Series established April 1, 1976
Research Program Specialists are responsible for independently planning, organizing, and conducting complicated studies in a variety of areas, requiring knowledge and abilities beyond the journey level, which affect programs or systems development within the State.
Incumbents in these classes provide expert consultative services on the feasibility, impact, or potential of a variety of State operations, projects, or proposals to interested parties. They advise management, departmental staff, legislative bodies, governmental entities, commissions, and agencies on findings related to the assigned area of research.
Incumbents may direct a small staff on a periodic basis. Special parenthetical requirements must be met in addition to requirements for Research Program Specialist (General). Emphasis is on independent research skills, with a background in a specific occupational area required. The term research as applied to this class series is defined as systematic, critical, intensive investigation directed toward either a more comprehensive knowledge of the subject or for use in the resolution of program-related issues. This does not include library research solely to gather information; preparing and designing plans, projects, and specifications for transportation or construction projects; or scientific research in laboratories.
Entry into this series typically comes at the entry level from college recruitment sources, or through related State classifications at a lower level. Normally each professional discipline area will have its own separate class(es) which are designated by use of one or more of the specified levels followed by a parenthetical designation of the program specialty. Each special program incorporated into this specification will utilize only the class(es) that appropriately describe the type and level of work performed, and the duties and responsibilities assigned to positions which are comparable to the appropriate level(s) described in this series specification.
Overall scope and complexity of the research program and the relative complexity and professional requirements of the specific research project.
Other factors include: top departmental management's view of the employee's role, independence of action, level of decision making, degree of originality of research techniques employed, uniqueness of activities, impact and ultimate usage of conclusions and recommendations, sensitivity of projects, and role of incumbent in the organization. A composite evaluation of all of these differentiating factors will be employed in making determinations on all allocations.
The positions are characterized by assignments which require, on a regular basis, a high degree of skill above the journey level. Under general direction, employees at this level independently develop and utilize research methodology and techniques in areas where precedents are lacking or a sparse body of knowledge or experience in the area exists.
Incumbents work independently with primary responsibility for a major project or activity.
The positions are identified by top departmental management as requiring the service of the most highly skilled practitioners who serve as prime resource persons and innovators in the subject matter of their occupations.
Incumbents have responsibility for designing and directing major complex research projects or activities.
A position is identified by top departmental management to be occupied by an individual who is widely recognized as having distinguished herself/himself in a special field of knowledge and who will serve as the department's top expert in that field.
Incumbents report to the highest level in the department and are the advisor on complicated research projects and studies.
Incumbents in this parenthetical specialty determine the scope of research and perform statistical activities requiring a broad understanding of complex research and statistical methods and synthesize complicated data from a variety of disciplines. The general class requires overall comprehension of advanced research methodology and statistical procedures.
Experience and education which provide ability to perform successfully as a Research Program Specialist at the level and in the specialty for which application is made. and
Experience: One year in the California state service performing research duties at a level of responsibility equivalent to that of a Research Analyst II.
Experience: Three years of progressively responsible technical research experience above the trainee level engaged in the collection, compilation, analysis, and interpretation of data. (A Doctoral Degree in Economics, Psychology, Sociology, or a research-oriented field may be substituted for two years of the required experience. A master's degree in one of the above fields may be substituted for one year of the required experience.) (Experience in the California state service applied toward this requirement must include one year of experience in a class at a level of responsibility equivalent to a Research Analyst II.) and
Education: Graduation from college with any major but with extensive course work in economics, psychology, sociology, or a related research-oriented field. This must include at least six semester hours in statistics.
Experience: One year in the California state service performing research duties in a class at a level of responsibility equivalent to that of a Research Program Specialist I.
Experience: Four years of progressively responsible technical research experience above the trainee level engaged in the collection, compilation, analysis, and interpretation of data. (A Doctoral Degree in Economics, Psychology, Sociology, or a research-oriented field may be substituted for two years of the required experience. A master's degree in any one of the above fields may be substituted for one year of the required experience.) (Experience in the California state service applied toward this pattern must include one year of experience in a class at a level of responsibility equivalent to a Research Program Specialist I.) and
Education: Graduation from college with any major but with extensive course work in economics, psychology, sociology, or a related research-oriented field. This must include or be supplemented by at least six semester hours in statistics.
Knowledge of: Research methods and techniques; application of computerized models to research data; statistical and other methods used in the analysis and projection of data; survey methods and analytical techniques; operations research methods.
Ability to: Communicate effectively to individuals and groups related to the area of research; analyze and make recommendations; plan and carry out research projects; prepare and present technical reports; establish and maintain cooperative relationships with others.
Demonstrated ability to act independently; initiative; flexibility; and tact.