National Institute of Standards and Technology Computer Scientist, ZP-1550-II Pathways (Recent Graduate) (GS-7/8/9/10 Equivalent) in Gaithersburg, Maryland

  • Duties



This is a Recent Graduate position in the Pathways Program within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Material Measurement Laboratory.

The NIST Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) serves as the national reference laboratory for measurements in the chemical, biological and material sciences through activities ranging from fundamental and applied research, to the development and dissemination of certified reference materials, critically evaluated data, and other programs and tools to assure the quality of measurement results. MML is also responsible for coordinating the NIST-wide Standard Reference Material and Standard Reference Data programs.

The program duration is one year. Upon successful completion of the program and at the agency's discretion, the appointee may be converted to a term or permanent position in the competitive service.

Are you ready to explore your future with NIST?

Your application package may be shared with other selecting officials at NIST with opportunities like the one you are applying to. Additional selections may be made through this vacancy.

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Applies established methods to develop, test, and deploy web-based applications. Works to meet supervisor defined objectives, deadlines, and timeframes. Updates existing Ruby on Rails code base to affect modifications to existing system functionality, or add moderately complex new features. Assists with designing database tables in MySQL to capture necessary data elements for web applications. Maintains software versions using Git. Writes automated test scenarios using Cucumber and other system documentation. Provides training for computer applications. Documents progress and results. Participates in consultations for projects and development solutions that meet stakeholder, management, and regulatory requirements.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

Individuals who have completed, within the previous 2 years, a degree or certificate from a qualifying institution. (Exception: A veteran, who due to military service obligations was unable to apply within 2 years of receiving their degree, has as much as 6 years after degree completion to apply.)

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • #### Job family (Series)

1550 Computer Science

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be registered for selective service.
  • You must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must have completed in the last 2 years, a qualifying degree.
  • Degree must be from a qualifying institution.

To be eligible for the Recent Graduate Program, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

a. Completed all requirements for an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution within the previous two years;


b. Released or discharged from active duty within the previous two years, where the applicant is a veteran who, due to a military service obligation, was precluded from applying for a recent graduate position during any portion of the two-year eligibility period following completion of his/her degree or certificate requirements, provided that not more than six years have transpired since the applicant completed the requirements for his/her degree or certificate.

Applicants must meet requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Your resume must be complete (i.e., include dates of experience, salary, work schedule, etc.), detailed and relevant to the position.


Basic Requirements:

Bachelor's degree in computer science or bachelor's degree with 30 semester hours in a combination of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. At least 15 of the 30 semester hours must have included any combination of statistics and mathematics that included differential and integral calculus. All academic degrees and course work must be from accredited or pre-accredited institutions.

In addition to the above, you must have one year of specialized experience as a GS-5 (ZP-I at NIST). Specialized experience is defined as experience applying knowledge of Information Technology (IT) concepts, standards, and methods to test web-based applications.


One year of graduate-level education


Superior Academic Achievement is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership.

1. Class standing -- Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.

2. Grade-point average (G.P.A.)-- Applicants must have a grade-point average of:

a. 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum;


b. 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum.

Grade-point averages are to be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9.

3. Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society -- Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies listed below. These honor societies are listed by the Association of College Honor Societies. Agencies considering eligibility based on any society not included in the following list must ensure that the honor society meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.

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.

Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains Federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the OPM website located at http:///


This position has an education requirement. You must submit a copy of your unofficial transcripts to document that you have met the education requirement to include your graduation date. If you have graduated within the past 30 days and your transcripts have not yet been updated to include your graduation date, you must also include your graduation date, including both month and year, on your resume, or provide a letter from your college or university with your graduation date. Official transcripts will be required prior to a final offer of employment.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.

Additional information

PROGRAM COMPLETION AND CONVERSION:Upon completion of the 1-year career development program, Program participants may, at agency discretion, be non-competitively converted without a break in service, to a term, career or career conditional appointment. There is no guarantee for conversion.

To be eligible for conversion, Recent Graduates must:

  • Complete one continuous year of work experience acquired through a Recent Graduate Program
  • Complete 40 hours of formal interactive training
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted
  • Meet any agency-specific requirements specified in the Participant's Agreement, and
  • Demonstrate successful job performance that results in a rating of record of at least Fully Successful and a recommendation for conversion by the first level supervisor. More information on the Pathways Programs for students and recent graduates can be found at:

Applicants will be on a trial period for the duration of the appointment

Males born after December 31, 1959 must certify that they have registered for the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service Law

This position is covered by an Alternative Personnel Management System (APMS). This system replaces the General Schedule (GS) pay plan and grade with career paths and pay bands. For information regarding how the pay bands correspond to the General Schedule, visit

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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 application package to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, duties performed for each position, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level. Please also include in your resume a list of all publications and patents/patent applications on which you are a named inventor and provide the title and patent/patent application number for each. Your application package must support your answers to the occupational questionnaire. If your answers cannot be verified, your rating will be changed to an appropriate level.

Your application package will be placed in one of three categories: Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. More information about the three categories can be found at: Category Rating

All applicants will be rated on the following skills or competencies:

  • Ability to participate on a technical team in the completion of various projects.
  • Knowledge in writing code utilizing broadly adopted programming languages, and frameworks such as Java, Ruby on Rails, Perl, PHP, or Angular JS
  • Skill in developing data models and logical database designs.
  • Ability to present technical information both orally and in writing.

To be considered well-qualified and exercise selection priority as a CTAP or ICTAP candidate for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must submit all requirement documents, satisfy all qualification requirements for the position, and receive a rating of 85 points or higher. Information regarding CTAP and ICTAP appointments and eligibility can be found at - CTAP/ICTAP

To preview questions please click here.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Q - Nonsensitive

  • Required Documents


Required Documents

The following documents are required if you are applying to this announcement:

  • Current Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts (if selected official transcripts are required). Your transcript(s) must document the educational requirements for this position.
  • Veteran's Preference documentation: DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) indicating character of service, and VA letter, if applicable How do I submit my documents: You may submit required and/or supplemental documents through any ONE of the following methods:

  • Upload your file(s);

  • Download from your USAJOBS account;

  • Fax using the on-line fax cover sheet;


All required supporting documentation mentioned in this vacancy announcement, and all vacancy applications submitted electronically or via fax must be submitted and received by 11:59 pm ET on the closing date of this announcement. You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.

NOTE: Once a document has been uploaded or faxed to a particular category (i.e., transcript), you cannot refax or upload additional documents to the same category (i.e., transcript) without overriding the original documents. In this case, please submit the additional documents to the "other" category.

For more information please refer to the Pathways Intern section of the Required Documents page

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.

  • Benefits



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.

NIST offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. NIST also offers a broad array of work-life flexibilities and services to employees such as flexible work schedules, teleworking, transit subsidies, on-site child care, fitness center, credit union, employee assistance programs, and free parking. Learn more about NIST's work-life programs by visiting

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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.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. Please allow adequate time to complete your application.

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Complete Resume (For help writing a Federal Resume please visit:

  • Complete Assessment Questionnaire

  • Other supporting documentation, as required. Please see the Pathways Recent Graduate Section of the "REQUIRED DOCUMENTS" webpage to determine if there are other documents that you are required to submit.

Your complete application (resume, assessment questionnaire, and all supporting documents) must be sent electronically by 11:59 p.m. ET on the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online to receive full consideration, however you may also send a complete package by mail.

You may mail your application package (please contact the Agency Contact identified for this vacancy). Your complete application package MUST be received by the closing date of this announcement. Please allow enough time for United States Postal Service delivery.

Problems Completing Your Application If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by email at The help desk is available Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

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Agency contact information
Jaclyn Shoemaker






NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY 100 Bureau Drive Gaithersburg, Maryland United States

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Next steps

After the announcement closes, your application package will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualification requirements. Best qualified candidates will be forwarded for consideration and may be interviewed. We expect to make a final job offer within 45 days from the closing date of the announcement.

Stay informed of changes to your application status by signing into your account at and clicking on application status located under the my account tab.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 03/13/2018 to 03/19/2018

Salary: $45,972 to $80,505 per year

Pay scale & grade: ZP 02

Work schedule: Full-time

Appointment type: Recent Graduates - Program Duration is 1 Year