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About RPES
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About RPES

The Research Position Evaluation System (RPES) is the classification process to assess Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Category 1 research scientists based on their research objectives, results, and career-spanning scientific contributions and stature.  They are reviewed on a cyclical basis to determine if they have made significant impact in the job and are then classified under the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) classification guidelines provided in the Research Grade Evaluation Guide (RGEG), found here.


Our Vision:

To preserve the RPES Program as the most highly regarded research position classification system in the Federal government.  The RPES Team is valued as a leader in innovation, customer service, teamwork and is driven by integrity.


Our Mission:

The RPES mission is to plan and administer research position classification policy and peer panel reviews for ARS Category 1 research personnel.  RPES staff operates as a cohesive team in providing excellent service, administrative support, and policy and procedural guidance to our customers and stakeholders.  The staff serves as facilitators and fosters effective communication, embracing diversity and diverse approaches to solving problems.  The staff actively promotes the RPES program within the Agency to raise awareness of requirements, train panelists, and leverage resources.


Primary management responsibility for the RPES Program rests with ARS Associate Administrator for Research Operations and Management. R​PES is administered on a nationwide basis by the RPES Staff. ​
The Staff's Principal Functions include:
  • Policy development
  • Advice and assistance to panelists, Chairs, scientists, Research Leaders, other research managers, and Area Directors
  • Research Position Evaluation Committee (RPEC) management
  • Training of panelists, Chairs and Personnel Representatives
  • Schedule management (development, modification and implementation)
  • Case management (notification, monitoring, review and distribution)
  • Panel logistics
  • Program analysis and evaluation
  • Staff support to the RPES Advisory Committee
  • Staff support to the ARS Associate Administrator for Research Operations and Management on panel-related matters

For more information regarding the RPES system, please visit our Axon page (for internal users only).