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    This is the position of Administrative Specialist within the Radio and GeoAstronomy Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO).  Within the Division, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) group leads a visionary project to create an Earth-sized virtual telescope, designed to capture the first images of a black hole.  To do this, the EHT team designs novel astronomical instrumentation, deploys these systems at radio dishes around the world, travels to remote sites for observational campaigns, and analyzes data produced when all dishes in the global array observe the same cosmic target on the sky at the same time.  Our team leads an international group that collaborates on all technical and scientific aspects of the project, and which is united by a common science vision. 

    The salary range listed above reflects the organization's authorized salary for this specific position.

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    • Administers all aspects of the EHT sponsored project activities, both internally and externally funded, including preparation of budgets for proposals for submission to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, as well as other funding agencies. This includes gathering and consolidating necessary information from files, Co-Is and PI, etc. Responsible for coordinating and overseeing the preparation of all material according to guidelines provided by the funding agency.  Expedites and follows up processing of documents by SAO Contracts and Procurement Department.  Prepares budgets for proposals in final format for submission working from rough estimates and verifies all line item amounts.
    • Supports Principal Investigators (PIs) of the observatory's EHT in the development of project budgets and schedules.
    • Coordinates proposal preparation. Helps prepare detailed budgets and related justifications, and ensures that all internal review documentation requirements and deadlines for submission are satisfied.
    • Administers awards to the observatory's EHT. Monitors and tracks obligations and expenditures for all of its funding sources using observatory fiscal sheets and RG Division cost tracking and reporting systems.
    • Assists the EHT Project Director and SAO Project Manager in managing budgets and approves the expenditure of funds in all categories, and prepares and submits financial portions of required reports. Works with Financial Management staff to reconcile discrepancies.
    • Provides project PIs with budget status and variance reports, and advice on programmatic administrative issues. Supports preparation and submission of project progress reports.Provides liaison with collaborating external organizations to coordinate proposal preparation and award administration
    • Works independently with the observatory's administrative departments and outside agencies to resolve budgetary and administrative problems as they occur.
    • As required, may be required to learn to utilize software tools at the observatory to develop and/or maintain EHT project schedules, develop cost estimates, and generate project status reports for instrument development projects.
    • Provides and organizes logistical support for group meetings and conferences
    • Coordinates EHT website maintenance and upkeep.
    • Utilizes Smithsonian Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to prepare variety of administrative documents and related backup. These include purchase requisitions, travel authorizations for both internally funded and externally sponsored travel, travel vouchers, and petty cash disbursements.
    • Provides editorial support to the observatory's EHT staff as requested. Proofreads documents to ensure consistent formats, and correct spelling and word usage. Coordinates preparation of figures, tables and their proper integration into the final document. Assures that reports and proposals are prepared in accordance with program and observatory requirements.
    • Performs other administrative functions such as timekeeping, maintaining inventory of procured equipment and serving as Accountable Officer, ordering supplies, and maintaining the observatory's EHT group calendar.
    • Provides general administrative and sponsored project support to the EHT Director as requested, and performs other related duties as assigned.

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    This position is open to all candidates eligible to work in the United States.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/500362000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.