HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 13-26
Opening date: July 29, 2013
Closing date: October 4, 2013

TITLE: Staff Assistant, IS-301, Grade 09, $51,871.00 - $67,427.00/annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (non-Federal) Indefinite
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates.

*First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date.


Creates resource loaded, time phased, initial Microsoft Project engineering program management schedules, which are incorporated into the master labor assignment schedule. Incorporates frequent revisions into same.

Generates tailored monthly and weekly reports from the Earned Value Management (EVM) system (data pulled from MS Project schedules). Generates reports as requested for the DCE, Project Engineers, and Program Managers. These reports will include multiple Work Authorization Documents (WADs); the means by which each project will assign and adjust budgets for both engineering and Machine Shop labor and Machine Shop materials.

Coordinates/verifies customer funding authorization/approval for all CE labor and services. Works with program and/or funds managers to ensure that reserve budgets are sufficient to support labor charged for all projects, and that all audit requirements are met. Reports potential problems to the DA.

Solicits input and assists the DA in the preparation of the annual department submission as well as any CE contract (such as MAGIXS) or grant (such as JWST) submissions including collection of budgetary information and assembly of the final product. This may also include proposals to bring in outside work from the Machine Shop supervisor.

Maintains cognizance of SAO and CE administrative policies and procedures, and serves as an information source to department staff on administrative issues. Evaluates, recommends, and implements improvements to administrative procedures.

Provides general administrative support to the DCE, DA, Machine Shop supervisor and other department staff as requested. Supports the DCE, DA and senior engineering staff in special projects, and performs related administrative duties as required.

Becomes expertly familiar with the Machine Shop JobBOSS software tool. Utilizes it to effectively plan, status, and analyze machine shop production and material/supply purchases.

Maintains system of inventory of Machine Shop equipment and tooling and makes recommendations for improvements.

Generates requisitions. Identifies potential suppliers and obtains cost and delivery information. Determines and applies appropriate fund numbers. Tracks requisitions and expedites orders, as required. Negotiates terms for returns/exchanges, generates shipping documents and tracks items until orders are closed.

Creates travel authorizations. Maintains cognizance of, appropriately applies and administers all applicable travel policies, procedures, and documentation requirements and serves as an information source to travelers.

Generates travel vouchers for CE personnel. Reviews trip reports and related travel authorizations to ensure compliance with regulations and arranges any necessary amendments.

Revamps and maintains the department's website. Seeks out input from appropriate engineering discipline/contact, obtains DCE's permission and posts data.

Performs other assignments as required.


Experience: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level in the normal progression for this occupation that has equipped the candidate with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. The experience may include activities such as creating and maintaining complex databases, managing a contract or grant and resourcing scheduling for a program effort.


Education: master's or equivalent graduate degree or Two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's or equivalent degree related to the position may be substituted to meet the experience requirements.


Combination of Experience and Education: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications; for example, a half year of experience and a half year of education in the field may be qualifying. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and/or proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

Qualification requirements are derived from the Office of Personnel Management's Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at

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.

Visit our SAO website.


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