Senior Program Assistant - Board on Health Sciences Policy

Washington D.C.
Aug 16, 2017
Oct 18, 2017
Analyst, Research
Full Time

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.


The Health and Medicine Division (HMD) is a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (The National Academies). HMD’s aim is to help those in government and the private sector make informed health decisions by providing evidence upon which they can rely. HMD previously was the Institute of Medicine (IOM) program unit of the National Academies. On March 15, 2016, the division was renamed HMD, building on the heritage of the IOM’s work in medicine while emphasizing its increased focus on a wider range of health matters.


The Health and Medicine Division's Board on Health Sciences Policy (HSP) oversees and guides a program of activities that is intended to encourage and sustain the continuous vigor of the basic biomedical and clinical research enterprises needed to ensure and improve the health and resilience of the public. In conducting these activities, consideration is given to the ethical, legal, and social contexts of scientific and technological advances and to the balance between scientific opportunities and public needs.


The goals of the Board on Health Sciences Policy are to: foster the emerging fields of research in the health and biomedical sciences; strengthen the role of science in policy and decision-making; promote and improve the education of health and research professionals and of the general public; ensure an adequate workforce in biomedical and clinical research; strengthen the preparedness, resilience, and sustainability of communities; and address issues in biomedical ethics.




The Senior Program Assistant will support the activities of the Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation, which fosters communication, collaboration, and action in a neutral setting on issues of mutual interest relating to drug discovery, development, and translation. The Forum brings attention and visibility to important issues; explores new approaches for resolving problem areas; helps define the scope of the field and thus sets the stage for future policy action; provides a catalyst for collaboration on topics where there is synergy among potential partners; and elevates the general understanding of drug discovery, development, and translation among the research, public policy, and broader communities. The Forum provides a mechanism and a venue under the auspices of the National Academies to facilitate progress in these areas.




Performs complex clerical and administrative duties for the Forum under minimal supervision. Coordinates logistical and administrative aspects of meetings. Writes, edits, and formats routine correspondence. Interfaces with Forum members and performs administrative duties involving Forum activities. Plans administrative aspects of Forum meetings, workshops, and other types of meeting. May participate in research efforts including collection, assembly, and tabulation of data, as well as researching and summarizing literature.


Under minimal supervision, primary function is the performance of clerical and administrative tasks requiring the consideration of multiple variables to determine proper course of action. Secondary function may involve basic research activities. Uses pre-determined guidelines to assist in decision-making.




1. Performs routine and complex clerical and administrative tasks including word processing, copying, faxing, filing, answering and screening calls and emails, writing and editing correspondence, and compiling and coordinating mailings and shipments.


2. Creates, maintains, and updates records, databases, and files.


3. Coordinates logistical arrangements for forum meetings, workshops, etc. Assembles and reproduces agenda books and briefing materials. Coordinates travel and lodging arrangements. Selects menu and arranges for support services. Registers attendees. Provides assistance at meetings and resolves issues.


4. Provides onsite administrative support and technical assistance for forum meetings and workshops.


5. Performs basic research activities, including literature searches for staff and forum members. Gathers references. May participate in other research efforts including collection, assembly, and tabulation of data and summarizing literature.


6. Prepares vouchers and reviews and processes travel expense reports in compliance with applicable policies and procedures.


7. Inputs edits and proofreads reports. Formats text and publications. Coordinates with printers/publishers to have materials printed.


8. Responds to inquiries and follows-up on communications. Communicates with forum members, sponsors, or other external customers, answering questions and providing information.


9. Performs administrative-related Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) compliance tasks.


10. Attends meetings, training classes, and workshops.


11. Updates applicable databases and systems on a timely basis and ensures documents and files are accurately maintained and archived. Maintains forum email and distribution lists.


12. Where applicable, updates and maintains forum web pages.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. Ability to plan and support extensive meeting activities. Ability to solve problems with supervisory consultation or by following procedures. Ability to prioritize work and the flexibility to change directions as the job dictates. Ability to work successfully in a team environment. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies’ departments through effective communication. Good communication and interpersonal skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.

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