Career Opportunity /  11 October 2022

Senior Innovation Officer, EPA

This Senior-Level (SL) position is located in the Office of Research and Development (ORD), Office of Science Advisor, Policy and Engagement (OSAPE). The location will be determined after a selection has been made for the position; if selected, you must work at one of the locations stated in this announcement. About ORD.

Deadline: 11 October 2022 - the deadline has passed.
Washington DC, Durham NC, Cincinnnati OH - United States


The Office of Research and Development's (ORD) Office of Science Advisor, Policy and Engagement (OSAPE) integrates scientific research and expertise into Agency decisions; provides Agency leadership for scientific integrity and human subjects research review; provides advice and vision on science and technology issues; leads ORD’s regional science and environmental justice programs, challenges and prizes; manages several external advisory boards; serves as ORD’s lead on science policy issues; and coordinates ORD’s partnerships with Tribes, other federal agencies and international organizations, and key state and local partners.

The Senior Innovation Officer leads multiple programs and activities, each having a broad impact on Agency-wide programs and policies. The incumbent serves as the primary visionary and facilitator of innovation, identifying opportunities and obtaining tools and connections necessary to successfully move those opportunities forward. The incumbent provides strategic vision, guidance, and expertise to establish best practices and methods to facilitate creative thinking by identifying novel ideas, encouraging transparency, sharing information, and learning from innovative activities. Specific duties of the position include:

  • Leading a cross-Agency innovation program to leverage innovation principles and programs to advance ORD research as well as Agency programs and projects that address Agency priorities.
  • Ensuring operational, financial, and management integrity of all Agency innovation programs, including compliance with relevant statutes, ethics, data management, and financial, legal, privacy, policy, and scientific integrity components.
  • Coordinating the development of cross-Agency work products or programs related to innovation, including participatory science and challenge/prize competitions, that need cross-Agency consideration to ensure identification, assessment and prioritization of issues that impact multiple programs, States, Tribes, and other stakeholders.
  • Conducting analyses, developing reports and recommendations, and providing expert advice to ORD and the Agency on innovation programs, including issues related to community engagement, data management, and participatory science efforts to identify ethical, legal, and policy aspects of innovative approaches and programs.
  • Leading innovation efforts to reduce costs and develop creative alternative research opportunities.
  • Establishing and enhancing interactions with national and international scientific committees, commissions, and professional organizations to contribute to development of research direction, policies, or procedural guidance that will be used in the pursuit of innovative projects.


Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must submit resume and required documents (see How to Apply section).
  • Position has education requirements--see Qualifications/Education section.
  • EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings.
  • You may be required to travel 25% of each month.

The Ethics in Government Act, P.L. 95-521 requires the applicant selected for this position to submit a financial disclosure statement, OGE-278, prior to assuming the SL position, annually, and upon termination of employment.

This position is designated as High Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation. All conditions of the pre-employment security process must be met before an official letter of employment can be issued with a report for duty date.

If you are selected, you must complete a one year probationary period.

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.



In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:

To qualify for this SL position, you need to have at least one year of full time experience equivalent to the GS-15 level defined as providing leadership, oversight, and/or technical direction for innovation programs and/or projects.

You will be evaluated on the mandatory Technical Qualifications listed in this announcement. See the Evaluations section of this announcement. 


You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.

A bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following disciplines:

Biologist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following:  biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major, as listed.

General Engineer: You must meet one of the following requirements to qualify for consideration for an engineering position:

· Successful completion of a professional engineering degree at an accredited university or college OR

· Have a combination of college level education or training AND technical experience that has furnished you with:

  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:
    • Professional registration as an engineer.
    • Evidence of passing the Engineer-in-Training written test.
    • Successful documented completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences as described by OPM.
    • Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field and at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance.

Please review the OPM page on specifics about required curriculum and for more information on qualifications, please visit GS-800: All Professional Engineering Positions qualifications.

Physical Scientist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in 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; OR a combination of education and experience with education equivalent to one of the majors listed that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

For information about accreditation requirements, visit EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

Additional information

Time in grade requirements do not apply to SL/ST positions.

EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information:  EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at EPA. Our excellence can only be fully realized by staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates are committed to advancing equity and inclusion in the Agency’s workplace and mission. We encourage applications from candidates with a variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. At EPA, diversity is a vital element in bringing a balance of perspectives to bear on every challenge we face. We are committed to creating a diverse workforce because we know that the individual strengths and abilities of our employees make us a stronger organization. The more inclusive our employee base is, the greater the variety of ideas that are generated, and the more representative we are of the nation we serve. To learn more about how EPA values and supports our diverse workforce, visit Equal Opportunity Employment at EPA.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

We will review your resume and required documents to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet basic qualification requirements, your application will be further evaluated based on your narrative statements addressing the Technical Qualifications. You are being evaluated under the category rating method which means, if you are determined to be qualified, you will be placed into the ‘Best Qualified’, ‘Well Qualified’, or ‘Qualified’ category.

Your responses should be clear and concise and show a level of accomplishment and a degree of responsibility.

Technical Qualifications (TQs) - Mandatory - Limited to two pages per factor - Failure to address these factors individually will result in your application being disqualified.

TQ1. Demonstrated experience building coalitions and relationships with partners related to innovation programs, projects and/or practices.

TQ2. Demonstrated experience presenting complex scientific, technical, and/or policy information in a senior capacity to partners and/or at meetings or conferences.

TQ3. Demonstrated experience providing vision and leadership to use innovation programs, principles, and/or approaches to solve national-level challenges that have a broad impact.

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