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National Institute of Standards and Technology Prize Challenge Specialist ZA-0301-IV (GS-14 equivalent) TERM in Boulder, Colorado


Incumbent will serve as a Prize Challenge Specialist in the Communications Technology Laboratory at NIST in Boulder, CO.

Are you ready to explore your future with NIST? Your application package may be shared with other selecting officials at NIST with opportunities like the one you are applying to. Additional selections may be made through this vacancy.

This announcement will close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.


As the Prize Challenge Specialist, the incumbent will design and execute prize challenges as part of the PSCR Innovation Accelerator Program (Program) /Open Innovation Team (OIT). Work closely with the OIT, PSCR R&D subject matter experts, and manage all aspects of prize challenges in the development of appropriate programmatic parameters and rules to ensure the Program's open innovation opportunities meet all required Federal regulations and laws. Develop, execute and oversee uniquely tailored prize challenges that meet the mission outcome for each of PSCR's five technical focus areas using concepts such as crowdsourcing, public outreach, social media marketing, and stakeholder engagement. Work independently and as part of a team to drive innovation, achieve critical mission objectives and solve technically challenging problems. Isolate issues that require additional study and/or improvement, resolving critical problems or developing new concepts, policies/procedures and methodologies to improve program performance, outcomes, or impact. Lead the development, review, and approval of the open innovation opportunity planning documents and all required related documents in accordance with the Program's standard operating procedures. Exercise extensive judgment to interpret ambiguous guidelines, manage multiple deadlines, implement complex coordination and review processes, and ensure that administrative tasks are completed correctly within schedule and budget. Develop training and presentation materials for diverse audiences internal to NIST and other Federal Government partners as well as private industry or other similar partners to promote and increase the awareness of the Program. Presentation materials include many diverse types of visual, oral, and written media deliverables tailored to specific audiences to increase awareness, participation, and the impact of the Program. Foster relationships within the prize and challenge community to cultivate collaboration efforts with the Program. Responsible for performing a full range of management and administrative functions to work with relevant PSCR R&D subject matter experts and staff as well as work with the Federal procurement processes and the external vendors to develop, administer, and facilitate all elements of the Program's prize competitions and challenges.


Conditions of Employment

You must be a U.S. citizen

You must be registered for Selective Service if applicable (

You must be suitable for Federal Employment

Merit applicants must meet time-in-grade/band requirements, as applicable

Applicants must meet requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Time-in-grade/band requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement unless eligible for special hiring authority, reinstatement eligible, non-current Federal employee applying as a VEOA eligible which do not require time-in-grade/band.


Applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent tothe GS-13 grade level (ZA-III for NIST). Specialized experience is defined as experience with crowdsourcing, multi-media training materials, or community engagement. Experience with design or developing unique and tailored prize competitions/challenges and/or assisting in the prize challenge development and/or implementation. Experience overseeing development and/or management of all contracts established to support the establishment of prize competitions. 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. Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains Federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the OPM website located at

Applicants may request reconsideration of their qualifications determination within three business days from the date their applicant status was changed. Applicants should email the Agency Contact listed in this vacancy announcement with their written request listing the announcement number; explaining why the original determination was improper; what factors were not considered; and, should provide any other pertinent information that would enable reevaluation.


Additional Information

A trial period may be required.This appointment may be extended up to four years without further competition.If the selection results in a temporary promotion, it can be extended not to exceed 5 years or made permanent without further competition. This position is covered by an Alternative Personnel Management System (APMS). This system replaces the General Schedule (GS) pay plan and grade with career paths and pay bands. For information regarding how the pay bands correspond to the General Schedule, clickhere.

Applying under a Special Appointing Authority (i.e.,VRA,30% or more disabled veterans,Peace Corps,Schedule A/persons with disabilities):if you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, you will be forwarded to the selecting official for consideration and may be contacted for an interview. If two or more VRA candidates apply and one or more is a preference eligible, Veterans' preference will be applied. Applying as a Merit Candidates:Your responses to the job questionnaire will serve as the basis for identifying best qualified candidates. Best qualified Merit and Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) eligibles (i.e., candidates in the GOLD category) will be forwarded for consideration to the selecting official and may be contacted for an interview. Candidates must also meettime-in-grade/pay bandrequirements for consideration. Non-competitive consideration will be given to those Merit candidates that have held a position with the same promotion potential as the position advertised. Documentation (in the form of an SF-50) is required to show proof of promotion potential or highest grade held.In the merit promotion selection process, due weight will be given to incentive awards and performance appraisals.

Applying as an Agency Based candidate (i.e., outside the Federal government),your application package will be placed in one of three categories based on your responses to the assessment questions; Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. If non-veterans can be referred, the Best qualified (i.e., candidates in the GOLD category) will be forwarded for consideration to the selecting official and may be contacted for an interview. More information about the three categories can be found at:Category Rating Applying as a CTAP or ICTAP candidate:CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible for selection priority if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100.Information regarding CTAP and ICTAP appointments and eligibility can be found at -CTAP/ICTAP