Senior Program Officer (social sciences) - Gulf Research Program

Washington D.C.
Jun 27, 2018
Oct 17, 2018
Engineering, Research
Full Time
Job Description Summary:
In 2013, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine established the Gulf Research Program to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas. The Program seeks to improve understanding of the region's interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems and fostering application of these insights to benefit Gulf communities, ecosystems, and the Nation.

The Senior Program Officer is responsible for developing and managing one or more of the Gulf Research Program's programs or projects related to community resilience, health, and well-being with minimal oversight by Director. Develops program or project strategy and budget, and ensures program or project meets its stated objectives. Serves as liaison between board/committee/panel members, the National Academies, and other applicable parties. Independently supervises staff.

The work is a combination of program and grant management and analytical work, requiring broad training in the social sciences (e.g., sociology, anthropology, geography) and familiarity with a range of theoretical approaches, methodologies, and quantitative and qualitative analyses. Experience with primary data collection methods and management of large data sets is also required.

The job's primary focus will be managing research programs¬, convening activities (e.g., workshops, meetings), and funding opportunities. Establishes and follows processes and procedures to ensure the effective and efficient operations of a complex function. Assignments are broadly defined and require sound judgment and creativity to complete. Incumbent applies in-depth professional level knowledge to develop innovative solutions to a full range of complex problems to ensure program's or project's success. Incumbent has authority to take whatever action deemed advisable or necessary, subject only to organizational and departmental policies and rules. Is often responsible for oversight or management of other staff; reports to Director.

***Please note that a cover letter is required to attach to your application***
Job Description:


1. Independently designs and manages multiple and/or highly complex programs or projects. Develops program or project strategy and budget, staffing requirements, and ensures program or project meets objectives. Conducts program or project evaluations. Activities may include leading research programs, grant programs, studies, etc.

2. Where applicable assembles committees and guides those committees to achieve their stated objectives. Communicates and coordinates with the committee/panel chair and members. Identifies and gathers research materials. Facilitates the flow of information among committee/panel members, consultants, staff, and other applicable parties.

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

4. Prepares background papers and technical summaries. Develops written products (e.g., reports, proceedings, white papers, review panel summaries). 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.

5. Where applicable, coordinates with communications staff to develop communications activities related to assigned programs or projects. Publicizes programs and other priorities. Develops complex and content rich materials and websites to provide interest groups with information generated from and for activities.

6. Manages staff with minimal oversight by Director. Assigns tasks and provides guidance and feedback to staff. Mentors staff and ensures required training is accomplished and participates in performance reviews. Interprets and ensures consistent application of organizational policies.

7. Responsible for financial management of assigned programs or projects, including overseeing budget and schedule and authorizes expenditures. As required, collaborates with financial staff to ensure compliance.

8. Collaborates with experts and stakeholders from federal, state, and local government agencies, foundations, schools, and other organizations. Represents the unit within and outside the National Academies.

9. With Director oversight, conducts background research on topics for new studies, programs, or activities. Writes prospectuses and proposals for new and continuing funding. Where applicable, manages funder/member/alumni relations.

10. For certain programs managing research or fellowship activities, conducts site visits and ensures current and new facilities meet established criteria. Visits sites where participants are located to evaluate assignment and ensure compliance.


Related duties and special projects as assigned.


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 serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues. Ability to operate using substantial latitude for independent judgment and action. Ability to independently develop and manage multiple and complex projects. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Ability to train and develop staff. 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.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements: Master's degree in a related field or equivalent knowledge.

Minimum Experience: Six years of related professional experience, two of which were in a supervisory capacity. Demonstrated impact on the advancement of science or policy through the successful completion of National Academies' activities or equivalent outside activities. Demonstrated high level of proficiency in conveying scientific/technical/policy information in verbal and written form.

Preferred Education: Ph.D. in related field preferred.

Physical Capabilities: Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time. Ability to travel.

Required Licenses, Certification or Registration: None.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: Typically reports to board/program/division director. General direction is provided. Independently supervises project/program staff.

Work Environment: Office environment, with occasional travel between National Academies' facilities and to off-site meeting/sponsor locations.

Any qualification to be considered equivalent, in lieu of stated minimum, requires the prior approval of the Office of Human Resources.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. Some functions in this description may be specific to a particular unit of the National Academies and not applicable to other units.

Employee Type:EmployeeScheduled Weekly Hours:37.5City/State:Washington, District of Columbia

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