This position is located in the Public Affairs and Media Relations Group, Office of Legislative and Public Affairs within the Office of the Director at the National Science Foundation.  The mission of the group is to develop overarching messages and strategic themes to tell a compelling NSF story and engage with media to identify opportunities to educate and inform on the NSF mission.


The primary purpose for the Public Affairs Specialist is to develop media strategies and public affairs guidance to inform the media and public about NSF activities and accomplishments.

Duties include:

  • Serves as an agency spokesperson and responds to media inquiries with timely and accurate information.
  • Coordinates media events and press conferences in support of communicating NSF news with the general public; staff’s senior leadership at open press events/conferences; and facilitates media interviews.
  • Develops public affairs guidance for key media topics to include background, talking points, and Q&A.
  • Develops opportunities to tell the NSF story with print and broadcast media, including behind the scenes access in the field to highlight NSF activities and funded research.
  • Develops and implements long-range national and localized strategic communication plans to optimize the dissemination NSF activities and accomplishments and increase public awareness of its mission, including serving as an expert consultant and catalyst for improving the way NSF delivers information to the media and the public via digital platforms.
  • Coordinates these plans with partner government agencies and private groups to optimize science education nationally.



Conditions of Employment

  • Background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.
  • US citizenship.
  • Selectee may be required to serve a 1-year trial/probationary period.


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 & including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment & referral to the Office of Inspector General. Foreign Talent Definitions

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement Safer Federal Workforce Task Force 2 pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, & quarantine.

Experience refers to paid & unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) & other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social).  Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, & skills & can provide valuable training & experience that translates directly to paid employment.  You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Time in Grade Requirement: Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must have 52 weeks of Federal service at the next lower grade or equivalent.

You must meet eligibility & qualification requirements within 30 days of the closing date.

You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire & any external assessment that is included.

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 represented by AFGE Local 3403.



To qualify at the GS-13, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 level in the Federal service.  Examples of specialized experience include: representing the organization; providing strategic, technical and creative expertise for the development of products, exhibits and events; establishing and maintaining avenues of communication with professional societies and constituent groups; and conceptualizing, researching, writing, and preparing news releases, fact sheets, reports and position papers, etc.

To qualify at the GS-14, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level in the Federal service.  Examples of specialized experience include: Developing communication strategies and products for an organization; writing and editing press releases, articles and other written communication materials concerning scientific subjects related to the organization’s programs; writing and editing speeches and talking points for public events, press conferences and other such appearances; providing authoritative advice to senior management for improving the delivery of program information; and using the Internet, social media, and/or web pages to communicate information to the public and media.



Education may enhance skills required for this position; however, no substitution of education for specialized experience may be made at this level.