Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist

United States Department of State

An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement No: RMLS-2017-0007
Position Title: Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS)
Open Period: 3/22/2017 – 4/5/2017
Series/Grade: FP – 0644 – 05/05
Salary: $48,837 – $65,633
Promotion Potential: 02
Duty Locations: MANY vacancies – Washington, DC
Position Information: Work Schedule is Full-Time – Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.

Who May Apply

Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career.

Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same positon.

If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs.)

Job Overview


About the Agency

The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders. Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career. Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.

The Bureau of Medical Services in the Department of State maintains and promotes the health of employees and their accompanying family members who represent United States Government agencies abroad. The Department assigns Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientists (RMLS), Medical Officers (RMOs), Medical Officers/Psychiatrists (RMO/Ps), and Medical Providers (MPs) to select posts overseas. Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical care that is inadequate by U.S. standards. The Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) performs a wide variety of tests and procedures in Parasitology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Immunology, Hematology, Blood Banking and Urinalysis. Duties also include training Medical Technologists, visiting local laboratories and addressing food safety, environmental issues, and water quality issues. The RMLS travels 30 – 50% of the time to provide services at regional posts.

The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of FSS vacancies based on the needs of the Department.

To learn more about the Department of State and a career as an FSS, please visit us at


Serving as a Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) in support of the employees of the United States Government (USG) and their eligible family members, a medical laboratory scientist works in conjunction with other Foreign Service and locally-employed medical personnel. RMLS duties include implementing the following responsibilities at each post assigned:

  • Laboratory management duties: Manages laboratory operations, performs testing, performs phlebotomy, oversees send-out testing, updates technology, performs cost analysis, implements MED polices, and is available for on-call duty.
  • Training and supervising: Provides training on specimen collection, test procedures and sanitation inspections, presents food safety classes, maintains ServSafe® manager certification, writes safety plan, supervises laboratory staff, and provides evaluation input.
  • Assuring quality: Oversees the quality management program through the following: Monitors quality control programs, uses computer programs to manage data, maintains U.S. laboratory testing standards, reviews proficiency testing program, assesses competency of health unit staff, updates skills, and liaises for health unit with local laboratories.
  • Performing regional duties: Makes travel arrangements, visits regional posts, assesses local diagnostic testing facilities and blood banks, communicates with regional posts, assists with hiring, conducts sanitation inspections, submits reports, searches for means of reliable testing, collaborates with other organizations, designates laboratories for testing biological hazards, and arranges for continuing education.
  • Addressing environmental issues: Evaluates chemical test reports on drinking water, tests water for bacteria, and addresses other environmental issues that arise.

Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientists are considered ‘essential personnel’ and may be required to provide laboratory services afterhours for emergencies.

Functional Duties

Given the varied and oftentimes austere overseas locations in which they must work, Regional Medical Laboratory Scientists are considered an essential member of the medical team and may be asked to assist with essential medical functions in environments that may pose physical or other occupational challenges. These duties may include:

  • Inspecting and assessing the laboratory testing capabilities of local clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and private practices in possibly hazardous environments, or in those lacking special access accommodations.
  • Assisting with patient care that may require heavy lifting, pulling, stooping, bending, walking, standing, and twisting in adverse settings.
  • Travelling independently to regional posts utilizing commercial air carriers, military aircraft, armored vehicles or other transportation modalities that may not offer special access accommodations.
  • Providing assistance with emergency care in any location following an accident, natural disaster, or attack.
  • Providing assistance with emergency care in potentially hostile or physically challenging environments, such as in buildings without elevators or in areas with irregular spaces that require kneeling, bending, stooping, lifting, and running.
  • Assisting with transportation of patients via small aircraft, ambulances, or other vehicles with high floors.

Travel Required

  • 50% or Greater
  • An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to our overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Relocation Authorized

  • Yes
  • After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of two to three years overseas or in the United States.

Job Requirements

Key Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.*
  • Be at least 20 yrs old and at least 21 yrs old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).**


In addition to the Educational Requirements section, applicants must:

  • Demonstrate completion of a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) CLS program;
  • Must have passed a national certification examination;
  • Have a current certification as a Medical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Technologist
  • Specialized Experience

  • Have at least four years of laboratory experience as a Generalist Medical Laboratory Scientist/Medical Technologist in a clinical laboratory after certification. The four years of experience must be within the last eight years; and,
  • Applicant must have at least four years of laboratory experience as a generalist in the Clinical Laboratory and include work in Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Banking, Urinalysis, Microbiology, Parasitology, and Immunology, with progressively responsible experience as a Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist.
  • Applicant must have demonstrated skill in performing tests with detail and accuracy and providing information to appropriate individuals as necessary. The work involves exercising a high degree of laboratory management expertise.
  • Applicant must have knowledge of the following: Laboratory Science, General Anatomy, Medical Terminology and; Quality Control procedures and Quality Assurance plans; laboratory equipment used in performing a variety of laboratory tests; skill in performing preventive maintenance and troubleshooting on laboratory equipment; ability to train other medical professionals in laboratory techniques is required.
  • Applicant must be a skilled and experienced Medical Laboratory Scientist capable of working independently. Experience in performing laboratory techniques to diagnose infectious and tropical diseases is preferred.
  • Applicant must have the ability to develop, coordinate, and administer health care programs and procedures, including individual and community health promotion and disease prevention programs. Applicant must have the ability to organize and supervise a diverse group of technologists/medical scientists who have varying degrees of expertise, education and command of the English language. Understanding of the unique cultural differences related to health care delivery in various countries and the ability to deal with the differences in a positive manner is a necessity.
  • Applicant must have the capacity to gain the cooperation and confidence of patients, co-workers, supervisors, and subordinates. Individuals must have experience in working in a multidisciplinary practice as well as experience in team building. Effective written and oral communication skills, and the ability to present laboratory findings in a clear and concise manner to medical and non-medical personnel, are essential. The demonstrated ability to teach or lecture to groups on laboratory issues is preferred.
  • General computer and Microsoft Office skills are required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Education, work experience and other qualifications are evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) based on extensive job analysis research. Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

Knowledge of medical laboratory equipment, the Federal Regulations governing clinical laboratories and testing to include: CLIA 88, OSHA requirements for safety in the clinical laboratories and health clinics, US accreditation requirements, phlebotomy, computer and Microsoft Office programs, Quality System Essentials (QSEs) and Quality Management guidelines, International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations, medical laboratory tests, laboratory management, food safety guidelines, water testing methods and standards, and, Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines for all testing.

Specialized skills in performing laboratory tests, performing phlebotomy, analyzing, observing, interviewing, public speaking, organizing, supervising, networking, customer service.

General skills in operations monitoring, systems analysis, systems evaluation, quality control analysis, equipment maintenance, equipment selection, science, reading comprehension, active learning, coordination, time management, critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgment and decision making, service orientation, instructing, persuasion, social perceptiveness, mathematics, active listening, writing, speaking.

Other attributes including tolerance of travel, worldwide available, tolerance of living overseas, tolerance of living away from family, teamwork and cooperation, empathetic personality, self-motivated/sufficient, physical endurance, etc.

Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

Physical Requirements

RMLSs may need to perform essential functions effectively with or without reasonable accommodation, in environments that pose physical or other occupational challenges. These duties may include:

  • Provision of direct patient care that may require heavy lifting, pulling, stooping, and twisting in austere environments
  • Travelling independently to regional posts utilizing commercial air carriers, military aircraft, or other transportation modalities that may not offer special access accommodations
  • Provision of emergency care in any location following an accident, natural disaster, or attack and emergency care in potentially hostile or physically challenging environments, such as in buildings without elevators or in areas with irregular spaces that require kneeling, bending, stooping, lifting, and running
  • Transportation of patients via small aircraft, ambulances, or other vehicles with high floors


At the time of application, applicants must possess:

A Bachelor’s degree in medical technology, clinical laboratory science, chemistry, or biological science that must include 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) in chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester/quarter of mathematics from a regionally accredited university or college.

Applications will not be accepted from Medical Laboratory Scientists/Medical Technologists who do not meet the minimum educational requirements and the requirements in the Qualifications Required section.

Applications will not be accepted from Medical Laboratory Scientists/Medical Technologists who do not meet the minimum educational requirements and the requirements in the Qualifications Required section.

You must submit all transcripts supporting your educational achievements for you to receive credit. Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted for the application process.

Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of the key elements above will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be credited towards qualifications. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accredited organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials.

Security Clearance

Top Secret

How to Apply

You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.

  1. From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log in to your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
  2. Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department agency online application site. Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
  3. The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
  4. After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
  5. Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement. If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Government Services (MGS) Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing The MGS Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time. For more information on the FSS hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our Careers.State.Gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section:

How You Will Be Evaluated

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

After the initial review of applicants by the qualifications review panel, the most competitive candidates will be invited for an oral assessment, which includes writing an essay to demonstrate a command of English grammar, composition, spelling, and punctuation. For more information, please visit

Medical Credentialing and Indemnification

Applicants are subject to a medical credentialing process conducted by the Quality Improvement Staff of the Bureau of Medical Services. The medical credentialing process includes queries of national credentialing agencies.
To preview questions please click here.

Required Documents

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.

  1. USAJobs Résumé Builder is the résumé format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement
  2. Completed online application which contains the completed requiredAccomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest.
  3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
  4. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214.

For RMLS, required attachments include:

  • Transcripts or other documents as stated in the Education section.
  • Required documents such as certifications or professional licenses as stated in the Qualification section.
  • A copy of Medical License, Certification, Medical Degree and verification of highest level of medical training.
  • Application Form, VA-10-2850 (complete Page 1, items 1 through 17 and Page 3, items 31 through 40). This form can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website at Upon completion of Page 3 items 33 through 40 you will need to save a copy to upload or print out and fax with the appropriate system generated fax sheet.

All documentation submitted under this vacancy announcement on the Veterans Affairs forms will be reviewed and verified by Department of State personnel only.

Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest

These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an FSS. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to the all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

Laboratory Skills: Describe a specific complex laboratory case, which you have encountered that demonstrates your laboratory skills in identifying and investigating an unexpected laboratory result.

Technology Skills: Describe your skill and give an example in managing laboratory instruments and technology, including conducting complex procedures and troubleshooting equipment.

Organizational Abilities: Describe a specific achievement demonstrating your planning and organizational skills in the setting of a multidisciplinary clinical team or practice.

Problem Solving and Troubleshooting: Use specific examples to describe your troubleshooting skills involving laboratory instrumentation and procedures.

Teamwork Abilities: Discuss a situation and your abilities to participate as a team member working toward a common goal, as well as examples of your ability to assist a team in the accomplishment of a goal.

Public Speaking and Teaching Ability: Describe specific examples demonstrating your public speaking and teaching abilities as part of an assignment or work-related task.

Statement of Interest

  • Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:
  • Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
  • Comments about your work experience, special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
  • Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.

Additional Information
What To Expect Next
Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred” or “not referred” after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further.

Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.

Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the result of your application.

We recommend adding the Department of State domain ( as an approved sender.

For more information, please visit


Review our benefits

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

RMLSs receive at least 12 hours of Continuing Medical Education credit through annual State Department-sponsored CME program.

Starting Salary

The salary range for RMLS is FP-05, Step 4 through 14. The salary is dependent on such factors as graduate level education and directly-related specialized experience not used to satisfy qualifications criteria. Salary level will be determined at the time of a conditional offer of employment. To be creditable, such education and specialized experience must be in excess of that which is required to qualify as described under education and specialized experience requirements. Individuals already working in government positions may be appointed based on highest previous rate as a Federal employee.

Additional steps may be granted based on:


– One step for the first (and only the first) graduate degree below the doctoral level in a work-related field, awarded before the date of appointment.

– Two steps for a doctoral degree in a work-related field, awarded before the date of the appointment.

– One step for a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in Public Health, Clinical Laboratory Science, and Laboratory Management.

For years of closely related experience:

– One Step for four to five years.

– Two steps for five to six years.

– Three steps for seven or more years.

For information on FS Salary, visit

Other Information

*The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:

**For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit:

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at , within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.