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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Program Specialist, GS-301-9 Recent Graduates
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Job Announcement Number:  BIO-2013-0006

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$51,630.00 to $67,114.00 / Per Year
Thursday, February 28, 2013 to Friday, March 15, 2013
Full-time - Recent Graduates, under the Pathways Program
FEW vacancies - Arlington, VA, US  View Map

Recent Graduates who has graduated from a qualifying institutions within TWO YEARS of degree or certification (Veterans precluded by their military service obligation, will have up to six years to apply).


Are you looking for a job where you can make a difference? Interested in working in a dynamic, small-agency environment? At NSF, every member of the team contributes to success! That's just one of the reasons why NSF, conveniently located in the heart of Ballston, is one of the best places to work in the federal government. Due to its relatively small number of employees, NSF has a unique feeling of collegiality. It is not uncommon to hear colleagues discuss a wide variety of subjects from our newest work-life initiatives to the latest scientific, engineering, and education developments.

At NSF, you will use your administrative support expertise in an exciting, challenging, and team-oriented environment. You will have the opportunity to use your current skills to help make NSF's vision of the future become reality. NSF also offers a variety of formal and informal learning and development opportunities that you can use to build new skills and advance your career. If you're seeking variety and challenge in a collegial atmosphere, look no further than NSF! More about NSF.

This announcement for a Program Specialist position may be used to fill one or more positions in any Division in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). The Directorate for Biological Sciences at NSF, provides support for research to advance understanding of the underlying principles and mechanisms governing life. Research studies range across progressively more complex systems and scales encompassing the structure and dynamics of biological molecules, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems up to and including the global biosphere. The mission of the Directorate for Biological Sciences is to enable discoveries for understanding life. BIO-supported research advances the frontiers of biological knowledge, increases understanding of complex systems, and provides a theoretical basis for original research in many other scientific disciplines. To learn more about BIO at the National Science Foundation, please visit: the Directorate for Biological Sciences 

You must be a recent graduate who has completed, within the previous two years, an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution such as an accredited technical or vocational school; a 2- or 4-year college or university; a graduate or professional school (e.g., law school, medical school); or a post-secondary home school curriculum.  Note:  Certificate program is defined as post-secondary education in a qualifying educational institution equal to at least one academic year of full-time study that's part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum. 

Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree due to military service obligation shall have a 2-year period of eligibility to apply that begins from the date of release or discharge from active duty; however, the veteran's eligibility period cannot extend beyond 6 years from the date of graduation.

All Education must be accredited by an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accredited institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants may verify accreditation at the following website: Accreditation

Recent Graduates participant will need to sign a Pathways Agreement.

After Program completion, National Science Foundation Recent Graduates MAY be converted to a permanent position.

Important Note:  Noncompetitive conversion to a permanent or term position is not guaranteed.  Eligibility for conversion does not guarantee that the agency will opt for conversion.

To be eligible for conversion to a permanent or term position, Recent Graduates must:

-Successfully completed at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.

-Meet the Office of Personnel Management’s qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

-Maintain performance at the “Fully Satisfactory” level or higher under the agency’s performance management system.

-Completed all the requirements of the Program successfully (this includes 40 hours of annual interactive training or any other required training or activities with a mentor that are outlined in the employee’s Participant Agreement)


  • Background investigation and
  • US citizenship.
  • Must have obtained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Recent Graduate Requirement(see Recent Graduate Program Requirements below)
  • Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above


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Be the core of a team keeping the United States at the leading edge of scientific discovery! Program Specialists serve a vital support function to the National Science Foundation's scientific directorates. As a Program Specialist, you will play a key role in monitoring program effectiveness by providing comprehensive analytical support in the areas of proposal processing, logistics, data management and analysis and providing input for continuous improvement to the overall processes. Assists Program Director in reviewing proposals to organize into panels, researching and identifying reviewer pools, and supporting technical correspondence. Assists Program Director on developing outreach plans and presentations methods. Interfaces with other Divisions/Directorates to plan and coordinate outreach/site visit activities. Conducts literature searches and web-based queries to seek out potential research opportunities. Conducts moderately complex to complex analyses concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of substantive program operations. Gathers, analyzes, and presents data for further program analysis utilizing research trends and results tracking to inform policy related to scientific content. Identifies opportunities for continuous improvements to databases, data gathering and analytical approaches. Provides data input and feedback to strategic support staff as requested or necessary. Manage funds in accordance with rules and regulations and guidance to properly apply legal use of appropriate funds and prepare year-end financial status reports.


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Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.
Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as much as six years after degree completion to apply.

To qualify at the GS-09, you need to have one of the following:

At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal service. Examples of specialized experience include engaging in ongoing analysis of business processes to continually identify and recommend solutions to problems, using quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques, developing and presenting factual evidence both in writing and before an audience to support enhancements in the methods of performing work, reviewing data for trends related to business processes, interpreting those trends, and determining causes and possible courses of action;

OR, possess a master`s or equivalent graduate degree;

OR, possess 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree;

OR, possess a combination of post high school education and experience that together meet the qualification requirements for this position.

Education may be substituted for experience as described in "Qualifications."

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements within 30 days of the closing date.
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.

This position is in the bargaining unit.


Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligibles.  Based on your responses to the occupational questionnaire, you will be assigned a score.  Your score will determine in which of three categories you will be placed: Excellent, Very Good, or Good.  Under this process, veterans will be assigned to the appropriate category (without additional preference points) and then placed at the top of their category.  Veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more will be placed at the top of the highest quality category.

Review your resume and responses carefully.  Responses that are not fully supported by the information in your application package may result in adjustments to your score.  A Human Resources Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the selecting official.

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


Relocation expenses will not be paid.

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.

If you do not have internet access or if you have questions, please contact the Human Resources Representative listed in the vacancy announcement.

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.



Education Transcript: You MUST submit your unofficial college transcripts with your application. This office will be unable to determine qualification eligibility without transcripts.  Applications without transcripts are incomplete applications and may be rated "INELIGIBLE".  Transcripts will not be accepted after the closing date of this announcement. (Transcripts must include graduation date) 

If you are eligible under a special appointing authority (e.g., veterans appointment
or persons with mental retardation, severe physical disability or psychiatric disabilities), you will be required to submit supporting documentation. This will typically require the submission of one or more of the following documents:
1. DD-214 (Member-4 copy); and only if applicable, SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran's Preference, plus the Department of Veterans Affairs Notice of Compensable Disability Rating to verify 10-Point Veteran's preference and/or to document eligibility under the disabled veterans appointing authority.

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).


Carolyn St. Hill
Phone: 703-292-8251
Fax: 703-292-7478
TDD: 703-292-8044
Agency Information:
4201 Wilson Blvd
Room 315
Arlington, VA
Fax: 703-292-7478


You may check the status of your application at any time on the USAJOBS website.

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