Jobs for humanists 7/23

Can’t believe we’re nearly through July. Welcome back to another week of government jobs! I hope that Monday’s edition of Extra Cheese will be useful for those of you thinking about the PMF.

Librarian (South Asian) • Library of Congress • July 30, 2021

You need Sanskrit and Tibetan for this role. There aren’t many people who do! So if you’re friends with some, send them this link.

This might be a good place to mention that LOC pretty much always posts the following about what “the public” means for their jobs:

Clarification from the agency

Anyone may apply - By law, employment at most U.S. Government agencies, including the Library of Congress, is limited to U.S. citizens. However, non-citizens may be hired, provided that other legal requirements are met and the Library determines there are no qualified U.S. citizens available for the position.

I wouldn’t pin anything on this, but it is something to note.

Writer-Editor • Consumer Product Safety Commission • August 1, 2021

Okay, this position is posted twice and I think the second posting is erroneously marked for public applications, because it includes a question about qualifying which presumes federal experience, and doesn’t have a good “I’m not a federal employee” option. As you can see, the deadline is tight - but it is not quite tight enough for me to rule out posting this listing. What I’m saying is: maybe treat this like practice, I think this job is earmarked for someone. (But the window is more than a week, so maybe not?)

Writes and edits various types of subject matter covering the agency's policies, programs, activities, and issues. 

Using principles, methods, and knowledge of written communication, develops authoritative information, researches complex topics, and interviews policy and subject matter experts to collect information to draft and edit detailed documents for the Office of Communications in support of the agency’s mission.

Develops, writes, edits, and reviews product recall announcements, news releases, articles and feature stories, blogs, brochures, pamphlets, fact sheets, reports, multi-media presentations, exhibits, displays, speeches, correspondence, other communications and outreach documents.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Reviews all OCM staff material for correct grammar, presentation, organization, clarity, accuracy, conformance to standards, readability level, style, and suitability to the audience.                                                            

Provides training on writing in general and writing communications materials.  

You need to submit three published writing samples and also demonstrate the following experience:

Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate ability to: 1) develop written products that articulate, interpret and explain highly complex, potentially controversial, and important agency/company policies, programs, and research findings; 2) make final reviews of proposed publications for style, design, layout, and editorial aspects before release; and 3) translate technical material into comprehensible language, both for technical and general readership. 

Go ahead and check out the questionnaire (this is the one for applicants without federal experience).

Writer-Editor • Office of External Affairs, AmeriCorps • August 2, 2021

The Public Affairs Specialist (Writer-Editor) is responsible for writing, editing, and reviewing both traditional and digital communications content that support the plans and implementation strategy for public engagement. Incumbent provides strategic support to communications outreach to CEO and COS teams, as needed. 

Sounds neat! The positions responsibilities sound compelling and the comprehensive list is specific - so you should be able to figure out if your work translates.

You need one year of qualifying experience:

Specialized experience includes: 1) Editing written correspondence and/or informational materials for an organization; 2) Preparing written or multimedia materials to promote the organization's position on a variety of sensitive, controversial and/or complex issues; and 3) Designing and tailoring meetings and public involvement strategies to the general public and special target audiences that involved a degree of controversy.

Though there is an education substitute: “You can use education in lieu of specialized experience. Qualifying education includes 1 full year of graduate level education or superior academic achievement.”

The KSAs are:

Analytical Skill

Communications and Media

Customer Service

Interpersonal Relations

Oral Communication

Written Communication

And you can also check out the questionnaire.

Registration Specialist • National Air and Space Museum • August 3, 2021

An interesting position for someone with museum experience!


TMS technical support and assistance:

The incumbent provides technical support and assistance on the proper use of TMS in support of the deinstallation, movement, and reinstallation of artifacts at the National Mall Building.

Registration support of Transformation activities:

The incumbent assists with the creation or augmentation of artifact records within TMS, adding information to those databases such as object locations, dimensions, condition surveys, or other data as well as digital images of relevant artifacts.  . . .

Barcode Manager technical support and assistance:

The incumbent provides technical support and assistance on the automated barcode tracking system that utilizes the TMS plug-in, Barcode Manager, and barcode scanning hardware.  . . .

Planning, tracking and reporting Registrarial activities related to Transformation:

The incumbent supports NASM registration and collections management activities related to Transformation installation and deinstallation. . . .

You’ll need:

For this position, specialized experience is defined as: working with aerospace artifact collections; documenting artifacts including artifact cataloging, preparing condition reports and conducting inventories; performing object moves, data entry, complex searches within a computerized museum collections management system; and communicating effectively in oral and written forms. . . .

There is no basic education requirement for this position.  Education can be used as a alternate to meeting the specialized experience at the GS-09 grade level.  If education is used as a substitute for specialized experience applicant must have: master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., if [directly] related.

The KSAs are:

Skill performing various functions in the Museum’s artifact database (The Museum System, TMS) or a comparable museum database.

Ability to train others in proper use of computerized collections management systems.

Knowledge of aviation museum registration standards.

Knowledge of TMS Barcode Manager software and its relationship to artifact inventory and location control.

Ability to support the proper operation of computerized barcode scanning systems.

Ability to perform registration work related to exhibitions.

And the questionnaire is over here.

International Relations Specialist • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Commerce) • August 4, 2021

Alright, if you have a particular set of skills, this looks like an interesting job:


As an International Relations Specialist you will perform the following duties:

Serve as the focal point for assigned countries, regions, and/or organizations in coordination with the Director and Deputy Director to support and advance NOAA priorities with government-to-government relations including bilateral and multilateral programs,

Serve as a policy and planning authority to evaluate, formulate, and advise on international environmental science, climate, and technology policy issues, and to negotiate international agreements of relevance to NOAA ensuring that U.S. positions are clearly and effectively represented.

Coordinate within NOAA and other agencies on cooperative activities with foreign government partners or organizations and represent the agency as an active participant at national and international meetings and/or conferences. . .

What do you need? A BA in anything or four years’ experience “in work associated with international organizations, problems, or other aspects of foreign affairs.

Evaluation of Experience:
A. Qualifying experience that provided an intimate knowledge of a foreign country or geographic area may have been gained through residence, study, teaching, business or commercial activities, military service, newspaper work, military or civil government activities, missionary or international relief work, or other experience in foreign countries. It may also have been gained through teaching college-level courses in international relations or problems associated with a specific foreign geographic area.

B. To qualify for positions at grades GS-12 and above on the basis of experience, this experience must have included either (a) responsibility for the direction and coordination of research, analysis, or other professional work in one or more of the fields listed in 1 above, or (b) specialized professional work involving a high level of difficulty and responsibility in one or more of these fields.


SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirements above, applicants must also possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZA-2 or GS-09 in the Federal service.

  • Assisting in environmental science, climate, and technology policy guidance and coordinating organizational affairs with foreign governments;

  • Identifying and monitoring environmental science, climate, and technology issues and events which have a significant effect on international policy development, negotiations, or agreements;

  • Assisting in the development of international partnerships, including supporting negotiations, coordinating and tracking contributions, and drafting reports; and

  • Supporting the planning for international meetings including foreign visits and travel and developing position papers and briefing materials.

A PhD which provided the required knowledge/experience/abilities can be substituted for a more traditional job which did so.

The KSAs are

Ability to perform work requiring a professional knowledge of the formulation and implementation of foreign policy of the United States in the conduct of the relations, primarily of a political or politico-economic nature, of the United States with other governments.

Knowledge of negotiating methods and techniques.

Ability to analyze information/situations to provide sound advice and recommendation in the development of policy.

Ability to communicate effectively in writing.

Ability to communicate effectively orally.

And here’s the questionnaire. The application instructions explicitly note a cover letter as a source of evidence, and this is a good time to keep in mind that they read everything you submit with your application. (Other postings specify that a cover letter doesn’t count as evidence of qualifications, however!)

Public Health Advisor • National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC (HHS) • August 5, 2021

I could imagine certain research in the social sciences or, possible, history of science/medicine would qualify one for this position:

Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Public Health Advisor GS-685-09:
Applicants must have a master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree in public health or other field of study with course work directly related to the work of the position to be filled, or LL.B. or J.D., if related.
Have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service, to include experience in providing technical advice or assistance on matters related to the improvement of public health programs or activities.

The responsibilities are rather general, though the KSAs are lengthy: “Collaboration/Partnering, Continuous Development, Customer Service, Data Synthesis, Decision Making, Networking and Partnership Development (2) [I don’t know what “(2)” means and there aren’t any blurbs], Oral Communication, Problem Solving, Program Assessment, Results Driven, Written Communication.”

The questionnaire was not in the usual spots, but I found it.

Data Scientist • Office of the Inspector General, USPS • August 6, 2021 or 75 applicants

The key qualification for readers of this list will be the following:

Must have 2 years of specialized experience with statistical applications such as SQL, R and/or Python.

I know some of you have that! If you do, check the listing for other relevant information.

Program Management Assistant • Congressional Research Service (LOC) • August 9, 2021

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Office of Legislative Information Services (LIS) is seeking a program management assistant. The incumbent will be responsible for a wide range of duties relating to office administrative and logistical support; information management, organization and analysis; and records management.

They would quite like someone with actual admin experience


Applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.

Ability to apply administrative processes and techniques**

Ability to attend to detail**

Ability to utilize computer technology**

Ability to interact collaboratively with others

Ability to plan and organize

Ability to communicate other than in writing

You may recall from previous LOC postings that the double asterisks are the strong requirements. The questionnaire, which includes narratives (the LOC loves them), breaks down things like “administrative processes and techniques” and the way the position asks you to apply “attention to detail.”

Librarian (Cataloger) • Library of Congress • August 12, 2021

The Librarian (Cataloger) position is located in the Moving Image Section, National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC), Library Services (LS) in the Library Collections and Services Group (LCSG) at the Library of Congress (LOC). 

The position provides innovative and effective bibliographic control of the Library's collections and leadership to the library and information communities in the development of cataloging theory and practice.  . . .

The posting gives a comprehensive list of responsibilities, which is a lot to read through - but will also help you figure out if you’re a good candidate! The qualifications are qualitative, as is often the case with LOC positions:

Knowledge of cataloging standards and best practices to support discovery and preservation of moving image materials.**

Ability to organize information and materials.**

Knowledge of motion picture and television history and formats.

Ability to utilize library systems, applications and information technology.

Ability to interact collaboratively and provide consultation and liaison services.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.

Note the double asterisks :) The questionnaire asks you about those KSAs, and includes narratives. Remember that formatting usually vanishes from the narratives, so you might want to consider that in your application.

You can substitute one year of graduate education for experience, as with the AmeriCorps posting above.

Senior Election Subject Matter Expert • Election Assistance Commission • October 14, 2021 or until filled

Okay, so you need to have done some work related to the Voting Rights Act here:

The incumbent is responsible to create EAC clearinghouse material to assist Election Officials, Voters, and other stakeholders with best practices, white papers, tools, data, training materials, instructions, and any other information that would be helpful to election administrators to assist with the Administration of elections. The incumbent will provide expert guidance regarding election administration that touches all facets of the agency to serve EAC stakeholders.

. . .


  • Ability to produce election work product in a neutral and nonpartisan tone.

  • Demonstrated capacity to work collaboratively in a bipartisan or nonpartisan environment with both internal colleagues and external stakeholders.

  • Experience conducting elections with Section 203 compliance or assisting election officials with implementation of Section 203 compliance.

  • Experience working in a jurisdiction with a population greater than 300,000.

  • Experience in creating election-related training material.

You should submit your application over e-mail, not through USAJOBS, so make sure to read how to do that.

Grants Specialist • Election Assistance Commission • October 19, 2021 or until filled

The grants, will they ever self-manage? I’m not sure academic grant experience translates very well to this posting, but I’ll give you the highlights so you can decide for yourselves:

The incumbent provides expert advice to EAC leadership regarding grants management; provides advice and guidance to States and U.S. territories regarding the use of funds provided by EAC to ensure State/U.S. territory compliance with HAVA, Appropriations Law and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars and 2 CFR 200; conducts oversight and monitoring to review how funds have been spent; and makes recommendations for audit resolutions.

They require a BA and prefer an MA, but additionally . . .



In-depth knowledge of HAVA, DATA Act and USA Spending compliance, Appropriations Law, OMB circulars, 2 CFR 200 and EAC's Grants Management Handbook sufficient to provide expert guidance and advice to others regarding the expenditure of funds, conduct reviews to ensure compliance with Federal laws, regulations and guidance; and identify resolutions based on review findings.

Knowledge of grants management in order to serve as expert, strategic advisor on issues pertaining to EAC's grants management program.

Knowledge of information gathering and analysis techniques to gather, analyze, summarize, and report on audit findings.

Ability to effectively defend policies, internal controls, or points of view in the face of heavy criticism in unstructured settings with internal and external stakeholders (e.g., Inspector General; State officials; and local election officials).

The KSAs all have little blurbs, and they are: Interpersonal Effectiveness, Written and Oral Communication, Organizational Skill, External Awareness and then these two:

Skill in building coalitions and in communicating to explain, advocate and negotiate with individual and groups internally and externally. Ability to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations, to represent and speak for the Agency and organization, and to gain understanding and support from senior management.

Ability to establish program/policy goals and the structure and processes necessary to implement the organization's strategic vision and mission, to ensure that programs and policies are being implemented and adjusted as necessary, that the appropriate results are being achieved, and that a process for continually assessing the quality of the program activities is in place.

This submission is also through e-mail.

Okay - see you on Monday!