HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 13-22
Opening date: June 17, 2013
Closing date: June 28, 2013

TITLE: Fellowship Administrative Coordinator, IS-301, Grade 12, $75,222 - $97,787/annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (Non-Federal) Indefinite
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified current Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) employees.


The primary purpose of the position is to administer SAOís Fellowship Program, including Postdoctoral, Predoctoral, Visiting Scientist and Internship Programs. The SAO Fellowship Program Coordinator also assists SAO scientific divisions and administrative departments with fellowship matters and serves as the liaison between the Director's Office and Smithsonian Institution's (SI's) Office of Fellowships and Internships in Washington, D.C. The Fellowship Coordinator ensures that SAO complies with policies applicable to stipended members of SAO and is an advocate for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists and interns.

Duties may include, but are not limited to:

1. Administers SAOís Fellowship Program, overseeing and managing the entire process from application to review, acceptance, orientation, and termination. Works collaboratively with the Fellowship Selection Committee and the Predoctoral Program Director to evaluate program success and make recommendations to the Director for improvements. Places announcements of fellowship opportunities in various scientific publications. Receives applications and analyzes content to determine program eligibility and to verify completeness. Responds to applicant's queries for information, providing information relative to guideline requirements. Prepares all applications for review by the Fellowship Selection Committee. Once applicants have accepted, ensures that all pertinent documents (academic information, tax forms, visas, etc.) have been collected. Verifies tax status by interpreting and applying IRS laws and regulations, consulting with SIís Office of General Counsel as necessary. Maintains the Fellowship website.

2. Interprets, develops and implements administrative policies related to fellowship program administration, defining administrative requirements and providing information to the Director, scientific divisions and administrative departments. Provides advice and assistance to scientific divisions on policies, procedures and budget matters pertaining to academic and research programs. Monitors grants awarded by SI. Ensures compliance with internal and external regulations affecting financial, tax, and budget processes. Meets regularly with division administrators and support staff to identify any problem areas or concerns, trends, areas of imbalance, etc. Ensures timely stipend payments. Prepares reports and analysis as requested by the supervisor.

3. Supports the career development of students and fellows. Designs, develops, and implements career and networking series open to all students and fellows at the Center for Astrophysics. Identifies and recruits panelists from industry and academia. Seeks input from students and fellows by forming subcommittees to discuss content and direction of events. Moderates and leads panel discussions, as well as informal networking events with speakers. Organizes academic seminars and social events for Harvard students and SAO Predoctoral Fellows to encourage interaction between the two groups. Counsels and advises Predoctoral Fellows, as needed, to ensure success in their research at SAO. Monitors interns through discussions with advisors and teachers.

4. Administers and monitors the Fellow health insurance plan. Manages actions (enrollments, terminations, changes) and proceedings (billing issues, monthly invoices) relating to insurance coverage. Facilitates problem-solving and resolution of benefit issues when requested by fellowship awardees. Works with insurance representatives to deliver timely information to fellowship population about their health benefits. Prepares and maintains records, reports, and other confidential information related to health care enrollment.

5. Develops customized databases that integrate applications, finance and accounting transactions, admissions, record-keeping, listservs, and interactive websites with the goal of minimizing duplication and reducing redundancy in information collection. Maintains accurate data for current fellows and archives data for former fellows for longitudinal analysis.

6. Prepares required statistical reports for SI and reports requested by the Director and ADs for use in developing various reports, e.g. for the Visiting Committee. Reviews awards, stipends and allowances making recommendations of any changes felt necessary to remain competitive within/across particular fields of study. Analyzes data, develops metrics and responds to requests from administrators for statistics on current and past fellows.


One year of full-time experience at the GS-11 level that is close or similar to the work of this position. The experience includes activities such as: assisting in the administration of a Fellowship program for a mid sized university or organization which included compiling and analyzing program data, developing databases for programs and general administrative support.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. To view the complete vacancy posting, requirements and the procedures to apply, please visit: USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

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