Contract Specialist, GS-1102-13/14 DH

Alexandria, Virginia
Jul 17, 2021
Jul 22, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in the Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management, Division of Acquisition & Cooperative Support. This organization is responsible for providing comprehensive acquisition and cooperative agreement award leadership; solicitation, negotiation, award and administration of NSF contracts and of complex cooperative agreements for NSF's research facilities, and major centers' programs such as Science Technology Centers (STC's) and Engineering Research Centers (ERC's).

Learn more about this agency


The employee serves as a specialist with responsibility for soliciting and awarded research and development contracts, non- Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contracts, other arrangements, and other types of complex agreements.
  • Creates new acquisition plans, solicitations, and award documents in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and NSF policy requirements.
  • Supports and develops Broad Agency Announcements and other research and development procurement and non-FAR vehicles and manages contracts and awards resulting from those vehicles with a number of different elements.
  • Plans, negotiates, and executes other or new arrangements in support of NSF research and development programs.
  • Plans, negotiates, and executes consortium and other types of innovative and collaborate research mechanisms as a senior specialist.
  • Executes cost analysis and develops negotiation positions to support NSF interests as a recognized expert.
  • Conducts post-award administration on awarded contracts, non-FAR agreements, and other arrangements. This includes, but is not limited to, issuing modifications, exercising options or terminations, providing technical guidance to contractors and CORs, and contract/agreement closeout.
  • Develops new approaches to awarding research, development, sustainment, and emerging NSF programs including, but not limited to, facility construction, shipbuilding, consortia, and research centers from a variety of the procurement functions or from the unknowns, changes, or conflicts inherent in the issues.
  • Maintains a continuous up-to-date awareness of all aspects of contract administration. Analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of the overall efforts against established objectives and schedules. Identifies problems and provides advice and guidance for a course of action to resolve problems.
  • Serves as principal contracting advisor to customers in the contracting planning process, provides program updates and participates in decisions involving contractual matters. Explains and defends contractual actions to all levels of management.




Research and Development

Written & Oral Communication


Travel Required

Occasional travel - 25% or less

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Background investigation.
  • US citizenship.
  • 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

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.

You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire. 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 in the bargaining unit.


Candidates must have completed all the requirements for a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university that included or was supplemented by 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management AND have at least four years of experience in contracting or related positions OR held a GS-1102 position on January 1, 2000 or earlier (for promotion, candidates must meet new occupational requirements or seek Agency waiver).

In addition to the basic education requirement above, applicants must also have the following specialized experience:

To qualify at the GS-13 level, applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 level in the federal service soliciting or awarding research and development (R&D) contracts. Specialized experience includes: developing acquisition plans, solicitations, and award documents; creating developing, preparing, and presenting new terms and conditions in bids or proposals related to the award of contracts; negotiating and awarding contracts, contract modifications, and/or subcontracts; working with non-Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contracts; conducting post-award administration; and advising on FAR and non-FAR contract issues. Your application package must include proof of meeting educational requirements.

To qualify at the GS-14 level, applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level in the federal service soliciting and awarding research and development (R&D) contracts. Specialized experience includes: developing new critical acquisition plans, solicitations, and award documents; creating developing, preparing, and presenting new terms and conditions in bids or proposals related to the award of contracts; serving as an organizational expert regarding R&D contracting issues; negotiating and awarding contracts, contract modifications, and/or subcontracts; working with non-Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contracts; conducting post-award administration; and advising on FAR and non-FAR contract issues. Your application package must include proof of meeting educational requirements.


You must meet the minimum education requirements as described in "Qualifications."

Education may enhance skills required for this position; however, no substitution of education for specialized experience may be made at this level.

Additional information

Relocation Expenses will not be paid.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP):
ICTAP and CTAP provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP or CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP or CTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified you must meet the following: OPM qualification requirements for the position, all selective factors, where applicable; special OPM approved qualifying conditions for the position; is physically qualified with reasonable accommodation, where appropriate, to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry; and receives a rating of at least "Very Good" on the questionnaire. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP or CTAP eligibility, or a copy of your separation personnel action form.
Additional information regarding ICTAP or CTAP eligibility is available from OPM's Career Transition Resources

Veteran's Preference:
If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your resume. Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. For 5-point veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions. For 10-point veterans' preference, please submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, DD-214, and the required documentation as specified on the SF-15.

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.

For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Applicant Guide .

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

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.

This position is being advertised under a Direct Hire Authority. The information contained in your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you meet the competencies required of this position. Please ensure you answer all questions accurately. Your responses are subject to verification. In support of your responses provided in the Occupational Questionnaire, your resume should include verbiage that describes your experience relative to the position for which you are applying and provide examples that show the depth of knowledge, level of skill, or degree of ability you possess. If your application does not support your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire or your application is not complete, it may affect your evaluation or result in your name being removed from further consideration. In some cases, additional assessment processes may be used. Applicants eligible for selection preference under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) or CTAP must meet the agency definition of "well qualified." In NSF categories, this means at least "Very Good."

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
NCS/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

All applicants should submit a resume/CV of their choice, and may also submit a cover letter.

Additional Documents, if applicable, may include:

CTAP/ICTAP Documentation: If you are applying under CTAP or ICTAP, you MUST submit proof of eligibility under 5 CFR 330.602(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of your most recent performance rating, and a copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) showing your position, grade level, and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

You must submit proof of meeting the basic education requirement described in the QUALIFICATIONS paragraph. Therefore, you should submit TRANSCRIPTS (unofficial copies are acceptable) or a DIPLOMA that verifies that the requirement is met.

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.

All uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.

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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