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Types of NIST Appointments

Competitive Appointments:

Excepted Appointments:

Competitive Appointment:  Given to individuals hired to fill permanent, Federal positions following the rules and regulations that govern the competitive service.  Initially, employees are given a career-conditional appointment and after 3 years of continuous service, they are converted to a career appointment.

Career:  An appointment given to persons who have served three consecutive years, with no break in service, on a career-conditional appointment.  In addition to the rights of career conditional employees, career employees enjoy indefinite reinstatement rights and higher retention standing during reductions-in-force.

Career-Conditional:  A permanent appointment in the competitive service given to persons hired under a competitive examining process (i.e., direct hire, agency-based, and delegated examining).  Career conditional employees have a variety of rights, including retention standing in reductions in force and, after completing a probationary period, due process rights in involuntary separations.

Reinstatement:  An appointment of a former federal employee who has competitive status.

Temporary:  An appointment given to persons who are serving in positions not expected to last more than one year.  The appointment may be extended up to a maximum of one additional year for a total of 24 months.  Temporary appointments may be terminated at any time or at a predetermined time.  A temporary appointment may be made:

  1. To fill a short-term position;
  2. To meet a short-term employment need such as abolishment, reorganization, or contracting out of the function; anticipated reduction in funding; or completion of a specific project or peak workload; or
  3. To fill positions on a temporary basis when the positions are expected to be needed for placement of permanent employees who would otherwise be displaced from other parts of the organization (e.g., to make a temporary outside hire until an anticipated reduction-in-force takes place and a displaced employee is reassigned).

Senior Executive Service:  Managerial positions above Band V in the Scientific and Engineering Career Path or in the Administrative Career Path are filled by appointment to the Senior Executive Service (SES). There are several kinds of SES appointees. Career appointees are Senior Executives whose current or previous appointment to an SES position was based on competition and approval by the Office of Personnel Management of the individuals' executive managerial and technical qualifications. NIST SES positions are in the competitive service. Other kinds of SES appointments are limited term, limited emergency, and non-career appointment.

ST-3104:  Non-managerial positions above Band V in the Scientific and Engineering Career Path. These public law positions are in the competitive service.

Term Appointment:  An appointment given for positions that will last longer than one year, but less than four years.  Examples of situations that might require making a term appointment include project work, extraordinary workload, uncertainty of future funding, etc.

Transfer:  Appointment of a career-conditional or career employee currently employed by another federal agency.

Excepted Appointment:  Given to persons who are serving in positions excepted from the competitive service by an Executive Order or Public Law.  This type of appointment is generally used at NIST for hiring individuals such as experts or consultants, students, individuals with disabilities, faculty members, and non-citizens.

Experts/Consultants: Agencies may appoint a qualified expert or consultant to an expert or consultant position that requires only intermittent and/or temporary employment.  Such an appointment is excepted from competitive examination, position classification, and the General Schedule pay rates.  Experts and consultants may be paid a rate not to exceed the daily equivalent of the highest payable rate in the General Schedule (GS-15, step 10), excluding locality pay, unless a higher rate is specifically authorized by statute.

Faculty: NIST employs faculty staff from academia.  Individuals hired are given a one-year, excepted service appointment which can be renewed.  Employment may last through the summer only or throughout the year.

Post-Docs: Post-Doc appointments at NIST are excepted service appointments that do not exceed 2 years.  Applicants apply thru the National Research Council (NRC).  These appointments are fully-funded by the NRC.  Click here for additional information.