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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Engineering Psychologist, GS-0180-12 (Open to Status and VEOA Applicants) JAC
Department:  Department Of Transportation
Agency:  Federal Railroad Administration
Job Announcement Number:  FRA.RPD-2013-0026

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 $97,333.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 to Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Full Time - - Permanent
1 vacancy - Washington, DC, US  View Map
  • Current or former Federal employees with status OR Veterans eligible under VEOA
  • If you are NOT a status employee or VEOA eligible, you may wish to apply under announcement  FRA.RPD-2013-0025, which is open to all U.S. citizens.


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for ensuring safety of the Nation's passenger and freight rail operations and infrastructure by promoting safe, efficient and accessible rail transportation. The mission and focus of FRA has grown to include the design and management of an unprecedented investment in the creation of a nationwide passenger rail network. FRA is providing leadership for the creation of a more balanced transportation system, transforming the way Americans travel.

You will be responsible for providing technical, analytical, and scientific support to agency policy makers and other management decision makers in regards to the research and evaluations programs to reduce accidents, injuries, and deaths related to human error in railroad operations and railroad systems designs.  You will identify, develop,  and recommend programs  to evaluate the utilization, impact, and effectiveness of human factors related to safety initiatives.  You will also help determine the cost and benefits of these initiatives.

This position would be perfect for an experienced professional that is a mission-focused self- starter with exposure to human factors research programs that involve the testing and evaluation of safety within the railroad system, and who wants to be a key innovator during a period of significant safety change in transportation.

This position is located in Washington, DC.  If selected for the position, you will be eligible for Regular or Ad Hoc Telework, per management discussion and approval.


  • Must be an eligible status candidate and meet specialized experience
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date
  • Provide all required documents by closing date
  • Position is telework eligible
  • Announcement also advertised open to US Citizens: FRA.RPD-2013-0025
  • Announcement may be used to fill similar positions within 30 days


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As the Engineering Psychologist, you will be responsible for:

  • Applying professional judgment and  evaluation skills to initiate, develop,  and coordinate human factors research, development, demonstration, test, and evaluation projects and programs to address the development of advanced concepts for railroad equipment, vehicles operating practices, and systems designs
  • Conducting research and development investigations covering theoretical design of analysis methods and procedures for evaluating human factors issues and operating practices for conventional and high speed train operations.
  • Applying and/or adapting the principles of several disciplines, such as psychology, industrial psychology, ergonomics, physiology and engineering and the principles of automatic data processing, statistical analysis and technology transfer, and making recommendations to formulate appropriate projects to address railroad problems.
  • Participating and/or conducting technical discussions within the Department, and with other Government agencies, universities, foreign government agencies, and the railroad industry, as required.
  • Serving as a member on intra-agency and inter-agency panels, and on Government panels or boards, furnishing advice and representation in your specialized field. 


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To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must meet the EDUCATION REQUIREMENT for the series, provide a copy of transcripts for verification, and meet either the education or specialized experience qualifications for the grade at which you are requesting consideration.

LEVEL To qualify on Education, you must have at least: To qualify on Experience, your experience should include experience equal or equivalent to the following:
GRADE 12 a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in psychology, or other related field of study, which has provided you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities, necessary to perform the duties of this position.
  • Experience planning, designing, and conducting laboratory, simulator and field research on safety related performance areas such as computer human interface, usability analysis, automation, fatigue, psychoacoustics, or vision.
  • Experience with statistical procedures, tests, methods, and techniques to measure and evaluate worker and organizational performance and to recommend or develop new methods.
  • Experience providing study results and recommendations on human factors research to a wide variety of audiences.
  You can also qualify based on a combination of Education and Experience

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


All applicants must meet the following requirements to qualify for the GS-0180 series:


Basic Requirements

Degree: major or equivalent in psychology for all specializations except clinical psychology and counseling psychology.


A. Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study or specific course requirements generally as stated in paragraph A in the individual occupational requirements.


Where specific course requirements are not indicated in paragraph A, the number of semester hours required to constitute a major field of study is the amount specified by the college or university attended.


If this number cannot be obtained, 24 semester hours will be considered as equivalent to a major field of study. The nature and quality of this required course work must have been such that it would serve as a prerequisite for more advanced study in the field or subject-matter area. Related course work generally refers to courses that may be accepted as part of the program major.




B. Appropriate combination of education and experience that is typically specified in paragraph B of the individual occupational requirements. The "paragraph B" method generally requires that an applicant possess a core of educational credit, such as described in paragraph A above, plus additional education and/or experience. The method of determining the number of semester hours required to constitute a major field of study is the same as described in paragraph A.


The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field. In addition to courses in the major and related fields, a typical college degree would have included courses that involved analysis, writing, critical thinking, research, etc. These courses would have provided an applicant with skills and abilities sufficient to perform progressively more responsible work in the occupation. Therefore, creditable experience should have demonstrated similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to perform the work of the occupation.


  • Selective Service: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • Probationary Period -  You must complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • Government Travel Card - You must be able to obtain and retain a Government contractor-issued travel card to be used for official business as a condition of employment. If unable to obtain and/or retain a card, you may be subject to removal. Those who fail to meet this condition of employment will have our offer of employment rescinded.
  • TIME-IN-GRADE: Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade requirements contained in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.


The Automated Staffing Office is ultimately responsible for determining your final rating.  Please ensure that your resume and application provide enough detail to support your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions.  Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. Your answers to the Vacancy Specific questions, your self-determined rating, resume and supporting documentation are reviewed. If your resume and supporting documents do not support your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions, your final rating may be modified.

To preview questions please click here.


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Benefits include health and life insurance, annual and sick leave, and retirement benefits. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal Employees here. This position is telework eligible.


Displaced employees may be eligible for ICTAP or CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition.


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You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
  • To begin, click the Apply Online button on the job announcement.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
  • You may review your saved application(s) at
If you are having difficulty applying online, send an email to or call us at (202)366-1298.


The following documents must be provided by the close date:
  • RESUME - Showing relevant experience and education and fully supporting the required specialized experience.
  • TRANSCRIPTS - verifying that you meet the stated education requirements, if  you are qualifying based on education.
  • TRANSCRIPTS - Verifying that you meet the stated education requirements for the series OR an SF-50 showing that you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series. The transcripts need not be official. 
  • SF-50 - Which verifies grade, full performance level of position, and eligibility for consideration as a status applicant
  • DD214 - Verifying military service and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.
  • SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS - If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility (e.g. military spouse or persons with disabilities), you must provide appropriate supporting documentation such as PCS orders describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability, etc. For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointments. Documents are only required if requesting non-competitive consideration.
  • DISPLACED EMPLOYEE PLACEMENT DOCUMENTS - Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP/ICTAP. You must submit ALL of the following: (1) your most recent performance appraisal, (2) the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency, and (3) your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade. In addition, you must meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85).

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position.


Automated Staffing Office
Phone: 202-366-1298
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
Submit Application and Documents Online
1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR - 50
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


You may check your application status by logging into your USAJOBS account. Within two weeks of the closing date, your application will be reviewed and rated. The most highly qualified candidates in the top group will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. If you are selected for an interview, the hiring manager will contact you directly. Once a hiring decision is made, we will notify all applicants of their final status.

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