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Research Assistant - Board on Mathematical Sciences & Analytics

The mission of the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPS) is to provide independent and authoritative science, technology, engineering and related policy advice to the federal government and to the nation and to promote communications between the science and technology community, the federal government, and the interested public.

DEPS seeks to assess the role of science and technology in important public policy issues and to advance science and engineering, identifying needed research as well as improvements in data and research methods. In these ways, it fosters better science and technology and their use to support decisions on public policies and programs.

DEPS’ work is organized around four broad areas:
•Unique government missions in defense, space, and aerospace
•National infrastructure challenges such as energy and environmental systems, information and telecommunications, manufacturing and engineering design, civil engineering, and the constructed environment
•Science and engineering disciplines such as physics, astronomy, computer science and engineering, materials science and engineering, and the mathematical sciences and their applications.
•Continuing assessments of federal government laboratories and research programs

The Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics (BMSA) consists of expertise from a broad range of quantitative fields with experience in academia, industry, and national laboratories. BMSA strives to do the following:
• Provide actionable mathematical advice to policy makers;
• Strengthen connections between scientific and engineering domains and mathematics, statistics, and data science;
• Support the health of the mathematical sciences ecosystem and a robust educational pipeline; and
• Increase public awareness of the expanding role of the mathematical sciences.

The Board has one standing committee—the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics (CATS)—that advises stakeholders in government, academia, industry, and nonprofit organizations on statistics and data science, and their many applications. CATS aims to connect frontiers in statistics research, education, training, and practice to issues of national and global importance. Strategic goals for CATS include the following:
• Translating advances in theoretical statistics and computation to a wide variety of applications;
• Fostering partnerships between statistics and other diverse areas of intellectual inquiry such as computer science, the social sciences, applied mathematics, engineering;
• Promoting scientifically principled development, use, and teaching of statistics and data science; and
• Improving use of data and evidence to inform decisions.

BMSA and CATS conduct a variety of activities, including studies, workshops, roundtables, video competitions, webinar series, and symposia. Many of the studies originate with the BMSA or CATS, often in collaboration with other National Academies units, identifying issues of national or professional concern.

The Research Assistant for the Board on Mathematical Sciences & Analytics performs a number of basic research functions and activities that facilitate the research efforts of staff researchers. Conducts searches and compiles information or data and may assist in analyzing basic research results. Tasks may include data entry and extraction, data conversion, manipulation, retrieval, editing, documentation, and formatting charts, graphic displays and tables. Updates and maintains databases. Assists with administrative duties related to programs/projects.

Under the guidance of more experienced staff, this entry-level research job performs basic program research and writing in support of assigned program(s)/project(s). Some tasks may be complex, but most decision-making can be made within pre-determined approaches. Incumbent may perform related administrative and clerical tasks, but the primary focus of the job is providing research support.

Job Description

Project Administration:

  • Updates and maintains databases and files pertaining to programs/projects. Maintains email and distribution lists.
  • Performs related administrative duties including meeting planning, coordinating travel arrangements, organizing materials for meetings, and corresponding with committee members.
  • Attends and participates in meetings and workshops.
  • May ensure Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and Governing Board Executive Committee (GBEC) compliance. Ensures that the Nationals Academies Projects and Activities Repository (NAPAR) is posted and updated in a timely manner, the Public Access File is maintained, and documents are properly archived.
Basic Research:

  • Conducts database, website, and literature searches in various national/international publications to identify articles and other information that may provide pertinent data in support of programs/projects. Researches, compiles, and organizes journal articles and other research materials. Verifies references noted by committee members. Collects bibliographic, statistical, and other information and incorporates pertinent information into project's bibliographic and reference files.
  • Researches and organizes information about committee member candidates, speakers and forum members.

  • Performs fact and reference checking for reports. Inputs edits into report drafts. Creates reference lists, bibliographies, figures, graphics, and tables for reports. Formats figures and tables.

  • May participate in report dissemination activities.
Mentoring New Staff:

  • May serve as a mentor or resource to support staff.

  • Related duties and special projects as assigned.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Ability to solve intellectual problems through selection and application of commonly used rules, procedures, and precedents. Ability to work successfully in a team environment. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies' departments through effective communication. Good communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.
Minimum Education/Training Requirements: High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent knowledge.
Minimum Experience: Four years of related experience.
Preferred Education and Experience: Bachelor's degree in Physical Sciences or Engineering or in a related field.
Physical Capabilities: Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time. Ability to travel.
Required Licenses, Certification or Registration: None.
Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: Reports to program officer/director. Supervisor is available to organize work, set priorities and objectives, and to assist in problem resolution.
Work Environment: Hybrid Office/Telecommute environment, with occasional travel between National Academies’ facilities and to off-site meeting/sponsor locations. In accordance with the National Academies’ commitment to provide a safe and healthy workplace, all employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except as otherwise permitted under a reasonable accommodation for medical or religious reasons. Unless granted an accommodation, successful applicants will be required to confirm their vaccination status and proof of vaccination promptly upon beginning employment. Applicants needing accommodations should indicate this in their application; applicants will not be discriminated against in the hiring process on the basis of requesting an accommodation.
The National Academies’ Statement on Diversity and Inclusion:
To promote diversity and inclusion in the sciences, engineering, and medicine, we are committed to increasing the diversity of the National Academies’ staff, members, and volunteers to reflect the populations we serve. We pledge to cultivate an environment and culture that promotes inclusion and values respectful participation of all individuals who help advance the mission of the institution.
Equal Opportunity Employer:
It is the policy of the National Academies to recruit, hire, transfer, compensate, and promote people in all job categories and to administer all other personnel actions, terms and conditions of employment in a manner that is consistent with equal employment, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, medical condition for which a person has been rehabilitated or cured, marital status, family responsibilities, genetic information, political affiliation, personal appearance, matriculation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws. It is also the institution's policy to recruit, hire, promote, and provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities and covered veterans who are otherwise qualified.
Any qualification to be considered equivalent, in lieu of stated minimum, requires the prior approval of the Office of Human Resources.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified. Some functions in this description may be specific to a particular unit of the National Academies and not applicable to other units.