Research Associate - Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences
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 Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) focuses the knowledge, analytical tools, and methods of the behavioral and social sciences on some of the nation's most pressing issues in efforts to understand them and to contribute to their solution. Our areas of expertise include (but are not limited to) anthropology, child development, demography, economics, education, history, law, gerontology, linguistics, political science, psychology, sociology, and statistics.
The Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) focuses on psychological issues in areas such as aging, national security, brain science, and team or interdisciplinary sciences. BBCSS was created to offer the best analysis and judgment of the scientific community to inform decisions on pressing policy issues, and to assist in setting research agendas that are emerging in these scientific fields. The objective is to anticipate the policy issues likely to arise as a result of new developments in these sciences.
The Research Associate develops pertinent background research which contributes to a greater understanding of conditions, issues and trends impacting assigned program(s) or project(s), subjects and topics. Drafts background papers. Prepares preliminary outlines of projects to determine appropriate methodology, which may involve developing an historical perspective; identifying prevailing social and economic conditions, outlining legislative considerations; regulatory impact; international involvement in issues; and future trends and implications. Performs research and analysis. Documents and establishes files on all statistical analyses performed. Prepares data for use in summaries, fact sheets, and reports. Edits report material developed by committee members, senior staff, and consultants. Responds to inquiries about study activities and increases public awareness of studies. Manages related databases, including reference databases. May assist with administrative duties related to programs/projects.
Applying general professional level knowledge and principals of research, incumbent performs duties requiring the identification and analysis of various factors and independent judgment and discretion to recommend best course of action. Incumbent proceeds on own initiative in compliance with policies, procedures, and practices, but receives guidance or expertise from supervisor or higher-level staff when needed. May lead and/or supervise lower level support employees.
ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES:
1. Develops information sources. Reads, analyzes, and evaluates data and literature. Prepares preliminary outlines of projects to determine appropriate methodology. Conducts discussions with various officials, academics, allied groups and staff. Analyzes data developed and prepares written interpretations. Synthesizes data for specific sections of the report or other types of output. Verifies references and checks facts of committee reports.
2. Performs research and analysis, analyzing and organizing technical data and reports and compiling summaries of information. May perform basic statistical research and analysis. Prepares and formats various survey instruments and databases to accept specified information.
3. Manages database to track references. Manages and maintains bibliographic and analytical databases. Documents and establishes files on all statistical analyses performed indicating methodology, variations in manipulation of data and resource materials used.
4. Writes technical papers or summaries. Abstracts information from scientific studies to create tables for committee review or use in committee reports. Drafts, summarizes, and edits findings and provides feedback to appropriate parties.
5. May ensure Federal Advisory Committee Act, (FACA) and Governing Board Executive Committee (GBEC) compliance. Ensures Current Projects System (CPS) is posted and updated in a timely manner, the Public Access File is maintained, and documents are properly archived.
6. Participates in selecting literature for committee members, forum and workshop participants, and other applicable groups to receive through mailings, briefing books, and meetings. Attends meetings to present and receive feedback regarding study area and prepares meeting summaries.
7. Prepares the report for review and assists with review response. Ensures edits are included in the report. Creates bibliographies, graphics, and tables for reports.
8. Responds to inquiries from the public sector, sponsors and other scientific peers outside of the National Academies. Increases public awareness of studies. Identifies and contacts professional and advocacy groups interested in the committee’s work.
9. Performs administrative tasks such as corresponding with committee members, participating in the planning and execution of committee meetings, and other tasks associated with preparing for committee meetings and workshops.
10. Serves as a mentor and/or resource to employees. May be responsible for training and supervising junior staff.
11. May assist senior staff in researching and identifying potential speakers and committee and forum members.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:
Ability to solve intellectual problems of appreciable variety and complexity using originality and ingenuity. Ability to exercise appreciable latitude for independent judgment and action. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. 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. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.
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