Program Specialist III; The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Job Title: 
Program Specialist III
Job Location: 
Silver Spring, Maryland
Full-Time - Permanent
$72,935 - $91,170/year
  • Benefits: UCAR affirms its continuing commitment to developing, providing, and administering its employee benefit programs with due consideration for equal employment opportunity and diversity guidelines. UCAR's rich package of employee benefits includes medical, dental, vision, education assistance, retirement, and life insurance. UCAR offers a variety of programs designed to assist with work-life balance including flexible work alternatives, paid time off and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.


    Where You Will Work:

    The Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS—pronounced: see-pass), under the UCP, provides an extensive portfolio of placement, management, and organizational services for the broad Earth System Science community. CPAESS develops innovative solutions to complex scientific challenges, advances research capacity, and fosters community collaborations.

    CPAESS provides professional development, training, and research opportunities for early career to expert scientists.  The CPAESS community includes placements at prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, short- and long-term appointments at US Federal research labs and institutions, research internships, and summer school opportunities for graduates and postdoctoral scientists. These research and training opportunities provide mentoring and career advancement; lifelong collaboration through program alumni networks; and the advancement of science worldwide through university, federal, state, municipal level, and private sector partnerships. CPAESS employees and sponsors collectively work toward advancing scientific research for the benefit of society.  




    What You Will Do:

    In support of NOAA’s requirements under the Federal Ocean Acidification Research & Monitoring Act (FOARAM Act) and the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020 Act (ICOOS Act) the NOAA OAR Ocean Acidification Program is seeking a Program Specialist III for the administration of its internal research projects portfolio and provide some limited additional support to the extramural competitive grants administration team. The incumbent will provide experienced professional level support to OAP program management and will represent the program to other NOAA offices and the extramural research community. 


    This position will be located at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Silver Spring Metro Center, Building 3 in Silver Spring, MD.



    • Performing in a developmental capacity, this position will work with the OAP Program Manager to track of OAP’s internal research portfolio including issuance of workplan request from across NOAA labs and science centers engaged in OAP sponsored research. Facilitates the review process of the internal work plans, monitors progress of internal research projects against milestones and deliverable targets, maintains records and internal project database, and responds to internal project related data calls and taskers.
    • Plans and Develops Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) for external competitions and RFPs for internal NOAA competitions. Provides support to the planning and implementation of the selection panels. Provides support for the administration of all projects and will assist in the monitoring and evaluation of the projects.
    • Utilizing established methodologies, performs data gathering and evaluation and creates new methodologies where necessary. Utilizes results of analyses to provide recommendations and/or help in the development of implementation plans that serve to improve overall organizational effectiveness.
    • Carry out reviews of administrative and programmatic results and assisting managers in the completion of program area assignments.
    • Provide support for other OAP effort areas as required.


    The above statements describe the primary work being performed. Additional tasks may be assigned from time to time.


    DECISION MAKING&PROBLEM SOLVING - i.e., types of problems that are solved independently


    • Identifies and develops strategies for program effectiveness. Initiates activities and plans for collaborative efforts.
    • Monitors and evaluates program effectiveness, alerting others to potential opportunities and problems.
    • Works under broad guidance. Milestones are reviewed for adequacy in meeting objectives.
    • Independently applies in-depth knowledge of program area to devise creative solutions to problems. Exerts influence in the development of overall objectives of an assigned project.




    Master’s degree in oceanography, marine science, or related field, or at least three years of relevant program experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.



    • Doctoral degree in oceanography, marine science, or related field.
    • A functional understanding of the field of ocean acidification gained either as part of their higher learning education or post-degree experience.
    • Experience with the federal grants process including funding opportunity development, panel review process, and project performance monitoring.
    • Familiarity with the federal grant requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 




    • Technical understanding of ocean acidification science relevant to the program research portfolio with knowledge of the relevant science community.
    • Skill in planning and conducting meetings and gathering resources for implementation.
    • Skill in applying qualitative and quantitative methods for assessment and improvement of program effectiveness.
    • Skill in contributing to technical and administrative reports, and giving oral and written presentations.
    • Skill in identifying opportunities to foster leverage and promote coordination of relevant science activities and suggesting courses for action.
    • Skill in assessing constituent needs and in recommending modifications to existing activities to meet those needs.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Experience in managing projects and outcomes of moderate to high complexity and impact.



    • A working knowledge of the organizational structure of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agencies cooperative institutes, and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Regional Associations.
    • Operational knowledge of Grants Online grants management processing system.


    Applicant Notes:

    • This position is subject to work location requirements for obtaining access to facilities and research systems. These requirements may include a combination of national security checks, credit checks, fingerprinting, or other security clearance requirements.
    • A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records. UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
    • Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.


    The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. 


    Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.