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Social Scientist

Company: Department Of Health And Human Services
Location: Silver Spring
Posted on: June 6, 2021

Job Description:

  • Duties




This position is located in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Office of Communications (OCOMM) which serves as the initial point of entry for the public for inquires or to alert the agency about situations when FDA approved marketed products may be in violation of existing regulations, laws or causing harm to consumers. OCOMM handles issues that affect the quality and availability of drug products.

Learn more about this agency


  • Serves as an analyst, independently responsible for the design, analysis, implementation and Interpretation of studies regarding communications about FDA-regulated human drug products.
  • Performs in-depth and computer analyses on databases and other primary and secondary sources of data, including social media, using software applications used to analyze social and behavioral science data.
  • Utilizes a working knowledge of the statutes, regulations, and guidance that relate to how FDA conducts and regulates communication about the products it regulates.
  • Keeps current on traditional and specialized social media networks and how they operate and conduct data collection from these sites.
  • Develops and evaluates documents including statements of work, social and behavioral science research proposals submitted by external contractors; and prepare related written assessment documents.
  • Analyzes data and plans meetings to bring current research and social science knowledge into focus on problems related to the communication of information about regulated human drug products.

Travel Required

25% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

0101 Social Science

Similar jobs

  • Scientists, Social, All Other

  • Requirements



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 applicants born male, on (or after) 12/31/1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System OR have an approved exemption. Visit 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.
  • 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.


The position of Social Scientist falls under the 0101 occupational series. To qualify for this position at grade GS-12/13, you must meet Time-in-Grade requirements by 11:59 pm EST on 06/01/2021.

Basic Qualification Requirements for Social Scientist:

This position has a Basic Individual Occupational Requirement. In order to be eligible for the Social Science series, 0101, you must meet the following basic IOR:

A. Have a degree: Bachelor's degree (or higher degree) in behavioral or social science, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


B. Have a combination of education and experience: A combination of education and experience that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.


C. Have experience: Four (4) 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.

Note: Transcripts must be submitted at time of application if using education to meet this qualification requirement.

In addition to meeting the basic requirement above, you must also meet the qualification requirements listed below:

Minimum Qualifications Requirements for Social Scientist:

In order to meet the minimum qualification requirement for the Social Scientist, GS-0101-12 and/or GS-0101-13, you must meet the specialized experience requirement listed below.


Have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service that includes: 1) assisting to design implement, analyze, and interpret qualitative and quantitative public health and risk communication research studies based on social science methods, theories and approaches; 2) assisting with analyzing and reporting qualitative data collected from social media sites and focus groups, interviews, and quantitative data, including using statistical software applications to analyze social and behavioral science data; and 3) performing critical reviews of a variety of documents, including study materials, reports, meeting notes, journal articles, and statements of work.


Have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service that includes: 1) conducting qualitative and quantitative public health and risk communication research studies based on social science methods, theories and approaches, including their design, implementation, and interpretation; 2) performing analysis, interpretation and reporting of qualitative data collected from social media sites and through focus groups, interviews, and of quantitative data, including data using statistical software applications to analyze social and behavioral science data; and 3) providing detailed critical reviews on a variety of documents, including research protocols, study materials, reports, journal articles, and statements of work; and technical guidance to team members.

Time-in-Grade: Any individual who is currently holding, or has held within the previous 52 weeks, a General Schedule position under non-temporary appointment in the competitive or excepted service, must meet time-in-grade requirements (must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade or equivalent in the Federal service). Time-in-grade requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

In accordance with Office of Personnel Management policy, federal employees are assumed to have gained experience by performing duties and responsibilities appropriate for their official series and grade level as described in their position description. Experience that would not normally be part of the employee's position is creditable, however, when documented by satisfactory evidence, such as a signed memorandum from the employee's supervisor or an SF-50 or SF-52 documenting an official detail or other official assignment. The documentation must indicate whether the duties were performed full time or, if part time, the percentage of times the other duties were performed. It is expected that this documentation is included in the employee's official personnel record. In order to receive credit for experience in your resume that is not within the official series and grade level of your official position, you must provide a copy of the appropriate documentation of such experience as indicated above.

If you are applying based on some other qualifying eligibility (i.e. you are not applying as a current Federal employee), you must meet the specific requirements of the eligibility you are claiming, and must have sufficient past experience to demonstrate that you are minimally qualified for this position. See Unique Hiring Paths on USAJOBS for more information about various ways you may be eligible to apply!

PHS Commissioned Corps Officers interested in performing the duties of this position within the Commissioned Corps may apply online to this announcement. Candidates will be referred to (CC) personnel and not as candidates for conversion to a permanent career or career-conditional appointment.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the More Information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Qualifications are based on breadth/level of experience. In addition to describing duties performed, applicants must provide the exact dates of each period of employment (from MM/YY to MM/YY) and the number of hours worked per week if part time. As qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, failure to provide this information may result in disqualification. Applicants are encouraged to use the USAJOBS Resume Builder to develop their federal resume.

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.

You must submit supporting documentation to verify your eligibility to apply for this vacancy. For most applicants, an SF-50 will be required. However, if you are applying as a Veteran, individual with a qualifying disability, or a displaced employee, you will be required to provide other supporting documents as applicable. See the Required Documents section for details.

Be sure that any files you upload as supporting documentation are free of security or compression features which render such documents unreadable to our system.




Positions which are scientific or technical in nature often have very specific educational requirements. You must submit an official transcript, unofficial transcript, or a list including courses, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities, see the Foreign Education section below for additional requirements.

Pay careful attention to the Qualifications and Education sections to identify vacancies where a transcript is required. Even if you hold a similar position or are a current employee, you are not exempt from transcript requirements.

Electronic Transcript Caution: If you have obtained your transcripts electronically, the file might contain security measures that could prevent our application system from reading the file. Therefore, you should consider asking the institution to provide the file in a non-secured electronic format. Alternatively, you could scan or take a photo of the printed copy of the transcript. If your uploaded transcript cannot be read by our system, you may receive consideration and credit for the information we can access.

See the Application Manager Documentation for tips on submitting your paper-based documents.



using part or all of their education completed outside of the U.S. to meet the qualification requirements

  • must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the U.S. We will only accept the completed foreign credential evaluation.

To be acceptable, the foreign credential evaluation must include/describe at a minimum, the following information: (1) The type of education received by the applicant; (2) The level of education in relation to the U.S. education system, and state that its comparability recommendations follow the general guidelines of the International Evaluation Standards Council; (3) The content of the applicant's educational program earned abroad, and the standard obtained; (4) The status of the awarding foreign school's recognition and legitimacy in its home country's education system; and (5) Any other information of interest such as what the evaluation service did to obtain this information, the qualifications of the evaluator, and any indications as to other problems such as forgery.

Note: Some positions require the completion of specific courses or a specified number of credit hours. Therefore, the foreign credential evaluation should provide information similar to that of an official transcript, to include a list of the courses taken, quarter and/or semester hours awarded, the cumulative grade point average (GPA), honors received, if any, date degree awarded.

Applicants can request an evaluation from a member organization of one of the two national associations of credential evaluation services listed below:

  • National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)
  • Association of International Credentials Evaluators


Credential evaluations are not free, and applicants are responsible for the cost of the selected service.

For more information about this requirement, please visit the U.S. Department of Education website for Foreign Education Evaluation

Keywords: Department Of Health And Human Services, Silver Spring , Social Scientist, Other , Silver Spring, Maryland

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