job: Social Scientist @ FDA

Social Scientist, GS-0101-13


Job description


Job Overview

Become a part of the Department that touches the lives of every American! At the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) you can give back to your community, state, and country by making a difference in the lives of Americans everywhere. It is the principal agency for protecting the health of citizens. Join HHS and help to make our world healthier, safer, and better for all Americans.

WHO MAY APPLY: Open to all United States Citizens.

LOCATION: This position is located in the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Office of Policy and Risk Management, located in Rockville or Silver Spring, MD.

TYPE OF POSITION: This position is being filled on a full-time, permanent basis.

PROMOTION POTENTIAL: This is not a career-ladder position; GS-13 is the full performance level.
The salary listed in the vacancy announcement includes the geographical locality pay.

Additional selections may be made within the same geographical area within FDA.

This vacancy is also being announced concurrently with vacancy announcement FDA-ORA-17-MP-1839506-MK under competitive procedures. Please review that announcement to see if you are eligible for consideration under competitive procedures. NOTE: Applicants must apply separately for each announcement in order to be considered.


Major Duties Include

Incumbent serves as the Social Scientist in the Office of Policy and Risk Management (OPRM). The Social Scientist work within OPRM’s immediate office, reporting directly to the Assistant Commissioner of Compliance Policy to conduct a variety of projects and analyses that address proximate and/or ultimate questions pertaining to policy, compliance behavior, and outcomes as they relate to FDA’s regulatory policy, programs, and activities.

    • Conducts social science research to analyze ORA policies, systems, programs, or interventions, and make evidence-based recommendations to ensure that they address pressing current and future issues regarding public health that ORA policy or operational work can address.
    • Provides specialized expertise to ORA in designing and monitoring policies, strategies, and programs for regulatory operations informed by social science research, analysis, and evidence.
    • Conducts research in social science research methods, designs, and methodologies.
    • Provides evidence-based recommendations on policy, system, program or projects where relevant, and prepares briefing materials and provides material on activities and recommendations.
    • Prepares or assures preparation of focused concept papers and facilitates internal Agency level technical review and approvals.
    • Supports policy dialogue between FDA/Washington and the field by assuring the concerns of both are fully communicated.
    • Establishes and maintains continuing relations with other agencies, industry, nongovernmental institutions, and others concerned with FDA regulation issues.
    • Leads assessment teams comprising interagency and nongovernmental members, provides professional and technical assistance as needed to the team, defines team strategic priorities and plans, designs team projects in alignment with strategic plans, and participates in impact evaluations of team programs and projects.

Travel Required

    • Occasional Travel
    • Up to 5% of travel.

Relocation Authorized

  • No

Job Requirements

Key Requirements

    • U.S. Citizenship required.
    • All application materials must be received by the closing date.
    • Please carefully read and follow the instructions for HOW TO APPLY.
    • Background investigation is required.
    • One year probationary period may be required.


Applicants must be met all qualification requirements by the closing date of this vacancy announcement:

GS-13: One year of specialized experience at least equivalent to the GS-12 level of Federal service.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Specialized experience is that which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position be filled to include expertise in analyzing existing datasets and in the application of theory, preferably micro-theory, and data from the social sciences to advise on the design and outcome evaluation of various regulatory policy and programs, or drivers of industry-compliance or enforcement systems in an applied public health setting.

EDUCATIONSTATEMENT – Individual Occupational Requirement: This position has an education requirement. You must submit a copy of your transcripts (or a list of your courses including titles, credit hours completed and grades) to document that you have met the education requirement. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package; however, official transcripts will be required prior to beginning employment. Most colleges and universities offer unofficial transcripts online – please check your school website to obtain a copy quickly. If you have Federal status and have never been on an appointment in this occupational series, you must submit your transcripts as indicated above. If you have Federal status and are currently or were previously on an appointment in this occupational series, you do not need to submit transcripts at the time of application. Instead, you should submit an SF-50 showing that you were on an appointment in this occupational series.

For Social Science Analyst, GS-0101

To qualify, applicants must have successfully completed one of the following:

  • Degree: Behavioral or Social Science; or related disciplines appropriate to the position OR

  • Combination of education and experience that provide the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field. OR

    C. Four years of appropriate experience that demonstrated that the applicant has acquired knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

    Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in 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; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

    All qualification requirements must be met by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this vacancy announcement. Failure to provide any of the above will result in an ineligible rating.

    Conditions Of Employment

  • Security and Background Requirements: If not previously completed, a background security investigation will be required for all appointees. Appointment will be subject to the applicant’s successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. In addition, if hired, a background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time. Applicants are also advised that all information concerning qualifications is subject to investigation. False representation may be grounds for non-consideration, non-selection and/or appropriate disciplinary action.
  • E-Verify: If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS “E-Verify” System. Federal law requires DHS to use the E-Verify System to verify employment eligibility of all new hires, and as a condition of continued employment obligates the new hire to take affirmative steps to resolve any discrepancies identified by the system. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is an E-Verify Participant.
  • Direct Deposit: All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.
  • All qualification requirements must be met by the closing of the announcement.
  • Pre-employment physical required: No
  • Drug testing required: No
  • License required: No
  • Mobility agreement required: No
  • Recruitment Incentive authorized: No
  • Student loan repayment incentive authorized: No
  • Annual leave for non-federal service authorized: No
  • Bargaining Unit Position: Yes
  • Please be advised that this position may be subject to FDA’s strict prohibited financial interest regulation and therefore, may require the incumbent of this position to divest of certain financial interests. Applicants are strongly advised to seek additional information on this requirement from the FDA hiring official before accepting this position.

Security Clearance

Q – Nonsensitive

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