Buyer (Open Rank)

Business Development Charlottesville, Virginia


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to recruit a full-time Buyer to join our Contracts and Procurement team in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Buyer will be responsible for the procurement of products and services in an efficient manner, utilizing competition to obtain the best product at the lowest price consistent with the specifications, performance and delivery schedule.  All procurements result in the best overall value to NRAO. The Buyer will conduct procurement activity and represent Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and NRAO with a high level of integrity.  The Buyer ensures compliance with the NRAO Contracts and Procurement manual, National Science Foundation (NSF) Cooperative Agreement, and other government regulations and purchase order terms and conditions. The Buyer will commit funding based on signature authority, or acquire signature approval for purchase orders above signature authority.


The position is based at the NRAO Central Development Laboratory (CDL) located in Charlottesville, VA.


Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. Our retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Essential duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Ensure all purchase requisitions and supporting documents are complete and accurate.  Verify proper approval signatures on requisitions.  Assist with the preparation of purchase requisitions when needed.
  • Request engineering samples, catalogues and data specification sheets for technical personnel requisitioners.
  • Prepare and send Requests for Quotes, and make award selections based on best value.
  • Prepare and send larger Request for Proposals, and participate in the competitive selection process with proposal evaluation teams.
  • Negotiate price, delivery and other contractual items in original procurement action and in any subsequent changes, which may occur. 
  • Enter all purchasing transactions into computerized purchasing system.  Track open orders.  Contact vendors and expedites late orders. 
  • Ensure delivery of materials and services in accordance with scheduled needs.  Contact vendors about any returns and write the shipping request and change order.  Contact vendors about incorrect invoicing. 
  • Complete tax-exempt certificates, credit applications and credit letters for vendors.
  • Ensure all purchasing is conducted in accordance with NSF, AUI, and Observatory requirements.
  • Prepare documentation to meet auditor requirements.  Prepare documentation required to obtain contract or purchase order approval from NSF.
  • Maintain records of commitment authority. 
  • Support all internal and external audit requests.  Initiate capital equipment worksheets for fixed assets.
  • Prepare and maintain monthly credit card reconciliations.
  • Proactively comply with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Associate’s Degree or equivalent combination of education and related experience.


Preferred Education

Associate’s Degree in a relevant field.


Minimum Experience

Four years experience in purchasing or related field.  Qualified candidates with seven or more years of experience may be considered for a higher level Buyer classification.


Competency Summary

  • Demonstrated written communications
  • Demonstrated oral communications
  • Customer service skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Knowledge of standard office practices
  • Knowledge of business English, spelling and arithmetic and the ability to make difficult arithmetic calculations
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees and public
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions
  • ability to organize and perform work independently in a multi-task environment, thorough understanding of Division functions and Observatory policies, the ability to interpret and apply policies and procedures, and to make decisions in accordance with regulations and established policies.


Application Instructions:


Select the "Apply" button below. You will need to be prepared to upload your current resume and a cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position.


Applications will be reviewed beginning July 22, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled.


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:


AUI is an equal opportunity employer.  Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.  To view our complete statement, please visit  If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.