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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Staff Associate
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Job Announcement Number:  OCE-2013-0001

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$89,033.00 to $140,259.00 / Per Year
Monday, January 28, 2013 to Monday, February 11, 2013
Full-time. - Permanent.
FEW vacancies in the following location:
Arlington, VA, USView Map


Applications will be accepted from current National Science Foundation (NSF) employees only.


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 NSF is seeking candidates for Staff Associate within the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) in Arlington, VA. The Division of Ocean Sciences supports research, infrastructure, and education to advance understanding of all aspects of the global oceans and ocean basins, including their interactions with people and the integrated Earth system.  These activities provide knowledge critical to addressing many of our nation’s most pressing challenges involving earth processes.  OCE supports and promotes collaboration and facilitates development of a diverse scientific and educational community, including international efforts.  The Division works with the U.S. ocean sciences academic community to direct funding towards advancing the frontiers of knowledge, developing the next generation of researchers, and enhancing the public’s understanding of ocean sciences.  The Division represents this community in the Federal context, coordinates with other Federal agencies and with international partners on research funding and infrastructure management, and participates in development of policy through national and international forums and programs. 

For more information about OCE and its Programs, please visit here.


  • Background investigation.
  • Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above.


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The NSF Staff Associate supports achieving the goals and core strategies of NSF's Strategic Plan, as well as those of the Division of Ocean Sciences within the Directorate for Geosciences.  The goals are: (1) enable the United States to uphold a position of world leadership in all aspects of science, mathematics, and engineering, (2) promote the discovery, integration, dissemination, and employment of new knowledge in service to society, and (3) achieve excellence in U.S. science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at all levels.  The core strategies NSF staff employ include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships.

The incumbent of this position serves as the Policy Advisor to NSF leadership on ocean policy matters while working within the National Ocean Council (NOC) in the Executive Office of the President and the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST) to provide ocean policy advice and guidance. The Policy Advisor will have knowledge of ocean science and technology policy issues, experience with Federal science policy development, the ability to understand and communicate between science and policy, and experience with high-level interagency committees.

The Policy Advisor is responsible for developing policy positions and recommendations, preparing and analyzing policy-related documents, managing interagency projects, ensuring ocean science and technology aspects of National Ocean Policy implementation, and liaising with the National Ocean Council Office, the Ocean Resource Management Interagency Policy Committee, and other entities as required. Additional duties and responsibilities include the following:


Promotes a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise either through program, division, directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.

Provides scientific evaluation and advice for other programs in NSF, including international and cross-directorate programs.


Represents the Division of Ocean Sciences, within the scientific community, with other NSF Divisions, other agencies and organizations, and the public, accurately reflecting NSF policy and positions.

Advises NSF leadership on ocean policy matters, including: Developing policy options and providing advice and guidance on interagency ocean policy and governance issues; developing NSF policy positions and recommendations on issues regarding the National Ocean Policy, the National Ocean Council in the Executive Office of the President, and other ocean policy and governance related actions and deliberations; preparing NSF leadership for engaging in Director and Deputy Director-level forums in the Executive Office of the President to ensure NSF positions are represented; providing context and historical reference on U.S. ocean policy and governance based on extensive experience in Federal ocean policy and governance efforts.

Represents NSF as Science Policy Contact to the National Ocean Council, including, developing and present NSF policy positions and recommendations on interagency development of policy actions and resolution of policy issues; preparing NSF analysis of and response to requests for information, content, and deliberation on ocean policy and governance issues; engaging with other Federal agencies in development of ocean policy matters.

Leads NSF review and analysis of ocean policy-related documents, including Federal interagency materials and Congressional testimony and questions for the record.

Represents NSF and NSF positions on interagency ocean governance and policy groups.

Develops NSF responses to Congressional inquiries on ocean policy matters.

Authors NSF narrative contributions to journals and magazines, such as Sea Technology magazine review and forecast issue.

Authors NSF narrative contribution to Federal Ocean and Coastal Activities Report to Congress.

Advises the White House National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC) Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST)/Ocean Science and Technology Interagency Policy Committee (OST-IPC).

Creates and maintains linkages to other NSF units and other Federal agencies in pursuit of the overall NSF mission.

Participates in staff, panel, committee and other meetings, providing input relevant to Program area and/or Division.

Pursues affirmative action and EEO goals.

Is responsive to assignment on special projects and temporary function teams from across the Foundation to solve problems, improve staff communication, and effect coordination.

Contributes ideas and effort to improving the quality of policies and NSF's performance of the overall mission. Provides information to the community on how NSF is pursuing its mission and gathers data and impressions from the community on the effectiveness of NSF's performance of its mission.


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Applicants must have an earned Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience relevant to national policy issues, technology, and education specific to ocean science, plus four or more years of successful research, research administration and/or substantial managerial experience in academe, industry, or government.

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date of the job announcement. You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire.

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.


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

We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below.  This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.


Quality Ranking Factors

  1. Knowledge of national policy and governance specific to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes topics, notably as related ocean science, education, and technology.
  2. Experience researching, developing, and implementing federal policy on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes issues, including NSF's role in policy development and implementation.
  3. Skill in researching, analyzing and writing national ocean-related policy, governance, and research priority documents, including in coordination with other Federal officials and representatives of the Administration.
  4. Expertise in coordinating and guiding activities of high-level committees, specifically those that engage senior representatives from multiple Federal agencies and the Executive Office of the President, including advising Federal leadership on ocean-related policy and governance issues, notably as related to ocean science, education, technology.


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
•        Telecommuting
•        Physical fitness facility on site
•        NSF Federal Credit Union on site
•        Health services unit on site
•        Employee assistance program


If you do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility, you will not obtain civil service status if selected. If you are currently in the competitive civil service, you will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected.

This Staff Associate position is in the bargaining unit.

Relocation expenses will be paid subject to funds availability.

For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Applicant Guide.



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Your application should be submitted online and must be completed and all required documents successfully faxed or uploaded before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date. You must answer all of the job-related questions to ensure full consideration for this position. For more detailed information, please review our NSF eRecruit Applicant Guide.

WARNING! Applications submitted online must have a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

If you are unable to apply electronically, please use the Contact Information below for special instructions on how to submit your application materials. Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD (703) 292-5090 for assistance.



Non-Citizens who are permanent US residents and actively seeking citizenship 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.

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 or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to (Permanent); 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/uploading 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.  You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).



Johane Pace
Phone: 703-292-7493
Fax: 703-292-9279
TDD: 703-292-5090
Agency Information:
4201 Wilson Blvd
Room 315
Arlington, VA
Fax: 703-292-9279


Shortly after the announcement closes, you will be notified as to whether or not you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you do, you will receive further consideration and evaluation. If the position is in the bargaining unit, and your application is referred to the selecting official, you will be contacted for an interview.  Interviews for positions not in the bargaining unit may be conducted at the discretion of the selecting official.  All qualified applicants will receive final notification of the outcome of the job opportunity announcement.

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