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, ethnicity, age, national origin, citizenship, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy, family structure, marital status, ancestry, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Leidos will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with relevant laws.

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