Program Officer - Board on Physics and Astronomy

Washington D.C.
May 31, 2017
Sep 26, 2017
Analyst, Research
Full Time

The Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPS) is broadly concerned with expanding basic knowledge in the physical sciences and engineering and applying science and engineering disciplines in the service of humankind. DEPS works to ensure the effective application and progress of its science and engineering disciplines to provide timely scientific and technological advice to the government, the corporate sector, the professions, and the public in an effort to address problems of national and international significance.


The Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA) informs the government and the public about trends and developments at the forefronts of physics and astronomy, fosters interactions with other fields, strengthens connections between basic research and technology development, and seeks to provide guidance on what is needed to continue expanding our understanding in these fields and why doing so is important.




In collaboration with BPA senior staff, the program officer will manage several of BPA's projects, by assembling and working with expert committees, conducting workshops and other meetings, developing study reports and other written products, supporting expert committee work, overseeing project budget and schedule, and managing outreach and dissemination of project results.




1. Assembles and works with committees.  With the BPA director/senior program officer oversight, recruits potential committee/panel nominees and assembles appointment packages. Communicates and coordinates with the committee/panel chair and members. Identifies and gathers research materials for the committee. Facilitates the flow of information among committee/panel members, consultants, staff, and other applicable parties.


2. Conducts large and small workshops and other meetings. Develops agendas, invites presenters and participants, oversees meeting logistics and multimedia presentations, and prepares written summaries.


3. Develops study reports, workshop summaries, and other written products. Drafts and edits materials for publication. For studies and other applicable programs, synthesizes and edits research findings and technical data and determines the relevance of data for purposes of activity. 


4. Supports committee members, forum members, workshop participants, etc. in all aspects of work. For studies, assistance is provided in preparing the draft report, including writing sections of report based on committee input and review and editing the report for accuracy; consistency; and format, spelling, and grammar. Facilitates the response to review, responds to comments and concerns of editors, and prepares the final manuscript for publication.


5. Manages dissemination of reports and other types of publications. Prepares dissemination plan and funding proposal. Assists in managing report production activities. Identifies and engages external organizations in dissemination. Prepares dissemination materials. Conducts dissemination meetings. Collaborates with communications staff to plan and implement extensive communications activities related to assigned programs or projects.  May create and maintain materials, web sites, and social media channels to provide interest groups with information generated from and for activities.  Represents the board within and outside the National Academies.


6. Oversees project budget and schedule and authorizes expenditures.  Collaborates with financial staff to ensure compliance.  Interprets and ensures consistent application of organizational policies.


7. Manages support staff with minimal oversight.   Assigns tasks and provides guidance and feedback to staff. 


8. Works with senior staff in the development of programs/projects, including identifying topics and sponsors, conducting background research, developing project prospectuses and raising funds. 


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Advanced knowledge of scientific, technical, or policy issues in a related discipline. Strong program/project management skills. Ability to understand and share technical/scientific issues with diverse audiences. Ability to solve intellectual problems that are varied and complex using originality and ingenuity. Ability to operate using appreciable latitude for independent judgment and action. Ability to manage and develop projects. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers, employees in other National Academies’ departments, and external constituents through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of staff and constituents.

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