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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Senior Advisor, Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Job Announcement Number:  SBE-2013-0001

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$148,510.00 to $165,300.00 / Per Year
Friday, November 02, 2012 to Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Full-time. - Permanent, Fed Temp Appointment, or on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment.
1 vacancy in the following location:
Arlington, VA, USView Map
Applications will be accepted from US Citizens. Due to a recent change in Federal Appropriations Law, only Non-Citizens who are permanent US residents and actively seeking citizenship can be considered. Therefore, you are required to provide documentation that confirms you are actively seeking citizenship at the time you submit your application. Non-citizens who do not provide documentation will only be considered for an IPA assignment.


Please DO NOT USE the APPLY ONLINE BUTTON when applying for this announcement. Your application material should be sent to the email address indicated in the How To Apply section below. 

This announcement is being AMENDED to extend the closing date to December 18, 2012.


Become a part of our mission to maintain and strengthen the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.  For over 60 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has remained the premier Federal agency supporting basic research at the frontiers of discovery across all fields, as well as science and engineering education at all levels.

The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Senior Advisor, located in the Office of the Assistant Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), National Science Foundation (NSF). The Senior Advisor is a member of the SBE senior leadership team, and assists the Assistant Director and Deputy Assistant Director in a) the formulation of the Directorate's scientific goals, objectives and priorities, b) the integration of scientific and technical priorities into effective policies, strategies, and programs, c) the implementation of program planning, implementation and evaluation procedures; and d) oversight of the programmatic activities in The SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (SMA). Many of the directorate's activities have significant interagency dimensions in terms of scientific policy and programmatic development and operations.

For more information about SBE, please visit here.




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    The incumbent, who takes a lead role in high-level interagency efforts, serves as a Senior Advisor for SBE by preparing analyses that will provide a basis for major decisions in priority setting, directorate and program planning and internal management, and for translating scientific decisions into effective budgetary and operational activities. He or she, knowledgeable in the trends of research in the full range of the directorate's fields, is cognizant of current and proposed initiatives impacting the SBE directorate and provides advice on the implications of such on the Directorate's future programs and budgets.


    • Develops analyses, advice and recommendations on policy issues facing SBE, with major attention to their scientific aspects.
    • Works with the Assistant Director, the Deputy Assistant Director, and other senior SBE officials to facilitate the directorate's interagency planning for and coordination of activities related to the social, behavioral and economic sciences. This includes the development of mission statements and goals, strategic plans, long-range plans, budgets and operating plans.
    • Plays a central part in planning to assure that program implementations effectively reflect policy decisions relative to social, behavioral and economic sciences research and education.
    • Analyzes and integrates scientific input and policy guidance from OMB, OSTP, Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, professional societies, the National Science Board, NSF policy groups, the SBE Advisory Committee, other agencies and organizations into the directorate's plans, and works with appropriate staff to formulate and assess major budget and program initiatives.
    • Coordinates and monitors activities that assess the overall effectiveness of the directorate's research portfolios and ensures performance measures are examined annually and reconfigured for maximum effectiveness. Establishes procedures and processes to monitor organizational goals and objectives.
    • Upon request of the Assistant Director or Deputy, functions as the Acting Deputy Assistant Director for SBE in the absence of the latter.
    • Coordinates and oversees the programmatic activities housed in the SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities.
    • Serves, as assigned, as the organizational representative on senior level policy and planning bodies, both technical and managerial, such as NSF-wide task groups, private and public bodies both foreign and domestic, and working committees.
    • Provides critical analyses for use by the Assistant Director and Deputy Assistant Director in presentations, hearings and congressional testimony, and insures that materials properly reflect the directorate's scientific priorities.
    • Advises on scientific matters regarding the agenda for the SBE Advisory Committee meetings and coordinates preparation of background materials.
    • Furthers equal employment opportunity through fair treatment of women, minority group members and individuals with disabilities, and sensitivity to the issues involving these groups in terms of staff assistance and advice rendered, and participates in the development of SBE procedures to acquire and develop a well-qualified workforce.


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    Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience in a social sciences or affiliated disciplines.

    QUALITY RANKING FACTORS: Final ranking is based on an evaluation of experience, education and training as they relate to the knowledge, skills and abilities specified in the following factors:

    1. Past or current scholarly achievement in professional area and experience in interdisciplinary research areas, preferably including leadership in team research environments.

    2. Demonstrated proficiency to anticipate, design, plan, coordinate and manage complex policy-related tasks to achieve organizational objectives.

    3. Ability to effectively and convincingly present and advocate policies and plans to peer groups, high-level decision making and policy groups, and Congressional staff, with major attention to the scientific aspects.

    4. Knowledge of grant and contract administration, fiscal management, and budget preparation with experience in scientific research support.


    1. Demonstrated ability to work effectively on interagency activities and with scientific policy and programmatic development and operations.         

    2. Has experience with strategic thinking or planning for future scientific research and organization.

    3. Broad knowledge in areas relating to science and engineering policy issues such as human resources, status of academic science and engineering, and support of scientific/engineering research and education.

    Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. Candidates who do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility will not obtain civil service status if selected. Candidates currently in the competitive service will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected. Usual civil service benefits (retirement, health benefits, and life insurance) are applicable.


    You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position.

    To preview questions please click here.


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    A GREAT LOCATION!  The National Science Foundation is conveniently located one block from the Ballston Metro Station, a few blocks from Routes 66 and 50, and about three miles from downtown Washington.  Employees may rent parking spaces in the building garage.  There are many shops and restaurants within easy walking distance.  Employees receive the Federal benefits package and NSF offers:

        Pre-tax parking
        Public transportation subsidy
        Child Development Center on site
        Child care subsidy
        Flexible working hours
        Physical Fitness Facility on site
        NSF Federal Credit Union on site
        Health Services Unit on site
        Employee Assistance Program

    Under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, assignees remain on the payroll of his/her home institution and the home institution will continue to administer pay and benefits.  NSF will reimburse the home institution for NSF's negotiated share of the cost of the assignment.  Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment include employees of State and local government agencies, institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and qualified nonprofit organizations.  For more information regarding an IPA assignment, visit our website.

    Under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), non-citizens may be considered as long as the individual is employed at an IPA-eligible institution.

    For more information regarding Federal Temporary Appointments, visit OPM's website.


    The individual selected will be required to file an “Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report” (OGE-278) in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. 


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    You must submit your application so that it will be received by 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date of the announcement.

    Ensure that your application includes the documents listed below and reflects your background in terms of the qualification requirements for the position.

    1. Resume or other application format of your choice.  Your application should contain the following information: Announcement number and your country of citizenship (If you are not a U.S. citizen, please indicate whether or not you are a permanent U.S. resident, and whether or not you are actively seeking U.S. citizenship. Therefore, you are required to provide documentation that confirms you are actively seeking citizenship at the time you submit your application. Non-citizens who do not provide documentation will not be considered); Information about your education, your major, and type and year of degree(s); and Information about all your work experience, including job titles, duties, and accomplishments, employer's name and phone number, number of hours worked per week, starting and ending dates (month and year), and salary.  If you have held various positions with the same employer, describe each separately.

    2. Narrative statement addressing your background in terms of the Quality Ranking Factors.

    3. NSF Form 1232, Applicant Survey.  We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey Form.  This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

    APPLICATION SUBMISSION:  Applications must be received by the closing date on this announcement. Applications may be transmitted electronically to or mailed or delivered to the following address:
    National Science Foundation.
    Division of Human Resource Management.
    Executive Personnel, Room 315.
    4201 Wilson Blvd.
    Arlington, VA 22230

    Inquiries or questions should be directed to: Executive Personnel Staff at (703) 292-4912; hearing impaired individuals should call TDD (703) 292-5090 for assistance.

    Additional information on the NSF mission, structure, programs, and operations may be accessed through our website.  The NSF provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of this application and hiring process, please notify the point of contact on this job opportunity announcement.



    You are strongly encouraged to submit information regarding relevant awards received in the previous five years; a current performance appraisal; and/or letters(s) of recommendation. Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to submit a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

    You can fax your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

    Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

    We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey Form.  This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

    All faxing must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information.  

    Phone: 703-292-4912
    Fax: 703-292-9185
    TDD: 703-292-5090
    Agency Information:
    4201 Wilson Blvd
    Room 315
    Arlington, VA
    Fax: 703-292-9185


    Once your complete application is received we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and the most qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview.

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