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Assistant Program Manager, Alternative Computing Paradigms (Quantum Information Science)

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

Job Description


Are you searching for important, mission-driven work in quantum information science?

Are you passionate about leading cross-disciplinary scientific teams to create transformative solutions to our Nation’s most vexing challenges in computing?


If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.


We are seeking an Assistant Program Manager for Alternative Computing Paradigms (ACP), with a focus on quantum information science, within the Exploration Program Area of the Research and Exploratory Development (RED) Mission Area. In this role, you will jointly lead the ACP program and oversee a diverse, successful portfolio of pioneering research with established, expanding efforts in quantum information science (QIS), along with complementary fields (trustworthy computing, neurofidelic computing, and computational science). Work with the Program Manager to develop technical research strategy and outreach activities. Integrate and coordinate activities across the ACP portfolio. Identify and pursue new business development opportunities in line with Program and Mission Area strategy. Cultivate and sustain relationships with current and potential sponsors. Partner effectively with Line and Program Management across APL to create and sustain a culture of technical excellence, creativity, cross-enterprise collaboration, and interdisciplinary innovation within the portfolio.


Duties (Listed in order of importance with the estimated amount of time spent at each task:


1.     Strategy: Refine and execute the ACP Program vision, strategy, and execution priorities for QIS and related areas in collaboration with the Program Manager. Refine existing technical thrusts and identify emerging opportunities within the program by both maintaining awareness of the external environment and seeking subject matter expertise and feedback from SMEs. 

2.     Pioneering Research: Partner with the Program Manager and technical staff members to seek new ideas and derivative efforts to foster future program initiatives in QIS. Cultivate complementary research in trustworthy computing, neurofidelic computing, and computational science. Expand the Program’s relevant sponsor space through community engagement with both sectors and APL sponsors.  Understand and shape the Sponsor's vision and seek to enable it through impactful research.

3.     Program leadership. Mentor Thought Leaders, Project Managers and Technical Leads by providing project guidance, establishing technical direction and assigning responsibilities. Directly communicate capabilities, ideas, progress and key findings to sponsors and the scientific community via presentations, reports and publications. Take ownership of achieving exceptional Sponsor project outcomes. Translate the sponsor’s needs into targeted innovative solutions and a plan of execution. Develop and foster a trusted relationship with sponsor representatives (e.g., technical leaders, contracts personnel). Work with sponsors to identify and support technological gaps critical to program success.  Review and finalize program deliverables to ensure they meet sponsor needs. Review and approve APL-generated products (key findings, presentations, reports, manuscripts).

4.     Thought Leadership. Provide thought leadership in conceptualizing and pursuing new research initiatives aligned with APL envisioned futures to support APL’s Research and Exploratory Development (RED) Mission Area. Develop and compose proposals that effectively communicate ACP capabilities, concepts and research approach. Advise the Department and Mission Area leadership on IRAD needs and priorities. Mentor staff toward innovative thought leadership to aid strategic efforts, proposal development, and high impact publications.

5.     Quality. Lead the development and execution of proposals, task assignments, and related documentation to address sponsor needs and comply with APL policies and processes. Review and approve program deliverables to ensure they meet sponsor needs and portfolio standards. Conduct regular project reviews as appropriate to identify areas of risk and develop appropriate mitigation plans in coordination with Sponsor requirements. Ensure Enterprise requirements for quality and safety are met for all Program activities.


Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.



You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...


  • MS or equivalent experience in a physical science, electrical engineering, computer science, or related technical field.
  • Expertise in quantum information science, along with familiarity with trustworthy computing, neurofidelic computing, and computational science.
  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience in applied research, technical analysis, and/or project management.
  • Proven record of success in developing ideas leading to sponsored research efforts.
  • Strong demonstrated skills in leadership of multi-disciplinary technical teams, organization, and planning.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage performance, cost, and schedule through the full life cycle of a project.
  • Experience managing projects within quality management system guidelines.
  • Strategic thinker with ability to interact with all levels of staff and management including senior leadership of government agencies and academic institutions.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Broad research interests across the ACP spectrum.
  • Demonstrated track record of different research leadership roles across technology readiness levels.
  • Hold an active Top Secret security clearance and can ultimately obtain a TS/SCI level clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...


  • Have a PhD or equivalent in a physical science, electrical engineering, computer science, or related technical field
  • Have prior line management experience.
  • Have prior project management experience.
  • Have demonstrated expertise in trustworthy computing, neurofidelic computing, and/or computational science.


Special Working Conditions: Regular travel to attend Program reviews and technical symposia (up to 20%).


Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.


At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at http://www.jhuapl.edu/careers.

About Us

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, occupation, marital or familial status, political opinion, personal appearance, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


APL is committed to promoting an innovative environment that embraces diversity, encourages creativity, and supports inclusion of new ideas. In doing so, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals of all abilities, including those with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in any part of the hiring process, please contact Accommodations@jhuapl.edu. Only by ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard are we empowered to be bold, do great things, and make the world a better place.

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