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Universities Space Research Association

Columbia, Maryland - United States
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2017 NASA Science Animation Fellowship


USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other customers - on schedule and within budget

The NASA Animation Fellowship is a yearlong program for animators wishing to explore the intersection of animation, motion graphics and science illustration.  You will work with an outstanding team of animators, data visualizers, video producers, and science writers as you produce animations for some of NASA’s most exciting science missions such as mind bending results from the Hubble Space Telescope, the inner workings of the hurricane heat engine, rivers of plasma racing beneath the surface of the Sun, an audacious new concept to sample the atmosphere of Venus, and extra solar planets made of clouds rubies and sapphires.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Fellows are expected to make substantive contributions by creating animation and motion graphics content for use by a wide range of audiences: newsmedia, museums, science centers, educators, and NASA’s popular social media streams
  • You will assist senior animators by creating motion graphics, models, setting up scenes/lighting, rendering, compositing, and archiving
  • You will have a chance to develop your own projects from start to finish: attending meetings with scientists, storyboarding, modeling, creating final renders, and working advising on distribution strategies
Required Skills
  • Bachelors degree in animation, or fine arts related field
  • Experience in techniques for the production of motion graphics and 3D computer animation including storyboarding, modeling, 3D lighting techniques, particle systems, texture mapping, compositing, and rendering
  • Strong technical skills and proficiency with design packages and illustration
  • Strong sense of composition, motion, light and color
  • Skill in translating and visualizing complex concepts and ideas
  • Experience with science or technology themes desired

Application Materials: 

  1. You must include links to a demo reel or samples of work. We are especially interested in any work you have related to science and technology subjects. You can see samples from our team: http://cilab.gsfc.nasa.gov
  2. Personal statement outlining your educational and professional development objectives. Describe your educational and professional experiences motivating your decision to pursue science animation.
  3. Resume with relevant work experience and educational highlights.
  4. Your resume, personal statement, and links to your reel must be combined into a single PDF.


  • Application deadline is Feb 19, 2017
  • Starting date is June 2017.


USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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