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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Museum Specialist
Open Period:
11/26/2018 - 12/10/2018


GS - 1016 09
USD $56,233 - USD $73,105
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Full-Time, Permanent
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
Washington DC, DC, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Marie Parks


Hiring Path:
• Individuals with disabilities
• Competitive service
• Military spouses
• Peace Corps & AmeriCorps VISTA
• Special authorities
• Veterans
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
This position is open to current and former Federal employees with permanent status or reinstatement eligibility. Individuals who are eligible for a special appointing authority may also apply; such as applicants with a disability, former Peace Corps volunteers, certain military spouses, veterans seeking a VRA/VEOA appointment, or veterans who have been separated from armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous active service.
Security Clearance Required:
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
Marketing Statement:
The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in "Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery."


This position is located in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), Smithsonian Institution, Department of Photographs. The employee provides collections management, acquistions management, procurement assistance, and office-related support to the curators and staff of this curatorial department.

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Not Required


  • Coordinates collection management functions that include accession number requests, photography orders, requests for the movement of objects, and the retrieval and return of artworks to storage.

  • Processes collection catalog records including data entry; supports acquisition process by preparing and editing acquisition reports; uses collection database to track artworks for photography, conservation and exhibition; and manages procurement and travel.

  • Oversees collection storage, developing and implementing collection space plans and participates in periodic inventories.

  • Utilizes specialized knowledge of collections to guide and assist researchers and answer inquiries.

  • Communicates with vendors, contractors, staff, researchers, and general public.

Qualifications and Evaluations


Qualification requirements, including one year time-in-grade at the next lower grade level for promotion candidates, must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.


Key Requirements:
  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.
  • Education Requirements:



    Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above.  The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

    1. Knowledge of collections management principles, procedures, and methods used in the handling, storage, care, and preservation of museum or archival collections, including the attendant recordkeeping to ensure the safety and accessibility of photographic collection objects.

    2. Skill in using office computer software programs for word processing, collections information retrieval, and procurement to enter records, manage collections databases, process financial paperwork, and manage staff travel documents.

    3. Ability to organize and manage projects to support initiatives such as collection inventories, expansion and reorganization of art or artifact storage, and collection digitization.

    4. Knowledge of American political and cultural history to assure accuracy of collection cataloging records and to respond to public inquiries/provide reference services.

    5. Ability to communicate orally to respond to inquiries and disseminate accurate information regarding collections to staff, researchers, donors, vendors, and the general public.

    6. Ability to communicate in writing to respond to inquiries and disseminate accurate information regarding collections to staff, researchers, donors, vendors, and the general public.

    Important Note:
    Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience.

    Your resume should provide detailed information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.


    Experience:  All applicants must meet the Selective Factor and the Specialized Experience requirements in order to be minimally qualified for this position. Your application must show written evidence of both requirements:  

    Selective Factor Requirement:

    Knowledge of collections management principles, procedures, and methods used in the handling, storage, physical care, and preservation, including the attendant recordkeeping to ensure the safety and accessibility of original photographic collection objects, gained by working as a curatorial assistant, museum specialist, or collections specialist in a museum, archival collection or similar facility consisting primarily of photographs and works of art on paper.

    Specialized Experience Requirement: GS-09

    In addition to meeting the Selective Factor above, applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position specialized experience is defined as assisting with the organization and maintenance of collections in a museum or cultural institution; maintaining catalog records including data entry; and providing administrative support.

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

    Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

    Or Education: Master's or equivalent degree, or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree, or LL.B or J.D., if related

    For positions at GS-4 and above, related course work is required. Related fields of study include art, history, museum studies, scientific subjects, or other courses related to the position to be filled.

    Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications; For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards

    Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

    Benefits and Other Info

    Agency Benefits:

    The Smithsonian offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, vacation and sick leave, holidays, health/life insurance, accident insurance, and excellent retirement program options.

    Please see Benefits at for a complete description.

    Other Information:

    Flexible Spending Accounts -
    Health Insurance -
    Leave -
    Life Insurance -
    Long Term Care Insurance -
    Retirement Program -

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:
    Click on the "Apply Online" button on the upper right side of the page. Please Note:
    • You must apply for this position online through the 'Apply Online' button and submit required supplemental documents (if they are relevant to you).
    • You may submit required documents by uploading them online during the application process;  OR You may manually fax required documents.  Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine.  Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date.  Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.
    • The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
    • If you are unable to apply online, paper applications may be accepted with prior approval of the Contact Person listed below.
    Required Documents:

    Your application package should include the following documents:

      • Detailed resume created in the USAJOBS Resume Builder.

      • Proof of prior federal service such as the latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action

      • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify.  If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.

      • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy) if you are requesting a special appointment authority, such as VRA or VEOA

      • Proof of severe disability if you are requesting special placement consideration

      • Proof of eligibility for a military spouse appointment, such as a permanent change station military order

      • Proof of eligibility for any other special appointing authority not specifically mentioned here.


    Next Steps:

    At the end of the application process you will be able to create and save a PDF file that contains your responses to the assessment questions. You may save this file as initial receipt of your application. After the job announcement closes, you will receive an email from the Smithsonian with confirmation of receipt. The Smithsonian receives many applications for each job. Each application is reviewed carefully which may take a few weeks. We will send you an e-mail to update you as we go through phases of the application review process. You may also check your application status by logging into and selecting the tab "My USAJOBS;" e-mailing; or by contacting the Office of Human Resources Representative listed. Additional Information: