This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Research Psychologist, GS-0180-11 / 12 (Open to All U.S. Citizens) ARC
Department:  Department Of Transportation
Agency:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Job Announcement Number:  NHTSA.NTI-2013-0001

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$62,467.00 to $97,333.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 to Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Full Time - Permanent
FEW vacancies - Washington, DC, US

Applications will be accepted from any U.S. citizen.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. The agency strives to exceed the expectations of its customers through its core values of Integrity, Service and Leadership. NHTSA's mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity.

Serves as Research Psychologist in the Behavioral Research Division, Office of Behavioral Safety Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Office has national responsibility for conducting behavioral research on the role of driver factors in crash avoidance; conducting applied research and evaluations of national, state, and local traffic safety programs; and in identifying strategies for reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries. The Office focuses research on a number of traffic safety issues including alcohol-and drug-impaired driving; safety belts and child restraint devices; speeding and aggressive driving; pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle safety; traffic safety for older adults and novice drivers; driver licensing and education; emergency medical services; and distracted and drowsy driving. The research and development programs conducted by the Office employ behavioral science theories and accepted research practices to increase safe driving and to reduce injuries and death resulting from vehicle crashes.
The Research Psychologist, with specific guidance and supervision, plans, develops, and participates in the conduct of national, state, and local research projects designed to determine the effectiveness of various approaches and programs in reducing traffic-related crashes and injuries.

The ideal candidate should have strong academic credentials and experience as a research psychologist with solid experience in planning, designing, conducting and managing research or evaluation studies involving experimental psychology, social or human factors countermeasures or intervention programs.  The candidate should also have strong experience in collecting, analyzing and/or synthesizing data from a variety of data sources and have experience using quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques in applied research or an evaluation project outside of an educational environment.   An understanding of highway safety and/or public health issues, such as alcohol-impaired and/or drugged driving, motorcycle safety, occupant protection, pedestrian and bicycle safety, distracted driving, speeding, and/or older and/or younger drivers, and experience working with Federal agencies, State and local governments, National organizations, research firms, public health officials, community groups and grassroots organizations would be helpful. The candidate should have strong organizational, analytical, interpersonal and communications skills.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen and meet specialized experience requirements
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • Review Required Documents Section as documents are required by closing date


As a Research Psychologist, you will:

  • Plan, develop, and participate in national, state, and local research and evaluation programs designed to determine the effectiveness of selected programs. Employs behavioral science and human factors theories and accepted practices to develop, test and evaluate programs and countermeasures to increase safe driving and to reduce injuries and death resulting from vehicle crashes.
  • Critically reviews and evaluates progress, interim, and final reports for the thoroughness of scientific methods used, appropriateness of the research and evaluation design and statistical analyses, and the relevance of the conclusions.
  • Prepare work statements for research and evaluation projects, which include both laboratory and field-oriented research approaches. Participate in pre-award activities by serving on proposal evaluation committees, evaluating technical proposals, preparing evaluation summaries and comparative cost analyses, and serving as technical consultant to the agency's Office of Acquisitions Management(OAM) during final contract negotiation.



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 on Education, you must have:

To qualify on Experience, you must have one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the following:


3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree

  • Quantitative analysis techniques including evaluative research methods, sampling statistics, and/or economic analyses sufficient to apply these techniques.
  • Conducting research and evaluation in experimental/human factors psychology, injury prevention, or traffic safety.
  • Using one or more computer software packages that create spreadsheets, work with databases and perform statistical outines.

You can also qualify based on a combination of Education and Experience



There is no education substitute

  • Project and organizational management.
  • Evaluating long range plans.
  • Preparing articles, program briefings, and other products to disseminate research and evaluation findings. 

This position has a Selective Factor, you must meet this in order to be qualified for this position. In addition to the specialized experience, you must have the following Selective Factor:

  • Demonstrated experience and/or training in planning, designing, and managing research and evaluation studies in traffic safety, or public health areas

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



In order to qualify for this series (GS-180), you must meet the following education/experience requirements:

A. 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 requirements.

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.


B. 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 experience. 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.



  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • You must complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • Government Travel Card - You must be able to obtain and retain a Government contractor-issued travel card to be used for official business as a condition of employment.  If unable to obtain and/or retain a card, you may be subject to removal.  Those who fail to meet this condition of employment will have our offer of employment rescinded.


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 nonveterans. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. If your resume does not support the specialized experience, or if your application does not support your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions, your final rating may be modified and/or you may be disqualified from consideration.

To preview questions please click here.


Benefits include health and life insurance, annual and sick leave, and retirement benefits.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal Employees here.

This position is telework eligible. 


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


You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

  • To begin, click the "Apply Online" button on the job announcement posting.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.

You may review your saved application(s) at If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET) at (202) 366-1298.  You may also email us at


The following documents must be provided by the close date:

  • RESUME -  showing relevant experience and education
  • TRANSCRIPTS - verifying that you meet the stated education requirements for the series or SF-50 showing that you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series.
  • TRANSCRIPTS (for the GS-11) - if you are substituting education for experience. 
  • VETERANS - In order to be considered as a preference eligible, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD214. Your DD214 need not be official but must show the type of discharge and dates of active duty.  If you are 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.
  • SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS - If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility (e.g. military spouse or persons with disabilities), you must provide appropriate supporting documentation such as PCS orders describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability, etc.  For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointmentsDocuments are only required if requesting non-competitive consideration.
  • DISPLACED EMPLOYEE PLACEMENT DOCUMENTS - Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP/ICTAP.  You must submit ALL of the following: (1) your most recent performance appraisal, (2) the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency, and (3) your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade.  In addition, you must meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (falling in the Gold Category).

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.


Automated Staffing Office
Phone: 202-366-1298
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
Submit Application and Documents Online
Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., E-55/HAHR-50
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


You may check your application status by logging into Within two weeks of the closing date, your application will be reviewed and rated. The most highly qualified candidates in the top group will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. If you are selected for an interview, we will contact you directly. Once the position is filled, we will notify all applicants of their final status.

Control Number: 331249700
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