SELDP Nomination and Selection
SELDP Call Letter
An annual call letter will be released by the NASA Chief Engineer requesting nominations from the Center and Engineering Directors. The Center Director will be asked to appoint a single point of contact (POC) for coordinating Center nominees. This POC will be asked to coordinate with the Center’s Director of:
- Safety and Mission Assurance,
- Program/Project Management, and
- Human Capital.
The NASA Office of the Chief Engineer will send each of these Directors copies of this call. Regardless of the organization of the nominee, all nominees must be endorsed by the Center and Engineering Directors. Access the current Call for Nominations and Application Materials
Agency Selection Process
Participants are chosen using the following four-part competitive selection process. Center Directors of Engineering, or their Deputies, and members of the Safety and Mission Assurance community will serve as the SELDP Selection Panel for SELDP participants.
- Nomination and endorsement of nominees by Center Leadership/Engineering Director.
- Rating and ranking of applicants by the Selection Panel to ensure the applicant has met the program requirements and has the appropriate background and experience to be successful in the program.
- Interview of qualified applicants by Selection Panel to ensure they have demonstrated the leadership behaviors and aptitudes of highly successful NASA System Engineering Leaders.
- Matching of selected applicants to available developmental assignment by Advocates with Center Engineering Director and the applicant's home supervisor's input.
If an appropriate developmental assignment is not available for a selected participant, Centers will be requested to identify additional assignments that will meet that participant’s need. If an assignment is still not currently available, the selected participant will enter the program once an assignment becomes available. This individual will not need to re-compete.
Candidates for the SELDP must meet the following minimum criteria:
- GS-13 to GS-15 NASA Employee or a Senior Systems Engineer at JPL
- Engineering Bachelors Degree or AST Equivalent
- Be willing and available to leave their home Center and take on an assignment at another NASA Center for 6 to 12 months and be willing to accept the assignment identified for them by the SELDP Advocates.
- Be available to attend all program workshops and other mandatory events.
Centers need to identify nominees who:
- With NASA-wide exposure and expanded systems engineering and leadership skills and experience are best positioned to take on future Center challenges versus employees who are available.
- Have graduated from their Center systems engineering program or can demonstrate through their experience, training and education that they have this knowledge and experience.
- Have demonstrated leadership behaviors and aptitudes (see Systems Engineering Competencies).
- Have demonstrated technical/discipline capabilities and experience applying SE competencies as defined by APPEL, Level 2, Subsystems Leads, and have taken APPEL SE training including Foundations of Aerospace at NASA, Fundamentals of Systems Engineering, and Project Management and Systems Engineering, or their equivalents.
Centers are advised to utilize SELDP as a strategic mid-to long-term investment. This investment is only successful when Center systems engineering needs are met, which means that upon return, the participant is placed in a position where the learning and experience they gained in the program is quickly applied to meeting essential Center needs. Before identifying nominees, Centers are encouraged to first consider the systems engineering knowledge, skills, and abilities they will need to successfully run programs and projects 18 to 24 months from now.
Family obligations and current assignment requirements timing should be taken into account to also determine the optimal time to participate in this program. Participants in SELDP engage in very demanding assignments and development activities. It is impossible for an individual to be successful in this program unless they are released completely from their home Center obligations. They cannot do both. There is a significant amount of preparation necessary for the participants to transition to their developmental assignments. Home supervisors can best ensure project continuity and support participant assignment transition by arranging early for the transfer of responsibilities from these participants to the individuals who will be acting for them while they are away. A minimum of two weeks is recommended.
Rating and Ranking Criteria
The Rating and Ranking Criteria
will be used by the SELDP Selection Panel to rate and rank nominee applications.
Nominees who are highly ranked from their applications are interview to determine if they exhibit the SE leadership behaviors and aptitudes necessary to becoming aleaders in the field. Interview questions are designed to identify the nominee's abilities, aptitudes, and attitudes in some or all of the following behavioral areas. These areas may be expanded depending on the preference of the SELDP Selection Panel. The SELDP Assessment Criteria
will be used by the SELDP Selection Panel to assess nominees during the interview process.
Actual questions shall be approved by the SELDP Selection Panel prior to the interview date. Questions will remain confidential and are not to be shared with nominees prior to the interview to ensure that no candidate has an advantage over another. Interviews are conducted at NASA Headquarters. Whenever possible, interviews are conducted in person with a sub-panel of the SELDP Selection Panel members. Nominees who are not available to interview in person may elect to be interviewed by phone.
Centers, including JPL, are responsible for funding nominee's travel to NASA Headquarters to interview for the SELDP. Centers are also responsible for informing nominees of the interview date and procedures. Centers are encouraged to prepare nominees for the competitive process by ensuring they have logistics information and support, and that they understand the goals and priorities of the SELDP. Centers may not use actual interview questions as part of this preparation.