Museum Curator (MUSIC)

Washington, D.C
Oct 12, 2019
Oct 19, 2019
Full Time


This position is in the Division of Cultural & Community Life, Office of Curatorial Affairs, National Museum of American History. The incumbent carries out the research, collections management, exhibitions development and education mission of the museum, with emphasis on American music history, including jazz and Latinx or African American musicians and musical traditions. Researches American history through objects and collections as well as primary and secondary sources of documentation.

Learn more about this agency


  • Researches American history as it relates to American music, music history and the American music industry through objects and collections, as well as the connections between America's diverse populations and their role in the development of America's arts and entertainments with an emphasis on Latinx or African American musicians and musical traditions.
  • Collects and manages large and diverse collections which provide the basis for interpreting American history through the material cultures of different peoples, times, regions and groups and within the context of the broader society.
  • Researches American history primarily through objects and collections as well as traditional primary and secondary written and printed sources of documentation.
  • Develops and maintains scholarly contacts, gives invited lectures, presents papers at professional meetings, and develops and participates in public and other educational programs.
  • Plans and develops exhibition concepts for showcase and similar exhibitions or as part of a larger exhibition team.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required by this position.

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.

Qualification requirements 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


You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system.

For this position specialized experience is defined as experience researching, collecting or exhibiting the material culture of American music, such as musical instruments, recordings, costumes, manuscripts and scores, in historical context.

In addition to the meeting the Basic Requirements listed below in Education, in order to qualify for this position you MUST possess the following Selective Factor:

Selective Factor :

Skill working at a scholarly level in the fields of American history, American studies, ethnic studies, musicology or ethnomusicology as it relates to American music with a research focus and expertise on at least one of the following areas: popular or vernacular music, including jazz, or any range of Latinx or African American musicians or musical traditions.

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.



All applicants must meet these Basic Requirements: (You must submit academic transcripts):

1. Degree: museum work; or in an applicable subject-matter field; or

2. Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education; or

3. Four years of experience that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of the 4-year course of study as shown above.

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 resume will be used to evaluate your experience, education, and/or training that address the competencies below:
  • Knowledge of American Music History and Culture to collect and research objects and collections.
  • Knowledge of research methodology and techniques.
  • Ability to communicate in writing with scholars and lay audiences.
  • Ability to verbally communicate with scholars and lay audiences.
  • Knowledge to develop physical and virtual exhibitions and public programs.

  • Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria:

    Best Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most of the job related competencies above.

    Better Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and satisfies most of the job related competencies above.

    Good Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements, but does not satisfy most of the job related competencies above to a substantive degree.

    This category rating process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied. Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. Applicants who have not submitted a resume in the USAjobs system and/or have not answered all of the vacancy questions will not be considered for this position.

    Important Note: The review of your resume will determine your final rating and should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

    Your application package should include the following documents:
    • Detailed resume created in the USAJOBS Resume Builder.
    • 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.
    • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
    • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.

    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."">"">"">"">http://www.ltcfeds.comRetirement%20Program%20-%20href="">,%20education,%20and/or%20training%20that%20address%20the%20competencies%20below:%20Knowledge%20of%20American%20Music%20History%20and%20Culture%20to%20collect%20and%20research%20objects%20and%20collections.%20Knowledge%20of%20research%20methodology%20and%20techniques.%20Ability%20to%20communicate%20in%20writing%20with%20scholars%20and%20lay%20audiences.%20Ability%20to%20verbally%20communicate%20with%20scholars%20and%20lay%20audiences.%20Knowledge%20to%20develop%20physical%20and%20virtual%20exhibitions%20and%20public%20programs.%20Applicants%20who%20meet%20or%20exceed%20minimum%20qualifications%20will%20be%20assigned%20to%20one%20of%20three%20category%20groups%20based%20on%20job-related%20criteria:Best%20Category%20-%20Meets%20the%20minimum%20qualification%20requirements%20and%20excels%20in%20most%20of%20the%20job%20related%20competencies%20above.Better%20Category%20-%20Meets%20the%20minimum%20qualification%20requirements%20and%20satisfies%20most%20of%20the%20job%20related%20competencies%20above.Good%20Category%20-%20Meets%20the%20minimum%20qualification%20requirements,%20but%20does%20not%20satisfy%20most%20of%20the%20job%20related%20competencies%20above%20to%20a%20substantive%20degree.This%20category%20rating%20process%20does%20not%20add%20veterans'%20preference%20points%20or%20apply%20the%20"rule%20of%20three",%20but%20protects%20the%20rights%20of%20veterans%20by%20placing%20them%20ahead%20of%20non-preference%20eligibles%20within%20each%20category.%20A%20selecting%20official%20may%20make%20selections%20from%20the%20highest%20quality%20category%20(Best%20Category)%20provided%20no%20preference%20eligible%20in%20that%20category%20is%20passed%20over%20to%20select%20a%20non-preference%20eligible%20in%20that%20category%20unless%20the%20requirements%20of%205%20U.S.C.%203317(b)%20or%203318(b)%20are%20satisfied.%20Preference%20eligibles%20who%20meet%20minimum%20qualification%20requirements%20and%20who%20have%20a%20compensable%20service-connected%20disability%20of%20at%20least%2010%20percent%20must%20be%20listed%20in%20the%20highest%20quality%20category,%20except%20when%20the%20position%20being%20filled%20is%20scientific%20or%20professional%20at%20the%20GS-9%20grade%20level%20or%20higher.%20Applicants%20who%20have%20not%20submitted%20a%20resume%20in%20the%20USAjobs%20system%20and/or%20have%20not%20answered%20all%20of%20the%20vacancy%20questions%20will%20not%20be%20considered%20for%20this%20position.Important%20Note:%20The%20review%20of%20your%20resume%20will%20determine%20your%20final%20rating%20and%20should%20provide%20sufficient%20information%20regarding%20how%20your%20education%20and%20experience%20relate%20to%20this%20position,%20including%20the%20major%20duties%20and%20qualifications%20criteria%20listed.To%20preview%20questions%20please%20click%20here%20.%20Background%20checks%20and%20security%20clearanceSecurity%20clearance%20%20Other%20Drug%20test%20required%20%20No%20%20Required%20DocumentsYour%20application%20package%20should%20include%20the%20following%20documents:Detailed%20resume%20created%20in%20the%20USAJOBS%20Resume%20Builder.%20Proof%20of%20Veteran's%20Preference%20-%20DD214%20(Member%204%20Copy),%20if%20you%20are%20a%20veteran.%20Additionally,%20applicants%20claiming%2010-point%20preference%20must%20complete%20Standard%20Form%20(SF)%2015,%20Application%20for%2010-Point%20Veteran%20Preference,%20as%20well%20as%20additional%20documentation%20required%20by%20the%20SF-15,%20such%20as%20a%20VA%20letter.%20Unofficial%20school%20transcripts,%20if%20the%20position%20has%20an%20education%20requirement%20or%20if%20you%20are%20using%20education%20to%20qualify.%20If%20selected%20for%20the%20position,%20you%20must%20provide%20an%20official%20transcript%20before%20appointment.%20Proof%20of%20U.S.%20accreditation%20for%20foreign%20study,%20if%20applicable.%20If%20you%20are%20relying%20on%20your%20education%20to%20meet%20qualification%20requirements:Education%20must%20be%20accredited%20by%20an%20accrediting%20institution%20recognized%20by%20the%20U.S.%20Department%20of%20Education%20in%20order%20for%20it%20to%20be%20credited%20towards%20qualifications.%20Therefore,%20provide%20only%20the%20attendance%20and/or%20degrees%20from%20schools%20accredited%20by%20accrediting%20institutions%20recognized%20by%20the%20U.S.%20Department%20of%20Education%20.%20Failure%20to%20provide%20all%20of%20the%20required%20information%20as%20stated%20in%20this%20vacancy%20announcement%20may%20result%20in%20an%20ineligible%20rating%20or%20may%20affect%20the%20overall%20rating.%0D%0ALocation%3A%20Washington,%20D.C%0D%0A%0D%0ATo%20view%20this%20job%2C%20please%20click%20on%20the%20link%20below%3A%0D%0A Post Jobs%20team.%0D%0A%0D%0A-----%0D%0A%0D%0A" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

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