National Science Foundation Historian

National Science Foundation

Job Type: Government/Non-Profit

Application Deadline: July 1, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking a qualified candidate to fill the position of Historian in the Office of the Director (OD), Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA), Arlington, VA.

OLPA communicates information about the activities, programs, research results and policies of the NSF. OLPA employs a wide variety of tools and techniques to engage the general public and selected audiences including Congress, the news media, state and local governments, other Federal agencies, and the research and education communities.

Individuals who applied previously must reapply to be considered.

More information about OLPA and its divisions can be found at


The individual selected for this position will serve as the NSF Historian who will research, write and prepare for publication a scholarly administrative, legislative and institutional history of the NSF. You will perform related historical research, writing and advisory tasks for Foundation staff and the National Science Board. You will provide advice and serve as an institutional memory within NSF and also provide advice to and perform liaison functions with other agencies of the government, nongovernmental organizations and private individuals in matters relating to the Foundation’s history. Additional duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Planning and determining the scope, outline and content of a history of NSF by formulating and administering projects that will lead to the proper recording and publication of a comprehensive, scholarly and readable history of the agency’s legislative, administrative and institutional development.
  • Planning and implementing an oral history program for collecting data through direct interviews of persons who participated in the events to be recorded in the NSF history.
  • Developing and using a peer review system that solicits comments and criticism from authorities on federal science activities and national science policy on the content and quality of draft manuscripts on the Foundation’s history.
  • Developing and performing special historical projects as the need arises.
  • Advising on the development and implementation of policy on access to NSF records for historical research by private individuals.
  • Advising NSF offices and records officers on preservation or disposition of records of historical value.
  • Establishing and administers a historical reference service for students, college and university faculty members and other researchers who want to use NSF records for historical or other forms of scholarly research.
  • Participating in NSF training and orientation activities.
  • Planning, conducting and administering all phases of historical research for the NSF history, including the collection and analysis of source material, the evaluation of historical evidence, and the preparation of draft preliminary studies.
  • Establishing research plans for the NSF history, including formulation of research projects and the development of procedures for collecting, organizing and analyzing data.
  • Making judgments in selecting material, interpreting source materials, and determining appropriate emphases.

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Posted: June 14, 2015