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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Staff Assistant
Agency:  Smithsonian Institution
Job Announcement Number:  13-06

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$51,871.00 to $67,427.00 / Per Year
Thursday, April 18, 2013 to Friday, May 17, 2013
Full Time. - Indefinite Trust Appointment. This is not a Federal position.
1 vacancy in the following location:
Cambridge, MA, USView Map

All qualified candidates.


The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is part of what is arguably the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world, where the staff carries out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, and earth and space sciences. If you would like to join this exciting organization, apply today!

The Staff Assistant works primarily in the High Energy Astrophysics division. The employee works on the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) investigation and reports to the Project Administrator of the SWEAP program and provides administrative and financial support to the SWEAP project.    

First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date.




  • May require a Pre- and post-appointment background
  • May be required to serve a one-year probationary period.
  • Direct Deposit/Elect Funds Transfer required for salary payment.


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Duties include but are not limited to: preparing financial reports; responding to queries from project management and sponsoring organizations for financial data; researching and providing inputs for programmatic and financial reports; preparing monthly and quarterly reports using Earned Value Management (EVM) tools; initiating, monitoring and updating SWEAP requisitions; tracking expenditures for Project budget activity; comparing purchase orders with the procurement list; preparing and disseminating purchase order status reports; administering the screening process for requisitions requiring approval, and generating submittal to contractors;  preparing travel authorizations; supporting SWEAP Program Administrator  in developing, planning, scheduling project requirements; performs other administrative duties as assigned.



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Experience: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level in the normal progression for this occupation that has equipped the candidate with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.  The experience may include activities such as preparing and creating financial monthly and quarterly reports; administering, monitoring, updating requisition; preparing proposals; verifying cost; supporting in planning, scheduling project requirements; assisting Project Administrator in proposal preparation; generating travel authorizations.


Education: master's or equivalent graduate degree or Two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's or equivalent degree related to the position may be substituted to meet the experience requirements.


Combination of Experience and Education: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications; for example, a half year of experience and a half year of education in the field may be qualifying. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and/or proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

Qualification requirements are derived from the Office of Personnel Management's Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above.

The online questionnaire will evaluate your experience, education, and/or training that address the competencies below: 

knowledge of principles, practices, and methods of financial management and budget administration in order to monitor obligations and expenditures and prepare financial cost reports. 

knowledge of internal grants administration policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Knowledge of proposal preparation.

Ability to interpret, analyze, and evaluate data to solve problems. 

Skill in the use of computers and experience with automated spreadsheets including Excel.  

Skill in the use of the Earned Value Management system (EVM).

To preview questions please click here.


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The Smithsonian offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, vacation and sick leave, holidays, commuter benefits, health/life insurance, and accidental insurance. Please see Benefits at for a complete description.


The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses.

The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity.


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Click on the "Apply Online" button on the upper right side of the page. Please Note:
  • You must apply for this position online through the 'Apply Online' button.
  • Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine. Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date. Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.
  • Clicking the "DONE" tab does not submit your application. The "DONE" tab allows you to exit the system and save your information for completion at a later time. To submit your application, click the "FINISH" tab.
  • The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
  • If you are unable to apply online, paper applications may be accepted with prior approval of the Contact Person listed below.


Your application package must include the following documents:
  • Detailed resume
  • School transcripts, if you are substituting education for experience.
  • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.


Mary Hebert
Phone: 617-496-7816
Fax: 617-495-7263
Agency Information:
Human Resources
60 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138
Mail Stop 17
Cambridge, MA
Fax: 617-495-7263


After you apply, you will receive an automated acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. The staffing process to identify highly qualified candidates may take up to four weeks or more to complete. After the announcement closes and application reviews are done, you may be contacted by the hiring office if further evaluation or interviews are required. All applicants will receive written notification on the final outcome of the position.

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