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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Research Physical Scientist (Lead), ZP-1301-4 (DE/CR)
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  OAR-ARL-2013-0009

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$81,823.00 to $125,695.00 / Per Year
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 to Monday, April 15, 2013
Full-time: Career/Career Conditional - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Oak Ridge, TN, USView Map

All qualified United States citizens.


OAR is where science comes to life. Become part of a team that develops innovative ideas and technologies and collaborate with the many talented and dedicated people who work to solve the mysteries of the deepest oceans to the surface of the sun.  Explore the facets and trends of the earth's environment that will influence the future.  Become a part of the team that provides the nation with scientific information to thrive in an ever-changing world.

This position will be located in the NOAA, Air Resources Laboratory (ARL), Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD) located in Oak Ridge, TN. This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS).  This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure.  Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band.  The ZP-4 is equivalent to the GS-13/14. This position is also being advertised as a Research Physical Scientist (Lead), ZP-1301-4 under announcement number OAR-ARL-2013-0008 (Status Candidates). You must apply separately under each announcement to be considered for each announcement.

A three-year probationary period may be required. This is a non-bargaining position.

Relocation expenses are NOT authorized.


  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • All requirements must be met by the closing date of announcement.


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The individual selected for this position will:

  • Serve primarily as the lead physical scientist for air quality research, in which he or she will develop experimental methodologies for atmospheric nitrogen trace gas and particulate measurement systems;
  • Contribute new research and transition relevant research to operations through participation in trace gas and/or particulate measurements during ARL field experiments;
  • Coordinate with other government agencies, academic institutions, and private sector partners to develop measurement programs and utilize data collected to produce journal articles and/or technical reports;
  • Provide scientific and technical guidance and represent NOAA on US Government and International committees;
  • Communicate with internal and external sources as necessary to organize experimental programs, deliver research products, and present scientific results.


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Qualification requirements in vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on OPM's website at:

This position has an individual occupational requirement. CANDIDATES MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING BASIC REQUIREMENTS:

A. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.


B. Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

This announcement requires transcripts.

*You must provide all transcripts from all degrees received (unofficial copies are acceptable) by the closing date of this announcement. Individuals who are selected must be prepared to provide official transcripts. 

*If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.

In addition to the basic requirements listed above, applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level (ZP-3 or GS-12) in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.  This experience need not have been in the federal government. 

For the ZP-4 level, specialized experience at this level includes:  Experience leading and coordinating all aspects of an atmospheric trace gas and particulate measurement program. Experience communicating and collaborating with agencies, academia, and the private sector. Experience in publishing and presenting scientific results. For the ZP-4 level, there is no educational substitution for specialized experience. NOTE: Your resume must document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questions. For more information about the qualifications requirements for this position: 


We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.  If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories.  These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze."  However, your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the self-assessment questions, or your score may be lowered. Candidates placed in the "gold" category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.


How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans' preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.  Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job. 

The assessment tool will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

  • Ability to lead and coordinate atmospheric measurement programs, including project planning and reporting.
  • Knowledge of nitrogen trace gas and particulate reserach in continental and coastal regions demonstrated by an advanced degree or more than 5 years of specialized experience.
  • Ability to contribute new research, individually and as part of a team, in the areas of trace gas and/or particulate measurement programs and transition relevant reserach to applications.
  • Skills in developing laboratory and field protocols to analyze samples for ammnia using the latest atmospheric measurement technologies.
  • Ability to lead the development of multidisciplinary reserach proposals with federal, academic, and other partners using strategic plans and other guidance documents.
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate with other scientists on the needs and experimental programs necessary to understand the importance of the nitrogen cycle, including participation on national committees.
  • Ability to lead the effort to compile, analyze, publish, and present scientific results on atmospheric nitrogen measurements.
For more information about Category Rating, please go to: Category Rating 

To preview questions please click here.


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NOAA offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at


Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement.

ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100.  Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at:


ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:


1. A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate, notice of disability annuity termination, certification from the National Guard Bureau of Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement.

2. A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action", documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc.;

3. A copy of your last performance appraisal including your rating; and

4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities:

* - VRA

* - VEOA

* -30% or more disabled veteran




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Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at USAJOBS. To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents. To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at USAJOBS and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue. If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at or phone at 866.656.6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. For instructions on submitting your application in another format please contact the HR Personnel listed on this announcement.


A complete application consists of the following:


* Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional.  Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59.  Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week.  For work in the Federal service, please include the grade level for the position(s).  Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the assessment tool(s). 

* Veterans' Preference documentation. Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, SF-15, etc.) to validate your claim. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to:

*  Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation,  if applicable (see other information).

* Education.  If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information:  name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned.  Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements.  Please refer to for more information.


You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.


Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities.  Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree.  A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website -  You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation by the closing date of the announcement will result in lost consideration.


Diana Cordell
Phone: 816-426-3044
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
WFMO/Kansas CIty Staffing Division
601 East 12th Street
Room 1737
Kansas City, MO
Fax: 000-000-0000


You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable.  You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at:

and clicking on "Track Your Online Application." The four points of notification are:

1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;

2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;

3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Ineligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official)' and

4.  Selected or Not Selected.

By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).

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