This position is located in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of the Commissioner (OC), Office of External Affairs (OEA), Office of Media Affairs (OMA), Silver Spring, Maryland.Learn more about this agency
The candidate must have excellent media relations, project management and leadership skills to provide expert advice and guidance on all aspects of communications to subject matter experts, principals, and other agency officials.
- If selected for this position, you will:
- Arrange press conferences, media briefings, media availabilities, interviews and other news events.
- Provide media relations advice to agency officials and advise senior FDA officials about newsworthy and controversial issues.
- Facilitate media interviews with agency senior officials and provide guidance to interview subjects on advisable conduct during media contacts.
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with the news media and other external stakeholders by providing timely and accurate information.
- Respond to questions and/or criticism from members of the news media concerning sensitive and complex policies.
- Independently initiate, create, write and edit materials, including news releases, about complicated public health and scientific subjects directed towards journalists and lay audiences; choose language appropriate for target audience(s).
- Consult with photographers, illustrators, and audio-visual personnel to use photographs, illustrations, animation, video and/or sound files to help explain scientific concepts covered in written material.
- Use new media/social networking tools to communicate to lay audiences about FDA programs, actions and accomplishments.
- Staff FDA officials and serve as the point of contact for news media at advisory committee meetings, workshops and Congressional hearings.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- Citizenship Requirement: You must be a U.S. Citizen to be considered for this advertisement unless explicitly stated otherwise.
- Selective Service Registration: All males born on, or after, 12/31/1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System OR have an approved exemption. VIsit www.SSS.gov for more info.
- FDA participates in e-Verify: All new hires must complete the I-9 form; this information will be processed through e-Verify to determine your employment eligibility. If a discrepancy arises, you must take affirmative steps to resolve the matter.
- Background Investigation Requirement: All employees must pass a security investigation. Failing to pass the background check may be grounds for removal or legal action. If hired, you may be subject to additional investigations at a later time.
- You must meet ALL requirements by the closing date of this announcement to be considered. Only education, experience, and qualifications attained by this date will be considered. You must continue to meet all requirements through the hiring process.
- Certification of Accuracy: All information concerning eligibility and qualification is subject to investigation and verification. False representation may be grounds for non-consideration, non-selection, or appropriate legal action.
- Direct Deposit: You will be required to have all federal salary payments electronically deposited into a bank account with a financial institution of your choice.
- Additional selections may be made from this vacancy, within the same geographical area, by other organizational elements from within FDA, through shared corporate recruiting activities.
QualificationsThe position of Public Affairs Specialist falls under the 1035 occupational series. To qualify for this position at grade GS-14, you must meet the following:
- You must possess 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 in the Federal service, experience working in media relations serving as a senior communication/public affairs/public relations professional responding to and managing news media inquiries and providing strategic communication advice on controversial, sensitive and highly-complex topics dealing with human (pharmaceutical) or veterinary drugs, vaccines or other biological products for human use, medical devices, human or animal food, cosmetics, dietary supplements, or tobacco products. Alternatively, experience working as a journalist/member of the news media reporting on U.S. government public health and scientific issues.
If you are using education completed at foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program.
If you have transferred educational credit from a foreign institution to one in the U.S., you must still show that your foreign education was evaluated by an organization recognized by the Department of Education, even if that foreign education was accepted as transfer credit by a domestic college or university.
For more information about this requirement, please visit the U.S. Department of Education website for Foreign Education Evaluation.
Because of this high level of interest in positions with the FDA, the agency reserves the option of setting an application number limit.
When an application limit is set, USAJOBS will close the vacancy at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on either:
(A) the day the limit is reached, -OR-
(B) the pre-defined closing date of 10/24/2018, whichever comes first.
If the limit is reached before 11:59 pm ET, all applications in excess of the limit will continue to be accepted until 11:59 pm ET.
For more information about announcement closing, see: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/faq/job-announcement/expiration/
ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
- If you are serving, or have served in the last 5 years (from 10/24/2018) as an Executive Branch political, Schedule C, or Non-career SES appointee, HHS/FDA may be required to obtain approval by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) prior to beginning employment. You can find out if you have held one of these appointment types by looking at your Standard Form 50s in your Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF), in Section 5 where the legal authorities are listed. If you have served or are currently serving, you must provide a copy of your SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting this appointment. In addition, you will be required to respond to the question in the assessment and certify your responses to the questionnaire. Political Appointee FAQ - OPM
- Incentives may be authorized; however, this is contingent upon funds availability. If authorized, certain incentives will require you to sign a service agreement to remain in the Federal government for a period of up to 3 years. Note: This statement does not imply nor guarantee an incentive will be offered and paid. Incentives include the following: moving expenses, recruitment or relocation incentive; student loan repayment, superior qualifications appointment, creditable service for annual leave for prior non-federal work experience or prior uniformed military service, etc.
- Pre-Employment Physical: No
- Drug Testing Requirement: No
- License Requirement: No
- Immunization Requirement: No
- Mobility Agreement Required: No
- Bargaining Unit Position: No
- Veteran's Preference: If you plan to apply for any time of Veterans Preference, please pay careful attention to the "Required Documents" section for more information about what to provide in your application. See Veterans Preference for more.
- Selective Service Registration: Males born after December 31, 1959 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service. You can learn more by visiting the Selective Service Registration site.
- Schedule A: If you plan to apply under Schedule A based on a disability, please pay careful attention to the "Required Documents" section for more information about what to provide in your application. See Individuals with Disabilities for more.
- Career Transition Assistance Programs: If you are a displaced Federal employee and plan to apply under CTAP or ICTAP, please pay careful attention to the "Required Documents" section for more information about what to provide in your application. See Career Transition Assistance for more.
- Financial disclosure statement, OGE-450, required: If you are hired, you may be required to divest of certain financial interests. You are advised to seek additional information on this requirement from the hiring official.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Once the job opportunity announcement closes (at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on 10/24/2018), a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be conducted, the information will be compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine your eligibility for Federal employment, and then whether you are qualified for this particular position.
If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your responses when compared to your background information, you may be deemed ineligible, or your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your skills and abilities.
Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.
About Category Rating (DEU) Procedures (Basis for Rating):
- Category rating procedures will be used to rate and rank candidates.
- The answers you provide to the applicant self-assessment questions will be used, in conjunction with the supporting documents you include, and your resume, to determine your eligibility for Federal employment and your qualification for this position specifically.
- Your application score is used to place you into one of three quality categories: "Best Qualified", "Well Qualified", and "Qualified". (The category assignment is a measure of the degree in which your background matches the competencies required for this position.)
- The cut-off score for each quality category may vary from announcement to announcement, and is determined by each agency, in advance of the advertisement going live.
- Category Rating does not add veterans preference points but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles Vets who meet the minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 30% must be listed in the highest quality category (except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher).
- Only applications in the Best Qualified category are referred to the hiring office for consideration.
- If a high volume of applications are from highly qualified preference eligible Veterans, FDA's HR office may elect to refer ONLY those preference eligible Veterans to the hiring office for consideration.
- If FDA receives a small number of applications, or if the score range of applications in the highest quality category is low enough, the Best Qualified category may be merged with the Well Qualified category and the merged list may be provided to the hiring office instead.
- Knowledge of Media Relations.
- Skills conducting press conferences, media briefings, and interviews.
- Ability to communicate orally.
- Ability to communicate in writing.
To preview the application assessment questions, click the link below:
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
The following documents are REQUIRED for this vacancy:
"Required" indicates that the above documents are necessary to determine your eligibility and/or qualification for this vacancy. These documents are collected from ALL applicants and failing to provide any of these documents may result in your application being deemed incomplete or ineligible. Pay close attention to the list above to ensure you are providing all of the documentation we need to consider your application. If you need instructions or assistance with submitting documentation, please see the Applicant Help Site - Documents page for more information.
The Federal Government has very specific requirements for the information that you must include in your resume. A resume for a Federal job will be much longer and more detailed than the type of resume you may be familiar with from the private sector, especially if you're accustomed to submitting in CV (curriculum vitae) format. If you have not written a Federal resume before, you may want to watch this Resume Writing Tutorial video on the USAJOBS YouTube channel, or read through a helpful Resume Writing FAQ on the USAJOBS Help Site to learn what details you should, and should not, include in your resume. At a minimum, you should include: start and end dates for each position (including month and year), number of hours per week worked, level of experience and duties performed, employer name and address, supervisor name and contact, and salary (or grade and step), for each position listed in your work history.
The following documents are ACCEPTED for this vacancy:
"Accepted" means that you will have the opportunity to submit these documents, if they are applicable to you. Such documents include Veteran Preference or other special eligibility documentation, transcripts, or other optional documentation that helps us determine your eligibility. The above list of documents may not apply to all applicants. If you are unsure what documents might apply to you, please review the USAJOBS FAQ article: "What types of documents might I need to provide?" or contact the FDA Applicant Help Desk.
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS WHO WISH TO APPLY FOR SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITIES:
- Veterans: veteran eligibility documentation, including DD-214 Member #4 Copy, VA Letter, Standard Form (SF)-15, vary based on what preference you claim. If you are a veteran who has not yet been discharged, you may provide a statement of intent to discharge from your agency to receive Veterans Preference under the VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Learn more about Veterans Preference and documentation requirements on the USAJOBS Help Site for Veterans.
- Individuals with Disabilities: Individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities may apply for appointment through the Schedule A hiring authority. Certified verification of a disability from a licensed medical professional; a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist; or any Federal, state, or District of Columbia agency or U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits will be required. You can learn more about this appointment type on the USAJOBS Help Center page for Individuals with Disabilities.
- Displaced Federal employees who qualify for CTAP/ICTAP: If you are a former Federal employee who was displaced due to a Reduction-in-Force (RIF) or surplused by some other means, please submit a copy of the separation letter or RIF notice from your agency. To be selected under I/CTAP, you must still be found well-qualified for this position. Please see the USAJOBS Help Site page for Career Transition for more information.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
To apply for positions with the Food & Drug Administration, you must have a USAJOBS Login.GOV account and be signed in to that account before you click the "Apply Online" button. See the USAJOBS Help Article "How does the application process work?" for more on this process. Additionally, you must provide a resume and any required supporting documentation listed on the announcement, and you must complete all assessment questionnaires BEFORE 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement, 10/24/2018. We recommend that you start the application process early enough that you can complete and submit your application before this deadline.
Please note that you cannot submit documentation or make changes to your application after the deadline, and in most cases, only experience and education obtained by this date will be considered.
If you would like to learn how to use USAJOBS including: accessing and managing your account, adding saved documents, building a resume, or starting an application; we recommend you visit the USAJOBS How To site, and read up on any topic that you need help with. This site is located at: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/. Additionally, if you need technical assistance with USAJOBS (such as account issues) please visit the main USAJOBS Help site at: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/. FDA's Applicant Help Desk is not able to support USAJOBS-related issues.
The Food & Drug Administration uses a system called Application Manager (USA Staffing) to post jobs and accept applications. If you are not familiar with Application Manager or you encounter any difficulty with the site, we recommend that you visit the Applicant HELP Site at: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/index.php?title=Applicant. This help site contains step-by-step instructions for completing the application process, submitting documentation, and completing questionnaires, and should be very helpful to you!
You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. The FDA will provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities who are not able to apply online. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please contact the Applicant Help Desk. Decisions on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
If after reviewing the USAJOBS and Application Manager help sites, you're not able to find the answer to your question or concern, or if you wish to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact the FDA Applicant Help Desk at 888-478-4340, or e-mail QuickQuestions@fda.gov.
The Applicant Help Desk is staffed between the hours of 7am and 6pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except for government holidays.
If you contact the Applicant Help Desk, please provide the following Vacancy Identification Number (VIN) 10318687 so that we may assist you faster.
Agency contact information
FDA Applicant Help Desk
AddressOffice of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs
10903 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Once your application is submitted, you will receive an email notice confirming that your submission was successful. You will receive additional application status updates by email and through USAJOBS as the process unfolds.
How to check your application status and understand what each status means.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/512118800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.