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The BSEE Oil Spill Preparedness Division has published a hiring vacancy for a research position in Sterling, VA.  The primary focus of this position is to manage the Bureau’s R&D associated with oil spill chemical treatments (i.e., dispersants, herders, and surface washing agents) and advise on their related policies.  The position is advertised as Interdisciplinary (Physical Scientist/General Engineer) at the GS-13 or 14 level using Direct Hiring Authority and will close on 3/31/2022.  Interested parties can view and apply to the advertisement on USA Jobs at the following: Announcement:  BSEE-EEGG-22-LL-108(DH)  


DIRECT HIRE AUTHORITY: This position is being filled through the office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Government-Wide Direct-Hire Authority for this occupation and is open to all U.S. Citizens. Since the Direct-Hire Recruitment Authority is being used, traditional Veterans’ Preference rules do not apply. Qualified Veterans will, however, be given full consideration for this position.

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    Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)

    Federal employees who meet the definition of a “surplus” or “displaced” employee.


    The public

    U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

All U.S. Citizens



This position is located within the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Oil Spill Preparedness Division (OSPD), Response Research Branch (RRB) in Sterling, VA.

At the full performance level (GS-14) the major duties of this position include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Provides authoritative advice on offshore oil spill prevention, planning, preparedness, intervention, containment, response, and research needs to senior agency staff, Federal and state agencies, offshore operators, and the emergency response community.
2. Coordinates the Branch’s efforts in setting research goals, the design of technical approaches and tool development, budgeting, project scheduling, technique development, synthesis, and documentation of processes and outcomes with an emphasis on oil spill chemical treatments (i.e., dispersants, herders, surface washing agents).
3. Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies; and coordinates work efforts with other BSEE offices and external organizations monitoring progress and evaluating outcomes.
4. Advises and collaborates with various industry, academic and government research entities.
5. Designs studies or research projects related to oil spill chemical treatments to address gaps in data and knowledge. Collaborates with other technical experts to identify and evaluate technology innovations and practices, and to determine scope of work.
6. Serves as a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) for high-risk oil spill research projects or other contracts within the Division. Writes statements of work and/or statements of objectives; conducts market research; prepares government cost estimates and requisitions; analyzes contract scope, cost, and duration, recommending changes to the Contracting Officer (CO) when necessary.

BSEE has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisor approval.

Salary Information
GS-13: (Step 01) $106, 823- (Step 10) $138,868
GS-14: (Step 01) $126,233- (Step 10) $164,102
First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lower salary range of the grade level.

This vacancy may be used to fill additional positions as vacancies become available.



Conditions of Employment


  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  2. You will be subject to a background/suitability investigation/determination.
  3. You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.
  4. You must submit ALL required documents and a completed questionnaire.
  5. Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service system, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See
  6. Driver’s License is required.



Minimum Qualification Requirements:
To qualify for this position you must meet the (1) Basic Educational Requirements AND (2) Specialized Experience for the series to which you are applying.

(1) Basic Educational Requirements:

0801-General Engineer-
You must meet the description in either A or B below to qualify for this position:

A. Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.


B. Combination of education and experience — college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following listed in the link below:

NOTE: Transcripts are required to verify Basic Education Requirements.

1301- Physical Scientist-
You must meet the description in either A or B below to qualify for this position:

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.


B. Combination of education and experience: A 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.

NOTE: Transcripts are required to verify Basic Education Requirements.

(2) Specialized Experience

To qualify for the GS-13, you must possess at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. Specialized experience is experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized experience is defined as demonstrated experience:

1. Serving as a team leader for a multi-faceted research project involving the theory and application of oil spill chemical treatments (i.e., dispersants, herders, surface washing agents) with closely related goals and objectives;
2. Participating in inter-agency or multi-organization discussions on research, operations plans, or contingency plans as they relate to the use of chemical treating agents; and
3. Having familiarity with the use of oil fate and trajectory models, particularly as they relate to response mitigation measures.

Must meet all of the above plus at least two of the following:

4. Providing input into the development of resource requirements and budget projections for a project;
5. Tracking and analyzing research proposals and resulting contracts, making changes and recommendations, and monitoring and tracking the status of contracts related to oil spill research; and
6. Identifying problem areas subject to resolution by research, formulating design of research projects, preparing progress briefings and evaluating final reports on the results of completed research projects in oil spill related topics.

To qualify for the GS-14, you must possess at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. Specialized experience is experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized experience is defined as demonstrated experience:

1. Delivering subject matter expertise, recommendations, or inputs on state or Federal regulations or policies associated with the use of chemical treating agents (i.e., dispersants, herders, surface washing agents) in the marine environment.
2. Serving as a technical authority regarding the theory and application of oil spill chemical treatments as well as serving as a Project Manager for research projects and program activities involving resolving resource constraints; and
3. Using, interpreting and evaluating outputs from oil fate and trajectory models, particularly as they relate to response mitigation measures.

Must meet all of the above plus at least two of the following:

4. Applying oil spill response mitigation techniques in the marine environment;
5. Monitoring contractor performance to ensure compliance with project plans and associated costs;
6. Developing and implementing the project’s communication and stakeholder engagement plans; and
7. Authoring or co-authoring technical reports associated with chemical treating agent research (e.g., product development, or operations, or contingency planning, or monitoring, or decision-making).

Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM’s website:

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.


Education: If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide transcripts as proof of meeting the requirements.

Foreign Education: Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the specific educational requirements as stated above. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit:

Additional information

Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position.

Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for and performance of higher-level duties.

The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.

Important Note: All Department of the Interior (DOI) employees are subject to the conflict of interest restrictions imposed upon all employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report. In addition, DOI employees, GS-15 and above, who work in the Office of the Secretary; along with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) employees (at ALL grade levels), are further restricted concerning their interests in Federal lands and resources administered or controlled by the Department of the Interior. This includes holding stock in energy corporations which lease Federal lands (e.g.: oil, gas, coal, alternative energy resources, etc.). If you have any such investments you should contact the DOI, BOEM or BSEE Ethics Office before accepting employment. DOI employees are held to the highest level of integrity. Employees must be objective and impartial in the performance of their work. All potential issues (e.g.: work-related interactions with friends, family members, or previous employers) must be disclosed at the time of application or during the interview process.

NOTICE: This employer participates in E-Verify and will utilize your Form I-9 information to confirm you are authorized to work in the U.S.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

For this announcement, all applicants will be reviewed to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for this position, specifically the educational and specialized experience requirements. Applicants will not be rated or ranked. All applications that are verified to meet the basic qualifications will be referred to the selecting official. All answers provided in the on-line process must be substantiated by a resume. If, upon review, it is determined that your resume and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be removed from consideration.

If you are a status applicant (current career or career-conditional Federal employee or former permanent Federal employee with reinstatement eligibility in the competitive service), or are eligible under a special appointing authority and you are selected under this vacancy, you may be subject to serving a new one-year probationary period.

To preview the assessment questionnaire click:


Required Documents

Your resume must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement and OPM qualification standards for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. It is strongly recommended that you use the USAJobs Resume Builder as it was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed. The Resume Builder is available at

Your application package must include: (1) Resume showing relevant experience as written in your own words; (2) Completed online Assessment Questionnaire; (3) College transcript (if applicable) for verification of qualifying education. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; (4) Certificates, license, etc. (if applicable); (5) Form DD-214 OR VA letter and Standard Form 15.

You will find additional information on the following topics: (1) e-Verify; (2) Selective Service; (3) CTAP/ICTAP; (4) Education – accreditation; (5) Foreign education; (6) Veterans preference; (7) Special appointing authority documentation; and more can be found on our web site: OR

If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, you must submit proof by the closing date of the announcement that you meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP or you will not receive priority consideration. The proof includes a copy of the agency notice, your most recent Performance Rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty station. To be considered well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, you must earn a minimum score of 85 or above (prior to the assignment of veteran’s preference) on the rating criteria for this position.

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.


How to Apply

Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on “Application Status.” Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue.

Applicants who apply under this job opportunity announcement agree to have their application, associated documents and applicable personal information shared with other Bureaus/Offices within the Department of the Interior (DOI) who have vacancies within the same occupational series, grade, full performance level and in the same geographic location(s), including within the same metro/commuting area. Applying to this announcement does not replace the need to apply to other job opportunity announcements for which you wish to receive consideration.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Due to COVID-19, we are currently in an expanded telework posture. If you are a non-remote worker, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement in accordance with the Department’s reentry procedures. At that time, you may be eligible to request to continue to telework one or more days per pay period depending upon the terms of the Department of the Interior’s telework policy which requires supervisory approval.

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Agency contact information

 Lindsey Lamastus



Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
45600 Woodland Road
Sterling, VA 20166
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Next steps

You can track the progress of your application package via your USAJobs account. You will receive an acknowledgment from USAJobs that your submission was successful, once we have received your on-line assessment questionnaire, resume and any supporting documentation. You will be notified of the status of your application via your USAJobs account after we conduct a qualification review of your complete application package. You will be contacted if further evaluation or interviews are required. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for employment consideration. We may verify all information you provide in your resume and questionnaire responses, through reference and/or background checks, and/or verification of your education. If you are selected, you will be contacted personally by the Human Resources Office posting this announcement.

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Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.







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