Hiring NPS SFS Graduates

Hiring NPS Scholarship for Service Graduates

Questions and Answers

Please see OPM Hiring Toolkit for more information.


Who hires Scholarship for Service graduates?
The SFS program is intended to increase the number cyber professional in the the government sector. Employers of the NPS graduate program for SFS students include: 

  • U.S. Government, including DoD
  • State and local governments, including state and local government educational institutions
  • Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs)

The program is not intended to provide private sector job candidates.

You have world-class computer security specialists for hire? 
Yes. Students with undergraduate computer science degrees (STEM) and those with an aptitute for computer science (Monarch) are placed into a specially designed tracks that combine research and studies in computer security. Through courses involving extensive laboratory exercises and projects, students learn first hand how to design, build, configure and manage systems and networks securely. NPS is the only graduate-level academic cybersecurity center that focuses on DoD and U.S. Government needs. 

What is SFS? 
Scholarship For Service (SFS) is a program designed to produce highly trained cyber defense professionals at selected NSA/DHS-designated Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Through this program, we have created a superbly qualified pool of students available to Federal agencies for internships or permanent placement. These students have received scholarship funds and are obligated to serve in the Federal government for a period equivalent to the length of their scholarships (two years). 

How do I obtain their resumes? 
Contact the Educational Programs Coordinator for The Center for Information Systems Security Studies and Research (CISR) at Naval Postgraduate School, at sfsapps@nps.edu for information and resumes. When you have identified the students you're interested in, contact them directly to interview them on the phone or set up in-person interviews. (Students are not funded to defray the cost of travel to appear for in-person interviews. Agencies may have to pay travel expenses if they wish to conduct in-person interviews.) 

I found a student I like. What's the next step? 
Agencies under Title 5, United States Code: Federal agencies may use the direct hire authority issued by OPM on June 20, 2003 to appoint students who qualify to GS-2210 information assurance positions at the GS-9 level and above. When using this authority, agencies must have an open competitive announcement that indicates the agency intends to make a direct-hire appointment. The announcement may be closed after the direct-hire appointment is made. 

For information assurance positions classified to other series or GS-2210 positions at lower grade levels, numerous avenues are available "to appoint" SFS students to internship or long-term positions. These include competitive examining, merit promotion, the Federal Career Intern Program, the Student Career Experience Program, and any appropriate noncompetitive placement authority for hiring individuals in fellowship and intern programs (5 CFR 213.3102(r)) to place SFS students. The "r" authority has several advantages: public notice is not required, there is no limit on the grade level to which individuals may be appointed (providing they qualify), there is no limitation on promotion potential (provided they qualify), agencies can develop their own qualifications for positions filled through this authority because it is a schedule A excepted authority, and time-in-grade restrictions do not apply. 

What about agencies under other titles? 
Federal agencies whose employment system is governed by other titles should use whatever appointing authorities are appropriate under the regulations that govern their temporary employment practices. 

How does one document a direct-hire appointment? 
When documenting direct-hire authority appointments on the SF-50/52, Notification of Personnel Action or Request for Personnel Action, HR personnel must use two Nature of Action authority codes. First, they must use AYM as the 1st authority, entering the specific OPM issued direct-hire authority number and date; and second, BAC as the 2nd authority which will automatically reflect 5 CFT Part 337.201. For example: AYM GW001 6/20/03 and BAC 5 CFR Part 337.201. When making direct-hire appointments, it is imperative that both authority codes be used to enable OPM to evaluate the use of this authority without requiring agency reports. 

How do I find out more about the program? 
Check out our FAQ. Better yet, contact our Special Projects Coordinator at sfsapps@nps.edu. You may also contact the SFS Program Office at sfs@opm.gov or call Kathy Roberson, SFS Program Manager, at (210) 805-2423, extension 506. 

How Do I Hire an SFS Student? 
For resumes and student availability (restricted to prospective U.S. Government, DoD, FFRDC, state and local government employers) contact: 

Educational Programs Coordinator 
Naval Postgraduate School 
Center for Information Systems Security Studies and Research (CISR) 

Benefits to Your Agency:

  • Highly-skilled pool of students who are committed to government jobs
  • Students are available for three-month agency-paid internships prior to graduation