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Innovation Ambassadors Frequently Asked Questions
For NASA Employees Interested in Participating as an Innovation Ambassador
What is the Innovation Ambassador Program?
What is the Innovation Transfusion?
Who is eligible to apply?
How long are the developmental assignments?
At which external organizations can I propose a developmental assignment?
How do I apply to become an Innovation Ambassador?
What must my application contain?
When are applications due?
If I am selected by my Center as a nominee for the Innovation Ambassador program, am I guaranteed a developmental assignment?
Who pays my salary and travel expenses during my developmental assignment?
Can I leave NASA and continue working for the external organization after my developmental assignment has ended?

For External Organizations Interested in Hosting an Innovation Ambassador
How can I get an Innovation Ambassador at my organization?
What are the benefits to my organization for hosting an Innovation Ambassador?
What are the guidelines for the temporary assignment that the Innovation Ambassador will perform?
Can I employ the Innovation Ambassador after completion of the temporary assignment?



For NASA Employees Interested in Participating as an Innovation Ambassador

What is the Innovation Ambassador Program?
Innovation Ambassadors, an element of Innovation Transfusion, is a developmental assignment opportunity for NASA employees to work at an innovative external organization for a period of 3 to 12 months. Participants will focus on improving their technical and business skills while identifying innovations related to Agency needs.
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What is the Innovation Transfusion?
Innovation Transfusion is an Agency-wide project initiated by the Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) to help ensure that NASA benefits from creativity and innovation occurring outside the Agency. The Innovation Transfusion project will create connections between innovative external organizations and NASA through two project elements, Innovation Ambassadors and Innovation Scouts.
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Who is eligible to apply?
Any NASA civil servant of GS level 11-15 in the "Aerospace Technologist" category who has completed Level 2 or the equivalent in the Academy of Program/Project & Engineering (APPEL) Project Management Development Program (PMDP) is eligible.

The "Aerospace Technologist" category includes most NASA engineers, scientists, and project or program managers. If you are unsure about your designation, please contact your Center Human Resource Office.
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How long are the developmental assignments?
Developmental assignment durations can range from 3 to 12 months depending the nature of the assignment. Your home organization management, Center IPP Office and the host organization will work with you to determine the appropriate duration.
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At which external organizations can I propose a developmental assignment?
Any willing organization external to NASA is eligible to provide a developmental assignment, including:
  • Private Companies
  • Academic Institutions
  • National Laboratories
  • Other Government Agencies
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Non-Government Organizations (NGO)
The assignment at an external organization should provide benefits to the employee's current project or program, organization and NASA Center. The focus of the Innovation Transfusion program is to create connections with innovative external organizations that have not typically been involved as NASA partners and so developmental assignments at such organizations will be preferred.

You may have an idea about an external organization where you would like to propose an assignment. You can contact that organization and determine if they would support your proposal. Also, NASA is requesting information from external organizations that would be interested in hosting an Innovation Ambassador. A list of those organizations will be available from your Center IPP Office after June 27, 2008.
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How do I apply to become an Innovation Ambassador?
The first step is to discuss your interest in performing an Innovation Ambassador developmental assignment with your line organization supervisor. With their approval, contact your Center Innovative Partnerships Program representative. Click here to find your Center Innovation Ambassadors contact. Be prepared to provide the following information:
  • Current position and GS Level
  • Experience with the Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership (APPEL)
  • Desired organization or industry for developmental assignment
  • Whether you have made contact with that organization
  • Justification for an Innovation Ambassador developmental assignment with that organization
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What must my application contain?
Applications submitted to the Center IPP Office must contain the following:
  • NASA IPP Innovation Ambassador Developmental Assignment Application (NASA Form, NEF 1780)
  • Supplemental Attachment (NASA Form, NEF 1780A): Innovation Ambassador Developmental Assignment including a description of the intended assignment and its location.
  • A Center Individual Development Plan (IDP).
Applications submitted by the Center IPP Offices to the Headquarters IPP Office must also contain a cost estimate of per diem and travel expenses for each assignment based location of the host organization.
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When are applications due?
Individual applications are due at your Center IPP Office no later than July 14, 2008. Centers will submit selected nominees to the Headquarters IPP Office by August 1.
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If I am selected by my Center as a nominee for the Innovation Ambassador program, am I guaranteed a developmental assignment?
No. An Agency-wide selection will occur based on funding availability and Mission Directorate and Agency priorities.
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Who pays my salary and travel expenses during my developmental assignment?
Your home organization will pay your salary. The Innovation Ambassador Program will fund your travel and per diem expenses up to the level estimated in your application. Any travel or per diem expenses that exceed the estimate in the application will be the responsibility of the home Center.
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Can I leave NASA and continue working for the external organization after my developmental assignment has ended?
No. You must agree to return and continue working for NASA for a period of at least three times the length of the external assignment. An essential aspect of the Innovation Ambassadors program is your dissemination of information and your leadership role in implementing improvements when you return to your NASA position.
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For External Organizations Interested in Hosting an Innovation Ambassador

How can I get an Innovation Ambassador at my organization?
Read the information posted on the Innovation Transfusion request for information (RFI), which can be found on the web at: http://procurement.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=130052 and send the following information to Andy Petro:
  • Company or organization name
  • Location and mailing address
  • Name, email address and telephone number for a person from your organization who can be contacted by NASA employees to discuss potential Innovation Transfusion involvement.
  • Brief description of your organization's work and any particularly innovative or novel aspects of your activities in 200 words or less. You can provide your website link, if helpful.
  • Provide a brief description of a potential temporary assignment in 100 words or less.
This information will be passed along to the Center IPP offices and made available to NASA employees. If there is a suitable fit between the temporary assignment and an applicant to the Innovation Ambassador program, you will be contacted by a Center IPP office.
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What are the benefits to my organization for hosting an Innovation Ambassador?
Among the benefits include:
  • Access to NASA personnel and expertise
  • Association with the NASA brand
  • Possible opportunities to collaborate with NASA on future programs and projects
  • Point of contact for future interactions with NASA
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What are the guidelines for the temporary assignment that the Innovation Ambassador will perform?
The specific position and assignment will be left to the discretion of the external organization management and the Innovation Ambassador participant. However, the temporary assignment should allow the Innovation Ambassador to participate in the host organization's everyday business activities and allow for interaction with the organization's technical innovation capabilities. The duration of the assignment should range from 3 to 12 months.
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Can I employ the Innovation Ambassador after completion of the temporary assignment?
No. Innovation Ambassadors sign "Continued Service Agreements" and must return to the Agency after the assignment. An essential aspect of the Innovation Ambassadors program is for the Innovation Ambassador to disseminate information upon return to NASA.
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