Attorney - Advisor (Assistant General Counsel)

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 11, 2019
Oct 18, 2019
Full Time


The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidate for an Attorney-Advisor (Assistant General Counsel) position for the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) within the Office of the Director (OD), Alexandria, VA.

For more information on OD please click here .

For more information on OGC please click here .

Learn more about this agency


The OGC is the legal advisor and advocate for the Foundation, providing legal advice and assistance on all aspects of the Foundation's programs, policies, and operations, as well as areas affecting science and technology more broadly. Various attorneys provide a wide variety of advice in specialized areas, such as: grants, contracts and cooperative agreements; conflicts-of-interest; employee and labor relations; Federal fiscal and administrative law and procedure; international law and agreements; and litigation support.

The individual selected for this position will serve as an Assistant General Counsel and will primarily provide legal advice and guidance on a full range of appropriations law, federal financial assistance, fiscal law and other related issues. Incumbent's duties include:
    • Providing advice on matters of fiscal law and appropriations, including but not limited to bona fide need, time, purpose, and amount for single, multi and no-year appropriations;
    • Providing advice regarding federal financial assistance agreements, i.e. grants and cooperative agreements, based on law, regulation, OMB circulars and NSF assistance policies;
    • Becoming the agency's expert on interpretation and application of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, as well as researching and analyzing other applicable laws and regulations, and providing interpretations of those laws and regulations;
    • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs. Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General. Foreign Talent Definitions

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

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

This position is excluded from the bargaining unit.

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


Candidates must have a J.D. from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), plus after award of the J.D., eight or more years of professional legal experience with a particular emphasis on Federal appropriations and fiscal law matters.

Bar Membership: Member in good standing of the bar of a State, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

This position is outside the competitive civil service.

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


Additional information

Relocation expenses will not be paid.

This announcement is open to All US Citizens who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements.

Federal Appropriations Law requires that Non-Citizens meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered.

This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

NSF has determined that all of its positions are eligible for telework. Work suitable for telework depends on job duties; therefore, employees must receive approval from their supervisor for telework and have a telework agreement in place. Entering into a telework agreement is voluntary.

The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. In some cases, additional assessment processes may also be used.

We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

Quality Ranking Factors
  • Ability to write and argue clearly, succinctly, and persuasively and to present orally with clarity
  • Ability to work both individually as well as concurrently and collaboratively with other attorneys and staff, in particular contracts and ethics attorneys; ability to advise and explain to a highly skilled workforce (clients) legal concepts and determinations in a coherent and well understood manner.
  • Knowledge of and experience regarding the Anti-Deficiency Act, the Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act, relevant OMB Circulars, the Uniform Guidance, the GAO Redbook, and annual federal appropriations legislation.
  • Experience in addressing issues in the areas of intellectual property, interagency agreements, and memoranda of understanding.

  • To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

    All applicants must submit a resume in any format, and may also submit a cover letter.

    In order to be considered for federal appointments, Non-Citizens must affirm that they meet the Appropriations Law eligibility criteria by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered. Non Citizens who are exempt from the Appropriations Law requirements due to their status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 must provide a statement with their application noting their exemption with documentation of proof of status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on that date.

    You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

    We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey . This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

    You can fax or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to ; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

    Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

    All faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date. If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).

    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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