Intelligence Research Specialist (IRS)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jan 13

Position description

This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Operations Directorate, Trade Intelligence Division in the following locations:

  • Washington, DC
  • Sterling, VA


Learn more about this agency


As an Intelligence Research Specialist (IRS) you will utilize your intelligence experience and expertise in support of the CBP Office of Trade (OT) intelligence mission. The OT IRS's will focus on Priority Trade Issues (PTIs), Trade-Based Money Laundering (TBML), Trans-National Organized Crime (TOC), and state sponsored illicit activity in support of Office of Trade intelligence priorities. This position starts at a salary of $86,335.00 (GS-12, Step 1) to $133,465.00 (GS-13, Step 10) with promotion potential to $133,465 (GS-13 Step 10). Apply for the Intelligence Research Specialist with the Trade Intelligence Division within the Office of Trade, Operations Directorate to perform a wide range of functions at varying levels of difficulty in support of the CBP's Priority Trade Issues.

Typical duties include:

  • Advising, researching, performing analysis, evaluating, interpreting, and disseminating information and intelligence;
  • Performing complex analytical tasks;
  • Supporting the creation and maintenance of the Common Intelligence Picture; and
  • Devising new concepts, guides, and methodologies to solve analytical problems.


Travel Required

25% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Primary U.S. residency for at least three of the last five years (additional details below)
  • You may be required to pass a background investigation
  • CBP follows the DHS Drug-Free Workplace Plan for drug testing procedures



Experience: You qualify for the GS-12 grade level if you possess 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, performing duties such as:

  • Administering or performing analysis, evaluation, interpretation and dissemination of information and intelligence;
  • Providing analytic direction and project-monitoring;
  • Gathering, evaluating, analyzing, and abstracting data from multiple sources;
  • Identifying, reviewing, and evaluating large volumes of sensitive and complex information; and
  • Using established intelligence techniques to analyze data from a variety of sources to develop targets, trends, patterns, and estimates.

Experience: You qualify for the GS-13 grade level if you possess 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, performing duties such as:

  • Providing authoritative analytic direction and project-monitoring services specified in interrelated geographical and functional areas;
  • Gathering, evaluating, analyzing and abstracting data from multiple or specific sources; produces finished analyses, reports and briefings; and formulates appropriate actions with regard to problem areas, technical or administrative procedures, and policy recommendations;
  • Applying knowledge of intelligence collection processes to support Collection Manager decisions with respect to the most effective and efficient alignment of collection resources against intelligence requirements and gaps and uses available, systematic threat prioritization tools to support leadership decision making for the application of operational resources and initiatives;
  • Ensuring that all intelligence analysis processes and products align with all CBP-relevant legal authorities, policies and guidelines.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

You must:

  • Meet all qualification requirements, including education if applicable to this position, subject to verification at any stage of the application process; and
  • Meet all applicable Time in Grade requirements (current federal employees must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade or equivalent grade band in the federal service) by 01/17/2020.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Background Investigation: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency's core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity. During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy), and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. . For more information visit this link.

Residency: There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by CBP. Individuals are required to have physically resided in the United States or its protectorates (as declared under international law) for at least three of the last five years. If you do not meet the residency requirement and you have been physically located in a foreign location for more than two of the last five years, you may request an exception to determine if you are eligible for a residency wavier by meeting one or more of the following conditions:

  • Working for the U.S. Government as a federal civilian or as a member of the military
  • A dependent who was authorized to accompany a federal civilian or member of the military who was working for the U.S. government
  • Participation in a study abroad program sponsored by a U.S. affiliated college or university
  • Working as a contractor, intern, consultant or volunteer supporting the U.S. government

Probationary Period: All employees new to the federal government must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment. Current and former federal employees may be required to serve or complete a probationary period.

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the Federal Government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible. Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found here. You must submit the supporting documents listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement. In addition, to be considered well qualified under CTAP/ICTAP, you must possess the knowledge, skills and abilities and/or competencies clearly exceeding the minimum requirements of the position. This will be measured by a score of 85 or higher.


Please see the Qualifications and Required Documents sections for more information if education is applicable to this position.

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