Job Description

Job Summary

Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

Who May Apply: All U.S. Citizens AND those eligible for consideration under a noncompetitive hiring authority(i.e., 30% or more disabled Veteran, VRA, Schedule A, Interchange Agreement, etc.)

This position is located in Albany, CA in the Foodborne Contaminants Unit of the Agriculture Research Service of USDA. The incumbent will conduct research and biochemical analyses on toxins that impact food safety. The incumbent will develop and/or improve techniques and procedures, maintain, and calibrate specialized laboratory instruments, and equipment for procedures such as ELISA, affinity chromatography, molecular cloning technology, maintain detailed records of experimental data and analyze data for project reports.


 

This is a Full-time Term Appointment not to exceed 4 years.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

Duties

Major duties of the position include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting biological sample extraction and biochemical analyses.
  • Testing and developing new methodologies in sample preparation, extraction and quantification.
  • Writing laboratory protocols for all new and modified methods.
  • Utilizing specialized equipment (such as microplate readers for ELISA, and electrochemiluminescence immunosorbent assays) to conduct chemical and biological research experiments.
  • Calibrating specialized equipment and automated systems used for test and evaluation procedures.
  • Initiating action to resolve and/or correct technical research difficulties.
  • Managing inventory of chemicals and stock solutions etc. for use in the laboratory.
  • Disposing of waste materials (both chemical and biological) according to rules and regulations.
  • Using computers and instrument-specific software packages to process, tabulate, statistically analyze and summarize research data.

Additional Information

What To Expect Next

Once your complete application package (including all required documents) is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

BENEFITS

The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees.  The following link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:  http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc.


Other Information

Financial Disclosure Requirement:
The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the REE Ethics Webpage. You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

False Statements:
If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

Reasonable Accommodation:
Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on (202) 855-1234 (TDD). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, July 25, 2013.  You must apply online or by fax (see below for details).  Applications sent by mail (including e-mail) or hand-delivered will not be accepted.  Certain individuals are entitled to file a late application and must contact the Agency Contact listed below for details and application instructions. 

Choose either Option A or Option B to apply for this position:

Option A:  Online Application

Click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire and upload (or reuse) supporting documents.  You must click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Note: To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

To fax supporting documents that you are unable to upload:
1. Click here to print a fax cover page 
2. Complete all blocks on the cover page using Vacancy ID 916118.  Documents will not be processed if information is missing.
3. Fax the completed cover page and your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

Option B:  Fax
If you cannot apply online, follow these steps to fax your complete application package.
1. Click the following link to print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire;
2. Click here to print the 1203FX form, which you will use to provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire; and  
3. Fax the completed 1203FX (all 6 pages), your resume, and supporting documents (including those specified in the Required Documents section below) to 1-478-757-3144.  The 1203FX will serve as the cover page for your fax transmission and must be placed on top of all other documents.

How You Will Be Evaluated

Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures.  Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three categories:  Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire.  We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications. 

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of biochemistry research.
  • Ability to adapt, develop, or improve research techniques and procedures.
  • Ability to use scientific instrumentation.
  • Ability to plan and execute experimental design based on the research objectives.
  • Ability to obtain, tabulate, statistically analyze and summarize research data.

Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire.  High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.

Displaced/Surplus Employees:  Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection.  CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section.  Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location.  Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.  CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.

Required Documents

The following documents are required:  
   - Assessment questionnaire (completed online or submitted by fax using the 1203FX) 
   - Resume

In addition, you may need to submit supplemental documentation (as outlined below).  Failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of this announcement will result in the loss of the particular consideration you are requesting.

Veterans' Preference:  To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit Member 4 copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility.  To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the documentation required by that form.  Active Duty Service Members must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed.  Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation.


Transcripts:  If you indicate that you possess any form of post-secondary education, you must submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree(s). At the time your education was obtained, the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. You may lose consideration for this position if you fail to provide this information.

Foreign Education:  To receive credit for education outside the U.S., you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.