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Presentation on theme: "RGE AND EDGE TRAINING FY07"— Presentation transcript:

This training is being provided for supervisors, managers, panel members and panel chairs. U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey

2 Objectives of the R&D Panel Process Training
Discuss Bureau-wide procedures in the R&D panel processes. Provide guidance on using the RGEG and EDGEG The purpose of this presentation is to present the USGS research and development peer review process that is the result of 2 years of work by the discipline’s Chief Scientists to establish standard Bureau processes and interpretation of OPM’s research and equipment development grade evaluation guides. In addition, this year’s training will also present the changes to the RGEG as a result of the issuance of the new guide by the Office of Personnel Management. This training is also designed to give basic guidance on using the Research and Equipment Development Grade Evaluation Guides. This process is important to the scientific health of the USGS for it recognizes and rewards R&D staff for science excellence. This training complements the FY07 Research and Development Evaluation Process Handbook, other training materials and supervisory guidance that can be found on the USGS website

3 USGS R&D Policies All R&D panels operate according to Bureau guidelines GS-15 career ladder for all permanent R&D staff Mandatory review of permanent R&D staff every 4 years and STs every 6 years A major change for the Bureau in FY04 was the establishment of a GS-15 career ladder for all research and development employees. This was a change for both the geologic and biologic disciplines. This change facilitates the classification process but means that entry into R&D positions has gotten somewhat more complicated. This will be discussed as we go through the materials. The four year review cycle was an adjustment for most of the disciplines over the past two years. Since the process allows for early review based on additional career accomplishments, the lengthened period of time for some R&D staff should not pose a hardship. Senior scientists will be reviewed at least every six years. Requests to opt out of mandatory review should be for good reason and need to be discussed with the discipline’s Chief Scientist or RGE coordinator. With the development of new Bureau guidance on the RGE and EDGE process, all panels are now required to operated in accordance with the new guidance. All R&D scientists are expected to provide current and accurate data on their RDSRs.

4 Highlighted Changes in the Bureau Process for FY07
Bureau guidance has been modified to reflect changes in the new RGEG (09/2006). New rating scale No use of odd numbers in scoring Deletion of Gray Area between grades No option for Science Center Manager to forward packages to the 2nd level panel beyond the recommendations of the 1st level panel. A few other changes have happened to the Bureau processes over the last two years. The common Bureau process now has one level of panel for promotion recommendations through GS-13 and two levels of panel for promotion recommendations to the GS-14, 15 and ST. Cross discipline panel options allow Cost Center Chiefs to work with their discipline’s Chief Scientist to locate a panel that can provide the best peer review. For example, a hydrologist in the geologic discipline might be better served by being evaluated by a peer panel hosted by the water discipline. Finally, the USGS has developed common principles for conversion to research or development positions from operational positions.

5 Position Classification and the Role of Panels
In this section we will address the role of the panel in the classification of positions and the classification tools used in the process.

6 The Classification Act of 1949, As Amended
Provides for: Equal pay for equal work Rates of compensation proportional to difficulty, responsibility, and qualification requirements Positions grouped by series based on duties, responsibilities, and qualification requirements The peer panel process for R&D positions is about setting proper grade and pay. It operates under the provisions set forth in the Classification Act of 1949 which established some basic principles on how we grade positions and subsequently set pay for work performed in the Federal government. The first principle states that there should be, across the government, equal pay for substantially equal work. It also holds that pay should be set proportionally to the scope and complexity of the work – terms that we often hear in the classification process for all jobs whether they are research, development, or operational.

7 The Evaluation Tools - RGEG (amended in 2006) and EDGEG
The grade-level evaluation guide for: Basic or applied research is the RGEG Experimental and investigative activities to develop new and improved equipment and to advance technology is the EDGEG Part 3 The RGEG and the EDGEG are OPM evaluation tools that tell us how to assess the scope and complexity of research and development work for proper grade-level determinations. These guides are used for basic and applied research in the biological, medical, agricultural, physical, mathematical, engineering and psychological sciences. They are to be used when the positions involve either the performance of research or development for a substantial portion of the time or the direct and personal leadership of AND participation in the activities of a research or development team. Simply put, the RGEG and EDGEG are used to evaluate the work of scientists who have a core responsibility to perform research or developmental work. They are not used for operational science work. These are not USGS tools. While we must consider how these guides are interpreted in the context of our science, the OPM guides define the intent and boundaries for how they should be used, who they are used for, and what work is defined as research or development.

8 The RGEG and the EDGEG “Person-in-the-Job Concept”
The evaluation considers the interaction between the assignment and the individual qualities of the scientist. Unique to research and development positions is the fact that while the basic job may be defined, it is actually the expertise, originality, creativity, and accomplishments of the individual in the job that ultimately determine the grade level of the position. This is referred to as the “person in the job concept.” This concept recognizes the fact that work in a research or development position may be performed at any one of several grade levels, depending upon the incumbent’s capabilities and motivation as well as on the availability of work and funding.

9 The Panel Role in Evaluating R&D
To evaluate the grade level of a position using OPM classification criteria To review submissions of non-R&D scientists requesting conversion to R&D positions To identify major work assignments that are not research or development So what is the role of the panel in the process? Their job is to assess the appropriate grade-level for positions using the criteria and guidance put forth in the OPM guides. They have an equally important role in helping employees, supervisors and managers understand when all or part of the work is not research or development in nature and should be evaluated using a different OPM guide or standard by the supervisor working with a SPO classifier. Panels are asked to give employees any constructive comments on the content and quality of the RDSR for future reference. And finally, panels have the difficult task of determining when operational employee’s work has become research or development and appropriate for review under the RGEG or EDGEG. This task should be handled with due diligence. While some cultures in the USGS may feel that a research or development title is more prestigious or yields better opportunity to progress, it is well established that those individuals in research positions who are really performing operational work, suffer in research or development review. In fact, some individuals have had their grade-level artificially capped because the RGEG or EDGEG could not evaluate higher level operational functions appropriately.

10 Why a Panel Process? To use the technical expertise of peers to evaluate the relevance and impact of the work and the stature of the individual Impact can be both scientific and societal Why do we use panels in the grade-level assessment of research and development positions instead of working with a classifier like we do for all other positions in the USGS? Unique to the RGEG and EDGEG is the recognition that value in R&D is defined by the person in the job, what they bring to the understanding of their scientific discipline and what impact they are having in the solution to complex scientific and societal issues. This requires a knowledge of the field of science and the complex issues that are part of the focus of the work.

11 Why is Documenting the Work of the Panel so Important?
The consensus scores and resulting recommendations are the official position classification record. The classification decision is the foundation for the authorization of Federal funds for an employee’s pay and fulfill the legal requirements of the Classification Act.  Panels provide the critical information for all stay-in-grade recommendations, decisions to promote through GS-13 and recommendation for promotion that go forward to the 2nd level panel for GS-14, GS-15 and ST. The information that panels provide are part of the official record.

12 Panels Should Not Discuss
Problems of an employee on a PIP Conduct problems Unrelated personal information Team, cost center, or project financial limitations It is important to talk about what the panels are not supposed to do. They are not the place to discuss any problems of the employee, such as performance or conduct. The job is to look at the work as it is being performed and assign the proper grade level. In fact, the panel should not be reviewing an employee who is on a PIP or where a conduct issue is being addressed with the personnel office. Panels may not consider financial limitations in making a grade-level assessment. If the work is being performed and supported by the supervisors, the government is required to pay for that work. The role of the panel is to determine the grade-level of the work being performed. There are no grade-level quotas in the USGS for research and development staff.

13 R&D Work in the 21st Century

14 The Changing Face of R&D Work
Interdisciplinary Science Societal and Scientific Impact Directed Science Team Focus Goal and Performance Driven Work The changes that you will see in the USGS process and procedures are intended to set a common platform for evaluation of research and development scientists and address some of the real changes that are taking place in the performance of R&D work. The nature of the research or development job has undergone significant change over the past several decades. The spectrum of work ranges from initial scientific leadership is setting research directions through publishing results in varied and appropriate outlets to maximize both the scientific and societal impact of the work. Work may be single discipline in focus or require the interaction of multiple disciplines to solve the complex scientific issues facing the world. In addition to the complexity of the scientific issues, federal scientists are facing the reality of more directed science with less opportunity for basic research in favor of more applied research and application work. In some cases this requires more sophisticated uses of mixed positions where part of the position is evaluated using the RGEG or EDGEG by the panel and an operational component of the job is evaluated separately by the supervisor and a classifier. Teams are the nature of many interdisciplinary projects adding the complex process of evaluating individual contributions for grade-level assessments of the work. This necessarily changes our long-held belief that first or single authorship is an essential metric for establishing stature in a field of study and requires the panel members to research the impact of the individual’s contribution within the context of a larger project or broader synthesis paper. The focus on science impact requires an understanding of both the contributions to the field of science and the solution to societal issues. This adds another layer of complexity to our evaluation systems but is also directly related the goal and performance driven nature of today’s research science in the Federal sector.

15 Core R&D Work Peer Reviewed
Technical Assistance Professional Society Services Education and Outreach Strategic Planning Research Leadership and Direction Societal Relevance Science Impact This diagram depicts the range of activities that can be considered in the evaluation of R&D staff. It has recently been dubbed the Research and Development Wheel. R&D work generally includes a variety of activities from research or development leadership and direction through strategic planning to technical assistance and outreach. At the core of all R&D positions is the expectation that they will personally performance research or development work and that the work will be validated through appropriate peer review. In the panel process, all of the work should be evaluated as indicators of the relevance and impact of the work and the stature of the individual in the field. In determining appropriate grade levels for R&D staff, the panel must consider a variety of outcomes and indicators of the impact of the work for both societal and scientific relevance. While there is not a pre-defined degree of focus in any specific areas by grade level, junior R&D staff focus primarily on establishing their credentials in the field by focusing on R&D work and peer-reviewed publications. As R&D staff reach journeyman levels in their field, technical assistance in support of cooperators and colleagues, service to professional societies, and the bureau, outreach and leadership accomplishments become more evident in the RDSR. By the time a research or development scientist reaches the GS-14 level and above, it is expected that they will involved in strategic planning and leadership of the science, participate in journal reviews, serve on interagency committees and expert panels, give invited talks, and be recognized by outside professional groups as evidence of their stature in the field. There is not specific guideline for what percentage of the work should be core peer reviewed work.

16 Comparing Research and Development Work

17 RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT Expanding knowledge and understanding.
Problems to be solved: Entail relative freedom to explore promising areas in relation to organizational programs. May stem from an intent to close gaps in knowledge in a given field, or to develop new theories or explanations of phenomena; and Are difficult to define in terms of expected outcomes and measurable results. New or improved products, processes, and techniques. Problems to be solved: Are defined in advance or assigned; May stem from an intent to exploit an understanding of phenomena and principles, or Have predictable outcomes or measurable results. Purpose Assignments The EDGEG states that, “There can be no hard and fast line of demarcation drawn between applied research and experimental development. Both types of positions are commonly found in a laboratory setting. Both types of work involve the personal performance of experimental and investigative work processes. Both types of work typically require considerable theoretical analysis to establish hypotheses on which to base assumptions and their validation by experimental methods, particularly at the GS‑12 level and above. Like research, development is a creative process. But the primary focus of development is the continuous exploitation of basic scientific knowledge to yield a product, process, or technique.” This chart gives a good description of how research and development differ. While the guides are similar in that they each have four factors, and each deals with the assignment, supervision, creativity and originality, and the relevance and impact of the contributions, each has a slightly different focus. This chart is available in the new USGS R&D handbook and may prove helpful to panels who are concerned that a package might be better evaluated using different panel. Geology holds both RGE and EDGE panels. Should a panel have concern that a particular package should be evaluated differently, the panel chair should raise this issue with the Team Chief Scientist and the Discipline Chief Scientist before the panel process begins.

Papers describing new and modified theories and principles; Explanations of phenomena; and Information to improve the understanding of techniques and processes. Products are: Papers describing application of theories and principles; Design concepts, models, patents, and inventions, and Equipment, techniques and processes. Results

19 Evaluating Research Positions Using the RGEG and EDGEG
Given that these guides are similar, EDGEG language has been added in a separated color to show the distinctions.

20 Who is Covered by the RGEG or EDGE Part III?
Those with : Personal performance of research or development as a substantial portion of the job Direct leadership of AND participation in the activities of a research or development team when the basis for selection is competence in research The critical piece here is that the individual must be performing research or development work.. The term substantial is defined by the Office of Personnel Management as an activity that the incumbent performs 25% or more of their time (as assigned by management).

21 Research Systematic, critical, intensive investigation directed toward the development of new or fuller scientific knowledge of the subject studied. It may be with or without reference to a specific application. The work involves theoretical, taxonomic, and experimental investigations or simulation of experiments and conditions to: Determine the nature, magnitude, and interrelationships of natural and social phenomena and processes, Create or develop theoretical or experimental means of investigating such phenomena or processes; and Develop the principles, criteria, methods, and data of general applicability. Coverage: This guide applies to positions that satisfy both the definition of research and research responsibility. What is research? (Refer to slide.)

22 Research Responsibility
Professionals engaged in research have one or both of the following responsibilities: Personally performs responsible research a substantial portion of the time Directly and personally leads and participates in the activities of a research team and/or organizational unit when the primary basis of selection for the position is competence and capability in performing responsible research.

23 Professionally Responsible Research
Involves applying scientific methods, including exploring and defining problems, planning the approach for study, analyzing data, interpreting results, and documenting or reporting findings; Requires creativity and critical judgment, which may materially affect the nature of the end product; Requires research capability attainable through graduate education or demonstrated research experience; Professionally responsible research is defined as follows

24 Professionally Responsible Research cont’d
Is performed at a level of responsibility typically associated with independent research investigation; and The researcher’s contributions, stature, and recognition have a direct and major impact on the level of difficulty and responsibility of the research.

25 Excluded from Evaluation by RGEG
Positions: With paramount responsibility for management, coordination, or administration of research programs Involving primarily engineering development, test, and evaluation Limited to the conduct of field surveys to collect scientific data on natural phenomena (Refer to slide.) Generally the last bullet gives scientists some pause. Remember the discussion on the spectrum of research and development work. Clearly within that spectrum is the need to collect data and/or specimens on the phenomena that we are studying. But that spectrum also shows the need to publish the interpretation and findings of that work that leads to a clearer understanding of the field of science or presents viable solutions to real societal issues. Research or development work is not simply the collection of data or the presentation of data in any form of publication without the scientific interpretation of that data. Interpretation of the data for a broader scientific understanding or for the solution to a societal problem is the research phase of the work.

26 Development Systematic application of scientific knowledge directed toward the creation of new or substantially improved equipment, materials, instrumentation, devises, systems, mathematical models, processes, techniques, and procedures which will perform a useful function or be suitable for a particular duty.  Development, like research, advances the state of the art, but it is further characterized by the creation of specific end-items in the form of equipment or equipment systems ("hardware" development) and/or methodologies, mathematical models, procedures and techniques ("software" development).

27 The work involves such activities as
Establishing requirements for technical objectives and characteristics; Devising and evaluating concepts for design approaches, including: criteria, parameters, characteristics, and interrelationships; Experimenting, investigating, and testing to produce new data, mathematical models, or methods to test concepts, formulate design criteria, and measure and predict natural and social phenomena and performance; designing and developing prototypes, breadboards, and engineering models including the direction of their fabrication as required; developing standards and test plans to assure reliability; and managing specific developments being executed in-house or under contract. Source: Federal Personnel Manual Supplement 292-1

28 Excluded from Coverage by EDGEG
Positions are excluded from coverage in part III when engaged in the following: Planning, directing, evaluating and integrating others' (e.g., contractors, in‑house, etc.) work in developing new equipment and concepts; Serving as staff consultants or advisors, while not personally engaged in experimental development work; Managing the combined efforts of contractors and Government to accomplish a specific development project; Engaged primarily in basic and applied research; Engaged primarily in supervision of experimental development work;[1] Engaged in the conventional design of equipment including the redesign of development prototypes for production/manufacture, which can be accomplished by applying/adapting standard references, criteria, practices; Concerned primarily with the conduct and reporting of tests. [1] Note: (TRUE FOR BOTH RGEG AND EDGEG) In the laboratory situation, team leadership or supervision of a small unit is commonly based on and carried by personal competence in planning and conducting experimental and investigative activities rather than on supervisory and administrative skill. Consequently, this guide should be used for such positions. For supervisory positions in which marked supervisory and administrative ability in addition to research and development competencies required, the General Schedule Supervisory Guide should be used.

29 Factor I: Research or Development Assignment
What is it? The nature, scope, difficulty, and characteristics of the current assignment How large, complex, and difficult? At this point we are going to go through the factors, what they are looking for, and how they are interpreted. This step begins with an evaluation of the current assignment. Even if a scientist has a stellar record over the years, establishing a grade level for the position is about establishing the grade level for the current position, i.e. the job that the scientists is being asked to perform currently. You would not want to promote someone to a higher grade if it was no longer possible for the scientist to continue to function at that level of performance based on the available work. Establishing the scope and complexity of the current assignment is done by asking three questions, how large is the project, how complex and how difficult. This is true whether the job is research or development. Panel members must balance issues of scope and complexity in evaluating this factor. Site-specific scientific problems can ultimately have broad impact and scientific issues that cover broad geographic areas can have minimal impact. The primary reviewer plays a critical role in helping the panel members understand this balance between complexity and scope. The Position Description is a valuable document for determining the nature of the currently assigned work. When an up-to-date PD is not available, the employee with supervisory approval, or the supervisor, may develop a one-page description of the current assignment.

30 Factor I: (cont’d) What should be considered first? Current assignment - the regular and recurring duties versus atypical projects Team role and responsibility Panels must consider if what you are evaluating is the norm for the position, not just an isolated assignment that won’t continue. Panels must tackle the role of the individual, especially in a team environment. If a scientist is leading the work of a research of development team, they are credited with the overall results of that team. It is important for the panel to determine, in team situations, whether the leader is providing scientific direction for the team or if the role is dominated by management types of functions such as budgeting and personnel management. The latter functions tend to be more operational in nature. At times, we see some project and mega-project leads performing more of an operational management function and the panel might consider whether these positions should be evaluated using a different tool. Concerns in this area should be forwarded to the Team Chief Scientist for review.

31 Factor I: (cont’d) What should be considered for the researcher? Scope, complexity, and objectives (of the science project, not any related management issues) and means of accomplishment Necessity to translate abstract concepts to easily understood theory or models Relevance and impact of expected end products and outcomes In assessing factor 1, panels must consider three major points. There is some difference in the language for research and development staff. The language for research staff is shown in this slide. (Refer to slide.)

32 Factor I: (cont’d) What should be considered for development staff?
The degree to which the problem is isolated and defined The number and nature of variables The difficulty of approach or techniques The number of problems involved The relevance, quality and impact of expected results The extent and complexity of the validating process The need for converting abstract concepts into hardware The effectiveness of the project in solving other problems and in opening new areas of investigation The EDGEG specifically notes that these points should be considered for assessing Factor I for developmental staff.

33 Factor II: Supervision Received
What is it? The scientist’s current level of independent performance The technical and administrative guidance and control exercised over the research by the supervisor (Refer to slide.) Note that this factor tends to give the most problem to panels. (Ask the group how they assess this factor. Have them give each other ideas on how they determine when real supervision is needed versus, a supervisors who is just very involved.)

34 Factor II: (cont’d) The manner in which the supervisor assigns work
What should be considered? The manner in which the supervisor assigns work Individual’s freedom to determine the direction of the work and a course of action Degree of acceptance of the scientist’s recommendations, decisions, and final products The opportunity for procedural innovation. When assessing scientists working on team projects that are not divided into smaller independent projects or components, assess how much independence they exercise in performing the work by evaluating how the individual 1) participates as a professionally responsible team member in substantive aspects of the work and 2) makes contributions equivalent to independently performing more limited research projects.

35 Factor III. Guidelines and Originality
What is it? The creative thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, judgment, resourcefulness, and insight that characterize the work currently performed. This is about the creativity the scientist brings to the project. Are they simply using accepted techniques, theories and guidelines or are they extending into new understanding of how the science works?

36 Factor III: (cont’d) What should be considered for researchers?
The extent and nature of guidelines. The degree of technical judgment required to select, interpret and adapt guidelines. The information sources available including technical handbooks, periodicals, reports, patents, etc. See Slide – This is the language for research staff. Stress when assessing the impact of creativity required by the position consider: the original and independent creation exhibited by the individual; the analysis reasoning, evaluation and judgment exercised; and the originality required by the scientist in order to interpret and translate the findings into a form usable by others.

37 Factor III. (cont’d) What should be considered for development staff?
Available written guides Difficulty in applying guides Degree of judgment required in the use of guides The requirement for original and independent creation, analysis, reasoning, etc. Originality in interpreting and translating findings The impact of theories, principles, concepts, techniques, and approaches on the scientific field

38 Factor IV: Contributions, Impact and Stature
What is it? The researcher or development scientist’s total contributions, impact and stature as they bear on the current assignment NOTE: This factor is double weighted This is the factor that is given most consideration by the panel. It is both the most important factor for research and development staff given the weighting structure and the difficulty in assessing this factor. Panels are asked to provide clear understanding of the impact of the scientist’s work in increasing our understanding of the science, i.e. the impact of that particular field of science, AND the impact on issues of critical relevance and importance to society. Evaluating the quality and impact of contributions by highly trained, skilled, and motivated scientist is not easy. Generally there is a direct correlation between the qualifications, stature, and past contributions of the incumbent and the level of difficulty and responsibility of the present work. The reviewer must use not only obvious and measurable criteria such as the rate of publication, but more importantly, subjective criteria like relevance, quality, impact, and the general scientific esteem in which the person is held.

39 Factor IV: (cont’d) What should be considered for the researcher?
Research publication quality, relevance, impact Innovations, technology and information transfer Impact and contribution to agency, bureau, or program Scientific advisory, consultant, and committee activities Invitations to write papers or deliver keynote addresses Professional leadership Recognition by professional societies and external groups Non-publication scientific contributions Recency The RGEG describes the following criteria for review for research staff. Note that with increasing team-based studies, first or sole authorship may not be as important in determining the value of the publication contribution. What does it mean to be a co-author or a first author? How do you interpret these for a small project or one with a few researchers? How does this change if the project is a large or inter-disciplinary project? Is the number of publications an indicator? What is the value of the individual publications? Are there synthesis papers? Is the individual a team lead? Note that the primary reviewer plays a critical role in helping the panel to understand the contributions of an individual researcher on a multi-authored publication. Reflect back on the R&D wheel. Contributions to or leadership of the bureau’s scientific direction is considered under factor IV. Not only can the impact of that leadership be assessed in moving the research or development direction of the survey forward, the request to lead these efforts has a direct correlation to the stature of the individual. Invitations to write papers or deliver keynote addresses can be assessed both on the impact of the presentations and the stature indicated by the type of invitation. Leadership in external professional organizations and recognition by professional societies or other external groups are excellent indicators of stature. There are many non-publication contributions that a researcher makes to the direction, impact, and relevance of the work in their field of study and to the USGS and its mission. These need to be considered. Our scientists are also asked to help the organization in many ways not related to their research work, for example working on local space committees. It is expected that our scientific staff will contribute to the overall workings of the bureau as part of their commitment to their workplace and as a citizen of the USGS. While this expectation exists for all staff, it should not prevent R&D staff or operational staff from fulfilling the expectations set forth in their position description. In other words, supervisors should take care to equitably assign these activities so that they do not prevent any research, development or operational staff from completing the functions of their job.

40 Factor IV: (cont’d) What should be considered for development staff?
Product, innovation and publication quality, relevance and impact Difficulty of circumstances under which contributions are achieved Impact and contribution to agency, bureau or program Scientific advisory, consultant, and committee activities Professional leadership Recognition by professional societies and external groups Non-publication scientific contributions Recency Consideration of Factor IV for development staff has some subtly different language. The guide refers to the quality, relevance and impact of products and innovations as apposed to publications. Development staff are also evaluated on the circumstances under which contributions are achieved Like research staff, their impact and contribution to the agency, bureau or program is assessed. Requests to serve in advisory or consultant roles and their professional leadership are also good indicators of stature and the guidance they provide for the future scientific direction of the USGS can be evaluated for impact. Like research staff, there are a variety of non-publication scientific contributions that can be evaluated, inlcuding technology transfer. Recency, is also of importance to this factor.

41 Factor IV: (cont’d) Recent research or development contributions are essential for full credit of this factor. Generally 3 – 5 years Employees on a part-time schedule or those who have broken time or intervening assignments should be judged over a broader span of time. Recency is really trying to ascertain that the scientist is remaining productive and not resting on past accomplishments. Generally the panel is looking primarily at the productivity over the past 3-5 years. It is important to determine whether productivity is still progressing at the expected rate. While every research or development assignment has a cycle from its initial inception, to the performance of the work through publication of results, it is possible to assess productivity through a variety of outcomes from papers, to non-scientific contributions that are indicative of forward progress of the individual and their work. We are often asked if it matters how publications are published. There is no simple answer to this question other than to say that all new scientific findings should go through peer review. Whether that is in external peer reviewed journals or through internal channels is often prescribed by the type of work. At the end of the day the panel must determine the impact and relevance of the work. It is important to note in the culture that an increasing number of publications by grade level is not always the norm. In fact, we often see GS-12/13 scientists emphasizing publication through peer reviewed journals to establish their stature in the community. GS-14/15 scientists may actually publish less, because they are providing more time leading the science and publishing synthesis papers. Checking the publication index is often mentioned as a way to validate the value of a publication. This should be done with caution. While it may tell you about the popularity of a current scientific finding to the field, it may also provide inaccurate information on the impact of the work.

42 Evaluating and Scoring Factors

43 General Information Five levels to each factor A – E
Definition of A, C, E Factors are interrelated Each factor has five levels of performance from A to E. (Note that evaluation of STs considers a rating of “Exceeding Degree E.”) The RGEG and the EDGEG give specific language to define levels A, C and E. The intervening factors, B and D are interpolated. Each of the factors are linked. For example, one would not expect that an individual who had creative genius in Factor III, was rated at the high end of Factor IV and who had a complex assignment would require extensive supervision and guidance. Likewise work that followed existing guidelines and required little creative judgment from the scientist would not result in a publication record or contributions to the direction of the science (or stature for that matter) that rated them in the highest levels of Factor IV. Scoring systems are slightly different between RGEG and EDGEG and they should be noted.

44 Comparison of Rating Scales
Total of factor point values for Research Positions Grade Level 8 -14 GS-11 GS-12 GS-13 GS-14 GS-15 Total of factor point values for Developmental Positions Grade Level GS-09 GS-11 13 ‑ 16 GS-12 18 ‑ 21 GS-13 23 ‑ 26 GS-14 28 and above GS-15 Please note that the new version of the RGEG issued by the Office of Personnel Management removed the gray area in the previous version. The EDGE shows that degree level A is 1 point, C is 3 points and E is 6 points for Factors I, II and III. Factor IV doubles these values.

45 Scoring STEPS Review the guide
Apply criteria of RGEG or EDGEG (Make sure panels have these in hand) Assign a degree level A through E and associated point values (Use checklists to help.) Interpolate for B , D, and Excess of Degree E CONSIDER The overlap of factors Multiple elements for evaluation in each factor The definition as a whole Perhaps the best advice for panels is to read criteria for each factor level and become familiar with the specific criteria for assigning a particular factor level. The factor checklists can also help to interpret the proper degree level. Once you understand the criteria, assign the appropriate level. Interpolate between A, C and E to assign levels and Band D. When evaluating research staff you should only use 4 and 8 points respectively for levels B and D. Interpolating between the A and B, for example, and using an odd number implies a degree of distinction between these established levels that is generally very difficult to justify. Consider the overlap of the factors as discussed before. If you are seeing a level A rating for some of the Factors and a D or E on others, engage in discussion within the panel to help understand these findings. Generally a wide variation is an indicator of some problem in the evaluation process. To make the final decision on a factor level, consider the definition as a whole.

46 Scoring Changes as a Result of the New RGEG
A specific degree level (A, B, C, etc) must be assigned. The use of odd numbers is no longer allowed. If an individual package does not fully meet a particular degree level, the next lower degree level must be assigned. The new RGEG does not have Gray Areas. A position must be assigned to a grade level.

47 Do’s and Don’ts for Panel Evaluations
Focus on the total qualifications, professional standing and recognition, and scientific contributions Place emphasis on high quality scientifically and societally significant publications and products that have impact Consider the entire history with an emphasis on recency DON’T Just count the number of publications or products Give full credit for a record which does not show evidence of continued scientific contributions

48 Panel Operations

49 Confidentiality CONFIDENTIALITY IS CRITICAL TO THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION IN THE PANEL. All deliberations, discussions and documents of the panel process are strictly confidential. The Panel Chair must destroy all interim discussion materials and scoring forms. It is the SOLE responsibility of management to provide feedback to the employee. Emphasize the need for confidentiality. This is one of the main complaints about the system. Failure to take this seriously degrades employee confidence in the system and at times exposes our scientists to inappropriate interpretation of their work based on hallway gossip. Another reason to consider the importance of confidentiality. An evaluation below grade is often not about the actual competence of the researcher, but about a changing environment for the research, changing assignments or other issues. Letting this information out without proper understanding of the cause can materially affect a person’s reputation in the organization without due cause.

50 Case Materials Panels use the following case materials: The RDSR
The position description Significant publications Optional supervisory letter of advocacy Note that the USGS is now using an RDSR. The RDSR is substantially the same as the RSR but adds language in some of the sections that help developmental staff more easily use the record for their work. For research staff that have their record on the RSR, there is no need to change to the new record. A position description is also required as part of the package. The intent is that the PD can be used to identify the research or development assignment for Factor I and to ensure that the research or development work is continuing. If the PD is not accurate, the employee, with supervisory approval, may add additional information to define the intent of the position. Three most significant publications should also be provided with the package and available to the panel members. The new process allows for an optional letter by the supervisors to speak to the importance, impact or relevance of a scientist’s work.

51 1st Level Panel Reviews all grades to ST using the RGEG or EDGEG
Makes final recommendations for promotion up to GS-13 Recommends GS-14/15 and ST to 2nd Level Panel Makes final decision to admit scientists to R&D positions (Use HR assistance) Identifies mixed positions (Use HR assistance) Makes final below-grade assessments and forwards them to the 2nd level for review only Provides comments on RDSR Composition - Scientific Peers The first level panel has two primary jobs 1) To make final recommendations up to GS-13 and 2) to recommend to GS-14, GS-15 and ST to the 2nd level panel. MAKES FINAL DECISION ON REQUESTS TO BE ADMITTED TO R&D - In the event that the panel receives a package for consideration to be newly classified as research or development, the panel must take care in making an assessment if the work is research or development in nature. A re-read of the criteria in the RGEG or EDGEG will help in this identification process. If it is determined that the position is research or development, the panel will then apply the criteria of the RGEG or the EDGEG to establish the proper grade-level for the position. MIXED POSITIONS - In the event that panel thinks they are evaluating a mixed position, i.e. and position that is partially research or development and partially operational, the panel should work with the classifier to confirm their assumption. In the case of a mixed position, the research or development portion of the job is evaluated using the RGEG or EDGEG and that is recorded. The operational part of the position is identified and that information should be communicated to the supervisor for further review with a classifier. BELOW-GRADE RATING - Should any evaluations be rated as performing below grade, that evaluation, regardless of grade-level will be the final determination. A below-grade evaluation may result from a number of issues, including supervisory requests to focus on non-research work, assignment of below-grade level work, trying the evaluate non-research or development work with the wrong tools, or it may be an indication of degrading performance. The role of the panel is identify the issue. This becomes a recommendation to the supervisor to discover the nature of the problem and take appropriate action. The panel should not shy away from the decision to give a below-grade rating. It is a service to the individual to understand how they are being viewed by the panel and to have constructive suggestions by their supervisor on how proceed in the grade-level evaluation process. In some cases it is a needed heads-up to the supervisor that too much is being asked of the scientist in non-research duties and that that is materially affecting the grade-level assessment. One question that is often raised is if the Field Center Manager refuse to promote an individual recommended for promotion by a panel? In general the answer is no, unless there is substantive reason to consider this option and it is discussed and approved by the Chief Scientist for the discipline and a classifier has been involved in the decision. The 1st level panel should be a rigorous peer review. The hope is that the 2nd level panel, based on this rigorous scientific review by peers, will overturn very few of those packages sent forward and that their role will be one of maintaining consistency in the process. If 1st level panels forward packages that are marginal at best, this undermines the intent of the process and casts doubt on the role of the 2nd level panel. This is neither helpful to the process nor does it work toward building trust amongst employees in the validity of the process.

52 2nd Level Panel Provides final recommendations for all promotions to GS-14 and GS-15 Recommends ST nominees to the ST Panel Reviews all below-grade recommendations Provides timely feedback to managers and employees on the results of the panel process Likewise, the 2nd level panel has two primary responsibilities: To provide the final rating for GS-14, and GS-15 To make recommendations to the bureau ST panel The 2nd level panel will also provide a periodic review of gray-area above grade scores where the decision is a retention in grade. This process will help to ensure consistency in the process. The 2nd level panel will also review all below-grade assessments. The purpose of this review is to understand any problems with individuals or the health of the science. This is also a heads up to follow-through will any problems related to a below-grade assessment and to ensure that management is taking a good look at any contributing factors that may have led to the assessment and correct any management actions.

53 Management Roles

54 Chief Scientists of Each Discipline
Provides for RGE and EDGE training Ensures timely evaluation of R&D staff Addresses concerns about the panel process Provides for timely feedback from the 1st and 2nd level panels Chairs the 2nd level panel

55 Discipline RGE Coordinators
Maintain database of R&D employees Manage master file system for discipline Ensure communication linkages among employees, managers and the Servicing Human Resources Offices For Geology: Judy Back. Biology: John Thompson Water: Earl Greene Geography: Dave Kirtland There has been some question about the Master File system. This file system is an historical record of what was done in the panel process. It remains the sole responsibility of the individual scientist to keep his/her record and ensure that that record is current for submission during the regularly scheduled review process.

56 Regional Executives Encourage staff to participate in panel processes
Serve on 2nd level panels, as appropriate Raise any issues of concern about panel operations to their Chief Scientists

57 Field Center Managers Assist in the identification of panel members
Delay review of scientists on a Performance Improvement Plan or with conduct issues Consider employee requests for early review Provide mentors for new staff developing RDSRs Review panel feedback and address any concerns with panel chair before providing feedback to the employee Provide timely feedback to employees on the results of the panel process Initiate promotion or reassignment actions Address below-grade evaluations Arrange for evaluation of non-research portions of mixed positions

58 Servicing Human Resources Offices
Provide classification support to the panels Most regions are now providing classifiers for the panel process. Work with your servicing personnel office to identify the role that they can play to help your panel. Some will provide classifiers for the entire panel operation, others will have classifiers on stand-by to help with specific questions. Either way, do not hesitate to ask for help in assessing a difficult package, options for dealing with differences in scoring, questions about mixed positions, etc.

59 R&D Scientist Roles

60 R&D Scientist Roles Read USGS RGE/EDGE Handbook
Read the RGEG and/or EDGEG Develop and submit RDSR in accordance with USGS guidelines Request early review if there is good evidence of growth since the last review Serve on panels, as requested Have a mentor review your RDSR Review other scientist’s packages for them The most valuable exercise for any R&D scientist in the evaluation process is to read the RGEG or EDGEG and the USGS handbook. These documents describe the specific grade-level criteria and will guide the individual scientist in writing their RDSR. Individual scientists may request early review if they have established growth in their accomplishments that may lead to consideration for a grade-level change. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that records are not submitted for early review that show no improvement. This simply wastes the time of panel members.

61 Panel Member Roles 1st Level Panel Process
This section describes the roles of the panel chair, panel members, primary reviewers and recorders in the 1st level panels.

62 1st Level Panel Chairs Provide case materials to panel members
Assign primary reviewer responsibilities Establish guidelines and set tone for panel operations Manage panel discussions Ensure adequate documentation of panel decisions and recommendations Report findings to the cost center chief In Geology, the Team AO or their staff help to identify the scientists scheduled for review and distribute case materials. SEE SLIDE FOR NEXT POINTS.

63 1st Level Panel Members Read the RGEG and EDGEG and checklists before the panel Review case materials Score each package prior to the panel meeting using the Panel Member Evaluation Score Form Contribute actively to the evaluation discussion and work to reach consensus during the panel The panel members can best prepare for the panel with a thorough review of the RGEG or EDGEG focusing on the criteria for inclusion in the panel process and the grade-level criteria for each of the factors. Panel members must do a thorough review of each package and score each package prior to the panel meeting. Finally, their ideas, assessments, concerns, etc. are critical to a good evaluation and they should contribute actively to the evaluation discussion.

64 1st Level Panel Primary Reviewers
Become thoroughly familiar with the employee’s record including the significant publications Supplement the RDSR with additional information gleaned from discussions with supervisors, colleagues, customers or others Help panel members understand the % of contribution to multi-authored publications Primary reviewers play a critical role in most panels. While their contribution to the discussion comes AFTER everyone has given their initial score on a candidate, they often provide critical information that helps to bring the panels to consensus around difficult issues. They often provide essential information that help the panel evaluate the impact or relevance of the work.

65 1st Level Panel Recorders
Record scores during the discussion period, as requested Complete a digital copy of the Individual Panel Results Forms and Summary Panel Results Forms Document panel decisions to justify the final score for each factor in relation to the RGEG or EDGEG criteria Recorders may be one of the panel members or the Team administrative staff may help with this function. Many panels rotate putting the scores up onto a blackboard or chart for the initial discussion and then have a team AO capture final language that supports the factor level assessments. The Individual Panel Results Form is the form that records the final assessment by the panel. It requires the recorder to list not only the resulting numerical score for each factor but also a narrative statement that justifies that score based on the criteria provided in the RGEG or EDGEG. It is important the ultimate write-up for each factor reflect the appropriate grade-level criteria in the guides. This documentation, as mentioned earlier, becomes the documentation to set the grade-level and subsequent pay for the position. Should there be any challenges to the decisions of the panel, this document is the primary reference document to justify the panel decisions.

66 Panel Member Roles and Responsibilities 2nd Level Panel Process

67 2nd Level Panel Chairs Provide case materials to panel members
Establish guidelines and set tone for panel operations Manage panel discussions Ensure adequate documentation of panel decisions and recommendations

68 2nd Level Panel Members Read the RGEG and EDGEG and checklists
Review case materials Contribute actively to the evaluation discussion and work to reach consensus

69 2nd Level Panel Recorders
Record decisions of panel Record new scores when the panel does not support the decision of the 1st level panel Complete Individual Panel Results Forms and Summary Panel Results Forms When not supporting the 1st level panel decision, record factor write ups to justify the panel final score decisions

70 The Feedback Process

71 Panel Feedback Individual Panel Results Form
Forwarded to Team Chief Scientist with copy to Regional Executive, and RGE coordinator Reviewed by TCS, any concerns addressed with panel chair. NOTE: Findings are recommendations to management The Individual Panel Results Form is the form completed during the panel operations that gives the scores by factor, the final score, and a narrative justification by factor for the panel’s scores on each factor. The forms are forwarded digitally to the TCS with copies to the Regional Executives and RGE coordinator. If the TCS has concerns about the write-up from the panel, that should be addressed immediately with the panel chair and any concerns dealt with in an expeditious manner.

72 Management Feedback to Employees
Use Individual Panel Results Form Feedback to scientists should be: Timely Constructive Face-to-face, or personally delivered Perhaps most importantly the feedback should be done in a timely manner. As a result of the 1st level panel, employees should be told about the outcome of the panel for all employees to GS-13. Employee’s whose packages have been forwarded to the 2nd level panel should simply be notified that their package has gone forward for review and determination at the 2nd level panel. All feedback should be constructively given. Remember that the panel is only assessing the R&D portion of the work. The supervisor may know about other work in the position that might have affected the grade-level assessment. For employees who have been retained in grade but continue to do excellent work, help them understand that even if they did not get classified at a higher level, their work has real value and is a huge contribution to the USGS. In cases of excellent work without re-classification, consider monetary or other awards to recognize sustained excellent performance. Provide all feedback either face-to-face or personally over the phone. Help the employees deal constructively with the information provided by the panels.

73 Mixed Positions

74 What is a Mixed Position?
A position that performs two or more different types of work such as research and non-research science work It is clear over the years that the most difficult package to assess is one where some portion of the job is simply not research or development in nature. Panels have extreme difficulty trying to evaluate non-R&D work against the criteria set forth in the RGEG and the EDGEG primarily since these two guides assume products in the way of publications or equipment as a result of the work. While it is more cumbersome, because of the OPM system we work under, to have to look at the R&D portion of the work separately from other types of work in the position, it is clearly important that we do so to ensure the proper grade and pay for our staff.

75 Mixed Positions Policy and Guidance:
Bureau guidance - R&D positions should only be established where scientist can spend 50% or more of the work time performing research or development OPM requirement – Any work in excess of 25% of time must be evaluated if it might be grade controlling The USGS recognizes that it is difficult for R&D staff to successfully engage in research or development work if they do not have at least 50% of their time to devote to that work. Hence the USGS established a policy that said if a research or development position was established, they must identify that 50% of the time would be devoted to that work. In reality, our work often evolves over time. Some work becomes more operational in nature based on specific needs of the organization or the interest and skills of the scientist. Employees have a right to have any component of the job that exceed 25% of their time, evaluated if it might control the grade-level of the position.

76 Mixed Positions Role of employee and supervisors if they believe a mixed position exists: Identify the R&D and the non-R&D components of the work Distinguish R&D in the RDSR and, as appropriate, request panel review according to established processes Ensure the review of the non-research components of the position using appropriate guides and processes So what are the specific roles in dealing with mixed positions? Employees and supervisors should initially identify if this condition exists and the panel should be notified that the position had two distinct types of work being performed. The RDSR should identify the research or development portion of the work in the RDSR, highlighting the accomplishments of that work. The panel should be provided with the PD to show the entire scope of the job and a rough estimate should be provided on the time spent in each portion of the work to help the panel evaluate the contributions of the scientist. The supervisor must also ensure that the non-research or development portion of the job is evaluated using appropriate guides and standards in cooperation with their local classification staff.

77 Panel Role with Mixed Positions
Role of Panel: Evaluate the R&D assignments of the position Remind supervisor that non-research assignments should be evaluated through other processes Consider recency While we hope that the employee with supervisory help will identify if a mixed position exists, this is not always the case. In fact, for many this is a new concept. Given that, it is important for the panel to note when they believe they are dealing with a position that is a mix of research or development and other types of work. Other types of work might include operational science, management, or supervision If non-research or development work take the scientist away from the direct leadership of or participation in the research or development work for more than 25% of the time it is important for the supervisor to be notified of this and for him/her to assess that work with the help of a classifier to determine the grade level of that part of the work. Should the non-research or development part of the work, even if it is only 25% of the time, be a higher grade level than the research or development work, then that work would define the grade-level. Consider recency but also consider that you would not expect the same level of production out of someone who spends 25 – 50% of their time on a research job as you would someone who spends 100% of their time.

78 Panel Role in Evaluating Positions Moving from Operations to Research or Development
The new GS-15 career ladder requires that new admits to research or development meet the criteria of the merit system principles, i.e., there is appropriate opportunity for all employees to apply for or be considered for positions that have a higher full performance level. Because of this, there was a need to develop a process that allowed for equal opportunity for scientists to be considered for research or development titling when their jobs were evolving to research or development. Hence the following process.

79 Conversion to an R&D Position
Methods for conversion: Creation of new R&D position which requires competition through vacancy announcement process Evolution of an employee’s work as an extension of the current work assignment which requires application for conversion through the panel process Two options exist for moving operational employees to R&D positions Applying for a vacancy advertising a research or development position for which the employee is qualified Applying for conversion to a research or development position, when the employees work has evolved to include research or development.

80 Applying Through the Panel Process
Issue is identified. Supervisor and employee determine if the work is assigned and part of the position. Is the work is part of the position and 25% or more of the scientist’s time, an RDSR is developed highlighting the research or development activities. RDSR is submitted to a panel. Supervisor forwards a letter to the panel identify the work, % of time spent on the function and his/her belief that the work is research or development, or not. This may be a point of disagreement. The panel decides if the position is research or development. The reality is that some of our operational positions evolve to research or development, much like some of our research and development positions evolve to operations over time. When an operational position evolves toward R&D, the employee has a right to have that portion of the job evaluated once they are spending 25% or more of their time in that activity. REMEMBER: It is always the responsibility of the supervisors to set the expectations for a position. The supervisor always has the right to stop or start any activity in a position. If a supervisors wants to let an employee evolve to research or development work, they may do that as long as they ensure proper review of that part of the work. Likewise the supervisor my choose to let the employee do a little bit of R&D work but limit it to under 25% of the time. The supervisor may allow up to a specific percentage of time to pursue R&D work but continue to expect a specific percentage of the time of non-R&D work. The bottom line is that this is the sole decision of the supervisor. THE PROCESS: So here is how the process works. The issue is identified, i.e. there is belief by the employee or supervisor that R&D work exists in the position. If the supervisor agrees that the work is there, it is assigned work and constitutes more that 25% of the employees time, a package is developed and submitted to the panel for review and consideration. What happens if the employee and supervisor disagree about the nature of the work, i.e. if the employee thinks it is R&D work, but the supervisors does not? If the supervisor and employee agree that it is work assigned in the position, but disagree on the nature of that work, the package is referred to the panel and the panel is asked to determine if it fits the criteria for research or development. What if the supervisor and employee disagree on whether the work is part of the position? This is solely the decision of the supervisor. If the supervisor says that the work should not be done as part of the position, the employee is so notified, preferably in writing, the work is stopped and no further action is taken. What if the supervisor and employee agree the work is assigned work, that it is research or development in nature, but the supervisor does not agree that it should be 25% or more of the time spent by the employee? In that case, the supervisor tells the employee, preferably in writing to limit the work to less than 25% of their work time and no further action is taken. If it is agreed that the work exists and is 25% or more of the positions, the employee develops an RDSR and submits it to the panel and the supervisor prepares a letter to submit with the package identifying the work, the percentage of time spent on the work, whether the work is of a temporary or continuing (permanent) nature, and whether he/she believes the work is research of development.

81 Potential Outcomes from a Panel Review
Job is not research or development Position re-titled to R&D with new FPL if: R&D work is predominate and same or higher grade R&D work is grade controlling Once a panel receives a package, they review the package and make several determinations. First they must decide if the work fits the criteria for evaluation as research or development. If it meets that criteria, the package is evaluated for appropriate grade level. Several outcomes may result from a panel review of package for consideration for admittance to research or development. The job or portion of the job does not meet the criteria for classification as research or development. The job or portion of the job is determined to be research or development. The position would only be re-classified as a research or development position when: The work is 50% or more of the position as the same or higher grade. The R&D work is grade controlling and at least 25% of the position.

82 Supervisory Options For Positions Found to be Research or Development
Accept decision of panel Consider time-limited assignment Remove the research or development activities Should a panel recommend a promotion or reclassification of a position based on their review of case materials, the supervisor has three choices: Follow the panel recommendations Consider a time-limited promotion to assess the long-term need for the R&D work. Remove the work from the position and retain the person in the current grade and classification

83 Special Issues

84 Other Panel Considerations
Evaluating classified work Rotational management No Term or Faculty positions Classified work provides a unique challenge for panels and they should rely heavily on their HR staff to manage these evaluations. While they cannot see much of the work, they must rely heavily on information provided by the supervisor and customers of the work which identify the impact and relevance of the work without disclosing the specific nature of the work. In these cases, the panel if relying on assessment of the impact of the work to some societal issue or impact for a customer (generally the Federal Govt.) in setting policies or strategic directions. There is less evidence of the impact on the basic understanding of science that is evidenced by publishing in refereed or other scientific publications so evaluations must rest almost solely on identified impact of the work, rather than the work itself. Rotational management still represents a challenge for the Geologic disciplines. Nothing has changed in the new system. Rotational managers may still be evaluated in the panel process. The intent is to evaluate work that has been published since the rotation into management. Since the current position is not focused on the performance of R&D work or the joint leadership and performance of R&D work, any recommendations for promotion would need to be held until the scientist rotated back to a research or development position and it was identified that the intent of the new research or development position would allow for performance of the individual at the higher grade level. Currently the process does not allow for evaluation of term or faculty appointments.

85 FAQs Appropriated vs. reimbursable work Kitchen table research
Impact of funding on R&D work We have heard some comments that reimbursable work is not valued as highly in the RGE and EDGE panel processes. The panels should make no distinction funding sources for scientific research. Work that is funded through appropriated funds is no more valued because of the source of the funds than reimbursable work. The panel must always clearly articulate the ultimate impact and relevance of the work. Kitchen table research gets a lot of discussion. The bottom line is that any research that is done regardless of place or time that fits the intent of the position. The issue is not the place or time the work is performed but whether it is considered part of the position and is approved and supported by management as part of the official assignment. We are all facing a reality for R&D work. Funding limitation are providing real limitation on the amount of R&D work that we can successfully accomplish. Some very talented R&D staff, who have had to take on laboratory and field work normally performed by techs, see real limitations on the time to complete papers, give talks, etc. This, by its nature, limits the production of the scientist and is reflected in the impact of the work performed on both changing our basic understanding of science and working on relevant societal issues. While this may indicate that the position can no longer perform at the higher grade level, it is generally not an indication of the value or potential of the employee.

86 Special Supervisory Issues
Linkage to performance reviews Awards Managing below-grade panel finding There is a clear link between the 4-year review performed by a panel of peers and the annual performance evaluation performed by the supervisor. Each year the supervisor sets forth specific accomplishments for their employees which are evaluated at year’s end. These will undoubtedly include continued performance of the R&D work and may include operational or other duties. The supervisor will certainly want to use the panel results to help inform their evaluation of the R&D components of the work and to provide feedback to the employee on areas of emphasis for the next year. Remember, that failure to be re-classified at a higher grade level does not indicate that the employee is failing. In fact many scientists perform excellent work within their current grade level. Supervisors must continually assess both the R&D performance and non-R&D work for consideration for monetary and non-monetary awards and recognition.

87 Crossing Disciplines for Panel Review

88 Crossing Disciplines for Panel Review
Why would you be reviewed by another discipline? Ensure technical expertise for a thorough and accurate review Who decides to use another panel? Employee or supervisor may request Chief Scientist must concur Other discipline’s Chief Scientist must agree This option should only be used for those situations when the supervisor and the Chief Scientist believe that an employee cannot get a thorough review by peers within the home discipline.

89 Reference Documents

90 USGS Website /
These documents are available on USGS website. OPM’s RGEG and EDGEG USGS Research and Development Evaluation Process Handbook RGE, EDGE and ST Checklists Other OPM standards and Guides Training Materials

91 Forms

92 Research/Development Science Record (RDSR)
The official record developed by R&D staff to record their career record. These are saved in the Master File for historical purposes.


94 These are destroyed after the panel.
Panel Member Evaluation Score Form For use by panel members in developing their initial evaluation of employees under review. These are destroyed after the panel.

95 Panel Member Evaluation Score Form for Research Scientists
Employee: Grade: FACTOR I – Research Situation or Assignment Points: _______ Scope Complexity Importance or expected results FACTOR II – Supervisory Controls Points: ________ On assignment In process On completion FACTOR III – Guidelines and Originality Points: ________ Guidelines available and difficulty of application Originality required Demonstrated originality FACTOR IV – Contributions, Impact and Stature Points: ________ Demonstrated research ability Products/Publications Advisory/Consultant/Scientific Committee Activities Research-related activities and accomplishments (non-publication contributions) TOTAL POINTS: __________

96 Individual Summary Evaluation Score Form
For use during the panel process, either digitally or on a white board, to capture panel member scores on each individual and to help panel members come to consensus on each factor and on the final score. These are destroyed after the panel.


98 Individual Panel Results Form
Records findings of panel and grade level justification for each employee evaluated. These are the forms used for feedback to the employee. These are saved in the Mater File for historical purposes.

99 Individual Panel Results Form for Research Scientists
Employee Name: ___________________________________ Does this position include any non-research assignments that should be evaluated by the supervisor outside of the panel review process? Consensus Scores: Factor I ____ Factor II ____ Factor III____ Factor IV____ Final Consensus Score ____ Factor I: Research Assignment (Address the scope, complexity and importance of expected results) Factor II – Supervisory Controls (Address the level of supervision received on the assignment of work, when work is in progress and upon completion) Factor III: Guidelines and Originality (Address the availability of guidelines and the originality required) Factor IV: Contributions, Impacts and Stature (Address the demonstrated research ability, research products or publications, advisory, consultant, or scientific committee activities, and research-related activities and accomplishments (non-publication contributions) Recommendations or other comments (for example, research direction, career issues, RDSR quality) PANEL CONSENSUS RECOMMENDATION (CIRCLE ONE) Promotion Stay-in-Grade Rated Below Grade

100 Panel Recommendation Summary Form
Identifies the final recommendations of the panel for all employees evaluated These are saved in the Master File for historical purposes.

101 Laure – I can’t figure how to get the form pasted into this screen
Laure – I can’t figure how to get the form pasted into this screen???!!!!XXXXXX

102 Master Files Maintained by disciplines except for ST files.
Contain for historical purposes: Current RDSR packages Individual Panel Results Forms Panel Information by Year – panel name, dates, membership, and resulting Panel Recommendation Summary Forms


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