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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Clinical Pharmacy Specialist (Research)
Department:  Department Of Veterans Affairs
Agency:  Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Job Announcement Number:  VHA-618-SC-13-VU835339

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$117,065.00 to $138,566.00 / Per Year
Thursday, February 07, 2013 to Thursday, February 21, 2013
Full Time - Excepted Service Term NTE 3 years
1 vacancy in the following location:
Minneapolis, MN United StatesView Map


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 835339 

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. 

How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?


This Research Pharmacist position is at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System which is part of a larger network called the VA Midwest Healthcare System in VISN 23, which includes facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The incumbent will serve on a 3 year appointment as the SPACE (Strategies for Prescribing Analgesics Comparative Effectiveness) Clinical Pharmacy Specialist. The purpose of this assignment is to function as a mid level provider for a randomized controlled trial comparing two prescribing strategies for chronic musculoskeletal pain. These activities include providing direct patient care for chronic pain patients in a study clinic; monitoring pain response, adverse effects, and medication adherence; adjusting medications according to study protocols; and coordinating care with supervising clinician-investigators and primary care providers. 

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.


NOTE:  The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-13.  The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the step in grade at which the candidate will be placed.  The salary is based on the step in grade approved for the selected candidate.

Special Employment Consideration:  VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply.


  • U. S. Citizenship
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • English Language Proficiency required
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required


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Major Duties of this position include but are not limited to:


  • Conducts comprehensive medication history for and assessing the outcome of pain patients and performs medication reconciliation.
  • Evaluates medication therapy through directpatient involvement, clinical assessment and objective findings related to patients' responses to medication therapy.
  • Orders, performs, reviews and analyzes appropriate laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies to monitor and support participant's medication therapy.
  • Recommends pain medication adjustments according to the prescribing strategy for the assigned treatment arm.
  • Assists team members inascertaining eligibility status for prospective study participants.
  • Introduces and reinforces concept of study blinding with patients; maintains study blind with outcome assessors.
  • Extends medication therapy as needed between appointments, per medical center prescribing policy.
  • Completes validated checklist of aberrant drug related behaviors during study visits, documents findings and takes action per study protocol.
  • Actively prepares for and participates in Data Safety Monitoring Board semi-annual meetings.
  • Participates in preparation of manuscripts, posters and presentations of research findings.
  • Develops and conducts educational programs for facility pharmacy and/or research staff.
  • Provide education to patients, caregivers and health care professionals. The method of delivery may include participating in group education classes, shared medical appointments and/or lectures.
  • Communicates with study participants' care team (e.g. an interdisciplinary care team, primary care provider) throughout intervention. Makes referrals, recommendations, reviews cases as needed.
  • Gives providers a post-study synopsis of therapeutic response to pain, plans patient post-study pain management transition.
  • Provides coverage/support to Clinical Pharmacy Specialists as assigned.


Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not  authorized for this position.


Tour of Duty: Full time, 40 hours/week, 9am to 5pm.


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    Citizenship.  Citizen of the United States.  (Noncitizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)


    Education.   Graduate of an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited College or School of Pharmacy with a baccalaureate degree in pharmacy (BS Pharmacy) and/or a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.   Verification of approved degree programs may be obtained from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 20 North Clark Street, Suite 2500, Chicago, Illinois 60602-5109; phone: (312) 664-3575, or through their Web site at: .

(NOTE:   Prior to 2005 ACPE accredited both baccalaureate and Doctor of Pharmacy terminal degree program.   Today the sole degree is Doctor of Pharmacy .)  


    Graduates of foreign pharmacy degree programs meet the educational requirement if the graduate is able to provide proof of achieving the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Commission (FPGEC) Certification, which includes passing the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT).


    Licensure.  Full, current and unrestricted license to practice pharmacy in a State, Territory, Commonwealth of the United States (i.e., Puerto Rico), or the District of Columbia.   The pharmacist must maintain current registration if this is a requirement for maintaining full, current, and unrestricted licensure.   A pharmacist who has, or has ever had, any license(s) revoked, suspended, denied, restricted, limited, or issued/placed in a probationary status may be appointed only in accordance with the provisions in VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, section B, paragraph 16.


     Physical Requirements.  See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.


    English Language Proficiency.  Pharmacists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).



GS-13 Clinical Pharmacist 


Experience_ In addition to the above basic requirements:

Applicants must have 1 year experience equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-12 level).

*Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to pharmacy experience at the next lower level of federal service which is defined as those who have functioned at the highest level of clinical practice, works independently under their scope of practice as defined by the individual medical center to directly care for patients. 

*Part-time Experience. Part-time experience as a professional pharmacist is credited according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a pharmacist employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.

Examples of such experience includes, Conducting comprehensive medication history for and assessing the outcome of pain patients and performs medication reconciliation; Ordering, performing, reviewing and analyzing appropriate laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies to monitor and support participant's medication therapy; Recommending pain medication adjustments according to the prescribing strategy for the assigned treatment; Collecting and reporting Adverse Drug Reactions and Adverse Events; Developing and conducting educational programs for facility pharmacy and/or research staff; Participating in preparation of manuscripts, posters and presentations of research findings; Following established policies and procedures in prioritizing requests for reports and day to day activities to researchers and other customers.

Pharmacists assigned to this position must demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs):

1. Ability to communicate orally and in writing to persuade and influence clinical and management decisions.

2. Expert understanding of regulatory and quality standards for their program area.

3. Ability to solve problems, coordinate and organize responsibilities to maximize outcomes in their program area or area of clinical expertise.

4. Expert knowledge of a specialized area of clinical pharmacy practice or specialty area of pharmacy.

5. Advanced skill in monitoring and assessing the outcome of drug therapies, including physical assessment and interpretation of laboratory and other diagnostic parameters.



APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:  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 (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.  If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

Veterans' Preference:

When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference.  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit


Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.   You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. 


Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave:  Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee.   VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service.  This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.


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To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the right side of this screen 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.

YOU MUST INCLUDE VA FORM 10-2850c IN YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS VACANCY.   You may upload the completed form to your USAJOBS or Application Manager account if you apply online.  Then you can use the uploaded form again and again when applying for future vacancies.  Please see this guide ( for more information on uploading and re-using the form in your applications.  Other required forms and documents can also be saved in your account and used the same way.  Applicants are urged to apply online; this process is much easier and faster.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application, just reapply through your account in USAJOBS.  Check your account ( to see the status of your application after applying, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

If you cannot apply online:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire: View Occupational Questionnaire.
  2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire:
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with all supporting documents to (478)757-3144.  Your 1203FX form must be placed on top of all materials being faxed and will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.
  4. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID: 835339.  You must use this fax cover sheet in order for your documents to be matched with your online application.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, February 21, 2013.


You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. CV or Resume.
  2. VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at (required).
  3. Occupational Questionnaire
  4. UNOFFICIAL copy of your college transcripts (required).  This copy should show your final GPA.
  5. If prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 or proof of service (required).   Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must also complete and submit an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (available at
  6. If currently employed in the VA system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (required).


*Not providing all requested and applicable supporting documents may result in you not being referred for further consideration*


Deborah L. Schreiner
Phone: (612)467-2063x0000
Fax: (612)467-2287x0000
Agency Information:
VHA Minneapolis HCS
One Veterans Drive
Minneapolis, MN
55417 Fax: (612)467-2287x0000


After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the basic requirements.  You will be notified when this decision is made.

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