Communication Specialist, GS-0301-11/12 DE

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 22, 2021
Oct 29, 2021
Full Time


The employee serves as a Communication Specialist in the Office of the Assistant Director(OAD), in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). The employee liaises closely with the directorate's program staff to help ensure credibility, clarity, and consistency of SBE's communications effort with the research community and internally within NSF.

Learn more about this agency


Copy Editing and Writing
  • Reviews and performs AP style copy editing and proofreading of all programmatic content and other web or mass email content, such as announcements and events.
  • Performs AP style copy editing for various documents including Congressional inquiries, research highlights, annual reports, and presentations.
  • Incorporates feedback and edits from SBE's lead communications specialist and SBE leadership.
  • Drafts copy for mass emails, internal announcements, events, and other outlets.

Content Management and Clearance Coordination
  • Utilizes NSF's web content management systems to facilitate corrections, updates and other content changes to programmatic information published on public-facing or internal-facing NSF websites.
  • Ensures content authored and submitted by SBE staff is properly routed, assigned, and reviewed.
  • Serves as a resource for staff in SBE divisions who are drafting and submitting programmatic information for publication on NSF websites.
  • Serves as a resource for SBE staff on the preparation and clearance of official NSF documents, such as program descriptions and solicitations.
  • Oversees the programmatic content review process as SBE's clearance coordinator. Works to ensure edits and other changes are reviewed promptly by stakeholders.
  • Reviews, edits, and publishes events submitted by SBE staff for publication on NSF's public events calendar.
  • Reviews, edits, and publishes internal-facing announcements submitted by SBE staff.

Mass Email Communications
  • Performs layout and schedules of mass email messages aimed at researchers utilizing NSF's mass email platform, including resizing, and cropping images, writing descriptive text, and effectively utilizing various message layout templates.
  • Maintains and monitors subscriber lists for SBE-specific email topics in NSF's mass email platform.

Content Analytics and Metrics
  • Analyzes and reports on metrics and analytics for web pages and mass email messages.
  • Utilizes analytics and metrics to maximize the effectiveness of SBE's communications products and recommend changes.

Performs other duties as assigned.

  • Writing and Editing
  • Digital Content Management
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Oral Communication
  • Attention to Detail

  • Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status

    Promotion Potential


    Conditions of Employment

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

    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.


    To qualify at the GS-11 level, you must have one of the following:

    1. At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 level in the Federal service. Examples of specialized experience include: writing, copy editing and proofreading articles, press releases or other content covering scientific or other complex technical topics in lay language. Assisting in authoring and publishing web content using a modern content management system.
    2. A Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.
    3. Three full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.
    4. A combination of post high school education and experience that combined meet the qualification requirements for this position.

    To qualify at the GS-12 level, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal service. Examples of experience include: Writing, copy editing and proofreading articles, press releases or other broadly accessible content covering scientific or other complex technical topics in lay language. Performing digital content management, including overseeing the authoring and publication process in a multi-user environment using a modern content management system.

    In addition to meeting the specialized experience requirement described above, all candidates must meet the following selective factor. Candidates who do not show in their resume that they meet the selective factor will not receive consideration for the position.

    Selective Factor:
  • Has demonstrated professional experience writing and copy editing articles, press releases or other written content describing complex scientific or technical topics using lay language for a general audience using the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook.
  • I. If yes, attach two samples of scientific and/or technical written content you have copy edited for lay audiences using AP style, with tracked changes clearly indicating the content before and after copy editing. Scientific and/or technical written content must include material that uses lay language to describe the results, process and/or impacts of complex research in one or more science or technology field. Please note, applications without two copy editing samples attached will not be considered.

  • Education

    Education may be substituted for experience as described in "Qualifications."

    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.

    Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligibles. Based on your responses to the occupational questionnaire, you will be assigned a score. Your score will determine in which of three categories you will be placed: Excellent, Very Good, or Good. Under this process, veterans will be assigned to the appropriate category (without additional preference points) and then placed at the top of their category.

    Veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more will be placed at the top of the highest quality category.

    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" with a score of 90.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    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:

    Veteran's Preference Documentation (DD-214 and SF-15): If you are eligible and claiming 5-point veteran's preference, you MUST submit a copy of your "member copy 4 version" DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veteran's preference, you MUST submit a copy of your DD-214, SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" and the documentation required by the SF-15. (Please note: An SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, showing veterans' preference will not be accepted as proof of entitlement.)

    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.

    Performance appraisals and awards may be considered during the evaluation process if voluntarily submitted.

    If qualifying based on education, you must submit TRANSCRIPTS (unofficial copies are acceptable) or a DIPLOMA that verifies that the requirement is met.

    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.

    Similar jobs