Policy and Communications Analyst Job in ALEXANDRIA, VA

Vacancy No. GEO-2020-0001 Department National Science Foundation
Salary $102,663.00 to $161,727.00 Grade 03 to 03
Perm/Temp Temporary FT/PT Full-time
Open Date 1/24/2020 Close Date 2/24/2020
Job Link Apply Online Who may apply Public

Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)
  • Open & closing dates

    Opening and closing dates 01/24/2020 to 02/24/2020

  • Service


  • Pay scale & grade

    AD 03

  • Salary

    $102,663 to $161,727 per year

  • Appointment type

    Temporary - This position will be filled as an up to four year IPA Appointment

  • Work schedule



1 vacancy in the following location:

  • Alexandria, VA 1 vacancy
Relocation expenses reimbursed

Yes Relocation MAY be paid continent upon the availability of funds.

Telework eligible


This job is open to
  • The public

    U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

Applications will be accepted from all US citizens who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements. Please see the "Other Information" section for further information.

Announcement number


Control number


  • Duties
    Duties Summary

    The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidate for a Policy and Communications Analyst position within the Office of the Assistant Director (OAD) within the Division of Geosciences (GEO), Alexandria, VA.

    For more information on GEO please click here.

    Learn more about this agency

    NSF has a unique, federal role in supporting basic scientific research and building the workforce to create knowledge that transforms the future. This type of support:

    • Drives the U.S. economy.
    • Enhances the nation's security.
    • Advances knowledge to sustain global leadership.

    GEO is charged with carrying out these responsibilities for the earth, atmospheric, geospace, and ocean sciences as well as research in the polar regions. GEO-funded research drives technological innovation while improving our understanding of Earth systems. GEO supports disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies that contribute directly to national research priorities such as: developing and deploying Earth observing capabilities to support evidence-based management, understanding future availability of fresh water and other critical natural resources, and understanding and adapting to the impacts of global change. The geosciences underlie understanding and capitalization of natural resources, both finite (such as minerals and fossil fuels) and renewable (such as wind and solar). Lives are saved, and property is preserved through better prediction and understanding of natural processes and environmental hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, drought, wildfires, sea level rise and solar storms. Basic research supported by GEO enables preparation for, and adaptation to, the effects of these and other disruptive natural events. GEO engages actively with local, state and federal agencies as well as with the private sector and international partners. The activities of the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) fulfill national geopolitical requirements through operational support and national policy contributions. The GEO education portfolio enhances public understanding of the geosciences, while simultaneously supporting the development of a diverse and skilled geoscience workforce.

    Major Duties and Responsibilities

    The incumbent is responsible for providing GEO with support on its communications outreach on GEO funded research, education, workforce development and training. This is conducted both through support for regular GEO activities and special assignments and projects.

    The Policy Analyst is expected to work with minimal guidance, to exercise independent judgment and initiative, and to handle sensitive or confidential matters related to GEO. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    Program Analysis and Communication

      • Pursuing intensive research of complex geoscience and interdisciplinary research and results.
      • Maintaining awareness of opportunities and issues being considered by GEO Leadership.
      • When appropriate, the incumbent generates options for action, describes arguments for and against each option, and recommends courses of action.
      • Researching and writing various materials.
      • Providing support for the GEO Communication Team, the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA), external organizations, groups and individual stakeholders, ensuring credibility and consistency in GEO’s communications efforts; and coordinating communications activities and programs with GEO’s divisions and NSF officials.
      • Managing the planning, development, implementation and tracking of internal and external communications activities related to the full range of GEO’s programs/activities; analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of communications needs of the Office; and making key recommendations concerning the best techniques to accomplish outreach goals.

    External Engagement

      • Assisting GEO leadership in preparing speeches, talking points, presentations, and reports as well as executing events that enhance the reach and impact of GEO’s activities.
      • Producing briefing materials to support GEO staff engaging with stakeholders.
      • Helping develop new approaches for external engagement, including through new media.
      • Establishing contacts and maintaining active involvement in professional activities.
      • Providing information to the science community on how GEO is pursuing its mission and gathering information from the community and researching trends.
      • Assisting GEO in interactions with various elements of partnership interactions.

    Representation, Communication and Leadership

      • Representing GEO within the scientific and related education communities.
      • Creating and maintaining linkages to other GEO stakeholders and other federal agencies in pursuit of the overall GEO mission.
      • Operating on an aggressive production and implementation schedule.
      • Utilizing contemporary computer technologies and tools to disseminate information and communications on GEO programs and activities.
      • Assisting with content oversight of the GEO internet home page.
      • Pursuing affirmative action and EEO goals.
      • Acting as a team player, including by being responsive to special projects, improving office communication, and seeking to improve the quality of GEO policies and performance.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Requirements
    Requirements Conditions Of Employment
    • Background investigation.
    • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.

    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

    You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

    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.

    Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.


    Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a STEM discipline, plus after award of the Ph.D., four or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position; OR a Master’s degree in a STEM discipline plus after award of the degree, six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

    Experience in science policy issues from a non-profit, industry or government scientific organization and experience working with high-level officials is also desired.

    This position is outside the competitive civil service.

    You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement. 


    Additional information

    Relocation expenses MAY be paid contingent upon the availability of funds 

    This announcement is open to All US Citizens who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements.

    Federal Appropriations Law requires that Non-Citizens meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered.

    This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

    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.

    The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.

    Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens and non-citizens who meet the IPA eligibility criteria.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. In some cases, additional assessment processes may be used.

    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance
    Security clearance


    Drug test required


  • Required Documents
    Required Documents

    All applicants must submit a resume in any format, and may also submit a cover letter.

    In order to be considered for federal appointments, Non-Citizens must affirm that they meet the Appropriations Law eligibility criteria by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit  to their application.  This also applies to individuals considered for Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments to NSF.  Non citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered. Non Citizens who are exempt from the Appropriations Law requirements due to their status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 must provide a statement with their application noting their exemption with documentation of proof of status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on that date.

    You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

    We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey.  This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

    You can fax or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to rotator@nsf.gov; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

    Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

    All faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.  If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information.  You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).

    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.

  • Benefits

    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    A GREAT LOCATION! The National Science Foundation Headquarters is conveniently located across the street from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station, right in Alexandria, VA, a few miles from downtown Washington, DC. There are shops and restaurants within walking distance, as well as historic Old Town Alexandria a short trip away.   

    Under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, assignees remain on the payroll of his/her home institution and the home institution will continue to administer pay and benefits.  NSF will reimburse the home institution for NSF's negotiated share of the cost of the assignment.  Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment include employees of State and local government agencies, institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and qualified nonprofit organizations. Under the provisions of the IPA Act, non-citizens may be considered as long as the individual is employed at an IPA-eligible institution.  For more information regarding an IPA assignment, visit our website.

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply
    How to Apply

    Your application must be submitted online and all document faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.
    You must answer all of the job-related questions to ensure full consideration for this position. For more detailed information, please review our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.

    WARNING! Applications submitted online must have 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.

    If you are unable to apply electronically, please use the Contact Information below for special instructions on how to submit your application materials. Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD (703) 292-8044 assistance.


    Agency contact information Anja Lindsley Anja Lindsley







    2415 Eisenhower Ave
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    Become a part of our mission to maintain and strengthen the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.  For over 60 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has remained the premier Federal agency supporting basic research at the frontiers of discovery across all fields, as well as science and engineering education at all levels.

    Next steps

    Shortly after the announcement closes, you will be notified as to whether or not you meet the basic qualification requirements.  If you do, you will receive further consideration and evaluation.  All qualified applicants will receive final notification of the outcome of the job opportunity announcement.  

    You may check the status of your application at any time on the USAJOBS website.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

Legal and regulatory guidance

Note: We cannot accept applications on behalf of Federal Agencies. Application instructions are listed within the Job Description.