Physical Scientist Job

Vacancy No. 22-EE-11257218-OCDH Department Department of Energy
Salary $84,960.00 to $172,500.00 Grade 12 to 15
Perm/Temp Permanent FT/PT Full-time
Open Date 10/20/2021 Close Date 2/21/2022
Job Link Apply Online Who may apply Public

Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)
  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    Opening and closing dates 10/20/2021 to 02/21/2022

  • Service


  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 12 - 15

  • Salary

    $84,960 to $172,500 per year

    Pay will vary by geographic location.

  • Appointment type

    Multiple Appointment Types

  • Work schedule

    Multiple Schedules

  • Golden, CO few vacancies
  • Washington, DC few vacancies
Relocation expenses reimbursed

Yes You may qualify for reimbursement of relocation expenses in accordance with agency policy.

Telework eligible

Yes as determined by agency policy

This job is open to
  • The public

    U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

U.S. Citizens This direct hire public notice is to gather applications that may or may not result in a referral or selection.

Announcement number


Control number


  • Duties
    Duties Summary

    These positions are to be filled under the OPM Government-Wide Direct Hire Authority Certain STEM Positions for grades GS 12-15. This serves as a public notice for the use of the Direct Hire Authority in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3327 and 3330 and 5 CFR 330. Under this recruitment procedure, applications will be accepted for each location/ installation identified in this Public Notice. There may or may not be actual/projected vacancies at the time you submit your application.

    Learn more about this agency

    This announcement will be used to fill positions located within the Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's programs offices: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Power, Sustainable Transportation, Operations, and Strategic Analysis (SA).

    This series includes positions that involve professional work in the physical sciences and may include work in a combination of physical science fields.

    As a Physical Scientist, at minimum you will:
    • Provide scientific advice and guidance to officials, managers, scientists, and engineer.
    • Serve as an expert for a significant segment of a specific area in one or more of the following: advanced scientific computing research; basic energy sciences; biological and environmental research; fusion energy sciences; high energy physics; nuclear physics; and workforce development.
    • Provide technical guidance on proposed research projects and programs of interest.
    • Coordinate, implement, and evaluate segments of research programs in the assigned area of responsibility.
    • Assemble essential information on topics of assigned segments of research through various source materials.
    Energy Efficiency: Supports research, development, demonstration, and deployment to increase the resilience of homes and buildings and strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. It focuses on increasing energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and grid-connectivity for the 125 million U.S. homes and commercial buildings, reducing energy burden for low-income households across the country, leading by example in reducing the carbon footprint of federal buildings, and reducing the carbon impact of energy-intensive industries through improved processes and materials while ensuring that U.S. manufacturing competitiveness

    Renewable Power: Supports research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to reduce the cost and accelerate the use and integration of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, water, and geothermal, contributing to a reliable, secure, and resilient grid. EERE's RP programs focus on -
    • Driving cost reductions to ensure renewable energy is a least-cost generation option across the country,
    • Integrating renewables into the grid to ensure that clean power systems are reliable and resilient.
    • Supporting U.S. manufacturing and supply chains in efforts to deliver new clean energy careers and eliminate dependence on vulnerable or unsustainable materials, and
    • Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy technologies by addressing market and regulatory questions, minimizing environmental and social impacts, and ensuring projects benefit local communities.
    Sustainable Transportation: Supports research, development, demonstration, and deployment efforts to decarbonize transportation across all modes, enabling vehicle electrification, commercially-viable hydrogen fuel cell trucks, sustainable aviation fuel from biomass and waste carbon resources, as well as low greenhouse gas options for off-road vehicles, rail, and maritime. Key priorities include achieving cost targets for batteries, hydrogen, fuel cells, and biofuels to support market pull without major long-term subsidies; using deployment and demonstration to show viable commercial paths to major commercial activity and large-scale transitions to new transportation technologies that enable full decarbonization by 2050; and enabling hydrogen use for industrial decarbonization and energy storage, as well as sustainable biomass to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.

    Operations: Works to make EERE more efficient and effective as an organization. It identifies ways to strengthen performance and maximize cost savings, with a focus on budget planning and execution, human capital, IT services, financial assistance, lab management, contracting and acquisition, project management, and other business processes. EERE's Operations includes theGolden Field Office,which serves as the primary field agent for EERE. In addition to managing acquisition, procurement, and financial assistance, the office oversees DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory-the nation's only national lab solely dedicated to researching and developing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Also includes the EERE Budget Office, as well as Office of Business Services Management, which includes IT Services, Knowledge Management and Systems, and Workforce Management.

    Strategic Analysis (SA) Team performs cross-cutting, gap-filling, and corporate analysis associated with the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of EERE technologies. SA develops tools and methods to enable consistent evaluation and analysis across EERE.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Requirements
    Requirements Conditions Of Employment
    • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
    • This employer participates in the e-Verify program.
    • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for Selective Service.
    • Subject to satisfactory security and suitability requirements.
    • May be required to successfully complete a probationary period.
    • This position may be filled as permanent, term, or temporary with a full-time or part-time work schedule. Pay will vary by geographic location.
    • Appointments made with this authority may be processed as a new appointment into the Civil Service.
    • The vacancies filled through these appointments have varying levels of background investigative requirements, up to?a Top Secret -?DOE "Q" clearance.
    • The vacancies filled under this public notice may have varying levels of promotion and supervisory level, if any
    • May be required to complete Financial Disclosure Statement, OGE-450, Executive Branch Personnel Confidential Financial Disclosure Report upon entering the position and annually (5CFR Part 2634, Subpart I USOGE, 6/08).

    You must meet the Basic Requirement listed in the "Education Requirements" section and the "Specialized Experience" to qualify for this series as described below.
    Your resume must reflect experience relevant to your selected program office (Energy Efficiency, Renewable Power, Sustainable Transportation, and Operations/Strategic Analysis) . Please refer to each program description under the DUTIES section.

    The specialized experience listed are the minimum requirements for the series, each particular vacancy may have additional experience necessary to meet the applicable grade level.

    A qualified candidate's online application and resume must demonstrate at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience for these positions are defined as:

    GS-12: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service. Experience includes communicating progress, status, and approval in order to evolve efficient and technically adequate responses; providing assistance in the planning, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of research programs; analyzing regulations to resolve environmental compliance issues during project execution; leading a research group and/or project; and/or assisting with monitoring program implementation and making recommendations on the allocation of resources.

    NOTE: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience at the GS-12 level.

    GS-13: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service. Experience includes communicating progress, status, and approval in order to evolve efficient and technically adequate responses; preparing reports to recommend solutions to compliance issues; performing consulting or other professional, scientific, technical, administrative, fiscal, or other specialized work; and/or performing management planning duties such as concept development, master integration planning, and programming design for programs or projects, taking into account feasibility, costs, and economics.

    NOTE: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience at the GS-13 level.

    GS-14: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service. Experience includes performing consulting or other professional, scientific, technical, administrative, fiscal, or other specialized work; reviewing and evaluating program priorities and conduct periodic scientific reviews to evaluate facility performance; preparing, justifying, and supporting the portions of the budget relating to the program; and/or analyzing regulations to resolve compliance issues during project execution.

    NOTE: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience at the GS-14 level.

    GS-15: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in the Federal service. Experience includes evaluating the effect of technical developments on fundamental policies, objectives and goals; developing new concepts, plan, and evaluate long-range programs and projects; planning and executing specialized programs on scientific, technical, administrative, and fiscal matters; and/or developing and managing funding for scientific research programs, determining funding levels, and recommending proposal, denials and program determinations for assigned programs.

    NOTE: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience at the GS-15 level.

    "Experience" refers to paid and unpaid experience. Examples of qualifying unpaid experience may include: volunteer work done through National Service programs (such as Peace Corps and AmeriCorps); as well as work for other community-based philanthropic and social organizations. 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.

    OPM Qualification Standards for the GS-1301 series can be found at the following website: OPM Qualification Standards for the GS-1301 series.

    CTAP/ICTAP candidates: To be considered "well qualified" you must meet all of the requirements as described in this section.

    This public notice may be used to fill multiple positions as needed; therefore, applicants must meet the qualifications at the time the applications are reviewed.


    Basic Requirement:
    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: 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.

    This position has a positive education requirement. Therefore, you MUST provide documentation supporting any education claims in your application. This documentation can include unofficial transcripts or any report listing institution, course title, credits earned and final grade. For specific education requirements, please see the Education Requirements.

    If selected, official transcripts may be requested.

    Additional information

    The U.S. Department of Energy fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    • This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional similar vacancies across DOE.
    • For general information on government-wide Telework polices visit:
    • Status and Non-Status applicants from outside DOE selected under this authority are required to serve a mandatory one (1) year probationary period. A DOE career status employee selected for this position may be required to serve a new one (1) year probationary period, pursuant to 5 CFR 315.802.
    • Positions may be designated as a Testing Designated Position (TDP) and subject to testing for illegal drug use. A negative drug test must be obtained prior to being appointed into these positions and will be subject to random testing thereafter.
    • If you believe that you are eligible for the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), please visit the OPM ICTAP/CTAP website for more information. In order to be considered under the ICTAP program, your application must score within the pre-established "well qualified" category as stated in the Qualifications section.
    • This public notice is to gather applications that may or may not result in a referral or selection.
    • More than one selection may be made under this hiring authority.
    • Some positions may require completion of a probationary period of up to 1 (one) year.
    • Many positions require successful completion of a background investigation.
    • Positions may be filled at varying levels of leadership, ie Team Lead, Manager, Supervisor.
    • Supervisory positions may require a 1-year probationary period, if not yet completed.
    • New employees to the Department of Energy will be required to successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit
    • Veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the links at the bottom of this page or visit the FedsHireVets website.
    • All males born after December 31st 1959 must abide by laws regarding Selective Service registration. To learn more about this law, visit the Selective Service web page, Who Must Register. If you are not registered and don't have an approved exemption, you will not be eligible for employment with the Federal government.
    • Position may require you to submit a Financial Disclosure Statement, OGE-450, Executive Branch Personnel Confidential Financial Disclosure Report upon entering the position and annually (5CFR Part 2634, Subpart I USOGE, 6/08). For additional information and to obtain the form, please visit the Office of Government Ethics.
    Reasonable Accommodation Policy:

    Veterans Information:

    Selective Service Registration:

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    This position is announced under a government-wide Direct Hire Authority (DHA) for Physical Scientist positions in the GS-1301 series. Under this Direct-Hire authority, applicants are required to meet minimum qualification requirements at the grade level(s) of interest. Veteran's Preference, Schedule A, Category Rating, and other methods of consideration DO NOT APPLY under Direct-Hire Authority regulations.

    Appointments made under this authority will be processed as new appointments to the Civil Service. Current Civil Service employees would, therefore, be given new appointments to the Civil Service. Current Federal employees may be required to serve a new probationary period (5 CFR 315.802(b).

    If your resume is incomplete or does not support the responses you provided in your online questionnaire, or if you fail to submit all required documentation before the vacancy closes, you may be rated 'ineligible', 'not qualified', or your score may be adjusted accordingly.

    Successful candidates will possess the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):

    • Attention to Detail
    • Problem Solving
    • Reasoning
    • Technical Competence

    You must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date (02/21/2022) of this announcement.

    To preview the Assessment Questionnaire, click

    Background checks and security clearance
    Security clearance


    Drug test required


    Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    Credentialing, Suitability/Fitness

  • Required Documents
    Required Documents

    To apply for this position, you MUST provide a complete application package which includes:

    • Your RESUME showing all relevant work experience (paid and unpaid) including: duties performed; full name and address of the each employer; start and end dates (month/day/year); work schedule (part-time, full-time, number of hours if intermittent); salary; and any completed education and training (program title, subject area, number of hours completed, and completion date).
    • Cover Letter, optional, expressing additional information not covered in your resume.
    • Transcripts, if specific educational requirements are indicated in this job announcement. Unofficial transcripts or any report listing institution, course title, credits earned (semester or quarter hour) and final grade is acceptable. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the educational requirements.
    • Veterans' Preference documentation,if applicable, DD-214 Member Copy 4 showing type of discharge/character of service; current active duty members- certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within 120 days; SF-15 Form and related documentation; VA letter. For more information visit the USAJOBS Help Center & OPM CHCOC website for VOW information.
    • Career Transition Assistance Program/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program documentation, if applicable(e.g., Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; SF-50 that documents the RIF separation action; and most recent performance appraisal.) For more information see the OPM Guide to Career Transition.
    Failure to submit any of the above mentioned required documents may result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents have been submitted.

    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.

  • Benefits

    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.

    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

    This is a public notice that is open for 4 months.

    Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin an application. To apply for this position, you must complete the initial online application, to include submission of the required documentation specified in the Required Documents section. A complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on the announcement closing date to receive consideration.

    The application process is as follows:

    1. You must have a account to sign into USAJOBS:
    2. To begin the application process in USAJOBS, click the Apply Online button.
    3. Answer the questions presented in the application and attach all required and supporting documentation.
    4. You must click the Submit Application button prior to 11:59 pm (ET) on the announcement closing date.
    You may update your application, including supporting documentation, at any time during the announcement open period by returning to your USAJOBS account, select Update Application: This option will no longer be available once the announcement has closed.

    To verify the status of your application, during and after the announcement open period, log into your USAJOBS account; applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each application status means, visit:

    If you need help with or USAJOBS (e.g., account access, Resume Builder) visit the USAJOBS Help Center:

    If you experience difficulty applying on USAJOBS, after clicking the Apply Online button, or you are experiencing a significant hardship hindering your ability to apply online, the Agency Contact listed in the announcement can assist you during normal business hours. If you receive any system error messages, take screenshots if possible, to aid technical support.

    Agency contact information Patti Hunt Patti Hunt

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy - Headquarters
    P.O. Box 5088
    Oak Ridge, TN 37831
    Learn more about this agency

    EERE's mission is to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and solutions to equitably transition America to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050, and ensure the clean energy economy benefits all Americans, creating good paying jobs for the American people-especially workers and communities impacted by the energy transition and those historically underserved by the energy system and overburdened by pollution. Most of EERE's new investments directly support deployments or demonstrations of technologies that show viable pathways for achieving EERE's five programmatic priorities:
    • Decarbonizing the electricity sector.
    • Decarbonizing transportation across all modes: air, sea, rail, and road.
    • Decarbonizing the industrial sector.
    • Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings.
    • Decarbonizing the agriculture sector, specifically focused on the nexus between energy and water.
    Learn more about EERE and EERE Career Opportunities.

    Visit our careers page

    Learn more about what it's like to work at Department of Energy, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.

    Next steps

    Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. The status of your application will be updated in USAJOBS as it is evaluated.

    You can check the status by logging into USAJOBS. You may also sign up to receive automatic emails anytime the status of your application changes by logging into your USAJobs Account and editing the Notification Settings.

    You will be contacted directly if an interview is required.

Fair & Transparent

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

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

Note: We cannot accept applications on behalf of Federal Agencies. Application instructions are listed within the Job Description.