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NSF Reviews

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38 Reviews
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    Is there hope for the Public Affairs office?

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    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst

    I worked at NSF


    NSF's mission (funding the nation's fundamental research in STEM and associated education) cannot be beat, and there are few places with as many talented, intelligent, collegial, and well-educated staff. And, there has been recent progress addressing serious leadership and management failures in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA). After 6 members of Congress alerted NSF leadership in 2013 of serious EEOC violations and retaliation against whistleblowing that the MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board) is investigating -- and that were the focus of two recent IG audits -- in relation to personnel actions by a manager and the head of OLPA, NSF did the following:
    (1) Terminated the OLPA head in Dec. 2014 and began a nationwide search for a competent leader with experience in congressional and legislative matters, and
    (2) Motivated by OLPA's two consecutive years of the lowest FEVS (Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey) ratings among all 7 NSF offices/directorates, NSF hired an organizational analyst in fall 2014 (and plans to hire another) to examine staff diversity issues and NSF's decade-long downward slide on the annual FEVS, which dropped the formerly favored agency precipitously from its 2004 and 2005 rating as 4th "best small-size federal agency at which to work" to "12th best mid-size federal agency at which to work" (2012 and 2013), led by OLPA's declining staff morale and lack of staff trust in the OLPA head and public affairs manager.


    OLPA's continuing toxic work environment continues to "paralyze" staff and is sustained by a chronic state of fear whose source is one particular manager. The adverse impact is objectively demonstrated by (1) OLPA's two consecutive years of the lowest FEVS ratings among all of the agency's offices, and (2) a very low productivity in the public affairs section, in particular; the number of press releases and other informative PR materials and resources that are generated on a daily basis is well below the capacity of the highly paid (GS 13-14) staff of 10. Only 2-3 appear to be productive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue "cleaning house" regarding management of OLPA's public affairs section.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

NSF Interviews

Updated Feb 6, 2015
Updated Feb 6, 2015

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Writer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at NSF.

    Interview Details

    I was interviewed in person by two managers at the same time. One was the second-level supervisor of the unit I was interviewing for and the other was head of public affairs/media relations.

    Interview Questions
    • The senior interviewer: head of legislative affairs was very conscientious in the interview and asked intelligent and wide-ranging questions and engaged me in a relaxed conversational exchange. The other interviewer, head of public affairs, was oddly passive and disengaged and had no questions.   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

NSF Awards & Accolades

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Best Employers for Latinos to Work For in the East, Latinos For Hire, 2012
Top 20 Government Employers - Readers' Choice, Equal Opportunity Publications, 2012

Additional Info

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Website www.nsf.gov
Headquarters Arlington, VA
Size 1000 to 5000 Employees
Founded 1944
Type Government
Industry Government
Revenue Unknown / Non-Applicable per year
Competitors Unknown

The National Science Foundation keeps the US on the cutting edge of discovery. This government agency funds science and engineering research and education programs. Each year the NSF awards grants to more that 2000 colleges, universities, school systems, science organizations, and other research groups throughout the country. It receives more than 40,000 proposals annually, of which some 11,000 are funded. Support is focused on biological sciences, geosciences, engineering, math and physical sciences, social and economic sciences, and education. NSF-funded researchers have... More

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