Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Health Science Specialist in Bedford, Massachusetts

  • Duties



NOTE: This is a TERM appointment* (not-to-exceed 1 year and 1 day*). Term appointments are non-status, nonpermanent appointments of limited duration. Term employees are eligible to earn leave and generally have the same benefits as permanent employees including health and life insurance, within-grade increases and Federal Employees Retirement System and Thrift Savings Plan coverage. Term appointments may be extended without further competition.

This position is located within the Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Affairs Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts.

The Health Science Specialist will conduct MIRECC research studies in collaboration with the MIRECC staff supervisors, and prepare results of those studies within the appropriate professional arenas.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Recruitment & Relocation Incentives: Not authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not Required

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  • Devises and maintains procedures to recruit and retain participants in research studies.
  • Collects research data for current/future research studies.
  • Applies theories of mental health interventions, including motivational interviewing and vocational rehabilitation of person in recovery from mental disorders.
  • Under the supervision of supervisors, collaborates with staff to develop professional presentations, publications, research manuscripts, etc.
  • Performs subject interview measures such as the Structured Clinical Interview and performance based measures such as Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.
  • Represents mental health research projects on study specific conference calls.
  • Performs data analysis and statistical procedures appropriately on the statistical computer software provided (e.g. SPSS, SAS, etc.)
  • Assists supervisors with quality control and data verification regarding all aspects of research implementation at agency site.
  • Shows working knowledge of DSM-V nosology.
  • Performs other duties assigned as it relates to the position.
Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


  • #### Job family (Series)

0601 General Health Science

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • May be required to serve a probationary period.

TO QUALIFY FOR THIS POSITION YOU MUST FIRST MEET THE BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT: BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT - All qualified applicants must meet this Basic Requirement for the GS-601 series. You must possess a Bachelor's degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university in a major study in an academic field related to the health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of a Health Science Specialist - Mental Health Research (such as public health or psychology). NOTE: Copies of transcripts are required at the time of application. AND In addition to meeting the Basic Education Requirement - You must also meet one of the Additional Qualification Requirements: ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One (1) full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level (GS-7) in the Federal Service that has given you the particular knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Health Science Specialist - Mental Health Research. Specialized experience is experience conducting mental health research; writing portions of research reports and manuscripts; coordinating and managing activities for healthcare related research to include duties such as: recruiting, screening, and evaluating candidates for research studies; developing statistical methods and procedures to provide assistance in performing collection, processing, compilation, tabulation, and analyzing data and presenting results; operating and maintaining databases; utilizing knowledge of theories of mental health interventions, including motivational interviewing; responding to inquiries and preparing reports; and utilizing various computer programs.

OR SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR EXPERIENCE: Successful completion of two (2) years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree that provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of a Health Science Specialist - Mental Health Research. NOTE: If you select this option, you must submit a copy of your transcript (unofficial or official) with your application. Education cannot be credited without documentation.

OR COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: Equivalent combinations of successfully completed graduate-level education (beyond the first year) and specialized experience, as described above, which meet the total experience requirements for this grade level. The education portion must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of a Health Science Specialist - Mental Health Research (as described above). Copies of transcripts must be submitted with your application materials. Education cannot be credited without documentation.

You will be rated on the following Competencies as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position:

  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Computer Skills
  • Reasoning

IMPORTANT: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. All experience listed on your resume must include the month and year start/end dates. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

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.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

NOTE: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit:

Additional information

Physical Requirements: Work as the MIRECC Health Science Specialist is mostly sedentary, but good physical health is required. Work is performed in a quick-paced hospital setting, with considerably complicated outreach to clinical and social service sites in the community. Some patients pose risks of assaultive behavior and/or self-injury, so the work environment dictate that extreme alertness and sensitive to potential problems within the demonstrated training and experience.

Selected applicants may be required to complete an online onboarding process.

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave:Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities (i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities), and/or disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. For more information on how to apply using this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator within the office, contact the facility Human Resources Department at (781) 687-2000.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more before any Veterans preference points) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

Your responses to the assessment questionnaire will be reviewed along with the information provided in your resume and supporting documentation to determine if you are qualified for the position. If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered and/or you may lose consideration for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.

Candidates who apply under All U.S. Citizens announcements will be rated and ranked using Category Rating procedures. Qualified candidates will be assigned to a quality category. The categories are defined as follows:

  • Best qualified - applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are highly proficient in all requirements of the job and can perform effectively in the position;
  • Highly qualified - applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the requirements of the job;
  • Well qualified - applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in some, but not all, of the requirements of the job; and
  • Qualified - applicants possessing experience and/or education that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors. Application of Veterans' Preference: Category rating and selection procedures place those with veteran's preference above non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligible applicants that meet the eligibility and qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category (except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher).

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents


Required Documents

IMPORTANT: Please ensure your resume include up-to-date contact information (phone number(s), email address(s), etc.)

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Resume

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees).

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214
  • OF-306
  • Other
  • Other Veterans Document
  • Resume
  • SF-15
  • SF-50
  • Transcript

Veterans' Preference:When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference.For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits



A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online. To apply for this position, you must complete the questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 03/23/2018 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USA JOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJobs account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Application page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

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Agency contact information
VHA Nationwide Recruitment





Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital 200 Springs Road Bedford, MA US

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Next steps

Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications per Category Rating procedures to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 03/13/2018 to 03/23/2018

Salary: $55,909 to $72,683 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 9

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Term - 1 year