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

Job Title:Health Communications Specialist, GS-1001-14

Department:Department Of Health And Human Services

Agency:Food and Drug Administration

Job Announcement Number:HHS-FDA-OCS-DE-13-816210

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$105,211.00 to $136,771.00 / Per Year


Friday, February 15, 2013 to Monday, March 04, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Silver Spring, MD United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Become a part of the Department that touches the lives of every American! At the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) you can give back to your community, state, and country by making a difference in the lives of Americans everywhere. It is the principal agency for protecting the health of citizens. Join HHS and help to make our world healthier, safer, and better for all Americans.

As a Health Communications Specialist, GS-1001-14, in the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats (OCET), Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), Office of the Commissioner (OC), you will be responsible for serving as a senior expert providing strategic coordination and communications in crisis situations.  You will also serve as an expert for planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating major, complex public health communications on issues that potentially have a profound impact on the agency's counterterrorism and emerging threat programs and public health.

This vacancy is also being announced concurrently with vacancy announcement HHS-FDA-OCS-MP-13-816912 under merit promotion procedures.  Please review that announcement to see if you are eligible for consideration under merit promotion procedures.  NOTE:  Applicants must apply separately for each announcement in order to be considered.


WHO MAY APPLY: This is a competitive vacancy, open to all United States Citizens and Nationals, advertised under Delegated Examining Authority.  Selections made under this vacancy announcement will be processed as new appointments to the civil service. Current civil service employees would therefore be given new appointments to the civil service; however, benefits, time served and all other Federal entitlements would remain the same. Click here for more information about US Citizenship and other eligibility information. Applications are also accepted from current members of the PHS Commissioned Corps. PHS Commissioned Corps Officers interested in performing the duties of this position within the Commissioned Corps (not as a career/career-conditional employee) are encouraged to apply under the merit promotion announcement indicated below, if applicable. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.



  • U.S Citizenship
  • Suitability for Federal employment determined by background investigation
  • May be required to serve a one-year probationary period


Back to top

Primary duties and responsibilities of this position include the following:

  •   Developing and/or leading communications components for FDA-wide, high-profile projects, as well as interagency initiatives, related to the OCET mission often involving highly visible scientific policy issues;
  •    Drafting and/or overseeing the development of articles, reports, speeches, website content, and press releases on relevant topics;
  •    Managing short- and long-term projects related to communications components for OCET, and representing the agency to convey programmatic direction, present technical information, and convey policy related to communicating about health OCET programs;
  •    Analyzing OCET work products for their consistency with agency communication policy and standards;
  •    Directing and guiding the development, testing, and timely dissemination of science-and audience-based products, tools, and messages to different audiences (e.g. general public, external organizations, partners, and media) in a variety of formats (e.g. print, video, and web-based);
  •    Leading and conducting research and evaluation activities related to health communication and marketing; and
  •    Serving as a liaison between OCET, the agency and other communications and marketing staff on agency-wide issues and networks with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.


Back to top

To QUALIFY for this Health Communications Specialist, GS-1001-14 position, you must possess the SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE as stated in the following REQUIREMENT:

You must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 grade level, or equivalent pay band, in the Federal Service.  Specialized experience is defined as experience that is in, or directly related to, the work of the position being filled.  To be creditable, your specialized experience must demonstrate that it is comparable to the GS-13 grade level indicated. Examples of such specialized experience include:  Using multiple channels of communication such as web, print, and social media outlets to reach audiences of varying culture, race and ethnicity for the purpose of analyzing public concepts of health care messages; Writing and/or translating documents such as program/project descriptions, communication and marketing plans, reports about audience research and results, scopes of work, and training tools; Collaborating with staff and partners to formulate communication and marketing strategies; Assisting professionals in translating complex information into easy-to-understand health messages; AND Making presentations and conducting meetings to solicit input or develop consensus regarding public health program issues.


Your specialized experience may have been obtained in the private or public sector, and it must have equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) to successfully perform the duties of this position. Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas: knowledge of communications principles, theories, practices and techniques sufficient to serve as a technical authority on oral and written presentations; knowledge of project management sufficient to independently manage short- and long-term communications related projects; knowledge of marketing principles, methods, theories, practices and techniques sufficient to plan, implement and manage a public health program; knowledge of interpersonal relations/communications sufficient to address vastly diverse audiences; knowledge and skill in oral communications sufficient to lead teams and work groups, and solicit input on public health program issues; knowledge and skill in written communications sufficient to write a variety of speeches, documents, website content, communication plans, marketing plans, and reports.


PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid work on the same basis as for paid experience. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. To receive credit for such experience you must indicate clearly the nature of the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the number of hours per week spent in such employment.


Only experience obtained by the closing date of this announcement will be considered. 


YOUR RESUME MUST HAVE COMPLETE INFORMATION: Please ensure your resume accurately reflects the duties and responsibilities for each position you have held with each employer. It is your responsibility to make sure your resume states complete information (beginning and ending dates of employment stated as MM/YYYY; duties performed; and total hours worked per week) for each job entry. If your resume does not provide enough information regarding your work history for us to make a creditable qualification determination, your application package may be rendered disqualified and you will no longer be considered for this position.   



All qualification requirements must be met by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

Conditions of Employment:

1. Security and Background Requirements: If not previously completed, a background security investigation will be required for all appointees.  Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication.  Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action.  In addition, if hired, a background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.  Applicants are also advised that all information concerning qualifications is subject to investigation.  False representation may be grounds for non-consideration, non-selection and/or appropriate disciplinary action.


2. E-Verify: If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-Verify" System.  Federal law requires DHS to use the E-Verify System to verify employment eligibility of all new hires, and as a condition of continued employment obligates the new hire to take affirmative steps to resolve any discrepancies identified by the system.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is an E-Verify Participant.


3. Direct Deposit: All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.


4. All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.


5. Financial disclosure statement may be required.


6. One-year probationary period may be required.


7. Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will be paid: No


8. Bargaining Unit Position: No  


9. Drug Screening Required: No


10. Recruitment incentives may be authorized: No 


11. Student loan repayment incentive authorized: No


12. Annual leave for non-federal service authorized: No



Once the job opportunity announcement closes, a review of your résumé and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine if you are qualified for this job.


If, after reviewing your résumé and supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your responses when compared to your background information, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your skills and abilities.  Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.


Qualified candidates will be assigned to the following quality categories:


Best Qualified - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most requirements of the position.


Well Qualified - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and meets most requirements of the position.


Qualified - Meet the minimum qualification requirements, but does not possess the relevant competencies to a substantive degree. 


The category assignment is a measure of the degree in which your background matches the required competencies listed below for this position.

  • knowledge of communications principles, theories, practices and techniques sufficient to serve as a technical authority on oral and written presentations;
  • knowledge of project management sufficient to independently manage short- and long-term communications related projects;
  • knowledge of marketing principles, methods, theories, practices and techniques sufficient to plan, implement and manage a public health program;
  • knowledge of interpersonal relations/communications sufficient to address vastly diverse audiences;
  • knowledge and skill in oral communications sufficient to lead teams and work groups and solicit input on public health program issues; and
  • knowledge and skill in written communications sufficient to write a variety of speeches, documents, website content, communication plans, marketing plans, and reports.
    Application of Veterans' Preference:  Under Category Rating procedures, veteran preference eligibles will receive selection consideration before non-preference eligibles within each quality category.


To preview the assessment questionnaire, click the following link:View Assessment Questions


Back to top

The Federal government offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at


Veterans' Preference: If you are a veteran claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4) or an official statement (including Character of Service) from your command if currently on active duty. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must also submit a Standard Form 15 (Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference) and the required supporting documents listed on that form.  For more information on veterans' preference see 


Career Transition Program:  This program applies to Federal workers whose positions have been deemed 'surplus' or no longer needed, or an employee has been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service.  To receive selection priority for this position, you must be rated 'well-qualified.  Well-qualified means eligible applicants whose knowledge, skills, and abilities clearly exceed the minimum qualification requirements of the position.

For information on how to apply and what documents to submit as a CTAP/ICTAP eligible, go to:

Selective Service:  The Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that all male applicants born after 12/31/59 who are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, be registered or they are not eligible for appointment to this position.  For further information concerning Selective Service requirements, please visit


Back to top

Click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the on-line assessment questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.


Note: To return to your saved application materials, log in at: and click on 816210.


If you cannot apply online, you will need to:

1) Print the instructions and questionnaire by clicking View Occupational Questionnaire.

2) Print the 1203FX form to record your responses to the questionnaire.

3) Fax the completed 1203FX (all 6 pages but do not include a Cover Page for this document) to:  1-478-757-3144.

4) Print the Fax Cover Page and include with any supporting documents you fax (e.g., résumé, transcripts, veterans documentation, etc.) to the same fax number above.


Please do not complete steps 1-4 above if you are applying on-line.


  • Your Résumé - You are encouraged to use the USAJobs online resume builder to ensure that all required information is in your resume. If you use your own résumé, curriculum vitae, or any other written form you choose then you must describe your job-related qualifications that include beginning and ending dates for paid and non-paid work experience, hours worked per week, month and year of employment for each job title listed.
  • Responses to the Assessment Questionnaire


Other Supporting Documents: (Only submit if applicable to you.)


  • College transcripts (if qualifying all or in part based on your education)
  • Veterans' Preference documentation (i.e. SF-15, DD-214, Statement of Service, Service Connected Disability Letter, etc. ) 
  • CTAP/ICTAP documentation




For Résumé and Application Tips visit:


Fauna De Lemos
Phone: (210)805-2403
Fax: (478)757-3144
Agency Information:
1900 E St NW
Washington, DC
20415 Fax: (478)757-3144


You will be notified of your status when the list of candidates has been referred to the hiring manager for employment consideration.  

Back to top
Print Preview

Job Announcement Number:


Control Number: