This position is located in the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Advertising Practices. The FTC has jurisdiction over the advertising of foods, OTC drugs, dietary supplements, devices, cosmetics, and medical services and enforces laws that prohibit false and unsubstantiated claims for such products and services. As part of its mission, the FTC investigates whether health-related advertising claims for products and services are substantiated and not misleading.
The employee will evaluate scientific and medical research and literature in support of these investigations, make recommendations based on that evaluation, and assist in case development from the initial phase through litigation. In addition, the employee will provide technical expertise in support of FTC policy development, consumer and business education development, and other programs. The primary requirements of the work are an extensive scientific background that is normally obtained by meeting the requirements of an M.D. or doctoral program in an appropriate field, followed by relevant post-doctoral research or similar experience in evaluating scientific evidence. A basic knowledge of physiology and pathology; basic biochemistry; moderately complex biostatistics; and the different types of scientific evidence and the strengths, weaknesses, and proper use of each form of evidence is required. Also required is knowledge sufficient to conduct and perform analysis and/or evaluations of scientific data and research for reliability, including the ability to recognize discrepancies and inconsistencies. A plus is knowledge of the legal and regulatory requirements for foods, drugs, devices, and dietary supplements under both FTC and FD&C Acts.
The incumbent may perform the following duties:
- Manage the initial scientific review and evaluation of the evidentiary support for health-related claims for foods, dietary supplements, drugs, devices, cosmetics, and services, as well as undertake independent research projects as assigned by agency management.
- Organize purported substantiation material submitted by targets of FTC investigations and develop an effective strategy, in coordination with the case team, to determine the adequacy of that substantiation.
- Conduct analysis of substantiation, including evaluating the methodology, statistical methods, competence, reliability, and, when such data are available, the underlying data and documentation, of tests and studies submitted in support of the claims; conducting literature searches to identify other relevant scientific studies and articles; consulting with outside subject-matter experts if necessary, and synthesizing the relevant scientific evidence to determine whether there is adequate evidence to substantiate that specified health-related claims are true.
- Provide oral briefings and written memoranda to attorneys and management on the adequacy of supporting scientific evidence and data to substantiate specified health-related claims.
- As necessary to support litigation, identify qualified litigation experts, prepare necessary documentation to retain litigation experts, consult with experts on expert reports and depositions, and provide recommendations to attorneys preparing to depose and cross-examine opposing experts.
- Represent the agency in discussions of scientific issues with opposing counsel and experts, identifying deficiencies and problems with the advertiser's substantiation.
- Provide education to staff members to ensure consistency in their approach toward evaluating cases in accordance with sound scientific standards and procedures.
- Monitor scientific journals and other scientific and medical resources on issues of interest to the agency.
- Draft business education material on substantiation of health-related claims.
- Make presentations to and interact with industry representatives and trade associations on issues relating to substantiation of health-related claims.
- Prepare review articles summarizing scientific evidence supporting specified therapeutic interventions.
- Organize and maintain a reference library of relevant scientific literature.
- Consult with health officials in other federal agencies to obtain information from other government scientists relevant to pending agency investigations and initiatives.
- Conduct market surveillance to identify potential targets for investigation.
- Provide input in the development of policies, methods, and procedures for the evaluation of substantiation.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Job family (Series)
0601 General Health Science
Conditions of Employment
U.S. citizenship requirement must be met by the closing date of this vacancy.
Position is subject to a background investigation.
Males born after December 31, 1959 must register with Selective Service.
You may serve a one-year probationary period under this appointment.
R?sum? and supporting documents (See How To Apply).
To qualify for a Scientific Review Analyst at the GS-15 level, you must meet the following requirements:
You must have completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree with major study in an academic field related to the health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of the position.
In addition, you must demonstrate in your resume at least one (1) year of qualifying experience equivalent to at least the GS-14 level in the Federal service obtained in either the private or public sector, performing the following types of tasks: Applicants must possess a working knowledge of physiology, pathology; basic biochemistry; moderately complex biostatistics; and the different types of scientific evidence and the strengths, weaknesses, and proper use of each form of evidence. Also required is knowledge sufficient to conduct and perform analysis and/or evaluation of scientific data and research for reliability, including the ability to recognize discrepancies and inconsistencies. Evaluating the methodology, statistical methods, competence, reliability, and, when such data are available, the underlying data and documentation, of tests and studies submitted in support of the claims; conducting literature searches to identify other relevant scientific studies and articles; consulting with outside subject-matter experts if necessary, and synthesizing the relevant scientific evidence to determine whether there is adequate evidence to substantiate that specified health-related claims are valid.
Additional experience may include applicants previously may be held position of Professor and/or Department Chair or equivalent; Laboratory Chief or equivalent; applicants show evidence of increasing responsibility in research or administration of a small company or a division of a large company; or held position of Director of Research or equivalent. Professional experience managing large and diverse research programs having national or international collaborations, scope, and impact; be published extensively in refereed journals.
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.
This position has an education requirement. You must submit a copy of your transcripts . Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package; however, official transcripts will be required prior to receiving an official offer.
If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: FOREIGN EDUCATION
If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form. For more information on veterans' preference visit: VETERANS GUIDE
Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see SELECTIVE SERVICE).
Career Transition Assistance Programs:
These programs apply to employees who have been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service or Federal service employees whose positions have been deemed surplus or no longer needed. To receive selection priority for this position, you must: (1) meet CTAP or ICTAP eligibility criteria; (2) be rated well-qualified for the position with a score of [] or above; and, (3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your CTAP or ICTAP eligibility. For more information visit: CAREER TRANSITION.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Once the announcement has closed, a review of your résumé and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the qualification requirements listed on this announcement. If you are minimally qualified, your résumé and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine your level of experience. If, after reviewing your résumé and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, you may lose consideration for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully when applying, errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.
All qualified candidates will be assigned to a quality category.
Applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies.
Applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrates acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies.
Applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies.
Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. View information on veterans' preference.
The category assignment is a measure of the degree in which your background matches the competencies required for this position. Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Critical-Sensitive (CS)/High Risk
Trust determination process
To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package which includes:
1. Your résumé showing work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment and duties performed.
2. Other supporting documents:
- Cover Letter, optional
- College Transcript(s), showing your highest level of education, required.
- Veterans' Preference documentation, if applicable (e.g., DD-214 Member Copy 4 showing type of discharge/character of service, SF-15 Form and related documentation, VA letter, etc.)
- 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.)
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.
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. Learn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
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.