Smithsonian Institution Administrative Specialist in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Smithsonian Institution
1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Cambridge, MA
Work Schedule is Full Time - Indefinite Trust Appointment. This is not a Federal position.

Opened Wednesday 9/28/2016 (26 day(s) ago)

** Closes Friday 10/28/2016 (4 day(s) away)

Job Overview

About the Agency

This is the position of Administrative Specialist, Optical and Infrared Astronomy Division, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The purpose of the position is provide a broad range of sponsored project administration and other administrative support to the Division’s scientific and technical staff, visitors, and students; and in particular to the members of the Infrared Astronomy (IR) Group.

  1. Administers all aspects of the IR Group’s sponsored project activities, both internally and externally funded.
  2. Maintains cognizance of the proposal and award administration requirements of relevant external funding agencies such as NSF and NASA, and internal SAO/SI sources.
  3. Supports PI’s in the development of project budgets and schedules.
  4. Coordinates proposal preparation. Prepares detailed budgets and related justifications and ensures that all internal review documentation requirements and deadlines for submission are satisfied.
  5. Administers awards. Monitor and track obligations and expenditures on all IR Group programs using SAO fiscal sheets and IR Group cost tracking and reporting systems. Manages budgets and approves the expenditure of funds in all categories, and prepares and submits financial portions of required reports such as NASA 533’s. Works with SAO Financial Management staff to reconcile discrepancies.
  6. Provides project Principal Investigators with budget status and variance reports, and advice on programmatic administrative issues. Supports preparation and submission of project progress reports.
  7. Provides liaison with collaborating external organizations to coordinate proposal preparation and award administration
  8. Works independently with SAO administrative departments and outside agencies to resolve budgetary and administrative problems as they occur.
  9. As required, may learn to utilize SAO’s enterprise Earned Value Management (EVMS) software tools to develop and/or maintain project schedules, develop cost estimates, and generate project status reports for instrument development projects.
  10. Coordinates the Visiting Scientist, Pre-and Post-Doctoral fellowship, and Smithsonian short-term Visitor programs for the IR Group. This includes validating funding sources, initiating and processing all required visa and administrative documentation and tracing its correct submission to appropriate departments, ensuring that stipend and travel payments are made in a timely manner, and arranging for office space.

  11. Utilizes Smithsonian ERP systems to prepare variety of administrative documents and related backup. These include purchase requisitions, travel authorizations for both internally funded and externally sponsored travel, travel vouchers, and petty cash disbursements.

  12. Provides editorial support to staff as requested. Proofreads documents to ensure consistent formats, and correct spelling and word usage. Coordinates preparation of figures and tables and their proper integration into the final document. Assures that reports and proposals are prepared in accordance with program and SAO requirements.

  13. Coordinates the preparation and submission of all IR Group personnel action requests and related documentation for both federal and trust employees. Serves as an information source for staff on Human Resources policies and procedures. Maintains associated files.

  14. Performs other administrative functions such as timekeeping, maintaining inventory of procured equipment and serving as Accountable Officer, ordering supplies, and maintaining IR group calendar.

  15. Provides general administrative and sponsored project support to other Division staff as requested, and performs other related duties as assigned.

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Pre- and post-appointment background
  • May be required to serve a one-year probationary period.
  • Direct Deposit/Elect Funds Transfer required for salary payment.

Experience: One year of full-time experience at the GS-09 level that is close or similar to the work of this position. The experience includes activities such as budget development and monitoring, purchasing, travel, personnel, and general administrative support in a medium to large sized organization.

Additional qualification information including education substitution can be found from the following Office of Personnel Management website:

Qualification requirements are derived from the Office of Personnel Management's Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions.

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job opportunity announcement closing date.

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

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After you apply, you will receive an automated acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. The staffing process to identify highly qualified candidates may take up to four weeks or more to complete. After the announcement closes and application reviews are done, you may be contacted by the hiring office if further evaluation or interviews are required. All applicants will receive written notification on the final outcome of the position.


Review our benefits

Other Information

The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses. A recruitment bonus may be paid. The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity.

Salary Range: $64,862.00 to $84,320.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: IS-0301-11/11

Promotion Potential: 11

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: This position is open to all qualified candidates eligible to work in the United States.

Control Number: 451853000

Job Announcement Number: 16-62