Jobs for humanists 7/9

Featuring at least one museum I'd never heard of

Welcome back! I’m delighted to share this week’s sponsor: Transitioning Your Life.

Are you unhappy with your academic career? Do you need help transitioning to the next chapter? Hillary Hutchinson is a career coach specializing in helping academics leave academia.  The decision to leave academia can happen at any time in an academic career for a wide variety of reasons, from lack of opportunities to exiting a toxic work environment to simply being burnt out.
It’s not about who you are. It’s about who you want to be. Set up a complimentary appointment using the online scheduling calendar at Transitioning Your or call 843-225-3224 to find out more about how she works with clients.

Museum Curator • National Museum of American Diplomacy (State) • July 12, 2021

Who knew this museum was a thing?

The incumbent is responsible for conceptualizing, planning, and developing distinctive and original exhibit content and ensuring historical and subject matter accuracy, while at the same time presenting material and exhibits to the general public in a compelling manner.


  • Leads the creation of exhibits and manages collections relating to the history, art, and practice of diplomacy with an emphasis on United States diplomacy.

  • Contributes considerable expertise and verifies scholarly materials for use in the exhibitions and educational outreach programs.

  • Produces and manages the production of sound research on historical and current topics; researches artifacts, historical figures. . . .

You must be able to obtain a Secret security clearance for this position. They also want you to have a degree and you

MUST have 1 year of specialized experience that has equipped them with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience is related to the work of the position and equivalent to at least the GS-13 level in the Federal service. Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the following:

Experience in planning and executing successful exhibits; interpret complex topics; and maintain a balanced collection.  

Experience working with curatorial and research practices, particularly in American history, art, or culture.

Experience in research and writing related to museum collections and historical materials; present formal and informal lectures and/or briefings; and lead meetings and conference presentations.

The KSAs are:

Ability to set priorities.

Knowledge of how to analyze information in technical publications and other sources.

Ability to interact with a variety of individuals at all levels inside and outside.

Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

The questionnaire does emphasize curatorial skills.

Archives Technician • National Archives and Records Administration • July 12, 2021

There are multiple openings for this posting, they are all in Lee’s Summit, MO, just by Kansas City. I recognize that this posting may seem sort of odd for the list, but 1) it pays more than adjuncting; 2) the location could be attractive to some people; 3) it looks to me like the responsibilities could be useful; 4) it pays more than adjuncting.


-Provide reference service by searching for records in various filing systems that are either cross-indexed or readily identified; and, refiles or interfiles records in various filing systems such as alphabetic, numeric, terminal digit, case file number, action date, etc.
-Review specific requests and determine the nature of the information desired.
-Note whether the information is available, unavailable, or if additional information is needed to establish the record's availability or authenticity; and, performs indexing or additional searching due to inaccurate information, transfer, movement, or destruction.
-Transcribe, copy, or reproduce the information found and prepares material for transmittal to the requesting agency or individual.

This is Grade 4, so the qualifications are minimal:

General Experience: For the GS-04, you must have one year of general experience which includes progressively responsible clerical, office, or other work that indicates ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position to be filled.
2 years of education above high school.
Combination of general experience and education.

And you’ll be evaluated for “Problem-Solving, Technical and Self-Management.” The questionnaire seems to do a good job hitting those KSAs.

Grants Management Specialist • African Development Fund • July 15, 2021

Those grants, they do need managing, huh?

This position is part of the U.S. African Development Foundation's (USADF), Program Division, assigned to countries in East Africa/South Africa (EASA). The incumbent will be responsible for performing all aspects of program implementation of USADF's financial assistance programs overseas to ensure compliance with technical, financial, and due diligence requirements as well as the Agency's policies, administrative, procedures, and processes.

. . .


At the GS-09 level, you must meet one of the following qualifications:

A. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the federal service. Specialized experience is that which has equipped the applicant with the competencies to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. Specialized experience for this position includes but is not limited to: experience independently performing duties and responsibilities that involve analytical work related to grants and cooperative agreements that support the programs and customers.


B. Master's or equivalent graduate degree . . .

The usual other education subs are there.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):

  • Grant & Portfolio Management

  • Oral Communication

  • Quality Management

  • Technical Competency - Project Management

  • Written Communication

As you might expect, the questionnaire does some work to focus on the KSAs. I would also suggest looking over the position responsibilities pretty closely.

Management Support Specialist • Office of Curatorial Affairs, Center for the Study of African American Religious Life (Smithsonian) • July 16, 2021 or at 150 applications

This isn’t a federal position, and is open to anyone eligible to work in the US.

The incumbent will provide analytical, evaluative and administrative assistance for a variety of financial, procurement and logistical activities, as well as general administrative support for the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life, including:

ordering a variety of goods and services, following through on orders, tracking delivery and arranging for receipt documentation;

providing staff with guidance of requirements, regulations, and procedures related to administrative operations; and

making travel arrangements as needed, including booking hotels, transportation, and rental cars and preparing travel authorizations and vouchers. 

If you’ve done administrative work as part of your grad work, this could be a good fit for you:

Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 5 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system.  For this position specialized experience is defined as composing and editing correspondence; securing goods and services; preparing travel authorizations and travel vouchers; establishing and maintaining office files and schedules; and assisting staff with coordinating work with internal and external customers. . . .

Or Education:  One full year of graduate level education or superior academic achievement in a field related to this position may be substituted to meet the experience requirement. . . .

 The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  1. Skill in using automated systems and software.

  2. Ability to communicate in writing.

  3. Ability to communicate orally.

And there’s a questionnaire. :)

Foreign Affairs Office • Office of Wester Hemisphere, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (State) • July 21, 2021

This posting seems to be looking for someone with human rights experience in the Western Hemisphere. (I promise that we are all thinking the same snarky things, you don’t have to e-mail me.) They’re hiring at several levels; at each, the responsibilities closely align with the qualifications:

Responsibilities . . .

  • Provides policy guidance and analysis on the complex human rights and democracy challenges. Serves as the point of contact for diplomatic missions on human rights and governance issues.

  • Provides in-depth informational and policy planning consultations and orientations to colleagues and officials. Analyzes reporting on political, human rights and democracy developments, and other relevant reporting from a wide variety of sources.

  • Consults with senior staff, advising on country or Western Hemisphere region-specific issues and problems with regard to democratic governance and respect for human rights; develops and proposes resolutions of policy and procedural issues.

  • Monitors complex political, human rights and democracy, social, military, and other significant developments and trends in the assigned area(s).

I’ll skip the endless variations on the basic requirements - you need a degree, okay? Here’s the specific skillset you need:

For the GS-09: IN ADDITION to the basic requirements, this position requires one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal service which provided the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of the position. Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the following:

  • Experience researching a variety of sources (e.g. briefings, legislation, policies) and compiling information.

  • Experience researching human rights, civil society, or democracy policy issues.

As you go up in grade, the specialized experience gets a bit more developed, so do take a look there. The other factors are:

Knowledge of the realm of foreign policy / international affairs

Ability to communicate orally and in writing to a wide variety of individuals regarding complex and complicated concepts and situations

Knowledge of interagency coordination

Ability to analyze and evaluate information derived from a variety of sources

You can also check out the questionnaire.

You may want to revisit last week’s newsletter - several positions listed there are still open.

Labor Investigator • Office of Labor-Management Standards (Labor) • July 21, 2021

This posting is for multiple openings, in several places, starting at grade 7. I am not responsible for the formatting below. Perhaps the Department of Labor wants you to start learning to investigate even as you read the post.


For the GS-07: The duties at the GS-07 level are essentially the same as the GS-09, but performs duties in a developmental capacity designed to prepare for work at the next grade level.

For the GS-09: Provides support to higher-grade Investigators by performing developmental assignments to facilitate the efforts of investigative/audit teams. Conducts searches for information from labor organization financial reports, union constitutions and other documents. Organizes information to assist in preparations for civil and criminal investigations. Participates in the planning portions of straight-forward civil and criminal investigations and compliance audits of local unions. . . .


For the GS-07: Applicants must have one year of  experience equivalent to the next lower grade level, GS-05, in the Federal service or have 1 full year of graduate level education or meet the creditable specialized experience of: Performed developmental assignments to facilitate the efforts of investigative or audit teams. For example: performed record searches at courthouses, educational or financial institutions.  With assistance of a supervisor conducted straight-forward investigations, or audit activities that provided the employee with an opportunity to strengthen investigative skills. Analyzed and summarized facts in written reports related to financial transactions or civil and criminal allegations of fraud. Drafted portions of written reports and basic audit findings for use in final reports. Researched background information, financial data, official documents, and computerized reports to extract pertinent data and summarized the findings in writing.

The KSAs are writing, interpersonal skills, oral communication, self-management. They have little blurbs in the posting, too. The questionnaire is helpful - a lot of the things they’re looking for are skills you might come by through teaching.

Museum Curator (Aerospace) • Department of Space History, National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian) • July 27, 2021

Here’s something for historians of science, maybe!


The Smithsonian Institution (SI) is a diverse museum and research complex dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge. The National Air and Space Museum department of Space History embraces topics such as rockets, spacecraft, and other technologies.

The incumbent curates the department's collection and exhibits with a focus on the history of computing with an emphasis on its role in spaceflight. 


Duties of the GS-11 and GS-12 are the same.  At the GS-11 level there is closer supervision of the work completed. 

  • Conduct independent technical research on the history of computing, including design, technology, culture, and historical significance resulting in publications in peer-reviewed journals or books

  • Serve as a curator to include managing and interpreting artifacts associated with the history of computing, including design, technology, culture, and historical significance.

  • Develop exhibits, especially as related to the history of computing, including design, technology, culture, and historical significance. . . .


BASIC Qualification Requirements:

  • Degree: museum work; or in an applicable subject-matter field.


  • Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


  • Four years of experience that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of the 4-year course of study as shown in A above.

You must also satisfy a specialized requirement, which (as usual) is one year of experience:

GS-11: researching the history of computing, including design, technology, culture, and historical significance.

GS-12: developing, implementing and/or coordinating independent research related to the history of computing, including design, technology, culture, and historical significance.  

There are education substitutes, but they aren’t really substitutes, if you know what I mean? Applications are evaluated for the following KSAs:

Ability to perform historical research and present conference papers.

Knowledge of museum standards related to collections management practices applied to an artifact collection.

Knowledge of the development of public exhibits related to the history of computing.

Ability to communicate effectively in writing in order to prepare email, correspondence, exhibit scripts, proposals, plans, reports, books, reviews, documents, and publications to include writing succinct informational style and synthesizing and interpreting ideas clearly.

Ability to communicate orally in a variety of settings (e.g., community and public forums) as a historian.

The questionnaire is minimal - it’s not going to be helpful as a source of resume language.

Okay, that’s it for this week! See you on Monday for Extra Cheese - I’ll be listing some special opportunities for graduate students and recent graduates.

Set up a complimentary appointment using the online scheduling calendar at Transitioning Your or call 843-225-3224 to find out more.