Jobs for humanists 7/30

A nice handful of jobs this week

Here are the jobs for the last week of July! I’m taking next Friday off from the newsletter, but will see you on August 9 with highlights from an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) resumé writing info session. My focus in that edition of Actually Actionable Information is stuff I hadn’t heard before or had heard expressed particularly well. I hope you’ll find it useful!

Administrative Officer • Office of Strategic Partnerships, National Museum of African American History & Culture (Smithsonian) • August 9, 2021

You’ll need at least a year of relevant experience:

fostering collaborations among cultural heritage institutions for a museum, or similar cultural institution; and designing, developing, and coordinating partnerships and initiatives that involve collaborations at the organizational level with museums, libraries, universities, or archives, or preservation organizations.

Candidates for this job probably recognize themselves in it, so I won’t say more. Here’s the questionnaire.

Technical Writer-Editor • Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (HHS) • August 10 or 75 applicants

You’ll need some field-specific experience to be competitive here, but the responsibilities are pretty familiar to most of us:


  • Writing and editing materials, such as reports, regulations, articles, newsletters, magazines, news releases, training materials, brochures, interpretive handbooks, pamphlets, guidebooks, scholarly works, reference works, speeches, etc.

  • Writing and editing content, including speeches, for leadership, policy exchange, and partnership-building.

  • Drafting articles for review for possible submission to technical journals, command information publications and other media covering significant accomplishments of OASH. . . .

The position has a basic requirement and a specialized qualification:

Basic Requirement: You must meet one of the items listed below (A or B)

A. Must have included a total of 15 semester hours in an appropriate scientific, technical, or social science field(s), and at least one course above the introductory level in the field(s) covered by the position. (Must provide your official or unofficial transcripts.)
B. Experience that required substantial subject-matter or technical knowledge of the field. This experience must have demonstrated the ability to acquire and present technical information through independent reading, interviews with subject-matter specialists, observation of tests and experiments, interpretation of blueprints or diagrams, or other appropriate methods. Such experience may have been acquired as a writer or editor of technical reports, articles, manuals, or specifications.

Minimum Qualifications:
GS-11: You must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level in the Federal service that includes the following:

  • Writing and/or editing a variety of studies, reports and related technical documentation that explain and interpret technical research findings and/or scientific data

  • Disseminate technical information and/or describe technical procedures

  • Preparing and editing materials in support of federal agency program initiatives

  • Assisting with speech and presentation preparation

A PhD that gets you that stuff could also satisfy the requirement. Here’s the questionnaire. The KSAs are “Communication, Knowledge Management, Strategic Thinking, Technical Documentation.”

Some epistemologists should try and transition into “knowledge management.”

Administrative Specialist • Library Collections and Service Group (LOC) • August 10, 2021

If you’ve got some administrative experience, this may be a good fit. LOC qualifications are often just KSAs. . .

Ability to apply administrative management processes and techniques.**

Ability to plan, organize and execute work.**

Ability to utilize computer technology. 

Ability to communicate in writing.

Ability to interact collaboratively with others exercising judgment and discretion in order to provide liaison services.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.

. . . so you should look at the, rather more robust, list of responsibilities. And, of course, prep your answers to the narratives!

Writer-Editor • Patent and Trademark Office (Commerce) • August 11, 2021

This listing strikes me as a promising one for many readers of this newsletter.


The individual selected for this position performs duties that include:

  • Writing and editing materials of various types whose subject matter covers the policies, programs, and activities of patents business areas and of the Intellectual Property community.

  • Researches and analyzes training available at USPTO for staff involved in writing content for public stakeholders using plain writing.

  • Identifies training needs and creates training curriculum. . . .

Education can help you qualify, but the specialized experience is:

reviewing and revising a variety of written products; reviewing material for style and tone, grammatical correctness, clarity and consistency with style guidelines and rules for plain writing; utilizing digital media products to propose recommendations to staff and supervisors on how best to develop and present written material; and developing and presenting factual information that is clear and concise to the intended audience.

I don’t know if they know it’s funny, but the Department of Commerce sorts candidates into gold/silver/bronze categories, which is pretty close to camp for government work. They included a link to an Obama-era memo about those categories, if you want to know more about them. I guess I also included it.

The KSAs are wordy, so I won’t copy them here - but as usual the questionnaire is interested in them.

Social Scientist • Commission on Civil Rights • August 12, 2021

This post has two listings, but the numbers are the same - I’m not sure what the error is or if the one I picked to link will be deleted by the time I publish this. Maybe they’re making two hires.

Designs proposals for social scientific projects, studies, and reports for consideration by the Commission that examine the political, social, legal, and economic factors influencing the denial or abridgement of equal protection under the law on the basis of sex, race, national origin, religion, age or disabiity. Evaluates the performance of federal agencies in enforcing anti-discrimination laws. Analyzes and develops ideas, concepts, and methodology for policies related to civil rights. 

The posting gives a more detailed listing of duties, as well as the summary above. The qualifications section is a little confusing; I think because there’s a redundancy in the information presented. There’s a basic requirement (BA in relevant field/sufficient coursework/sufficient experience) and a specialized requirement:

1. The applicant must have completed a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree when the position involves primarily scientific inquiry or investigation, or research-type exploratory development of a creative or advanced scientific nature, where the knowledge required to perform the work successfully is typically and primarily acquired through graduate study.
2. The applicant must have one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least GS-11.
Specialized experience includes work where you collected, review, analyzed, and organized statistical information using public and private data sources and archives; analyzed data such as income, education, employment, occupational classifications, housing, social services, etc., of minorities, women, older persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of various national origins and religions; . . .

This seems very doable, perhaps even done, for many of you - but do read the whole post! They also link to a separate webpage with the qualifications, if you’re tired of USAJOBS logging you out. You’ll actually be applying through that website, AVUE, which does not seem like a significant improvement on USAJOBS except, possibly, for the logging-out issue. However, it looks like you can start through USAJOBS. I cannot find a link to the questionnaire, though one is mentioned in the ad. I am not going to create an AVUE account at the present time, sorry.

Public Health Analyst (Policy) • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC) • August 13, 2021

This is a term appointment, not a permanent one.

Carry out public health policy, planning, and evaluation activities for an organization, along with leadership, coordinate the development and maintenance of initiatives to advance the mission of the organization; develop policy briefs and position papers on priority issues, and conduct legislative analysis, policy research, and program evaluations. . . .

For GS-12: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-11 level of difficulty and responsibility in the Federal service as defined in the next paragraph. Specialized experience is . . . to include experience in reviewing public health policies and regulations for public health impact, tracking and analyzing processes for improvement, and reviewing content and drafting responses to public inquiries.

Here’s the questionnaire. It sort of looks like this position may be earmarked for someone, but it has a normal submission window, so maybe not. There is a hilariously long list of KSAs - but that just means you’re more likely to have a bunch, right? :)

Okay, that’s it for this week! See you August 9.