Senior Science Advisor

Washington, D.C
Oct 18, 2020
Oct 25, 2020
Full Time


This Senior-Level (SL) position is located in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). If selected, you must work at the location stated in this announcement. About OCSPP:

Learn more about this agency


As Senior Science Advisor, the incumbent provides expert technical advice and guidance to senior management concerning hazard and exposure assessment, human health and ecological risk evaluation and science policy issues under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

Specific duties include:
  • Coordinating across OCSPP's offices to provide input to Agency leadership on homeland security policy, including EPA's planning, prevention, preparedness, and response for homeland security related incidents.
  • Serves as OCSPP's primary liaison with EPA's Office of Homeland Security, the Office of Emergency Management in the Office of Land and Emergency Management, senior officials in the White House National Security Staff, the Department of Homeland Security, other federal agencies, and non-governmental partners.
  • During homeland security events, leading the collection and analysis of input from OCSPP's offices to ensure accuracy, timeliness, and usefulness to the Federal government's response.
  • Leading efforts across the OCSPP science community to identify, develop, and implement harmonized risk assessment approaches that meet the needs of OCSPP's regulatory programs under TSCA, FIFRA, and the FFDCA.
  • Providing leadership and scientific expertise to the agency in the development of future science policies for the evaluation of chemicals and pesticides.
  • Identifying and helping resolve internal science policy and risk assessment questions to facilitate development and timely completion of human health and ecological risk assessments for new and existing chemicals and pesticides.
  • Serving as an authoritative liaison on health and environmental risk assessment and science policy issues for OCSPP on high level Agency, interagency and international work groups on matters of science and science policy related to human health and environmental risk evaluation.
  • Providing support for testimony in legal and congressional hearings, and as necessary, serving as an expert witness in litigation/hearings to support Agency position for regulatory and enforcement actions.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must submit resume and required documents (see How to Apply section).
  • You may be required to travel 1 to 5 days per month.
  • If you are selected, a pre-employment background check is required.
  • Position has education requirements--see Qualifications/Education section.
  • EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings.

The Ethics in Government Act, P.L. 95-521 requires the applicant selected for this position to submit a financial disclosure statement, OGE-278, prior to assuming the SL position, annually, and upon termination of employment.

This position is designated as High Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation.

If you are selected, you must complete a one year probationary period.


In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:

To qualify for this SL position, you need to have at least one year of full time experience equivalent to the GS-15 level defined as providing leadership, oversight, or technical direction for a large organization in evaluating risks to human health and the environment posed by pollutants and naturally occurring substances.

You will be evaluated on the mandatory Technical Qualifications listed in this announcement. See the Evaluations section of this announcement.


You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.

A bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in:

Biology: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major, as listed.

Toxicology: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in toxicology, or an appropriate discipline of the biological, medical, or veterinary sciences that included at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, biochemistry, or physiology, and 12 semester hours in toxicology.

Chemistry: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following: physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics; OR a combination of education and experience with education equivalent to one of the majors listed that included the described coursework.

For information about accreditation requirements, visit EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures .

Additional information

Position has portable work and selectee may be authorized to telework after meeting eligibility requirements if approved by the supervisor/manager.

EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures .

If you are selected, travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid by EPA. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting to work in this position will be your responsibility.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

We will review your resume and required documents to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet basic qualification requirements, your application will be further evaluated based on your narrative statements addressing the Technical Qualifications. You are being evaluated under the category rating method which means, if you are determined to be qualified, you will be placed into the ‘Best Qualified', ‘Well Qualified', or ‘Qualified' category.

Your responses should be clear and concise and show a level of accomplishment and a degree of responsibility.

Technical Qualifications (TQs) - Mandatory - Limited to two pages per factor - Failure to address these factors will result in your application being disqualified.

TQ1. Demonstrated experience managing, directing, developing and providing guidance and policy direction for human health and/or ecological risk assessment policies and initiatives related to the development and use of traditional and advanced toxicology testing techniques, chemical exposure estimation methods, species and dose-response extrapolation, and probabilistic risk estimation.

TQ2. Demonstrated experience applying advanced risk assessment methodologies relevant to chemical and pesticide regulations.

TQ3. Demonstrated experience communicating complex and politically sensitive environmental policy issues to higher management and externally.

TQ4. Demonstrated experience in contributing to the federal government's response to a homeland security event or incident.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

Documents to be submitted online:

NOTE: You should ensure your social security number, date of birth, and any other personal information are redacted.

--Resume clearly stating your experience related to this position as described in the Duties section and Qualifications section. In describing your experience, you need to be clear and specific. We may not make assumptions regarding your experience.

--College transcripts - required to submit either unofficial transcripts or a list of courses that includes school(s) attended, school address, course title, grades earned, completion dates, department, and quarter or semester hours earned. NOTE: Official educational transcripts are not required at the time of application; however, if you are selected, you must provide official transcripts before you start work with EPA.

--Veterans' Preference Documents - DD-214 Member 4 copy (or other copy indicating character of service), VA letter stating overall/combined disability rating (percentage), and SF-15 (use current version: SF-15 Form ), if applicable (see page 2 of the SF-15 for documents that can be submitted in lieu of the DD-214 and VA letter); active duty service members: submit certification from the armed forces documenting active duty dates, expected discharge/release date, campaign medals/badges, and character of service (a certification is any written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged/released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days after you submit the certification).

--Narrative statements covering each Technical Qualification (TQ) - Required - Limited to two pages per factor. Exceeding this limit will result in disqualification of your application. Your examples should emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives and level of contacts.

To learn more about submitting documentation, visit Uploading Documents to USAJOBS .

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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