Research Associate - Programmer
This position is open until filled. The first cutoff date for review of applications will be September 11, 2017.
ABOUT THE COMMISSION:
The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent federal agency in the Judicial Branch of government consisting of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate and two non-voting ex-officio members. The agency staff consists of approximately 100 employees. The Commission develops and revises guidelines for federal district court judges to consider in sentencing offenders convicted of federal crimes. The Commission monitors and evaluates the use of the guidelines, conducts research and education programs on guideline application and sentencing matters generally, produces sentencing-related reports, and recommends improvements in federal sentencing practices and policies. Additional information about the Commission can be accessed via the Commission's website at http://www.ussc.gov.
ABOUT THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DATA (ORD):
ORD is the largest unit in the Commission, with approximately 45 employees. ORD staff collect data from sentencing documents which are submitted electronically by federal courts around the country. ORD staff provide statistical analyses to the Commissioners about the nature and extent of federal crime, the people who commit those crimes, and how the federal sentencing guidelines are applied in criminal cases. ORD's analyses are a key part of the Commission's decision-making process about changes to the guidelines. ORD analyses are also used in various publicly available publications such as the Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, Quarterly Sentencing Updates, Quick Facts, and various reports to Congress.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation expenses reimbursed No
Applicants must have demonstrated work experience related to the mandatory requirements. Applicants who do not address the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) in his or her application materials as stated in the vacancy announcement are automatically disqualified from consideration and must re-apply before the closing date to be considered for employment.
Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, or a closely related empirical social science from an accredited university or college as well as satisfactory completion of course work in statistics and/or methodology.
Applicants must have a minimum of three years of SAS computer programming experience while working in a professional work environment as either an intern or a paid employee.
Applicants must also have experience in the following areas:
- SAS programming experience must include working with manipulating and analyzing quantitative data in data steps such as subset datafiles, creating collapsed or dummy variables, utilizing IF/THEN statements and DO-loops, finding means/medians, and writing macros.
- Experience with data quality control and/or data cleaning.
- Experience creating tables and charts in SAS, Work, PowerPoint, and Excel, and using formulas in Excel.
- Experience matching or merging datafiles.
Preference will be given to applicants with the following areas of experience:
- Experience with using SAS macros to fill output data from SAS into pre-formatted Excel spreadsheets using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).
- Experience analyzing federal criminal justice data and/or familiarity with the federal sentencing guidelines.
- Experience reading Oracle data into SAS.
- Experience using ARRAY function.
- Experience using SAS procedures to create data reports, graphs, and maps (e.g., experience with the following SAS procedures PROC REPORT, TABULATE, GMAP, SGPLOT, and/or SAS ODS).
- A Master's degree in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, or a related empirical social science from an accredited university or college.
The Commission participates in the following federal benefits: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program; the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, federal retirement, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and the federal leave program. In addition, the Commission participates in the Judiciary's Flexible Spending Program for dependent care, health care, and commuter reimbursement, the Judiciary's Long Term Care Program or government-wide Long Term Care Insurance Program, unemployment, and workers' compensation benefits.
The Commission offers a monthly transit subsidy to employees who use mass transit to commute to and from work, subject to the availability of funds. The Commission offers alternative work schedules (AWS), which are fixed work schedules that enable full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays as well as the option for regular or situational telework. Employees are eligible for situational telework immediately. After successful completion of a one-year probationary period, employees are eligible for a regular telework up to three or four regular established days each pay period, depending on whether the employee also participates in AWS.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
- This position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of positions in the competitive Civil Service.
- All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.
- Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment during the pre-employment process and proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States and proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information on the employment of non-citizens can be found at: https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/Employment_of_Non-citizens. For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
- A background security investigation is required for all selectees. Appointment will be subject to a selectee's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. A background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.
- All new Commission employees must identify a financial institution for direct deposit of pay before appointment, mandated by the Federal Compensation Act.
- All new Commission employees, those converted from a temporary appointment to a permanent appointment, and all rehired former Commission employees are required to serve a one year probationary period.The probationary period begins on the effective date of the employee's appointment, conversion, or rehire.
- If appointed to a temporary position, management may have the discretion of converting the position to permanent depending upon funding and staffing allocation.
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
The Commission evaluates applicants through a structured interview. Applicants may also be screened for some jobs through a narrative/application review, and/or a preliminary telephone interview. In order to be considered for this position, applicants must address the mandatory and preferred qualifications in the questionnaire on USAjobs as a separate submission from resume and cover letter.
The Office of Human Resources:
- Reviews the applicant's application to ensure the proper materials are submitted.
- Ensures that the application addresses all of the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) as stated in the vacancy announcement.
- Determines whether the applicant meets the qualification requirements for the particular position and notifies the applicant about the status of his or her application.