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Job opening: Health Science Specialist - Data Scientist

Salary: $128 717 - 167 336 per year
Published at: May 16 2024
Employment Type: Intermittent
This position is located within the Program Evaluation and Resource Center (PERC) at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Menlo Park, CA. The Health Science Specialist - Data Scientist supports the work of PERC in multiple ways by serving as a data scientist for projects involving big health care data.


***THIS IS NOT A VIRTUAL POSITION, YOU MUST LIVE WITHIN OR BE WILLING TO RELOCATE WITHIN A COMMUTABLE DISTANCE OF THE DUTY LOCATION*** NOTE: This is a TERM appointment (not-to-exceed 4 years). Term appointments are non-status, nonpermanent appointments of limited duration (more than 1 year but not more than 4). Term employees are eligible to earn leave and generally have the same benefits as permanent employees including health and life insurance, within-grade increases and Federal Employees Retirement System and Thrift Savings Plan coverage. Term appointments may be extended without further competition (up to the 4-year maximum). The appointment to a Term position does not confer eligibility for promotion or reassignment to other positions or the ability to be non-competitively converted to permanent employment. NOTE: Intermittent employment is defined as non-fulltime employment in which employees serve under an excepted or competitive service appointment without a regularly scheduled tour of duty. A position with an intermittent work schedule is sporadic and unpredictable so that a tour of duty cannot be regularly scheduled in advance. Intermittent positions offer health insurance only if the employee is expected to work at least 130 hours per month for at least 90 days. The major duties include but are not limited to: Conceptualizes and conducts program evaluation projects and quality improvement (QI) projects involving big data in health care using knowledge of multiple fields of research that bridge diverse disciplines. Applies understanding of large, complex national health care programs or datasets and integrates stakeholder viewpoints and perspectives into the analysis and interpretation of health care system data. Represents PERC on national work groups, provides technical support related to PERC products and/or the implementation of Office of Mental Health initiatives, serving as a liaison to other program offices, and actively working with extremely large datasets involving all phases of the design, development, and implementation of program evaluation and QI projects across the mental health system. Presents and communicates insights or findings from data to other data scientists in their team, and potentially to a non-technical or clinical audience. Provides technical and scientific supervision of staff assigned to these projects and monitor progress toward project goals and deadlines. Engages in significant interaction and active coordination about data management and data syndication with staff at other Office of Mental Health evaluation centers, Office of Mental Health senior staff, and CDW (Corporate Data Warehouse). Participates in national initiatives involving data syndication and data interoperability and collaborates with internal and external subject matter and data experts in data innovation and migration projects. Participates in efforts to transition from internal electronic health records (EHR) to the Oracle Health electronic health record, a project of national significance. Assists PERC leadership with the data management responsibilities associated with coordinating with these staff and facilitating their use of data in appropriate and efficient ways. Creates and maintains systems and databases designed to ensure that projects comply with administrative policies, procedures, and the data security guidelines and policies of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Oversight and Compliance. Serves as an expert advisor and consultant on matters involving data science and working with big health care data. Works with a wide range of personnel, including senior PERC staff, senior staff in other program offices (e.g., Pharmacy Benefits Management), principal investigators and other research staff, and junior data analysts. Works on diverse projects that may include program evaluation, QI, implementation, and research. Advises a diverse staff on how to plan the acquisition of data resources to meet project needs. Assists staff as they interact with database administrator teams at the CDW and VINCI as they arrange Data Use Agreements, database permissions, Extract, Transform, Load (ETLs) account planning, applications for accounts (e.g., Locally Secured Views) and Functional Task Codes necessary to accomplish tasks. Performs other related duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Intermittent work schedule Recruitment & Relocation Incentives: Not authorized Critical Skills Incentive (CSI): Not Approved Financial Disclosure Report: Not Required Telework: VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.



All applicants must meet the following Basic Education Requirement: Basic Education Requirement: Possess a Bachelor's degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university in a major study in an academic field related to the medical field, health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of this position. NOTE: You must submit copies of transcripts at the time of application. Education will not be credited without documentation. ~AND~ This position includes two Selective Placement Factors (skill, knowledge, ability or other worker characteristic basic to - and essential for - satisfactory performance of the job). Selective Placement Factors are a prerequisite to appointment and represent minimum requirements for a position. Applicants who do not meet it are ineligible for further consideration. The Selective Placement Factors for this position are: Experience creating and maintaining databases using Structured Querying Language (SQL) Server Management Studio and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). ~AND~ Experience developing and maintaining electronic clinical decision support tools and/or program metrics for a health care system. In addition to the basic education requirement and selective placement factors, in order to qualify for this position at the GS-13 level, you must meet the following: Specialized Experience: You must have at least one (1) full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level (GS-12) in the Federal service that has given you the particular knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Health Science Specialist -Data Scientist and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized experience is experience in health care where you incorporated your knowledge of health services research, performance measure development, the context of clinical care, health care operations, and implementation science into programs and tools to improve the quality of data available regarding health care programs; planning and conducting complex quality improvement and program evaluation projects requiring a sophisticated understanding of clinical care and health care data; maximizing the value of available data and executing quality improvement and program evaluation plans to empirically examine issues of interest; developing new data collection instruments and metrics; and creating and maintaining systems and databases designed to ensure that quality improvement and program evaluation projects comply with administrative policies, procedures, and requirements. NOTE: Your experience must be fully documented on your resume in order to receive credit. You will be rated on the following Competencies as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position: Customer Service (Clerical/Technical)Data ManagementPlanning and EvaluatingTeamworkTechnical Competence IMPORTANT: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. All experience listed on your resume must include the month and year start/end dates. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment. 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. Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary. For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/.


IMPORTANT: Due to the positive education requirement, copies of all pertinent transcripts must be submitted with your application. Applications will not be considered without appropriate transcripts. Please ensure that your transcripts show that the degree was conferred in the appropriate field. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, display copies of degrees or course listings are not adequate and do not provide the information needed to verify that you have the basic education requirement.

NOTE: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: Recognition of Foreign Qualifications | International Affairs Office (ed.gov).


  • Address Palo Alto VA Medical Center 3801 Miranda Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94304 US
  • Name: VHA National Recruitment Center
  • Phone: (844)456-5208
  • Email: [email protected]


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