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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Research Psychologist
Department:  Department Of Labor
Agency:  Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Announcement Number:  DE-13-BLS-SM-070

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$74,872.00 to $115,742.00 / Per Year
Thursday, January 31, 2013 to Monday, June 24, 2013
Full-time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington, DC, USView Map
U.S. Citizens; ICTAP and CTAP eligibles in the local commuting area.
Also being advertised as job #MS-13-BLS-SM-071 for status & "Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA)" eligible applicants and the following non-competitive authorities: Veterans 30% or more compensable; persons w/disabilities; present/former Peace Corps personnel and former Peace Corps volunteers.  To be considered for each, apply to BOTH jobs.


Opportunities are Open! Begin a challenging career with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and you will help shape the workforce of tomorrow.  DOL offers rewarding opportunities to contribute to a noble mission; to serve and protect American workers, prepare them for new and better jobs, and to ensure the safety and fairness of American workplaces.

The Department of Labor values its customers. Every DOL employee is responsible for delivering good customer service through accurate, courteous, efficient and effective transactions.

The incumbent serves as a Research Psychologist in the Office of Survey Methods Research whose primary purpose is to evaluate the cognitive and statistical aspects of survey programs to suggest improvements and to identify statistically sound and effective methodologies.

BLS is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business and labor. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the DOL.

This announcement will have cut off dates on February 18, 2013; March 4, 3013; March 18, 2013; April 1, 2013; April 15, 2013; April 29, 2013; May 13, 2013; May 27, 2013; June 10, 2013; and June 24, 2013.  Qualified applicants will be sent to the hiring managers for review after each cut off date.  All applicants who apply on or before the cut off date will be reviewed and do not need to reapply after each cut off.  This announcement will close after the position has been filled, or on the last cut off date. 

This position has promotion potential to the GS-14 grade level.

This position is inside the bargaining unit.

This position will not be filled until the Department's Placement Assistance Programs have been fully utilized.

Writing samples and three professional references will be required at the time of interview.

Applications for this announcement will be accepted online by clicking the "Apply Online" button.


  • U.S. Citizenship.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • This announcement may be used to fill additional like positions.
  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.


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This position is located in the Behavioral Science Research Center (BSRC) within the Office of Survey Methods Research. The mission of the Office of Survey Methods Research is to plan and direct a continuing research and evaluation program for the Bureau that seeks to minimize major sources of survey error and to ensure the dissemination of high quality data. The primary purpose of the (BSRC) research program is to evaluate the cognitive and statistical aspects of survey programs to suggest improvements and to identify statistically sound and effective methodologies.  Duties may include but are not limited to:

1. Contributes to the design and conducts basic cognitive laboratory research to study important issues related to the survey response process - for example, factors that affect comprehension, recall, judgment, or response selection.

2. Designs and develops research plans and protocols for investigating the cognitive processes employed by respondents to formulate answers to questionnaires administered using different survey modes: for example, interviewer-administered personal visit or telephone interview, self-administered questionnaires, or computer-assisted interviews.

3. Contributes to survey design and identification of the procedural factors that affect respondent cooperation and quality of reporting. Participates in discussions concerning changing these procedures to improve reporting and data quality.

4. Analyzes data obtained in laboratory studies and field tests designed to investigate survey quality and a respondent's reporting ability. Uses qualitative and quantitative assessment methods to evaluate questions through cognitive interviews, laboratory experiments, and through the use of statistical techniques such as univariate analysis, multivariate analysis of variance, regression analysis, and factor analysis.

5. Prepares reports and makes presentations to professional societies on research results.

6. Conducts usability research to develop and evaluate software for stand-alone and web-based applications and other electronic materials. 


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Basic Requirements: A degree in Psychology.

In addition to the Basic Requirements:

For the GS-12, applicants must have either (a) a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in Sociology, Psychology, Educational Research, Survey Methodology, or a closely related field, OR (b) one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the GS-11 level in the Federal service.  This one year of specialized experience must be in or related to the field of Psychology and must have equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position to be filled.  Specialized experience is demonstrated by performing highly creative research that (1) Led to the development of a basic principle, product, concept, method, approach, or technique; (2) Provided a body of basic information that opened the way for a major advance in the field; or (3) Led to general advances in the field.

At the GS-13 level, there is no substitution of education for experience.  For the GS-13 level, applicant must have one year of specialized experience (through work in government, academia, the private sector, or nonprofit organizations) equivalent to the GS-12 level in the Federal service.  The incumbent should be thoroughly familiar with cognitive psychology laboratory techniques, survey research, and statistical measurement. The incumbent must be able to plan, conduct, and evaluate research on the cognitive aspects of design, and on refinements and/or modifications of currently employed survey methodologies for the purpose of improving survey forms and the quality of data collected for Agency BLS programs.  In addition, this research must have (1) led to the development of a basic principle, product, concept, or method; (2) provided a body of information that opened the way for advancements in statistical methodologies; and/or (3) led to submissions of one or more articles to peer-reviewed journals.

College Transcript and Evaluation of Foreign Education - Transcripts (in English) must be submitted if (a) a degree is required for the position, and/or (b) education is used as the basis for qualifying for this position.  The Department of Labor does not recognize academic degrees from schools that are not accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the Department of Education.  Any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service. If courses were taken at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, or from several different colleges or universities, you must submit all the necessary transcripts. If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position.  Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.

Please note, you will be deemed ineligible for this vacancy if you do not submit college transcripts as proof of meeting education requirements.  This applies to ALL applicants, including those currently or previously qualified in this series and/or grade.

Applicants must meet all legal and regulatory requirements.  Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.


If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be evaluated against the evaluation factors below and will be placed into a category based on your vacancy question responses.

Category A - Meets the basic qualification requirements for the vacancy and has successful experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in applying critical competencies required by this position to work of increased levels of difficulty and complexity.

Category B - Meets the basic qualification requirements for the vacancy and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the critical competencies required by this position.

Category C - Meets the specialized experience described in the minimum qualifications requirements section of this announcement and demonstrates proficiency in the basic competencies.

Evaluation Factors (Competencies) - All qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following key competencies (click Evaluation Tools for information):

1. Interpersonal Skills - Shows understanding, professionalism, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness, even with individuals who are difficult, hostile, or distressed. Demonstrates team effectiveness with sensitivity to the differences of others, e.g. diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences.

2. 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.

3. Planning and Evaluating - Knows and uses the principles, methods, or tools for developing, organizing scheduling, coordinating, monitoring and managing individual work, projects and resources.

4. Writing - Uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling to communicate information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a clear, succinct and organized manner. Composes written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.

5. Research Psychologist Technical - Knowledge of and demonstrated ability in research methods, experimental design, and statistical analysis.

6.  Customer Service - Works with peers, clients and those use or receive the services or products produced, to secure information, assess needs, provide information or assistance, resolve problems, or satisfy expectations in a manner that demonstrates a commitment to quality.

7.  Decision Making/Problem Solving – Employs strategic and critical approaches to decision-making and/or problem solving, e.g. identifying, and considering issues/problems, determining accuracy and relevance of information, as well as generating, identifying, evaluating, and implementing  alternative solution approaches, to resolve issues/problems,  deliver services and provide value.

The information you provide may be verified by a review of your work experience and/or education, by checking references and through other means (ex. interview). The examining Human Resources Office (HRO) makes the final determination concerning applicant ratings.  Your resume MUST provide sufficient information to substantiate your responses to the vacancy questions.  If not, the HRO may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the level of competency indicated by the content of your resume.  Your evaluation may also include a review by a Human Resources Specialist or panel and may include other assessments (ex. interview, panel review, written test, writing sample, etc.)
INFORMATION FOR ICTAP ELIGIBLES ONLY: If you are eligible for special priority selection under ICTAP, you must be well-qualified for the position to receive consideration.  ICTAP eligibles who are placed into Category A will be considered "well-qualified".
Click Application of Veterans Preference for Category Rating Jobs for more information.
To preview questions please click here.


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The Department of Labor (DOL) offers a great benefit package to eligible employees.  The benefit package includes but is not limited to health benefits, supplemental dental and vision plans, flexible spending accounts, 13 days paid sick leave per year, vacation leave and 10 paid holidays per year.  We offer a variety of employee benefit options, a family-friendly work environment, a child care subsidy program, transit subsidy program, career assistance program, health services and fitness programs, access to LifeCare, a resource and referral service and more.  For a comprehensive site about all federal benefits, please refer to OPM.  For specific DOL benefits information, please refer to DOL BENEFITS.


The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.  Refer to these links for more information: GENERAL INFORMATION, ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION, SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION, PROBATIONARY PERIOD, FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES


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Follow the 5 steps below to apply.  Your application and ALL required supplemental documents must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Time (ET) on the vacancy closing date to be considered.  Paper applications and supplemental documents submitted in any other manner without prior approval from the vacancy contact will not be considered.

For more details, click How To Apply Detailed Instructions Document or How To Apply Video.  For help, refer to the Vacancy Contact in the "Questions about this job" section.  SAVE your information before the 60 MINUTE TIMEOUT!

STEP 1 - Create USAJOBS Account, including Resume and Saved Documents
Your resume must provide sufficient information to substantiate your responses in the self-assessment vacancy questions.  If not, the HRO may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the competency indicated by resume content.

STEP 2 - Answer Vacancy Questions (DOORS) Click the Apply Online button, which is available when you search for a job on, click on the title and proceed.

STEP 3 - Submit Supplemental Documents
Submit the required documents (only if applicable to you) specified in the "Required Documents" section of this vacancy by the close date.  For details: click How to Submit Supplemental Documentation Document or Submit Supplemental Documentation Video.  Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission.

STEP 4 - Review Application and click Finish  Click here to submit an updated resume after initial application.

STEP 5 - Edit Application as needed by 11:59 pm ET of Close Date


The following documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the vacancy closing date. Follow the instructions: click How To Submit Supplemental Documentation Document or Submit Supplemental Documentation Video.  You are not required to submit a document if it does not apply to you.Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission.

- Unofficial Transcript (in English) Please note, you will be deemed ineligible for this vacancy if you do not submit college transcripts as proof of meeting education requirements.  This applies to ALL applicants, including those currently or previously qualified in this series and/or grade.  OFFICIAL Transcripts MUST BE RECEIVED prior to selection and report date.  Reference the "Education Section" for College Transcript and Evaluation of Foreign Education.

- Veterans Documents (if applicable): To be considered as a 5-point preference eligible, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD214. Your DD-214 must show the type of discharge and dates of active duty.  To claim 10-point preference, you must submit a copy of your DD214; an Application for 10-point Veteran's Preference, SF15; and the proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. (For active duty service members expecting to be honorably discharged or released within 120 days, click Active Duty)  Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference.  For more information, go to:

- Displaced Employee Placement Documents - Only required if requesting priority consideration under ICTAP Eligibility.

- Applicants with disabilities who wish to claim eligibility under SCHEDULE A)  of the excepted service (persons with severe disabilities) must submit the following documentation from a licensed medical professional or other authorized entity:
(1) proof of disability; and
(2) certification of job readiness.
For more details, please see

- Cover Letters are not mandatory and will not be used to verify experience, but may be submitted

- Peace Corps Description of Service (if applicable) - Certification of satisfactory service from the Country Director of Peace Corps to receive consideration.

Applicants selected for employment who are not current DOL employees will be required to provide proof of citizenship, and the E-Verify system will be used to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires.


Ashley Lippolis Aviles
Phone: 202-691-6613
Fax: 202-691-5507
Agency Information:
Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Postal Square Bldg.
2 Massachusetts Ave, NE
Suite 4280
Washington, DC
Fax: 202-691-5507


Once your complete application is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and refer candidates for selection consideration.  Candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.  A selection is expected to be made within 30 calendar days from the issuance date of the certificate.

To check the status of your application: Click here.  To sign up for Application Status Updates via email: Click Here.

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