Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS)

Washington D.C.
Oct 24, 2018
Oct 24, 2018
Full Time

75% or less - An RMLS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State's overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Relocation expenses reimbursed Yes After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an RMLS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of two to three years overseas or in the United States.

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
  • Education:

    At the time of application, applicants must possess:

    Bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science, medical technology, clinical laboratory science, chemistry, or biological science that must include 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) in chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester/quarter of mathematics, and one semester of Immunology from a U.S. accredited university or college.

    In addition to the Educational requirements and Specialized Experience (see below) requirements, applicants must:
    • Demonstrate completion of a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) Program for a Medical Laboratory Scientist, or Medical Technologist;
    • Must have a current national certification as a Medical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Technologist.
    Specialized Experience

    Applicant must have a minimum of five (5) years of full-time post-certification laboratory experience within the last seven (7) years as a generalist in the Clinical Laboratory and include work in Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Banking, Urinalysis, Microbiology, Parasitology, and Immunology, with progressively responsible experience as a Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist.

    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

    The Department has conducted extensive job analysis research to determine KSAs and other attributes conducive to successful performance as an RMLS. An applicant’s education level, work experience, and other qualifications will be considered as part of the hiring decision-making process based on these KSA criteria.
    • Applicant must have demonstrated skill in performing tests with detail and accuracy and providing information to appropriate individuals as necessary. The work involves exercising a high degree of laboratory management and technical expertise.
    • Applicant must have knowledge of the following: Laboratory Science, General Anatomy, Medical Terminology, Quality Control procedures, Quality Assurance plans, laboratory equipment used in performing a variety of laboratory tests, skill in performing preventive maintenance and troubleshooting on laboratory equipment, ability to train other medical professionals in laboratory techniques is required.
    • Applicant must be a skilled and experienced Medical Laboratory Scientist capable of working independently. Experience in performing laboratory techniques to diagnose infectious and tropical diseases is preferred.
    • Applicant must have the ability to develop, coordinate, and administer food and safety programs and procedures, including teaching laboratory and safety topics to both small and large groups.
    • Applicants must be able to organize and supervise a diverse group of health care staff and medical technologists with varying degrees of expertise, education, and command of English. Applicants must understand the unique cultural differences related to laboratory methods and health care delivery in varied countries and address these differences in a positive manner.
    • Applicant must have the capacity to gain the cooperation and confidence of patients, co-workers, supervisors, and subordinates. Individuals must have experience in working in a multidisciplinary setting as well as experience in team building, leadership and management. Effective written and oral communication skills are essential, as well as the ability to present laboratory findings in a clear and concise manner to medical and non-medical personnel. Demonstrated ability to teach or lecture to groups on laboratory issues is preferred.
    • General computer and Microsoft Office skills are required.
    Applicants must demonstrate a high degree of technical expertise with management experience.

    The candidate must demonstrate the ability to manage the administrative aspects of a health unit laboratory, as well as the ability to cope with extraordinary issue, which may occur in remote and isolated settings. Previous experience working as a supervisor or section chief, or in an overseas setting, is advantageous.

    The applicant must be a skilled and experienced medial laboratory scientist with excellent interpersonal skills. The applicant must be able to function well within a complex organization and have experience working in a high stress environment, and recognize and understand the problems of delivering laboratory services to Americans posted in locations where local laboratory resources are limited or non-existent. The ability to objectively evaluate the quality of laboratory services based on observations and open-ended questions, and the ability to provide long distance assessment of issues via electronic communications such as telephone, radio, and email.

    Knowledge of medical laboratory equipment, the Federal Regulations governing clinical laboratories and testing to include: CLIA 88, OSHA requirements for safety in the clinical laboratory, U.S. accreditation requirements, phlebotomy, Quality Management guidelines, International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations, medical laboratory tests, laboratory management, food safety guidelines, water testing methods and standards, and, Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines for all testing.

    Personal skills in social perceptiveness, reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, active learning, judgement and decision making, complex problem solving, customer service, teaching, leadership, time management, critical thinking, acclimating to different cultures, collaborating, learning strategies, persuasion, and event and project organizing.

    Other attributes include empathetic personality, self-confidence, firmness of convictions, adaptability, unflappability, creativity, confidentiality, interest in Foreign Service work, loyalty to the U.S., tolerance of non-scheduled work hours and travel, physical endurance, worldwide availability, tolerance of separation from family, and working and living in difficult and/or isolated or high-threat locations.

    Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. Foreign Service Specialists must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

    Essential Physical Requirements

    RMLSs may need to perform essential functions effectively with or without reasonable accommodation, in environments that pose physical or other occupational challenges. These duties may include:
    • Provision of direct patient care that may require heavy lifting, pulling, stooping, bending and twisting in tight and limited spaces.
    • Travelling independently to regional posts utilizing commercial air carriers, military aircraft, or other transportation modalities that may not offer special access accommodations
    • Provision of emergency care in any location following an accident, natural disaster, or attack and emergency care in potentially hostile or physically challenging environments, such as in buildings without elevators or in areas with irregular spaces that require kneeling, bending, stooping, lifting, walking and running on uneven terrain.
    • Transportation of self or patients via small aircraft, helicopters, ambulances, or other non-standard modes of transportation with small entrances and high floors, such as high axle armored vehicles.

    You must submit a copy of your college transcript(s) with your application. Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

    Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education,, in order to be credited towards qualifications.

    Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted.



    For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.


    U.S. Department of Education:

    *EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILIY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.
    U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the U.S. – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

    **The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:

    ***For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit:  

    No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

    An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

    Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

    It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

    The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at , within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

    Additional Benefits:

    Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas and tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.

    Continuing Medical Education (CME) 

    RMLSs receive at least 12 hours of Continuing Medical Education credit through annual State Department-sponsored CME program.

    Read more

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

    Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

    Medical Credentialing

    Applicants are subject to a medical credentialing process conducted by the Quality Improvement Staff of the Bureau of Medical Services. The medical credentialing process includes queries of national credentialing agencies.
    To preview questions please click here.

    Read more Security clearance Top Secret

    Drug test required Yes

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