Universities Space Research Association (USRA) employs more than 400 full-time staff, visiting scientists, and students working on some of the nation's top aerospace research projects at NASA, the National Science Foundation, and other government agencies throughout the United States.

USRA scientists are engaged in high-end scientific studies that are making major contributions to the space research community. USRA provides the stability of more than 45 years of continuous growth and success in a fast-paced, challenging work environment found in many start-up operations. Let your entrepreneurial spirit thrive as you work with management to provide new and creative ways to conduct business and research.

'People First' is why we do what we do. Come join the team that is making a difference in space and related research. Please view our current job openings

Why Work for Us?

It's not just about finding a job. It's about finding a career that complements the passion you bring to your work-place where other people share your aspirations.

Our culture is linked by our shared values and our commitment to putting 'People First'. 'People First' is the motto that USRA has embodied for more than 45 years. We firmly believe that our people are the key component to our success. USRA helps employees accomplish an effective balance between work and personal life and supports employee's efforts to have a positive influence in the communities where they live.

Finding the right work environment will be an essential factor in your success. Our employees have several reasons why they chose to work for USRA. For some insights about what it is like to work at USRA, see employee testimonies below.

Photo of David Bell

'USRA provides the opportunity to work with world-class scientists and engineers on grand challenges facing our nation, and the opportunity to achieve near-term impact with a long-term research agenda through support for NASA missions and projects. The culture and organization of USRA provides tremendous support for individuals who have ideas to make a difference in the world with those ideas.' -David Bell, Director, USRA-RIACS employee since 2002


Photo of Kellie Stokes

'I love the flexibility and freedom USRA gives me to pursue opportunities that will lead to projects that both advance the science of sustainability and also make a difference in the world.  There are parts of USRA that feel like a startup, and it has been a great place for an entrepreneurial scientist to grow!.' -Kellie Stokes, Manager and Senior Scientist at Columbia, MD


Photo of Kenny Cheung

'I am proud to work amongst the top researchers and scientists in our industry. USRA has provided an open and collaborative environment, allowing my team and I to pursue and develop state-of-the-art technologies in support of NASA and DOD research missions. The work we do is instrumental in the development of next generation vertical lift aircraft and advanced air mobility applications. Participating in these research projects over the years have allowed me to see first-hand the impact of my contributions. USRA has also provided me the opportunity to collaborate with university partners on flight research as well as curriculum development to help prepare the next generation engineers in learning the advanced flight control design technologies and tools as they enter the workforce.' -Kenny Cheung, Senior Manager and Principal Engineer


Photo of Eleni Kostis

'The team members at USRA are creative, inspiring, kind and dedicated, always willing to offer help and support whether we are trying to address simple tasks or more complex and challenging ones. I love working with them because not only do they champion our overall visualization efforts and NASA's mission, but also support and value my professional and personal growth.' -Eleni Kostis, Senior Multimedia Specialist, Visualizer



Our employees are our greatest asset, so we strive to make working for USRA a great experience for every employee. We achieve this by providing a comprehensive Total Compensation package which extends beyond cash compensation to encompass a wide range of benefits. 

Benefits Package


USRA offers an industry-leading, comprehensive benefits package to include:


  • Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance
  • 401k Retirement Plan 
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health Savings Account
  • Term Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
  • Disability Benefits
  • Business Travel Accident Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Plan
  • Fitness Reimbursement Program

Transparency in Coverage

The link below takes you to the Aetna publicly available machine-readable files per Federal requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers.

This file displays negotiated rates for all covered items and services between Aetna and in-network providers for the plans indicated by Health Insurance Company. 

The same may be found for Northern and Southern California Kaiser Permanente.

Work/Life Balance


USRA recognizes the importance of achieving and maintaining a balance between your career and your personal life. We understand that you have needs beyond the workplace, which is why we offer telecommuting, flexible work schedules and the following paid leave benefits:

  • Vacation
  • Sick Leave
  • Holidays
  • Family Leave
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Military Leave

Professional Development


USRA encourages its employees to increase their knowledge, skills and abilities through a rewarding dual career track model. Employees can choose to move up the scientific track as they become leading experts in their fields or they can choose the management track.

We offer continuous training opportunities to keep our employees at the top of their game in a rapidly changing environment

  • Professional Society Memberships
  • Workshops/Seminars/Courses/Conferences
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Online Performance Development System - MARS (Managing performance And Reward System)