HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 19-77
Opening date: September 19, 2019
Closing date: October 18, 2019

TITLE: Staff Assistant, IS-0301, Grade 9; $57,043 to $74,152 Annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Indefinite Trust Appointment. This is not a Federal position
DIVISION: - High Energy Astrophyics Division
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


This is the position of Staff Assistant in the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The employee provides financial and administrative services for the Division's human resources and fellowship activities, assists with Division financial analysis and administrative functions, and provides administrative support to the Division's Associate Director and other staff.


1. Analyzes division contract and grants financial data. Obtains financial information from PeopleSoft commitment control, HEAD databases and other sources. Analyzes data to determine fund balances for all grants and funding sources. Monitors grant and contract balances, expenditures and end dates and calls attention to potential overruns and open travel authorizations. Prepares reports for the Division Administrator, the Division's Personnel and Fellowship Coordinator, and for Principal Investigators.

2. Works on administration of all aspects of the Division's programs for visiting scientists, pre- and post-doctoral fellows, visiting scientists, interns and other short-term visitors. Serves as a Division liaison for visitors and stipend-funded scientists.

3. Validates stipend funding sources. Prepares stipend budgets, including stipend values, medical insurance, travel and advance funding. Generates and submits stipend request forms and monitors stipend expenditures and end dates.

4. Assist in initiating and tracking requests for personnel actions, selecting and completing appropriate forms, and advising supervisor or request initiator on supporting documentation, routing and timeframes. Assist supervisors in the preparation of job descriptions and performance plans or appraisals.

5. Provides administrative support to assigned staff, including administering time and attendance records; coordinating travel arrangements and creating and processing Concur travel authorizations and vouchers; creating and managing purchase requisitions; and other support as needed.


Basic Requirements:


One year of full-time experience equivalent to the grade 7 level that is close or similar to the work of this position. The experience includes activities such as proposal preparation, budgeting, forecasting, and financial planning, analysis and reporting, along with general office administration. Experience working in a scientific research environment is an added plus.



Master's or equivalent graduate degree


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.

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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