Job Terminology Glossary

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Name Term description
Schedule A Appointment

A category of excepted service appointment that is applicable to positions that are not of a confidential or policy-determining character, and that are not in the Senior Executive Service, but for which it is impracticable to apply competitive examining requirements (e.g., qualification standards). (DEO Handbook Glossary and 5 CFR 213.3102)

Schedule B Appointment

A category of excepted service appointment that is applicable to positions that are not of a confidential or policy-determining character, and that are not in the Senior Executive Service, but for which it is impracticable to hold open competition or to apply the usual competitive examining procedures. Candidates appointed under Schedule B authority must meet the basic qualification requirements established by OPM for the occupation and grade level. (DEO Handbook Glossary and 5 CFR 213.3202)

Schedule C Appointment

A category of excepted service appointment that is applicable to positions that are of a confidential or policy-determining nature. Agencies must obtain authorization from OPM to make a Schedule C appointment. (DEO Handbook Glossary and 5 CFR 3302)

Schedule D Appointment

(See also “Pathways Programs”). A category of excepted service appointment that is applicable to positions that are not of a confidential or policy-determining character, and that are not in the Senior Executive Service, but for which it is impracticable to hold open competition or to apply the usual competitive examining procedures. Candidates appointed under Schedule D authority must meet the basic qualification requirements established by OPM for the occupation and grade level. (DEO Handbook Glossary , 5 CFR 213.3402 and 5 CFR 362.101)

Selective Factor

A knowledge, skill or ability (KSA), competency, or special qualification without which a candidate could not perform the duties of a position in a satisfactory manner. Selective factors are applied in addition to minimum qualifications. Applicants who do not meet a selective factor are ineligible for further consideration. (DEO Handbook Glossary)

Senior Executive Service (SES)

The employment system that applies to any positions that are classified above GS-15 and involve executive management and high policy-making responsibilities. SES positions are excluded from the competitive service, the system of rules and regulations that applies to most civil service positions. (DEO Handbook Glossary)

Senior Investigator

An NIH employee who has been granted tenure by the Deputy Director for Intramural Research (DDIR), after review and recommendation by the NIH Central Tenure Committee or the Senior Biomedical Research Service Policy Board. Tenure represents a long-term commitment of independent resources, including salary, operating budget, personnel, and space, for the conduct of an independent basic, clinical, or epidemiological research program in an IC; research resources are adjusted based on scientific merit. (NIH OIR)

Senior Research Assistant

An NIH employee appointed under the General Schedule. Senior Research Assistants serve in a scientific, technical support capacity at GS-12 or GS-13. They may design experiments with direction and provide expert, highly skilled technical support, but are not expected to initiate original research programs. (NIH OIR)

Senior Scientist/Senior Clinician

An NIH employee on either a permanent (Title 5 or Commissioned Corps) or indefinite appointment (Title 42(f) after Title 5 exhaustion has been certified) who has been selected via a Deputy Director for Intramural Research (DDIR)-approved national search. A Senior Scientist/Senior Clinician is a manager of a large IC program/department with responsibility for substantial resources and may be assigned independent resources, which are subject to review by the IC Board of Scientific Counselors. (NIH OIR)

Sick leave

Paid time off for medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment of an employee or family member, care of a sick family member, or bereavement. Employees earn 13 days of sick leave each year (which accumulates without limit in succeeding years). Sick leave accrues incrementally, i.e., 4 hours every 2 weeks. Employees also may use sick leave for adoption purposes. Unused sick leave is not cashed out upon separation. (NOTE: Presidential appointees do not earn sick leave and cannot be charged leave for absences from work.) (OPM Pay & Leave and NIH Leave)

Skill

An observable competence to perform a learned psychomotor act. (OPM Classification & Qualifications)

Staff Clinician

An NIH employee on a time-limited, renewable appointment or, by exception on a permanent appointment for retention and recruitment reasons. The Staff Clinician is a physician or dentist who spends a majority of his/her time providing critical patient care services but who may also be the principal investigator on clinical protocols, under the supervision of a Senior Investigator. (NIH OIR)

Staff Scientist

An NIH employee appointed to a time-limited, renewable appointment or, by exception on a permanent appointment for retention and recruitment reasons. A Staff Scientist usually has a doctoral degree and is selected by the Institute or Center (IC) to support the long-term research of a Senior Investigator with outstanding Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) reviews. Staff Scientists do not receive independent resources, although they often work independently and have sophisticated skills and knowledge essential to the work of the laboratory. A subset of Staff Scientists includes Facility Heads, who independently manage a substantial core facility, e.g., a sequencing laboratory or an NMR facility that provides central support for more than one Senior Investigator. Staff Scientists should be capa new research programs. (NIH OIR)

Status Applicant

(See also “Competitive Status”). An applicant who has satisfied requirements for competitive status. Competitive status means an individual's basic eligibility for noncompetitive assignment to a competitive position. Competitive status is acquired by completion of a probationary period under a career-conditional or career appointment, or under a career executive assignment in the former executive assignment system, following open competitive examination, or by statute, Executive order, or the Civil Service rules, without open competitive examination. An individual with competitive status may be, without open competitive examination, reinstated, transferred, promoted, reassigned, or demoted, subject to conditions prescribed by the Civil Service rules and regulations. (DEO Handbook Glossary and 5 CFR 212.301)

Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

A program under which the agency may agree to repay (by direct payments on behalf of the employee) any student loan previously taken out by such employee. Payments are made subject to such terms, limitations, or conditions as may be mutually agreed to by the agency and employee concerned, except that the amount paid by an agency under this section may not exceed: $10,000 for any employee in any calendar year; or a total of $60,000 in the case of any employee. An employee selected to receive benefits under this section must agree in writing, before receiving any such benefit, that the employee will remain in the service of the agency for a period specified in the agreement (not less than three years). (5 USC 5379)

Students Research Programs

Registered students (at all levels from high school through graduate, medical or dental school) are offered a range of research training programs at NIH. The purpose of the student research programs is to enhance a student's knowledge and understanding of biomedical research and to contribute to the achievement of a student's educational goals. (NIH OITE)

Superior qualifications appointment or above minimum hiring

Appointment of an individual to a General Schedule position at a step above the first step of the grade based on the employee's superior qualifications or a special need of the agency for the employee's services. Agencies may set pay at the higher step only upon initial appointment or upon reappointment after a 90-day break in service. (OPM Pay & Leave)