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

Job Title:Health Science Specialist

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:858452KD

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$45,923.00 to $59,704.00 / Per Year


Thursday, March 21, 2013 to Wednesday, April 10, 2013




Full Time - Excepted Service Term NTE 7/27/2013


1 vacancy in the following location:
Palo Alto, CA United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN):   858452

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.



VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities.  For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to


  • 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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NOTE: This appointment is in the Excepted Service under Title 38 authority for research positions. This appointment is non-status, non-permanent and does not confer eligibility to be noncompetitively converted to a career-conditional or career appointment. The duration of the appointment is not to exceed (NTE) July 27, 2013. Appointments for less than one year are eligible to earn leave, are covered by Social Security, and unemployment compensation; however, temporary employees do not receive fringe benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance, and Federal Employees Retirement System coverage.

This position supports health services research projects involving health informatics. The position assists the principal investigator, system architect, and other team members with health informatics-based projects, such as clinical decision support (CDS) systems and natural language processing (NLP) systems at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). All duties will be carried out under the guidance of the principal investigator. In carrying out responsibilities, the incumbent must promote a productive work environment, high morale, and a high level of cooperation among team members in order to ensure successful completion of projects in a timely manner. The position requires collaboration with staff across several disciplines. The incumbent must have excellent interpersonal skills as well as technical skills in order to work effectively with an interdisciplinary team. Team members include investigators, clinicians, program managers from the local VA facility and other VA facilities in VISN 21 and around the country, and investigators, staff and policy analysts from local universities and universities nationwide. This position is under the Research Service.


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Time-in-Grade Restriction - Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements. The grade may have been in any occupation but must have been held in the Federal service.



A bachelor's degree (or higher) with the major study in an academic field related to the health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of the position. [TRANSCRIPT(S) MUST BE SUBMITTED. CONFERRAL OF DEGREE(S) SHOULD BE PRESENT ON TRANSCRIPT(S). UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT(S) OK.] 



In addition to meeting the basic education requirement noted above, this position requires:



One (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-5 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is progressively responsible experience, which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and is in or related to the work of the position. Such qualifying experience includes: performing research tasks for clinical studies, drafting research materials and presentations for professional meetings; participate in the development of and carrying out project timelines; assisting with preparing data for analysis; assisting with extracting appropriate medical records for system analysis, supporting all day-to-day research administration needs of a research project; coordination of preparation submission, and renewal of Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols; and compiling materials needed to submit research proposals.





Completion of (1) year of graduate-level education OR superior academic achievement (S.A.A.),  in a major field of study related to the health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of the position which provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the duties of the position. Superior Academic Achievement (S.A.A.) – (a) Class standing – Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision based on completed courses; or (b) Grade-point average (G.P.A.) – Applicants must have 3.0 or higher out of possible 4.0 as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or the final 2 years of the curriculum; or 3.5 or higher based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or (c) honor society membership.  [TRANSCRIPT(S) MUST BE SUBMITTED. UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT(S) OK.] 




Acombination of specialized experience and related graduate education as described that demonstrates your ability to perform the duties of the position and fully qualifying at the GS-7 grade level. If you qualify with a combination, your experience must be documented in your application/resume and transcripts are required.


You will be rated on the following Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAOs) as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position:


  • Skill in research administration.
  • Skill in writing, reporting, and communication.
  • Skill in preparing data for analyses.
  • Skill in maintaining project records.


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

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC.  WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.  If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).


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 the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) and/or documentation related to your active duty service which shows dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation.

Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veterans Preference" with required proof as stated on the form.  For more information, please review the information for disabled Veterans in the application checklist or visit



Your résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.


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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, 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 .


RPL/ICTAP/CTAP:  The Reemployment Priority List (RPL), Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. Information about RPL, ICTAP, and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at:


Reasonable Accommodation: This office provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If requested and appropriate, and you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify this office either orally or in writing. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

Information about Reasonable Accommodation is on OPM’s Reasonable Accommodation website at:


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.


The Department of Veterans Affairs supports a drug-free environment.


The Department of Veterans Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

VA employees, applicants for employment, and former employees shall not be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, gender (sex), national origin, age, physical or mental disability, and/or reprisal for filling a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or having opposed prohibited discrimination.  Sexual and non-sexual harassment based on the above categories is also prohibited.


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.


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies within (90) days.







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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application (See "Required Documents" section below).   The complete Application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the bottom of this screen to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Be sure to upload the required documents before you submit your application.  Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.  Mailed/emailed applications will not be accepted.

Note: To change or update your application, simply reapply through My USAJOBS, before the closing date.  To check the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (, select Application Status and click on the more information link under the application status for this position.

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: 858452.  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 following documents are required:

  • Federal Résumé.
  • Responses to the questionnaire.
  • Copy of your transcript if you are using education to qualify.
  • Evidence of your eligibility to apply for this vacancy (please see checklist).
  • Any other documents required by the checklist. 
  • OF-306 – Declaration for Federal Employment. A fillable version of the form can be found here:


Resume Reminder - Your federal resume must include the following information for each job listed: job title, duties (be as detailed as possible), month and year start/end dates (e.g., June 2007 to April 2008), and indication of full-time or part-time status (include hours worked per week).


Phone: (650)493-5000x63951
Fax: (478)757-3144
TDD: (650)493-3951
Agency Information:
VHA Palo Alto HCS
Department of Veterans Affairs
Palo Alto Health Care System
Palo Alto, CA
94304 Fax: (478)757-3144


After we receive your complete application package (including all required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed and assigned an initial rating.  We will also review your application to make sure that your résumé supports the answers given in the questionnaire. If your résumé does not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. Based on your ranking or numerical score, you may be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. You will be notified when your rating is determined.

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