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Health Scientist

Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20024
$164,200 a year


Washington, DC 20024

Full job description

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is located in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Secretary. ONC is the principal Federal entity charged with the development of a nationwide interoperable health information infrastructure to ensure that public and private sector programs and initiatives related to the exchange of health information are complimentary efforts executed in a coordinated manner.

Through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program, ONC is seeking a Health Scientist specializing in informatics to work in the ONC Immediate Office, Chief Scientist Division (CSD). The ONC CSD is responsible for developing and evaluating ONC’s overall scientific efforts and activities and, as necessary, develops, establishes, or recommends scientific policy to the National Coordinator. This position reports to the Chief Scientist. This individual will apply a comprehensive knowledge of health informatics, science, related fields, and relevant programs to the performance of his/her work.

The IPA Mobility Program provides for the temporary assignment of personnel between the federal, state and local governments, colleges and universities, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and other eligible organizations. The goal is to facilitate the movement of employees for short periods of time that serves a sound public purpose. Mobility assignments may be used to achieve objectives such as:

  • Strengthening the management capabilities of federal agencies, state, local and Indian tribal governments, and other eligible organizations;
  • Assisting the transfer and use of new technologies and approaches to solving governmental problems;
  • Facilitating an effective means of involving state and local officials in developing and implementing federal policies and programs; and
  • Providing program and developmental experience, which will enhance the assignee's performance in his or her regular job.


  • Length of opportunity: The initial IPA assignment may be approved for up to 2 years with extensions for an additional 2 years, not to exceed 4 continuous years
  • Work Schedule: Full-Time
  • Salary: Based upon current salary not to exceed $164,200 per annum
  • Benefits: Not eligible for federal benefits
  • Supervisory: No direct line supervision required
  • Location: Washington, DC


To be eligible to participate under an IPA assignment, employees must be permanent/career employees of their employing institution and have 90 days or more of continuous employment with their organization.

Employees, both federal and non-federal, serving under an IPA for 4 continuous years must take a 12-month break before being eligible for further assignments.

Breaks in assignments of at least 60 days require a new agreement and are not considered in calculating time limits for purposes of defining “continuous.”


  • U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Basic Qualification Requirements: OPM Qualification Standards for the Health Scientist (Informatics) position
  • Bachelors or graduate/higher level degree: major study in an academic field related to the medical field, health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of the position. This degree must be from an educational program from an accrediting body recognized by the S. Department of Education.



  • Provides scientific and technical expertise for the design of ONC health informatics programs related to developing a technical infrastructure supporting health services and biomedical research.
  • Collaborates with other team members on or leads projects related to the use of health IT to support research, with a particular emphasis on use of standards and interoperability to support research.
  • Contributes to educational programs for ONC and other Federal staff on topics related to health informatics.
  • Serves as an expert resource to ONC staff and others (e.g., other government agencies, general public, health care industry) in areas pertaining to the job requirements of this position including support of national level planning and coordination of health IT development activities.

Policy and Planning

  • Represents ONC on committees and at professional meetings, both national and international, making commitments, suggestions and recommendations concerning the use of health IT to support health services and biomedical research.
  • Promotes application of health informatics that supports health services and biomedical research. Collects and communicates relevant knowledge from and to national and international audiences.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Convenes public and private health care leaders to guide policy development related to health care information exchange to improve the efficiency and quality of the health care system.
  • Meets and collaborates with health informatics professionals with expertise on issues related to the assessment of new health care informatics programs and on issues related to collecting and communicating knowledge from and to national and international audiences on health care informatics.

For more information on the Office:


  • IPA Announcement Opens: April 29, 2019
  • IPA Announcement Closes: May 26, 2019
  • By May 26, 2019, submit your resume/curriculum vitae and cover letter with “Intergovernmental Personnel Act Opportunity” in the subject line.

Job Types: Full-time, Temporary

Salary: $164,200.00 /year


  • Master's (Preferred)