Research Psychologist or Research Statistician

Washington, D.C
May 23, 2019
May 31, 2019
Analyst, Research
Full Time


A Research Psychologist/Research Statistician vacancy is located within the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Office of Survey Methods Research (OSMR), Behavioral Sciences Research Center (BSRC). BLS is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.

This position is inside the bargaining unit.
This announcement may be used to fill like additional positions.

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OSMR plans and directs research and evaluation efforts that seek to minimize major sources of survey error, and ensure the dissemination of high quality data. BSRC Research Psychologists/Research Statisticians perform the following functions as well as other duties as assigned:

-Designs, conducts, interprets, and/or reports the results of research in the area of behavioral sciences and survey methodology.

-Contributes to survey design and identification of the procedural factors that affect respondent cooperation and quality of reporting.

-Analyzes data obtained in laboratory studies, online studies, and field tests designed to investigate survey concepts and a respondent's reporting ability.

-Drafts technical reports on methodological and behavioral science methods and procedures.

-Participates in statistical and methodological exchanges regarding psychological and/or statistical data findings with researchers in academic, government, and other research organizations.

-Establishes liaison with representatives of other agencies and research organizations to keep abreast of developments in the application of methodological and behavioral science techniques generally, and the fields of survey methodology and/or survey statistics specifically.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
14 - There is no obligation to provide future promotions if you are selected. Promotions are dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, meet all the performance requirements, and the supervisor's recommendation to the next grade.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. citizen and at least 16 years of age.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
  • A writing sample may be required at time of interview.

Applicants must meet all legal and regulatory requirements. Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.


Minimum Qualifications: Candidates must meet one of the Psychologist or Statistician Basic Requirements AND at least one of the Grade-level Requirements for Research positions (i.e. for GS-12 and/or GS-13). Students who will meet the educational requirements set forth below within 90 days of the closing date may apply. See the Required Documents section for submitting necessary proof.

1A) Psychologist Basic Requirements:

Degree: major or equivalent in psychology for all specializations except clinical psychology and counseling psychology. These two specializations have additional educational requirements, as stated below:

- Clinical psychology: Satisfactory completion of all the requirements for the doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) directly related to full professional work in clinical psychology is required.

- Counseling psychology: Satisfactory completion of 2 full academic years of graduate study directly related to professional work in counseling psychology, or satisfactory completion in an accredited educational institution of all the requirements for a master's degree directly related to counseling psychology is required.


1B) Statistician Basic Requirements:

Degree: that included 15 semester hours in statistics (or in mathematics and statistics, provided at least 6 semester hours were in statistics), and 9 additional semester hours in one or more of the following: physical or biological sciences, medicine, education, or engineering; or in the social sciences including demography, history, economics, social welfare, geography, international relations, social or cultural anthropology, health sociology, political science, public administration, psychology, etc.


Combination of education and experience -- semester hour courses as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. The experience should have included a full range of professional statistical work such as (a) sampling, (b) collecting, computing, and analyzing statistical data, and (c) applying statistical techniques such as measurement of central tendency, dispersion, skewness, sampling error, simple and multiple correlation, analysis of variance, and tests of significance.


2) Grade-level Requirements for Research Positions: Applicants must meet at least one of the following three requirements for directly-related education (2A), specialized experience (2B), or a combination of directly-related education and specialized experience (2C). Directly-related education is defined as study within one of the following fields: sociology, psychology, educational research, survey methodology, statistics, biostatistics, computer science, mathematics, or a closely-related field of the aforementioned.

2A) Education

GS-12: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree

GS-13: Not Applicable: education may not be substituted for experience at this grade level. See the specialized experience requirement listed below in 2B for the GS-13.


2B) Specialized Experience: Each of the specialized experience described below must be in or related to the field of psychology or statistics, and have equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This paid or unpaid experience may have been obtained in the private or public sector.

GS-12 : One year of specialized experience equivalent in scope and responsibility to the next lower grade level (GS-11) in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is defined as experience performing highly creative or outstanding research that has led (or can lead) to major advances in psychology or statistics through at least one of the following: development of a basic principle, product, concept, method, approach, or technique; providing a body of basic information that opened the way for a major advancement; OR, the submission of one or more articles to peer-reviewed journals.

GS-13 : One year of specialized experience equivalent in scope and responsibility to the next lower grade level (GS-12) in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is defined as the experience required at the GS-12 level described above as well as experience that included survey methodology research in one of the following areas: nonsampling-error (i.e. data collection and processing procedures) that may have included specification error, coverage of frame error, nonresponse, measurement error, processing errors, errors of estimations; OR, usability testing of data-collection instruments.


2C) Combination of Education and Specialized Experience as described below

GS-12: More than two years (but less than three) of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent doctoral degree) and specialized experience as required for GS-12 (less than one year) that when combined totals one year.

GS-13: Not Applicable: education may not be combined with experience at this grade level. See the specialized experience listed for the GS-13 above in 2B.


Applicants MUST submit unofficial academic transcripts as proof of meeting the qualifying educational requirements. Because specific course work is required, applicants MUST submit transcripts from each academic institution in which the required courses were taken in order to receive credit. Students who will meet the requirements set forth within 90 days of the closing date may apply. See the Required Documents section for submitting necessary proof.

Any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service.

If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.

Additional information

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.


How You Will Be Evaluated

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

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be evaluated against the evaluation factors below and placed into a category based on your vacancy question responses.


Category A - Meets the minimum qualifications requirements and demonstrates superior proficiency in applying critical competencies required by this position.

Category B - Meets the minimum qualifications requirements and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in applying critical competencies required by this position.

Category C - Meets the minimum qualifications requirements and demonstrates familiarity in applying critical competencies required by this position.

Evaluation Factors (Competencies) - All qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following key competencies:

-Decision Making/Problem Solving
-Interpersonal Skills
-Oral Communication
-Planning and Evaluation
-Data Management & Analysis
-Product Oversight & Improvement

The information you provide may be verified by a review of your work experience and/or education, by checking references and through other means (ex. interview). The examining Human Resources Office (HRO) makes the final determination concerning applicant ratings. Your resume MUST provide sufficient information to substantiate your responses to the vacancy questions. If not, the HRO may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the level of competency indicated by the content of your resume. Your evaluation may also include a review by a Human Resources Specialist or panel and may include other assessments (ex. interview, panel review, written test, writing sample, etc.)

INFORMATION FOR ICTAP/CTAP ELIGIBLES ONLY: If you are eligible for special priority selection under ICTAP/CTAP, you must be well-qualified for the position to receive consideration. ICTAP/CTAP eligibles who are placed into Category B or higher will be considered "well-qualified".

Click Application of Veterans Preference for Category Rating Jobs for more information.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

The following documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the vacancy closing date. You are not required to submit a document if it does not apply to you. Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission. Also, do not upload password protected documents.

The following documents are required from ALL applicants:

- Proof of Minimum Qualifications: If qualifying (at least in part) based upon Education, you must submit all applicable Unofficial academic transcripts demonstrating that you meet the educational requirements listed in this announcement. Students who will meet the educational requirements within 90 days of the closing date may apply. You may upload multiple transcript(s) as one document (3 MB size limit); if over 3 MB, please submit via fax feature. Submission of official transcripts will be required if selected. If qualifying based upon Experience and/or Specialized Experience (at least in part), your resume MUST contain detailed descriptions demonstrating that you meet the requirements listed in this announcement. If your resume does not demonstrate proof of the minimum qualifications, you will be deemed not qualified. See the Requirements section, i.e. under Qualifications, for more details.

The following documents are required if applicable:

-Veterans Documents: To be considered as a 5-point preference eligible, applicants must submit a copy of their Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD-214. The DD-214 must show the type of discharge, dates of active duty, and character of service (i.e. submitting Member Copy 4 vs Copy 1). To claim 10-point preference, applicants must submit a copy of their DD-214 (i.e. submitting Member Copy 4 vs Copy 1) as described for 5-point preference; an Application for 10-point Veteran's Preference, SF-15; and proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of disability. (For active duty service members expecting to be honorably discharged or released within 120 days, click Active Duty ) Without this documentation, applicants will not receive veteran's preference. For more information, go to:

- Displaced Employee Placement Documents: Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP or ICTAP eligibility.

- Cover Letters are not mandatory and will not be used to verify experience, but may be submitted

Applicants selected for employment who are not current DOL employees will be required to provide proof of citizenship , and the E-Verify system will be used to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires.

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.

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