Smithsonian Institution — Senior Research Biologist (Sant Chair for Marine Science)


Announcement Number: EX-22-23
Hiring Agency: SMITHSONIAN
Position Title: Supervisory Research Biologist
Open Period: 05/16/2022 – 06/27/2022
Series/Grade: SZ – 0401 00
Salary: USD $132,552 – USD $176,300
Work Schedule: Full-time
Promotion Potential: SZ-00
Duty Location(s): 1 in District of Columbia, DC, US
Telework Eligible: Yes

For More Info: 
Suleyka Lozins


Hiring Path: Open to the public

Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency: This position is open to all applicants with the right to work in the United States

Security Clearance Required: Other

Appointment Type: Permanent

Appointment Type Details: This is not a Federal position, but has similar requirements and benefits.

Marketing:  About the Agency

S/he oversees performing exceptional interdisciplinary or collaborative scholarly research and is an international leader in a subfield of marine science. S/he is expected to articulate and advance a cohesive ocean science strategy with respect to research, collections, education, and provide leadership, facilitate integration, stimulate new multi-investigator collaborations, and enhance communication across the Museum’s ocean-science portfolio. Serves as the Sant Chair in Marine Sciences.

Supervisory Position: Yes

Relocation Expenses Reimbursed: NS/he oversees performing exceptional interdisciplinary or collaborative scholarly research and is an international leader in a subfield of marine science.


Independently initiates, develops, and personally participates in research programs and fieldwork related to area of expertise. Undertakes fieldwork in all parts of the world, with the potential focus on enhancing the National Collections, or undertakes research using the resources of the National Collections. Collaborates with researchers of other institutions to encourage studies of interest and to promote the increase and diffusion of knowledge in marine sciences. Oversees preparation of major synthetic research products of exceptional scope and originality in high profile venues with major impact within and across disciplines and contributes to strategic long-term growth and/or improvement of collections. Independently seeks funding from sources within and beyond the Smithsonian.

Develops collaborative relationships with other marine scientists within the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the Smithsonian Institution (SI), including developing strategic direction for, then leading the Center for Ocean Science at NMNH. Prepares budget and information required by higher administration, sets priorities and strategic goals, prepares and forwards necessary financial and administrative reports, seeks to augment program financial base, and coordinates with other Smithsonian offices and other government and non-federal organizations in the US and abroad.

Serves as first-line supervisor for leaders of program units and program staff; determines staffing needs and promotes good work morale. In this capacity, directs through subordinates and subordinate supervisors a staff of technical, administrative and support employees, oversees the development of fair and consistent performance standards for subordinates and evaluates their performance on a regular basis. Initiates or reviews personnel actions involving subordinates. Assures management support for achieving the NMNH and SI’s objectives in the areas of staff development, labor-management relations, affirmative action, and equal opportunity. Pursues affirmative recruitment of minorities and women for professional positions on the scientific staff.

Assumes a leadership role in the Museum’s educational and outreach activities in the marine sciences, including through exhibit, web-page development, or other major public program activity and/or through frequent promotion of public awareness of research through media contacts, publication, and lectures.

Participates in activities, programs, and organizations in the international scientific community. Serves as professional consultant and expert advisor on professional matters in his/her field to other bureaus and government agencies, to national and international organizations, colleagues, writers, educational institutions, museums, universities, research foundations, scientific societies, and the general public. Incumbent represents NMNH on related marine SI initiatives in addition to representing NMNH on national or international initiatives, interagency working groups, and partnerships, such as the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. As requested, serves on science panels, committees, and workshops at all professional international, government and non-government levels, representing his/her own discipline, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, as well as the US government.

Meets the basic qualifications and specialized experience as listed below:

The incumbent in this position must have demonstrated outstanding attainment in his/her area of specialization and be widely recognized as a national and international authority and leader in his/her field. The incumbent must have authored several important publications, some of which have had major impact on advancing the field. Must be able to advise the Secretary and Director on scientific matters involving national and international scope of responsibility.

Pass Pre-Employment Background Investigation May need to complete a Probationary Period

Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer

The qualifications listed in this document will be used along with your resume, cover letter, and your responses to the questions posed in the electronic application process to determine the candidates who will move forward in the evaluation process. When crafting your responses to the questions, please provide concise, detailed information on your background and experience.

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 supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to the major duties and qualifications criteria listed for this position.

PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid work on the same basis as for paid experience. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. To receive credit for such experience you must indicate clearly the nature of the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the average number of hours per week spent in such employment.

Applicants must clearly demonstrate the necessary level of managerial and leadership skills and competence to perform successfully in this position. This includes a degree in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position, or a combination of education and appropriate experience that provides knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through successful completion of a four year course of study in an applicable subject matter field.

In addition, applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-15 level. Specialized experience is defined as the demonstrated knowledge and leadership skills as it relates to planning and managing a large, multifaceted science organization or program. The applicants that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated expertise in biological or geological sciences as indicated by a combination of professional work experience, published books, articles in peer-reviewed journals, professional memberships, specialized academic training or certifications, professional recognition and awards.
  2. Demonstrated experience in planning, directing and managing a science and academic program. This should include experience in formulating and implementing strategic priorities, goal setting, establishing metrics and reporting protocols.
  3. Successful track record of raising funds from individuals, foundations, corporations and governmental organizations through gifts, grants and partnerships.
  4. Demonstrated skill in leading, supervising and managing a multi-disciplined and culturally diverse workforce, including fostering teamwork and high morale; attracting, retaining, motivating, and providing guidance to a diverse workforce; and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action policies and programs.

Benefits and Other Info

The Smithsonian offers a comprehensive benefits program for both Federal and Trust employees. See for details. We also offer a rich program of services and opportunities to balance and enhance your work life. They include: Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (an accredited educational program for children between the ages of 3 months to 6 years), transportation benefits, professional interest groups, employee advocacy groups, special events such as brown bag lunches, an annual picnic on the Mall, an annual holiday party, free lectures, behind-the-scenes tours and employee discounts at our theaters, shops and after hours events. These and other programs have made the Smithsonian one of the top 10 places to work in the government.

Other Information:

The incumbent serves under the general administrative supervision and scientific counsel of the Associate Director for Science and Chief Scientist, National Museum of Natural History. As a leading authority in his/her field, and one who has demonstrated leadership in science,

the incumbent is allowed wide latitude for professional independence and is relied upon for scientific originality, productivity, and judgment. All work is performed in accordance with SI policies and procedures and acceptable scientific methods.

This position has been reviewed to determine the level of POSITION SENSITIVITY. Based on the nature of the work, the position has been determined to be Public Trust/HIGH RISK. This designation will require (1) a pre-employment Security Agency Check (SAC) for the prospective incumbent; and (2) a subsequent comprehensive background investigation and favorable adjudication in order to continue in the position.

The Smithsonian Institution does not discriminate against any employee or any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization or other non- merit factors.

The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Relocation expenses will not be paid.

How to Apply: Click here to apply on USAJOBS

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;


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:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Responses to the vacancy questions
  • Applicants may be asked to submit a copy of their CV at a later stage in the process

Next Steps:
After you apply and the position has closed, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. We usually have a large response to senior level positions and it may take some time to effectively review application packages. We will contact you by email as decisions are made.