Engineering Psychologist - SME (Open to both U.S. Citizens and Federal Employees)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Washington, D.C
Posted
Oct 21, 2020
Closes
Oct 29, 2020
Function
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

You will be responsible for providing technical, analytical, and scientific support to agency policy makers and other management decision makers. You will develop and lead research programs to reduce accidents, injuries, and deaths related to human error in railroad operations and railroad systems designs. You will identify, develop, and recommend programs to evaluate the utilization, impact, and effectiveness of human factors related to safety initiatives.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

As the Engineering Psychologist, you will be responsible for:
  • Applying professional judgment and evaluation skills to initiate, develop, and coordinate human factors research, development, demonstration, test, and evaluation projects and programs to address the development of advanced concepts for railroad equipment, vehicle operating practices, and systems designs.
  • Conducting research and development investigations covering theoretical design of analysis methods and procedures for evaluating human factors issues and operating practices for conventional and high speed train operations.
  • Applying and/or adapting the principles of several disciplines, such as psychology, industrial psychology, ergonomics, physiology and engineering and the principles of automatic data processing, statistical analysis and technology transfer, and making recommendations to formulate appropriate projects to address railroad problems.
  • Participating and/or conducting technical discussions within the Department, and with other Government agencies, universities, foreign government agencies, and the railroad industry, as required.
  • Serving as a member on intra-agency and inter-agency panels, and on Government panels or boards, furnishing advice and representation in your specialized field.

This position would be perfect for a mission-focused self-starter who wants to be a key innovator during a period of significant safety change in transportation.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - some travel will be required.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
14

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S.Citizen and eligible for consideration.
  • You must meet specialized experience to qualify.
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.


CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
  • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • TIME-IN-GRADE: Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade restrictions contained in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.
  • DEU REQUIREMENTS: Applicants selected under delegated examining procedures may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).


Qualifications

To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must (1) meet the Education Requirement for the series, (2) provide a copy of transcripts for verification, AND (3) meet either the education or experience qualifications for the grade at which you are requesting consideration.

To qualify for the GS-12, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-11, it must include:
  • Experience in probability, statistics, and quantitative methods applicable to conduct human factors, psychology, or behavioral research.
  • Experience in current theories, procedures, principles, and practices of psychology of human behavior, and applying them areas such as: human factors, experimental psychology, or Social Science to develop supporting data and recommendations.


To qualify for the GS-13, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-12, it must include:
  • Experienced conducting academic or applied psychology or human factors research. May have experience in either field research studies or laboratory/simulation research.
  • Experience in current theories, procedures, principles, and practices of psychology of human behavior, and applying them areas such as: human factors, experimental psychology, or social science to develop research needs and provide scientific support to decision makers in a work setting.


To qualify for the GS-14, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-13, it must include:
  • Experience applying managerial skills and analytical techniques to human factors research related to ergonomics, technology and automation, occupational workload, safety culture, and/or project evaluation.
  • Experience applying and adapting the principles of several disciplines, such as psychology, industrial psychology, ergonomics, engineering and statistical analysis to determine the direction of human factors research projects.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:
  • Human Factors - Knowledge of the principles, methods, and tools used to identify and apply information about human behavior, abilities, limitations, and other characteristics to the design of tools, machines, systems, tasks, jobs, and environments for effective human use.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of the concepts, principles, and theories of human behavior and performance in various contexts, mental processes, or the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
  • Written Communication - Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.

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 additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=e4

Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of closing date of the announcement. Graduation transcript must be received before start date.

Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


Education

All applicants must meet the following requirements to qualify for the GS-0180 series:

Degree: major or equivalent in psychology for all specializations except clinical psychology and counseling psychology.

1. Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study or specific course requirements generally as stated in paragraph A in the individual occupational

Where specific course requirements are not indicated in paragraph A, the number of semester hours required to constitute a major field of study is the amount specified by the college or university attended. If this number cannot be obtained, 24 semester hours will be considered as equivalent to a major field of study. The nature and quality of this required course work must have been such that it would serve as a prerequisite for more advanced study in the field or subject-matter area. Related course work generally refers to courses that may be accepted as part of the program major. OR

2. Appropriate combination of education and experience that is typically specified in paragraph B of the individual occupational requirements. The "paragraph B" method generally requires that an applicant possess a core of educational credit, such as described in paragraph A above, plus additional education and/or The method of determining the number of semester hours required to constitute a major field of study is the same as described in paragraph A.

The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field. In addition to courses in the major and related fields, a typical college degree would have included courses that involved analysis, writing, critical thinking, research, etc. These courses would have provided an applicant with skills and abilities sufficient to perform progressively more responsible work in the occupation. Therefore, creditable experience should have demonstrated similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to perform the work of the occupation.

Additional information

This vacancy may be used by any DOT agency to fill similar positions within 90 days.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level.

To compete with U.S. Citizens: If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be placed in one of four categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, which is based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference that have provided supporting documents will receive selection priority over non-veterans. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position.

To compete with other competitive status government employees: If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be scored based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. If referred, all relevant documents including performance appraisals and awards submitted with your application package will be forwarded to the hiring official for review.

Eligible Federal employees also seeking consideration for noncompetitive reassignment for this position, must indicate interest in the assessment. In eligibility question 14: select Yes/Other/Former Incumbency of a Position brought into the Competitive Service. Noncompetitive federal candidates must have competitive status on a SF-50, meet minimum qualifications, have served at the same grade or higher, and held or exceeded the promotion potential of this position.

All applicants: Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be updated on your behalf or you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers. The Automated Staffing Office is ultimately responsible for determining your final rating.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Other

Drug test required
No

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process
Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

RESUME - All applicants must provide a resume created within USA Jobs Resume Builder, that shows relevant experience, education and support the required specialized experience. Formatted resumes can by uploaded later in the application process.

TRANSCRIPTS are REQUIRED as there is a stated education requirement for the series. The transcripts need not be official, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements. Provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • If you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series, you may provide an SF-50 in lieu of transcripts.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS/INCENTIVE AWARDS: If applicable, performance appraisals and/or Incentive award documentation may be submitted and forwarded to the selecting official in consideration of your application. To receive credit, submit a recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable (do not submit a performance plan) and/or incentive award documentation dated within the last 18 months (i.e. performance awards, special act or achievement awards, quality step increases, etc.).

VETERANS: Your last DD214 (member 4 copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility.
  • If applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214 (member-4 copy).
  • If claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • If applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) ( https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/#veoa ), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214 (member-4 copy), which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.

FEDERAL APPLICANTS: You must submit your most current and other SF-50(s) that verify your current position, highest competitive grade, full performance level, and eligibility as a federal applicant. DO NOT submit an award SF-50 as these often do not verify grade or eligibility. For consideration for a promotion, Box 4 of the SF-50 must show a date that is at least 52 weeks prior to the job announcement closing. We recommend submitting your last promotion SF-50, current SF-50 or within-grade increase SF-50. Pay adjustment raise SF-50s for the current year will not support the 52 weeks' time-in-grade requirements. https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/service/SF-50/

NON COMPETITIVE APPLICANTS: If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility, you must provide the appropriate SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS, such as PCS orders (military spouse) describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability (schedule A), etc. For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointments.

DISPLACED EMPLOYEES: If requesting consideration under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency CTAP program (ICTAP), you must meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85 or falling in the Gold Category) and provide all of the following documents:
  • your most recent performance appraisal,
  • the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency, and
  • your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade.

Displaced employees may be eligible for ICTAP or CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition .

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

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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