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Administrative positions carry the primary responsibility for administrative support of the NSF core mission. This family consists of positions such as Administrative Manager, Operations Specialist, Program Assistant, Secretary, Administrative Support Assistant, and other similar positions.


  • Office Automation Clerk, GS-2/3/4/5. Employees perform a variety of general office duties, e.g., perform word-processing and computer data entry; sort and distribute mail; screen telephone callers and visitors; and maintain office records and files.
  • Program Assistant (Office Automation), GS-5/6/7. Employees assist program managers by personally handling the technician work associated with a research grant program. Employees process grant awards, declinations and withdrawals, e.g., review, verify, monitor and track proposal activities; examine budgets for adjustments; prepare grant packages; coordinate panel meetings; maintain grant files; generate computerized reports; perform data entry; assist callers; prepare travel documents; and prepare word-processing assignments.
  • Secretary (Office Automation) and/or Administrative Support Assistant, GS-5/6/7/8. Employees perform a variety of general office work, e.g., maintain the supervisor's calendar; review and control incoming and outgoing correspondence; establish and maintain office files; greet and screen callers and visitors; coordinate meetings and make travel arrangements; draft and type a variety of correspondence; and perform liaison functions.
  • Administrative Manager or Operations Specialist, GS-11/12/13. Employees are assigned specific responsibilities for the day-to-day operations of administrative functions, including preparation and management of financial resources, human resource management, oversight of any grant and contract administrative functions, and continuous improvements in the management of program operations.


  • Office Automation Clerk positions are normally filled at grades GS-5 and below.
  • Eligibility for these positions is based on related experience and/or education in lieu of experience.
  • Appointments are made under the NSF delegated examining authority or merit promotion authority.
  • Program Assistant positions usually have promotion potential to the grade GS-7. Office Automation Clerks usually have promotion potential to the GS-5.

Recruiting Sources

USAJobs, NSF standing registers, educational institutions, job fairs, placement offices, employment services, other federal agencies and advertisements.


  • Candidates must meet the minimum qualification requirements.
  • A typing speed of 40 words per minute, with 3 or fewer errors, is required for all positions in which office automation is required.
  • Candidates must be a citizen or national of the United States.

The link below shows the minimum qualification requirements for office support positions at grades GS-2 to GS-8. Any reference to education requirements means that education may be substituted if the candidate does not have the required general work experience.

General experience is progressively responsible clerical, office, or other work that indicates ability to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position.

Specialized experience is experience in or related to the position that equipped you with the knowledge and skills to successfully perform the duties of the position. Specialized experience must have been equivalent to the next lower grade level.