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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
United States Secret Service (DHS-USSS)
Position Title:
Open Period:
01/20/2012 - 02/09/2012
GS - 0180B 13/14
$89033.00 - $136771.00
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
  • FEW in Washington DC Metro Area, DC
For More Info:
Personnel Division


Who May Apply:
All United States citizens

**This vacancy is being concurrently advertised under HRT-SR015-12-MP merit promotion procedures.

For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here.
Duration Appointment:
Marketing Statement:
Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career?  If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.  DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters.  The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations.  Make an impact; join DHS.
Building on a Tradition of Excellence and Meeting the Challenges of the Future The Secret Service is a premier law enforcement organization with two critical national security missions: protect our nation's leaders and to conduct criminal investigations.  Our team members continue a tradition of excellence - whether investigating financial crime or protecting national and visiting foreign leaders.  In the Secret Service, we serve the country with duty, loyalty, justice, integrity and courage.
In the Secret Service, we:

  • Protect the President, the Vice President, and other leaders; investigate threats against them; and safeguard their residences and other facilities
  • Plan and implement security designs for National Special Security Events
  • Investigate financial crimes including fraud, identity theft and computer-based attacks on banking or telecommunications infrastructure

Joining the Secret Service, Office of Human Resources and Training, HR Research and Assessment Division will allow you to participate in the research, development, implementation, and maintenance of effective competency-based assessments for selection, promotion, career development, and organizational effectiveness to support the establishment and maintenance of a quality workforce. Apply for this exciting opportunity to impact the ability of the Secret Service to impact existing processes, techniques, and/or practices.  
This Personnel Research Psychologist position starts at a salary of $89,033(GS-13), with promotion potential to $136,771 (GS-14). For more information on the Secret Service click here.
Supervisory Position:
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Key Requirements:

U.S. citizenship is required.


The selectee will serve as a Personnel Research Psychologist in the HR Research and Assessment Division. Typical work assignments include:

  • Developing special-purpose tests and related instruments for application to specific and general examining needs.
  • Conducting studies to determine the predictive effectiveness of existing tests for specific occupations.
  • Performing responsibly in all phases of the research process, including problem definition, planning, execution, analysis, interpretation, and reporting results.  
  • Determining the proper interpretation and use of research findings and identifying implications to workforce initiatives; developing new approaches, methods, techniques, and hypotheses related to assigned projects and developing data collection plans for testing before use in large scale data collection programs.
  • Ensuring mandated DHS laws, rules, and regulations are properly assessed for potential impact on Human Resources programs.

Qualifications and Evaluations

Conditions of Employment

If selected for this position, you will be required to:

  • Obtain and maintain a top secret clearance. Completion of a full field investigation is required before appointment.
  • Submit to a drug test prior to your appointment and random drug testing while you occupy the position.
  • Certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so, if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959.
Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the duties of the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications, a score will automatically be calculated based on your answers to the vacancy specific questions to place you in one of three categories. All answers provided in the online process must be substantiated by your resume. Upon review, your resume and/or supporting documents need to support your answer choices, in order to be considered and deemed eligible. The competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job are:

  • Knowledge and application of Industrial and Organizational Psychology principles, theories, and methods.    
  • Ability to develop and validate written and oral competency-based assessments for employee selection, promotion, and/or organizational development purposes.
  • Ability to analyze data using qualitative and quantitative strategies in order to draw practical conclusions and answer research questions.
  • Ability to manage projects and resources including resolving complex issues, establishing and maintaining timelines, monitoring project work activities and budgets, and communicating progress and status.

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be placed in one of the following categories:

1. Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.
2. Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
3. Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

If you are among the best qualified candidates, your application will be referred to a selecting official for consideration and possible interview. If you are a displaced or surplus Federal employee (eligible for the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)), you must be rated as best qualified to receive special selection priority. For more information on CTAP/ICTAP, go to the following website:

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles:  If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found by clicking here to access OPM's Career Transition Resources website.  To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ ICTAP, you must be placed in the Best Qualified category for this position, as described above for this position.  In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement.

Veterans: Veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify.  Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific, professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher.  This position is considered scientific/professional.  For information on veterans' preference, please click here.

Basic Requirements

Degree: major or equivalent in psychology.  Applicants must submit copies of college transcripts. (Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.)

You qualify for the GS-13 level (starting salary $89,033) if you possess one year of specialized experience at the GS-12 level performing duties such as: conducting research on personnel problems of moderate complexity requiring a high degree of insight and originality; working as a senior member of a team on projects that involve applying a knowledge of test theory, statistics, logic, and innovative research techniques to develop new/unique special-purpose tests and related instruments; providing significant input to management and team members in the decision-making processes of a variety of assessment related initiatives; and applying a knowledge of experimental, statistical, and mathematical techniques to survey a defined population to determine attitudes, job skills, knowledge, abilities, and other characteristics.

You qualify for the GS-14 level (starting salary $105,211) if you possess one year of specialized experience at the GS-13 level performing duties such as: conducting research on personnel problems of high complexity requiring a high degree of insight and originality; independently applying a knowledge of test theory, statistics, logic, and innovative research techniques to develop new/unique special-purpose tests and related instruments; providing expert advice and consultation to management on a wide variety of assessment related issues; planning, directing, and coordinating program, project, and policy development; providing technical guidance to team members on test theory and development, statistics, and research techniques; and applying an advanced knowledge of experimental, statistical, and mathematical techniques to survey a defined population to determine attitudes, job skills, knowledge, abilities, and other characteristics.

Qualifications Must Be Met
The qualification requirements listed above must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Benefits and Other Info

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including:  health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays.  Other benefits may include:  flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers.  DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities.  For more information, go to and select "benefits."
Other Information:
Relocation expenses may be paid.

How to Apply

How to Apply:
This position is being advertised via CareerConnector which is an automated staffing system. To begin your online application, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents.  See Required Documents section for more detail.

You must complete the application process and submit any required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement. Instructions outlining the application process can be found at

If applying online poses a hardship, please contact the Personnel Division and an employment packet will be sent to you. The employment packet must be completed and received within the Personnel Division no later than the closing date (Eastern Standard Time) of this vacancy announcement.

The Secret Service provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities, on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.
Required Documents:
In addition to submitting your resume and addressing the vacancy specific questions, you must also submit the following documentation:

  • Special Priority Selection rights under CTAP or ICTAP: Submit a copy of your agency notice, copy of your most recent performance appraisal (with at least a satisfactory rating),and your most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location.

  • Are you a Veteran?  
    Submit a DD-214 (Member Copy 4) and/or documentation of service connected disability. If a DD-214 (Member Copy 4) is not available, other documentation listing the beginning and ending dates of active service and the type of discharge must be submitted to verify eligibility. Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out the SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form.  Click here for more veterans' information.
What to Expect Next:
Once your complete application is received we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your eligibility. Best-qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview. We expect to make a selection within 45 days of the closing date of this announcement. If you are selected, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

You may check the status of your application for this position by going to Click on the "My USAJOBS" tab, enter your user id and password, and click on "My Applications".  You will also receive an email notification regarding your application status.

For more information on applying for Federal employment, please click here.