Curator of Primates

Organization: Smithsonian National Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Washington, DC, us
Job or Internship: Job

Job Title:Supervisory Biologist

Agency:Smithsonian Institution

Job Announcement Number:13A-LG-298945-DEU-NZP


$74,872.00 to $97,333.00 / Per Year


Thursday, September 26, 2013 to Thursday, October 10, 2013




Full-Time, Permanent - Federal




FEW vacancies - Washington, DC, USView Map


This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals. Note: Federal employees with permanent status or individuals eligible for special appointing authorities may also apply to Job Announcement #13R-LG-298945-MPA-NZP.


This position is located in the Animal Care Sciences, of the National Zoological Park (NZP).  The incumbent serves as the Curator of Primates and is responsible for maintaining excellence in all aspects of the care and welfare of the animals in these areas, including gorillas, orangutans and an assortment of other exotic animals.  The incumbent supervises a staff of animal caretakers.

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in "Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery."


  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service. 


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  • Plans, organizes, directs, and supervises staff and their activities.
  • Provides authoritative advice and counsel to management on complex problems and issues relating to the care, husbandry, captive management, breeding and study of relevant taxa.
  • Works as a principal member of teams comprising staff and others to help conceptualize, design, construct animal facilities, ranging from single enclosures to entire buildings and complexes. 
  • Provides expertise on animal housing requirements, animal care needs, health, reproduction, and staffing needs for facilities construction and renovation.
  • Facilitates scientific investigation (both basic and applied research) with staff and partners in the areas of species biology, captive animal management, reproduction, behavior, and population sustainability.   


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All applicants must meet these Basic Requirements: (You must submit unofficial school transcripts)
Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position. ORCombination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.  Special Instructions for Foreign Education:  If your education was completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study.  For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.
Specialized Experience
In addition to meeting Basic Requirements  above, applicants must have one year of full-time specialized experience.  For this position specialized experience is defined as applying biological facts, principles, methods, techniques and procedures to the management of great apes and/or large exotic carnivores in a zoological park setting, especially in the areas of husbandry, reproduction and population management..   Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.  Or Education: PH.D. or eqivalent doctoral degree may be substituted to meet the experience requirements. Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications. For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

Note: Your specialized experience must have been in a position(s) equivalent to duties for the occupation at the next lower grade level for the position being filled as defined by applicable Federal standards.

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.


Your resume will be used to evaluate your experience, education, and/or training that address the competencies below:

  • Ability to supervise a diverse Animal Care Staff.
  • Ability to oversee a complex animal care and management program for great apes.
  • Ability to plan and direct exhibit maintenance, improvements and design.
  • Ability to collect husbandry and management data and to facilitate and promote research.
  • Ability to communicate to the media and general public.
Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria: Best Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most of the job related competencies above. Better Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and satisfies most of the job related competencies above. Good Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements, but does not satisfy most of the job related competencies above to a substantive degree. This category rating process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied. Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. Applicants who have not submitted a resume in the USAjobs system and/or have not answered all of the vacancy questions will not be considered for this position. Important Note: The review of your resume will determine your final rating and should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.
To preview questions please click here.  




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The Smithsonian offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, vacation and sick leave, holidays, health/life insurance, accident insurance, and excellent retirement program options. Please see Benefits at for a complete description.


Flexible Spending Accounts - Health Insurance - Leave - Life Insurance - Long Term Care Insurance - Retirement Program -


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Click on the "Apply Online" button on the upper right side of the page. Please Note:

  • You must apply for this position online through the 'Apply Online' button and submit required supplemental documents (if they are relevant to you).
  • You may submit required documents by uploading them online during the application process; OR You may manually fax required documents. Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine. Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date. Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.
  • The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.  


Your application package should include the following documents:  

  • Detailed resume created in the USAJOBS Resume Builder.
  • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy), if you are a veteran. Additionally, applicants claiming 10-point preference must complete Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, as well as additional documentation required by the SF-15, such as a VA letter.
  • Unofficial school transcripts, you must submit unofficial transcripts in order to receive consideration. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.  
  • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.



Linda Givens
Phone: 202-633-6307
Fax: 571-258-4052
TDD: 202-633-6409
Agency Information:
Office of Human Resources
POB 37012, 600 Maryland Avenue, MRC 517
Suite 5060
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


At the end of the application process you will be able to create and save a PDF file that contains your responses to the assessment questions. You may save this file as initial receipt of your application. After the job announcement closes, you will receive an email from the Smithsonian with confirmation of receipt. The Smithsonian receives many applications for each job. Each application is reviewed carefully which may take a few weeks. We will send you an e-mail to update you as we go through phases of the application review process. You may also check your application status by logging into and selecting the tab "My USAJOBS;" e-mailing; or by contacting the Office of Human Resources Representative listed. Additional Information: