Supervisory Visual Information Specialist (Exhibits)

Landover, Maryland
Aug 13, 2019
Aug 20, 2019
Full Time


This position is located in the Design Department, Smithsonian Exhibits (SIE), Smithsonian Institution (SI). The employee is responsible for the design of museum exhibitions, directs and manages the Design Department in the development and execution of diverse exhibits, and represents SIE on Design Initiatives for both the office and among other Smithsonian units.

More than one selection may be made from this announcement.

Learn more about this agency


  • Supervises subordinate exhibit design personnel and works in a high- level planning capacity with curators, content experts, exhibit developers, scriptwriters, educators, fabricators, and multimedia and audio-visual developers in order to establish the standards and aesthetics for exhibits. Oversees the work of subordinates and contractors engaged in the preparation of museum and exhibit design renderings and models, detailed working and construction drawings, fabrication specifications, and graphics files for production.
  • Oversees all of the details and specifications for the design department including establishing design standards, interpreting scopes and technical specifications for exhibit designs. Develops cost estimates, budgets, and spending plans for design activities. Seeks ways to improve creative solutions, speed, accuracy and efficiency for exhibit space planning and design activities.
  • Responsible for all contracted design services and serves as SIE's COTR (Contracting Office's Technical Representative) for design contracts, certifies quality and completion of work, and authorizes payments at the end of contract periods.
  • Interprets drawings, sketches, scopes and technical specifications for exhibit designs.
  • Seeks out design and other work for SIE through continual dialogue with SI colleagues, exhibits staff, and outside organizations. Cultivates relationships with exhibits staff at other SI museums and offices for purposes of collaboration, sharing of knowledge, addressing common concerns, and leading initiatives that improve communication and overall excellence of Smithsonian exhibit designs. Keeps abreast of current rends regarding museum exhibit technology and design.

Travel Required

25% or less - Travel required is 25% or less.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.
  • May be required to serve a 18-month supervisory probationary period.

Qualification requirements, including one year time-in-grade at the next lower grade level for promotion candidates, must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the Federal service or comparable pay band system related to the work of this position. This specialized experience is defined as managing complex, multi-year museum exhibit designs, budgets, and teams and serving as a Head of design/lead designer for junior graphic and 3D exhibit designers.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

There is no education substitution.

Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications. For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards . Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

BASIS OF RATING: Once the announcement closes, your application will be automatically evaluated and rated by the system and a Human Resources Specialist. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your application and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire. The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire. The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of this position. If, after the Human Resources Specialist reviews your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that the score you have received is not a true reflection of your qualifications and/or experience, your score can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect the information you provided that support your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Your resume should provide detailed information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA): If you are applying for a VEOA appointment, you must be a veteran and must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed 3 or more years of active service. ("Active Service" under this law means active duty in a uniformed service and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, full-time National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary concerned.) A veteran who is released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour is also eligible.

Noncompetitive Appointment Authorities: The following links contain information on the eligibility requirements to be considered under a noncompetitive appointing authority:
  • Primary Appointing Authorities for Career and Career-Conditional Appointments
  • Hiring Authorities for Veterans
  • People with Disabilities

Important Note:

Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.



Additional information

Flexible Spending Accounts -
Health Insurance -
Leave -
Life Insurance -
Long Term Care Insurance -
Retirement Program -

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
  • Ability to manage and supervise a staff to include establishing priorities and schedules, assigning work, assessing employee performance, developing staff, counseling employee, and providing overall technical direction.
  • Ability to manage all phases of exhibit planning, design and production, including having complete understanding of the processes needed for the final realization of all design goals; to design large exhibitions, and to work with architectural planning and implementation, as well as phases of design and expectations at standard design submissions.
  • Ability to manage large and small design projects, oversee contracted design services through subordinates, understand deliverable schedules, and ensure contractor compliance with contract scope.
  • Ability to interpret scopes of work and technical specifications for exhibits designs.
  • Ability to consult with colleagues and informed sources on methods to improve SIE organizational and design practices.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

Your application package should include the following documents:
  • Resume - Your resume can be uploaded and attached to your application or created using the USA Jobs on-line resume builder. If you want to receive full credit for relevant experience your resume MUST contain the job title (including the occupational series and grade if it is Federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary.

    USAJOBS has guidance on how to ensure that you submit a complete resume: If you have not written a Federal resume before, you may watch this Resume Writing Tutorial video on the USAJOBS YouTube channel , or read through a helpful Resume Writing FAQ article on the USAJOBS Help Site to learn what details you should, and should not, include in your resume. If any of the above information is not included in your resume we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.
  • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy), if you are a veteran. Additionally, applicants claiming 10-point preference must complete Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, as well as additional documentation required by the SF-15, such as a VA letter.
  • Proof of prior federal service such as the latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.
  • A recent performance evaluation.
  • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy) if you are requesting a special appointment authority, such as VRA or VEOA.
  • Proof of severe disability if you are requesting special placement consideration.
  • Proof of eligibility for a military spouse appointment, such as a permanent change station military order.
  • Proof of eligibility for any other special appointing authority not specifically mentioned here.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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