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Job Detail: Research Social Scientist


These positions are located with the Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service (ERS), Resource and Rural Economics Division in Kansas City, MO.

The incumbent exhibits knowledge of demographic and related social science principles, theory, and methods and applies knowledge to study rural household and community well being. Conduct analysis of rural population trends and demographic change, income distribution and poverty, education and work force development, and spatial distribution.

Position Responsibilities: 

  • Performs policy-relevant social science research on current issues related to rural economic development, rural population and demographic change, and/or rural community well-being.
  • Plans and organizes projects and studies, determines approaches, and selects analytical methods and theories to achieve desired objectives.
  • Probes and evaluates primary and secondary data and information collected from a wide variety of sources to determine their validity and sufficiency for rural demographic and social science analysis.
  • Uses data management, graphics, and presentation software as appropriate to organize and disseminate data from surveyor secondary sources, and/or to communicate complex demographic or socioeconomic information.
  • Communicates research findings and their significance in the form of published reports, articles in professional journals, and presentations to professional social science and policy audiences.
  • Communicates rural research findings through verbal and written communications to diverse audiences, which may include academics, government officials, the media, or other customer and stakeholder groups.

Position Qualifications: 

Degree: A full 4-year degree of study in behavioral or social science; or related disciplines appropriate to the position. Related disciplines may include demography, sociology, geography, economics, and agricultural economics.
Combination: A combination of education and experience that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.
Four years of appropriate experience that demonstrated that the applicant has acquired knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.
In addition to the Basic Requirement listed above, you must meet the required specialized experience below:

Specialized Experience:
 Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for this position are:

Qualifying experience for GS-12 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-11 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience applying advanced social science research methodologies and quantitative analysis techniques to the conduct of complex demographic and/or socioeconomic research and analysis relevant to rural development; and communicating research findings through peer-reviewed publications or equivalent government reports.
Education: Applicants must have completed (or expect to complete within 9 months) a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in economics, sociology, demography, geography or related social science discipline.
A combination of education and experience: Combinations of successfully completed graduate level education and specialized experience may be used to meet total experience requirements. Only graduate level education in excess of the amount required for the next lower grade level may be combined with experience.
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 and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

How to apply: 

To learn more about the position and apply click here 

About the job

Location Kansas City, MO
Field Administrative
Time Full-time
Date 22 October 2019

About the company

Company name Department of Agriculture
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