Social Scientist (Science Resources Analyst)

Arlington, Virginia
Aug 08, 2017
Aug 25, 2017
Full Time

About the Agency

This announcement has been amended until Thursday, August 24, 2017.

The NSF is seeking a candidate for the position of Science Resources Analyst within the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). The incumbent is part of the Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) Program within NCSES. The program is responsible for the production of two congressionally-mandated reports and other analyses on a broad range of topics relating to science and technology (S&T) in the United States and globally. SEI develops the National Science Board's Science and Engineering Indicators report (Indicators) to the President and the Congress. The Indicators report provides quantitatively based, policy neutral, policy relevant, and balanced analyses using a broad range of national and international data.

As one of the principal statistical agencies, NCSES has as its prime objective the development of factual and analytical information on the science and engineering enterprise. This includes data collections, surveys, methodological development, data dissemination, and analytic activities. NCSES accomplishes its work using both in-house staff and contractors. NCSES is also responsible for developing networks with agencies, officials, or researchers working on similar issues in other countries or multinational organizations. Since skills in a variety of academic areas are required to accomplish NCSES's work, the Staff constitutes an interdisciplinary group who shares their specialized skills to accomplish the overall mission of the Division. The incumbent plans, develops, and oversees analysis, publication, information, and outreach activities in support of overall division goals.

For more information about NCSES and its Programs, please visit

NSF is relocating to Alexandria, Virginia. In late summer of 2017, NSF will begin the transition from its current location in Arlington, VA to 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314. The new location is adjacent to a Metro station (Eisenhower Avenue on the Yellow Line) and there is ample parking in the area. There are several amenities nearby, such as restaurants, hotels, and shops.

  • No

  • Background investigation.
  • Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above.
  • Candidates must have a Ph.D. in survey research, statistics, mathematics, social sciences or a related field; plus after award of the Ph.D., four or more years of experience in working with social science data, methods, analytic tools, theories, and perspectives in publications and research projects; OR, a Master’s degree in survey research, statistics, mathematics, social sciences or a related field; plus after award of the Master’s, eight or more years of experience in working with social science data, methods, analytic tools, theories, and perspectives in publications and research projects and must include at least six years of experience in the analysis of complex datasets.

    Applicants must possess demonstrated ability to use this social science knowledge to extract significant findings from quantitative data. Applicants must possess sufficient knowledge of statistics and survey research methodology to oversee the analysis of complex survey data, including trend data and data generated through complex sample designs.

    Applicants must be skilled in explaining in writing the major findings from analyses of quantitative data, the contextual information to interpret these data, and the ways these data bear on issues of concern to national policy makers. This includes demonstrated ability to craft prose and graphics that are both generally accessible to educated, non-expert readers and usable by experts who need accurate technical information.

    This position is outside the competitive civil service.

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

    Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.

    Public Trust - Background Investigation


    Senior Analyst Duties include:

    A. S&E Indicators

    • The incumbent is responsible for coverage of one or more of the major topic areas in S&E Indicators, the biennial, Congressionally mandated flagship report of the National Science Board, which receives broad use from the science and engineering policy and academic communities domestically and internationally. Broad topic areas include: K-12 mathematics and science education; higher education in S&E; S&E workforce trends; the U.S. science, technology, and innovation (STI) system; international R&D and STI developments and globalization; development of knowledge intensive economies; effects and consequences of these developments for the U.S.; and public attitudes towards and knowledge of science and engineering. All analyses are quantitatively based, factual, balanced, and policy neutral.
    • The incumbent is an author or contributing author of one or more chapters in S&E Indicators; this is the most critical aspect of the job. Working closely with senior Program staff, the incumbent develops a narrative outline of the assigned topic areas for review and approval by a Subcommittee of the National Science Board, identifies suitable data sources and assesses their quality, obtains the data from multiple public, private and international sources, and analyzes the data. S/he synthesizes the data into an integrated presentation that reflects broad knowledge of the policy context and research literature bearing on the topic, and presents a draft manuscript for review by the full National Science Board, external expert reviewers, Federal science funding agencies, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget. In consultation with senior program staff, S/he incorporates comments received as appropriate. The resulting manuscript is suitable for readers with widely varying backgrounds and sophistication about S&E issues. Prior to each cycle, in consultation with senior Program staff, the incumbent may modify the scope and coverage of analyses in the narrative outline, in response to direction received from the National Science Board.
    B. Technical Analyses and Studies
    • The incumbent acts as Senior Analyst in one or more of the assigned topic areas listed above. The incumbent applies sophisticated principles in the fields of statistics, economics and/or other relevant disciplines to analyze complex datasets acquired from governmental and private organizations and provides authoritative analyses, based on the integration of information from these various sources. As appropriate, the incumbent also focuses on emergent STI trends that heretofore have received insufficient attention, assembles data sources and proposes indicators to track these developments, and designs the appropriate analytical studies. To address problems for which little previous work exists, the incumbent anticipates problems, suggests technical innovations, and carries such projects to conclusion, in consultation with senior Program staff.
    C. National and International Liaison
    • The incumbent maintains contact, on behalf of NCSES, with national, international, or multinational organizations as instructed by the Program Director, exchanges STI relevant data with them, and establishes and maintains professional working relations with them. A major focus of this activity is to develop and maintain comparability of U.S. and international data and to document sources, methods and other aspects that affect their interpretation.
    D. Contract and Grant Management
    • The incumbent develops Requests for Proposals; evaluates technical project proposals; and prepares contract and interagency funding agreements related to assigned analysis, modeling, methodological, or other projects. The incumbent manages the projects after award, assuring that project objectives are met and quality standards are maintained within the project schedule and budget. The incumbent anticipates and solves problems associated with planning and conducting multi-year projects that must meet multiple objectives of data users or project funders. In addition, the incumbent prepares and processes RFPs and awards and manages projects under contract in conformance with NCSES, NSF and Federal procurement regulations and policy. The incumbent reviews grant proposals, participates in funding decisions, and tracks assigned grants.
    E. Responding to Requests for Information and Special Analyses
    • The incumbent designs and prepares responses to requests for information and special analyses related to major project areas and applies knowledge of social, economic, methodological, or statistical principles to respond to questions from NSF management or other organizations.
    F. Representation
    • The incumbent represents the Program, Center, and NSF in areas of assigned responsibilities at professional meetings, conferences, and visits to industrial, academic, Federal, or non-profit organizations both within and outside of the U.S.

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