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

Job Title:Program Specialist

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:VHA-626-13-839958-B-ER

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$47,448.00 to $61,687.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, February 19, 2013 to Thursday, February 28, 2013




Full Time - Term NTE 3 Years


1 vacancy in the following location:
Nashville, TN United StatesView Map


Appointment will be under Title 38 USC 7405(a)(1) Research


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 839958 (Please include on all documents)

Work Schedule: Based on the needs of the service.


Relocation expenses will NOT be paid.

Our mission:  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.  



Special Employment Consideration:  VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more.




This will be a term appointment not to exceed 3 years.  The appointment to this position is NOT permanent and will be made in the excepted service under  governing laws in Title 38 United States Code for Veterans Health Administration Research.  The appointment will be for the duration of the funding for the research project.  When the funding for the research project is exhausted, the appointment will be terminated.  An appointment to this position will NOT confer competitive status NOR eligibility to compete as a government employee for competitive positions.


  • You must be a US citizen to apply for this job
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.


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The Program Specialist's role is to coordinate and carry out research projects to which he/she is assigned. This person will serve as a research coordinator and report to the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Research Center Director and the Primary Investigator(s) of the project he/she is assigned, to make significant contributions to the achievement of the project's research goals. The position requires various skills in all phases of health services research including recruitment of subjects, data collection, chart abstraction, data entry, data management, data analysis, and report writing (for project management purposes), creation and maintenance of the research protocol's standard operating procedures (SOP) manual, and training other research project specialists. Meticulous attention to detail is a prerequisite attribute. The work of this position is administrative and direct patient data collection rather than data analytic in nature. The position supports the operation of funded research.


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Time-in-Grade Restriction - Applicants who are current Federal employees and/or have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks (1 year) must also meet time-in-grade requirements. The grade may have been in any occupation but must have been held in the Federal service. For the GS9 level, in the GS 301 Program Specialist field, one year time in grade as a GS-7 is requried.



At the GS9 level: 1 year experience equivalent to at least GS-7 performing tasks similiar to the the this position*.


Educational substitution for the 1 year experience at the GS7 level:  A master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., if related*. Transcripts are required to document eduction.


*Combining experience and education to meet this requirement: Determine total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the GS9 level; then determining the educational substitute as a percentage of the education required for the GS9 (Masters Degree, etc.); and then add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify at the GS9 level. As an example: you have 6 months experience, which meets 50% of the experience requirement, and have completed half the requirements for a Masters degree, which would be 50% of education substitue, when you at the percentages together they will equal 100% and you would be eligable.  Transcripts are required to document eduction.


For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at .


KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:  In addition to meeting minimum qualification requirements, as described in your resume, all applicants should show the level of accomplishment or degree to which they possess the KSAs by describing your experience, training, and education to include examples that clearly demonstrate them in your resume.


  • Collect, Store, and Manipulate research databases
  • Manage day to day administrative tasks (basic administration) of the research project
  • Project POC for non-scientific support.
  • Skill with automation systems to assist statistical analysis.


IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE AND ON YOUR RESUME, YOU MUST BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC.  WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.  If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we can not allow credit for your responses.

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.)   Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:   All education claimed by applicants will be verified.


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.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: (Failure to comply may be grounds for withdrawal of an offer of employment or dismissal after appointment)

  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States, and be at least 16 years of age as of the closing date.
  • Applicants tentatively selected for certain designated positions may be subject to a random drug screening for illegal drug use.  Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment.
  • New Appointees will be subject to a background investigation to determine suitability. 
  • Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify at the time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt for having to do so under Selective Service law.  This will be verified with the Selective Service System.
  • Applicants must not be listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Inspector General Sanctions database.  This will be verified with DHHS.
  • Applicants selected for positions through this announcement may be subject to a one year probationary period.


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  Work is predominently sedatary.  Visitation to the housing facility for the test animals may be requried.  Visitations to laboratory facilities may be required.  This position is in direct support of a research project.


HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:  Once the application process is complete, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the job requirements.  To determine if you are qualified for this job, your resume and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire.  The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire.  The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of this position.  If, after reviewing your resume and or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience your score can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities.  Please follow all instructions carefully.  Errors or omissions may affect your rating.


INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS will receive a rating of IFM (ineligible due to missing forms).  Requests for reconsideration of ratings will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package.  We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, fax transmissions, delays in mail service, etc.

Only send documentation as requested/required by this announcement and that directly supports your qualifications for this position.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package to include a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information go to



"VA will not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, parental status, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, political affiliation, or retaliation for opposing discriminatory practices or participating in the discrimination complaint process. This applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, reassignments, training, career development, benefits, and separation. In addition, VA will provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, and accommodations for religious practices, in accordance with applicable laws and procedures."  Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, March 12, 2012 Policy Statement. 



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


  1. Your Résumé
  2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire
  3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, February 28, 2013


After reading the entire announcement, and preparing the supporting documents (the OF 306 specifically), to begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log into 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.  


Applicants are urged to apply online; this process is easier, faster, and provides more information as applications are processed.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application, simply re-apply through your account in USAJOBS.  After applying, return to USAJOBS ( ) to see the status of your application, 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 .When entering your responses to the Occupational questionnaires, please continue answering the questions regardless of number sequence. 
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to (478)757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:  
  1. Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID 839958.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144


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


Veterans Equal Opportunities Act (VEOA):  Preference eligibles and veterans separated after three or more years of honorable active duty service receive equal consideration with status federal employees.  Veterans preference does not apply.  For more information see:  VEOA


The following documents are required:


  • Résumé: Please make sure your resume includes where you worked, when, and whether you were part-time or full time. If you were part time, be sure to state how many hours you worked.  This document can be faxed in.


  • Responses to the questionnaire (It is preferred to complete the questionnaire online)This can be faxed in.


  • Veterans' Preference documentation such as DD-214(s), DD 215(s) if applicable, or equivalent of the DD214/215, SF-15 and VA Letter, as appropriate. These can be faxed in. 


  • Unofficial college transcript if education is used to qualify.  (An official college transcript will be required before being hired.)


  • Evidence of your eligibility to apply for this vacancy (please see checklist)  These can be faxed in.


  • Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) This form is required of all applicants, even if you have a clearance/investigation of some other type by another Agency.  Current TVHS employees are the only applicants that are excepted and ARE NOT REQUIRED to submit this form.  This form can be faxed in.


  • Current and Former Federal Employees must submit a copy of their last non-award Notice of Personnel Action SF-50. See checklist for details.  This form can be faxed in.


  • Any other documents required by the checklist. They can be faxed in.


Reminder: To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:  

  1. Complete this cover page
  2. Take extreme care to print very legible on the fax cover page with capital block letters.  Failure to do so could cause the automated fax reader to improperly process you documents. Medium or larger point pen works best.
  3. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144  before 11:59 PM Eastern time, on the closing day of the announcement.


Earl Rice
Phone: (615)225-3729
Agency Information:
VHA Tennessee Valley HCS
Department of Veterans Affairs
Murfreesboro, TN


After the vacancy announcement closes and a referral certificate is issued (this may take from a few days to as much as 2 weeks depending on the number of applicants and other factors involved in the rating process), an electronic notification letter or e-mail will be sent to applicants who provide an e-mail address. Otherwise, you will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service.


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