Physical Scientist/Life Scientist
- This position is in Region 9, Water Division, Surface Water Branch, Standards and Assessments Section. If selected, you must work at the location stated in this announcement. About Region 9: Region 9 webpage
- Learn more about this agency
- At the entry level of this position, you will:
- Participate in the review of proposed triennial water quality standard revisions submitted by States/Tribes
- Prepare correspondence to States/Tribes on existing or proposed water quality standards advising of deficiencies and recommendations for necessary revisions
- Review water quality studies and special projects to ensure appropriate information is obtained for water quality standards actions and implementation
- Provide scientific support, leadership and coordination for assigned activities related to water quality.
When entering a Federal job at a grade level lower than the highest promotion potential level, you may be promoted to more complex duties and work more independently, as your career progresses.
- You will spend less than 25% of your work time on contracts, grants/cooperative agreements, and/or interagency agreements.
- One or more positions may be filled.
- Occasional travel - You may be required to travel less than 25% of each month.
Job family (Series)
- 1301 General Physical Science
- 0401 General Natural Resources Management And Biological Sciences
Conditions of Employment
- If you are selected, a pre-employment background check is required. Position has education requirements--see Qualifications/Education section. You must submit a resume and required documents--see How to Apply section. EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings. You must be a U.S. citizen.
- If you are selected, you may be required to complete a one-year probationary period.
- This position is designated as Moderate Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation.
- In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:
To qualify for the GS-11 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-09 level defined as experience working with stakeholders to establish or implement water quality standards or water quality assessment under the Clean Water Act; working collaboratively with stakeholders to facilitate information exchange to solve water quality problems - OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in the academic discipline as described below - OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
To qualify for the GS-12 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-11 level defined as experience working in a leadership role with stakeholders to establish or implement water quality standards or water quality assessment under the Clean Water Act; working collaboratively with stakeholders to facilitate information exchange to solve water quality problems; preparing reports and presenting information to diverse stakeholders, including management.
Your application package will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas:
- Knowledge of Clean Water Act and associated regulations
- Ability to establish goals and assess progress towards their achievement
- Knowledge of principles and practices of team building
- Skill in oral communications
- Skill in written communications
- Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
If you have part-time work experience, read this: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.
You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in:
- 1301 - General Physical Science Series
- A. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics. -OR-
- B. Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
- 0401 – Life Scientist
- A. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
- B. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
- This position is in the bargaining unit.
- Are you a Displaced Federal Employee? If so, please read the Required Documents section and visit the EPA website for additional information: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures
- EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.
- If you are selected, travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid by EPA. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting to work in this position will be your responsibility.
- Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed above.
- Position has portable work and selectee may be authorized to telework after meeting eligibility requirements if approved by the supervisor/manager.
- Read more
How You Will Be Evaluated
- You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
- This position is being filled through the Office of Personnel Management’s government-wide direct-hire authority. Under the provisions of the direct-hire authority, category rating, veterans’ preference, and traditional rating and ranking of applicants do not apply. All eligible applicants will be forwarded to the selecting official for further consideration, and you may be subject to assessments during the selection process. If you are selected, we will review your resume and required documents to ensure you meet the qualification requirements.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Trust determination process
- Documents to be submitted online:
NOTE: You should ensure your social security number, date of birth, and any other personal information are redacted.
--Resume clearly stating your experience related to this position as described in the Duties section and Qualifications section. In describing your experience, you need to be clear and specific. We may not make assumptions regarding your experience.
--Responses to the online assessment questionnaire (you must complete this online - it is not a document you need to upload).
-College transcripts - required to submit either unofficial transcripts or a list of courses that includes school(s) attended, school address, course title, grades earned, completion dates, department, and quarter or semester hours earned. NOTE: Official educational transcripts are not required at the time of application; however, if you are selected, you must provide official transcripts before you start work with EPA.
--Displaced Federal employees under ICTAP/CTAP: copy of your most recent performance appraisal, proof of eligibility, and your most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, tenure, and duty station.
Additional information can be found on our website: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures
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.
- Join EPA in protecting human health and the environment and enjoy many work life quality options! Working for the EPA offers you 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. To learn more about us, visit Life and Careers at EPA.
- Review our 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
How to Apply
- You are strongly encouraged to read the entire announcement before you submit your application for this position.
To begin the application process, click the Apply button to the right on this screen, follow the prompts to log-in/register, submit all required documents, and complete the assessment questionnaire. To be considered, you must submit a complete application package by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the day the announcement closes.
All required supporting documents will be collected electronically via the USAJOBS document portfolio feature.
If you cannot apply online, you must contact the Human Resources Office listed below for assistance no later than three business days prior to the closing date of this announcement. You must provide complete application materials by the day the announcement closes.
For detailed instructions to assist you in ensuring your application package is received, go to EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.