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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Health Communications Specialist - NIAID - DE
Department:  Department Of Health And Human Services
Agency:  National Institutes of Health
Job Announcement Number:  NIH-NIAID-DE-14-998080

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$62,467.00 to $97,333.00 / Per Year
Monday, December 02, 2013 to Friday, December 06, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Montgomery County, MD View Map
United States Citizens
Q - Nonsensitive


The NIH is the premier biomedical research center for the world. Its 27 Institutes and Centers employ approximately 18,000 employees doing a vast array of jobs, all supporting efforts for a healthy nation. For information on the NIH mission, goals, and Institutes and Centers, visit NIH Overview

This position is located in the Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Management Branch (LACMB), Office of Communications and Government Relations (OCGR), Office of Science Management and Operations (OSMO), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH) located in Bethesda, Maryland.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • U.S. Citizenship requirement met by closing date.
  • Position is subject to a background investigation.


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If you are selected for this position, you will perform the following duties:


  • Serve as a health communications specialist under the Section Chief for Controlled Correspondence and Public Inquiries, and participate in all aspects of written and oral inquiry response, ensuring that all inquiries are responded to in a timely, professional and articulate fashion.
  • Provide inquirers with the most accurate and up-to-date health information, and ensure that all responses meet OCGR quality and timeliness requirements.
  • Receive and analyze inquiries received from the public and determine the information needed to respond, as well as the best sources of that information.  Interpret and analyze information on a variety of scientific, technical and health-related subjects and issues.  Organize, evaluate and analyze all information and prepare and provide thorough and understandable responses to a broad range of scientific, technical and medical inquires related to NIAID's research programs and activities.
  • Perform comprehensive searches of online, print and technical resources on health issues related to inquirer areas of interest, including utilization of PubMed, Medline, Google and other search engines and tools.  Develop appropriate responses to inquiries in a timely fashion in accordance with all NIAID and NIH guidelines and procedures.
  • Confer with appropriate NIAID staff to validate information and obtain input from the responsible program area.
  • Act as an information resource to other health communications specialists in developing comprehensive and appropriate responses to mail, telephone, fax and email inquiries from the public.
  • Review and analyze documents for logical, well-organized structure.
  • Select and adapt appropriate standard responses to recurring/non-complex inquiries; help to identify and develop custom responses to new or complex inquiries.
  • Perform quality control assessments on all out bound written responses.  Ensure documents are prepared in accordance with office policies and procedures, including reviewing, revising and editing as needed.  Review and analyze documents for logical, well-organized structure.


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Qualification Requirements for the GS-11:

Completed a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or an LL.M., if related.


Possess 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 level in the Federal service obtained in either the private or public sector, performing the following types of tasks:  developing a variety of public health informational and educational materials and products; responding to inquiries regarding public health issues; modifying standard communication practices and approaches to increase awareness among a variety of audiences; and assisting in developing social marketing campaigns for mass communications.


Possess a combination of post baccalaureate education and experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.


Qualification Requirements for the GS-12:

You must demonstrate in your resume at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to as least the GS-11 level in the Federal service obtained in either the private or public sector, performing the following types of tasks:  developing and presenting a variety of public health informational and educational materials and products; responding to inquiries regarding complex and/or controversial public health issues; developing and advising on standard communication practices and approaches to increase awareness among a variety of audiences; and developing social marketing campaigns for mass communications.

View Assessment Questions

If you qualify on the basis of education in lieu of experience, you must submit a copy of your transcripts (or a list of your courses including titles, credit hours completed, and grades). Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package; however, official transcripts will be required prior to receiving an official offer. Click here for information on Foreign Education.

Males born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with Selective Service.


If you meet the minimum qualifications for this position, your application and responses to the online questionnaire will be evaluated under Category Rating and Selection procedures for placement in one of the following categories:

  • Best Qualified – for those who are superior in the evaluation criteria
  • Well Qualified – for those who excel in the evaluation criteria
  • Qualified – for those who only meet the minimum qualification requirements

Candidates determined to be Best Qualified will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. The Category Rating Process does not add veterans' preference points, but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category.

If you are a veteran, CTAP or ICTAP eligible, or an individual with a disability, please refer to the following links for additional information and required documents:

All such documents MUST be received by 11:59pm ET of the closing date,  Friday, December 06, 2013, to be considered.


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The federal government offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.  For more information, check out New Employee Benefits at NIH and OPM's Employee Benefits Information.


We are unable or able to pay relocation expenses.


A one-year probationary period may be required upon selection/placement.


A newly appointed or reappointed employee may receive service credit for prior work experience or active duty uniformed service that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining his or her annual leave accrual rate. All creditable service must be directly related to the duties of the position being filled and decisions to allow for such credit must be finalized prior to the selectee’s entrance on duty. The use of this service credit incentive is at the discretion of the selecting official and service credit is granted only for a position deemed hard-to-fill.


Additional selections may be made through this vacancy announcement. The National Institutes of Health participates in the USCIS Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification Program (E-Verify). E-Verify helps employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers. The NIH maintains a tobacco free work environment and campus.


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Submission of a resume alone IS NOT a complete application.  You must provide a complete online Application Package which includes:


  • Your Resume (Please provide sufficient details in your resume to enable us to determine if you meet the requirement for qualifying experience (as stated in the Qualifications section) and to support your answers to the online questionnaire. Providing insufficient details in your resume may result in a lower or ineligible rating.)



  • Other required supporting documents (See the Required Documents section for any additional forms and/or supplemental materials required.)


For additional information, click on the links below:


Additional Information on How to Apply


Information on Reasonable Accommodation


For technical difficulties, contact HR Systems Support between 8 AM and 4:30 PM ET Monday through Friday at 301-451-1436 or


The following information must be received by 11:59pm ET on the closing date of the announcement, Friday, December 06, 2013.  

  1. Resume via USAJOBS.
  2. Responses to online questionnaire.
  3. If applicable, supporting documentation (including DD214 to support Veterans' Employment, CTAP/ICTAP, Schedule A, or other information requested in the announcement such as transcripts). To ensure your information is secure, please block out any Social Security numbers (SSNs). Clean copies may be requested if you are hired.


Richard Woods
Phone: (301)402-3903
Agency Information:
National Institutes of Health
10401 Fernwood Road 2D19
Bethesda, MD


Within 15 business days of the closing date, Friday, December 06, 2013, you may check your status online at USAJOBS.  We will update your status after each key stage in the application process has been completed.

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EEO Policy Statement | Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement | Veterans Information | Legal and Regulatory Guidance