This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Research Associate

Department:Judicial Branch

Agency:U. S. Sentencing Commission

Job Announcement Number:#12-07

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$42,209.00 to $97,333.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Monday, September 10, 2012 to Friday, October 05, 2012

SERIES & GRADE:

JS-0101-07/12

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

12

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens

JOB SUMMARY:

The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the Judicial branch of the Federal government, was organized in 1985 to develop a national sentencing policy for the federal courts. The resulting sentencing guidelines structure the courts' sentencing discretion to help ensure that similar offenders who commit similar offenses receive similar sentences.

The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent federal agency in the Judicial Branch of government consisting of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate and two non-voting ex-officio members. The agency staff consists of approximately 100 employees. The Commission develops and revises guidelines for federal district court judges to consider in sentencing offenders convicted of federal crimes. The Commission monitors and evaluates the use of the guidelines, conducts research and education programs on guideline application and sentencing matters generally, and recommends improvements in federal sentencing practices. Additional information about the Commission can be accessed via the Commission's website at www.ussc.gov.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Individuals must undergo a fingerprint background check.
  • Employees are required to serve a one year probationary period.

DUTIES:

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DUTIES

The incumbent will work with research staff to: (1) Review existing data for errors and perform edits and data cleaning of research data files; (2) Assist in the production of sentencing statistics; (3) Compile, organize, and document research-related data files and assist in the preparation of data file documentation, statistical tables, and graphic displays and presentations; (4) Analyze qualitative and quantitative data and contribute to reports and publications based on that data; (5) Assist in the preparation of reports assessing the sentencing impact of judicial and/or congressional sentencing modifications to the guideline structure and process; (6) Assist in the preparation of databases, writing and executing computer program code and working with large data files; (7) Research, review, and analyze social science research literature; and, (8) Perform support or administrative tasks as needed.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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MANDATORY QUALIFICATIONS

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college in a social science field, and a minimum of one year of experience working in a research environment as either an intern or a paid employee. Satisfactory completion of course work in statistics and research methodology as well as experience programming with statistical software packages (i.e., SAS, SPSS, or STATA) is also required.

 

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

Preference will be given to applicants with one or more of the following areas of experience:

 

(1) Academic training in criminal justice, sociology, or a related empirical social science, or

 

(2) Advanced degree (Masters or higher) in related field of criminology, sociology, or related empirical social science, or

 

(3) Advanced SAS programming experience (working with macros and/or using SAS datafiles to auto-fill tables in Excel or Word), or

 

(4) Experience analyzing federal or state sentencing data.


REQUIREMENTS

In order to be considered for this position, applicants must address the following KSAs in the questionnaire on USAJOBS as a separate submission from the resume and cover letter:

 

(1) Proficiency using Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, or comparable word processing software, specifically editing text as well as creating and/or inserting tables, charts, and other objects into text;

 

(2) Experience using EXCEL or a comparable spreadsheet software program, specifically creating or editing tables and charts and using formulas;

 

(3) Experience using PowerPoint to make presentations which include data graphics;

 

(4) Experience in collection, editing, and manipulation and analysis of data files;

 

(5) Describe experience with any statistical software packages (i.e., SAS, SPSS, or STATA); and,

 

(6) Ability to work well in a team setting.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED

The U.S. Sentencing Commission evaluates applicants through a structured interview. Applicants may also be screened for some jobs through a narrative/application review, and/or a preliminary telephone interview. Applicants who do not address the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) in his or her application materials as stated in the vacancy announcement are automatically disqualified from consideration and must re-apply before the closing date to be considered for employment.

 

The Office of Human Resources: (1) Reviews the applicant’s application to ensure the proper materials are submitted, (2) Ensures that the application addresses all of the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) as stated in the vacancy announcement; and, (3) Determines whether the applicant meets the qualification requirements for the particular position and notifies the applicant about the status of his or her application.

 

Applicants who meet the mandatory qualification requirements will be considered and their application materials will be forwarded to the screening panel for review. Applicants who do not meet the mandatory qualification requirements for the position are automatically disqualified from consideration. In addition, some applicants may be tested using various assessment tools not listed on the vacancy announcement to verify an applicant’s experience, knowledge, and training directly related to the job in order to identify the best qualified applicants for consideration and selection.


BENEFITS:

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BENEFITS

The Commission participates in the following federal benefits: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program; the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, federal retirement, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and the federal leave program. In addition, the Commission participates in the Judiciary’s Flexible Spending Program for dependent care, health care, and commuter reimbursement, the Judiciary’s Long Term Care Program, or government-wide Long Term Care Insurance Program, unemployment, and workers’ compensation benefits.

 

The Commission offers a monthly transit subsidy to employees who use mass transit to commute to and from work, subject to the availability of funds. The Commission offers alternative work schedules (AWS), which is a fixed work schedule that enables full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays. The Commission offers regular telework to employees in positions deemed eligible by the staff director and who meet the requirements of an approved telework arrangement in which an employee performs official duties at home or at an approved telework center in Reston, Virginia for the purposes of the Commission’s Telework Policy.

 

The Commission also offers training opportunities to employees through the Judiciary and Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) Online University (JOU Online University), which offers academic credit and professional credit programs through web-based learning. This online training tool assists employees of the Commission with taking online courses in a flexible way, by offering training courses in the areas of: staff training and development; credit toward undergraduate degree programs; continuing education and non-credit certificate programs; executive education; contract training; credit credentials courses for continuing professional education and credit for individuals who hold credentials and achieve certifications associated with several globally-recognized sponsored organizations.



OTHER INFORMATION:

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

This position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of positions in the competitive Civil Service. All new Commission employees, those converted from a temporary appointment to a permanent appointment, and all rehired former Commission employees are required to serve a one year probationary period. The probationary period begins on the effective date of the employee’s appointment, conversion, or rehire. Employment is contingent upon a favorable FBI criminal background check, and requires electronic fingerprinting.



HOW TO APPLY:

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HOW TO APPLY

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

 

1. Your Resume,

2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire, and

3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below).

 

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on the closing date.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 
 
Note: To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the more information link under the application status for this position. 

 

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page http://staffing.opm.gov/pdf/usascover.pdf using the Vacancy ID. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

 

If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire  TAG:Link to Full Questionnaire ,
2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire
http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdfimage/opm1203fx.pdf, and
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.



REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

The following documents are required:

 

·          Resume and  

·          Cover letter or

·          Narrative statement addressing the mandatory requirements and preferred qualifications 

·          Veterans Preference documentation, if applicable (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter, as appropriate)

·          SF-50 (or equivalent Notification of Personnel Action if you are a current or former Federal employee)

If you upload your documents using Application Manager, DO NOT FAX the same documents. To verify uploaded documents have been processed, please wait one hour to ensure they have cleared the virus scan. You can verify that your uploaded documents are attached to your application by checking the Details tab of your Application Manager account https://applicationmanager.gov/ for this vacancy announcement. Your documents will display under the Details tab in the Document area.

 

Faxed documents will take 2-3 business days to process. To fax documents, you MUST use the special cover page. Print the pre-populated cover page on the upload documents screen of Application Manager. Or, you may click this link http://staffing.opm.gov/pdf/usascover.pdf to print a copy of the cover page. When faxing documents, follow the procedures outlined below.   

 

  • Include the 8-character Vacancy Identification Number TAG:VacancyID
  • Provide your Social Security Number and full name in the spaces provided or we will not be able to associate your document(s) with the rest of your application.
  • You may submit multiple documents for the same vacancy announcement using one cover page.
  • Fax your cover page and documents to 1-478-757-3144.

Faxed documents submitted with missing information will not be processed.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

Mark R. Fife
Phone: (202)502-4627
Fax: (202)502-4777
Email: MFIFE@USSC.GOV
Agency Information:
United States Sentencing Commission
One Columbus Circle NE
South Lobby Suite 2-500
Washington, DC
20002-8002 Fax: (202)502-4777

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT

Once the online questionnaire and required documents are received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made, qualified applications will be forwarded to the selecting committee for consideration. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.

 

Instructions for answering the questions in the Occupational Questionnaire: If you are applying to this announcement by completing the OPM 1203-FX form instead of using the Online Application method, please use the following step-by-step instructions as a guide to filling out the required questionnaire. You will need to print the vacancy announcement and refer to it as you answer the questions. You may omit any optional information; however, you must provide responses to all required questions. Be sure to double check your application before submission.

Social Security Number

Vacancy Identification Number

The Vacancy Identification Number is: 743898
1. Title of Job

Research Associate
2. Biographic Data

3. E-Mail Address

4. Work Information

5. Employment Availability

6. Citizenship

Are you a citizen of the United States?
7. Background Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

8. Other Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

9. Languages

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

10. Lowest Grade

07
08
09
11
12

11. Miscellaneous Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

12. Special Knowledge

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

13. Test Location

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

14. Veteran Preference Claim

15. Dates of Active Duty - Military Service

16. Availability Date

17. Service Computation Date

18. Other Date Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

19. Job Preference

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

20. Occupational Specialties

001 Research Associate

21. Geographic Availability

Select/enter at least one geographic location in which you are interested and will accept employment. The location code for this position is:


99MTRO012 Washington DC Metro Area, DC

22. Transition Assistance Plan

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

23. Job Related Experience

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

24. Personal Background Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

25. Occupational/Assessment Questions:

1.

Do you have a minimum of one year of experience working in a research environment as either an intern or a paid employee?

 

A. Yes, I do have one or more years of work experience in a research environment as either an intern or a paid employee.
B. No, I do not have one or more years of work experience in a research environment as either an intern or a paid employee.

2. Do you have experience programming with statistical software packages (i.e., SAS, SPSS, or STATA)?

A. Yes, I do have experience programming with statistical software packages.
B. No, I do not have experience programming with statistical software packages.

3. Do you have an undergraduate degree in a social science field from an accredited university or college? 

A. Yes, I have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college.
B. No, I do not have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college.

4. Have you satisfactorily completed course work in statistics and research methodology?

A. Yes, I have satisfactorily completed course work in statistics and research methodology.
B. No, I have not satisfactorily completed course work in statistics and research methodology

5. Do you have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-06 level in the federal service) obtained in either the public or private sector which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position at the GS-7?

A. Yes, I have a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-06 level in the federal service that is directly related to the line of work of this position.
B. No, I do not have one year of experience equivalent to the GS-06 level that is directly related to the line of work in this position.

6. Do you have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-07 level in the federal service) obtained in either the public or private sector which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position at the GS-8?

A. Yes, I have a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level in the federal service that is directly related to the line of work of this position.
B. No, I do not have one year of experience equivalent to the GS-07 level that is directly related to the line of work in this position.

7. Do you have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-08 level in the federal service) obtained in either the public or private sector which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position at the GS-9?

A. Yes, I have a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-08 level in the federal service that is directly related to the line of work of this position.
B. No, I do not have one year of experience equivalent to the GS-08 level that is directly related to the line of work in this position.

8. Do you have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-09 level in the federal service) obtained in either the public or private sector which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position at the GS-11?

A. Yes, I have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level in the federal service that is directly related to the line of work of this position.
B. No, I have do not have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 that is directly related to the work of this position.

9. Do you have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-11 level in the federal service) obtained in either the public or private sector which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to to successfully perform the duties of this position at the GS-12?

A. Yes, one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the federal service that is directly related to the line of work of this position.
B. No, I do not have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 that is directly related to the work of this position.

For each task in the following group, choose the statement from the list below that best describes your experience and/or training. Please select only one letter for each item.

A- I have not had education, training or experience in performing this task.
B- I have had education or training in performing the task, but have not yet performed it on the job.
C- I have performed this task on the job. My work on this task was monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
D- I have performed this task as a regular part of a job. I have performed it independently and normally without review by a supervisor or senior employee.
E- I am considered an expert in performing this task. I have supervised performance of this task or am normally the person who is consulted by other workers to assist them in doing this task because of my expertise.

10. Please select the letter that best describes your experience and ability working in MS Excel. Please only select one option.

11.

Please select the letter that best describes your experience and proficiency using Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, or comparable word processing software. Please only select one option.

12. Please select the letter that best describes your experience and proficiency using PowerPoint to make presentations which include data graphics Please only select one option.

13. Please select the letter that best describes your technical ability and programming experience programming with statistical software packages (for example, SAS or SPSS). Please only select one option.

14. Please select the letter that best describes your knowledge and experience in the collection of original data and the editing of datafiles. Please only select only one option.  

15. Please select the letter that describes your experience with database software packages such as ORACLE.  Please only select one item.

16. Do you have academic training or a degree in criminal justice, sociology, or a related empirical social science? Applicants who meet one of the preferred qualfications will be given preference over other candidates.

A. Yes, I have academic training or a degree in criminal justice, sociology, or a related empirical social science.
B. No, I do not have academic training or a degree in criminal justice, sociology, or a related empirical social science.

17. Do you have an advanced degree (Masters or higher) in criminology, sociology, or another related emperical social science?

A. Yes, I have an advanced degree (Masters or higher) in criminology, sociology, or another related emperical social science.
B. No, I do not have an advanced degree (Masters or higher) in criminology, sociology, or another related emperical social science.

18. Do you have advanced SAS programming experience (working with macros and/or using SAS datafiles to auto-fill tables in Excel or Word)?

A. Yes, I have advanced SAS programming experience.
B. No, I do not have advanced SAS programming experience.

19. Do you have experience analyzing federal or state sentencing data?

A. Yes, I have experience analyzing federal or state sentencing data.
B. No, I do not have experience analyzing federal or state sentencing data.

Good customer service is critical while performing the duties of this position. Describe your interpersonal skills and ability to maintain good working relationships with staff at all levels.

Excellent organization skills and iniatiative are critical characteristics the successful candidate must possess. Describe your methods for keeping organized, tracking assignments or workload, and how you deliver an accurate work product in a timely manner.  Please provide specific examples of a typical work day, how you manage your work and take iniatiative to complete assignments.


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Job Announcement Number:

#12-07

Control Number:

326085400