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    Duties

    Summary

    This position is located in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Program Staff, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Division of Agricultural Systems, located in Washington, DC.

    The mission of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), an agency in the Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA staff provides national leadership and support for science, extension, and education programs and other cooperative activities in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences disciplines. NIFA's vision is to catalyze, transformative discoveries, education and engagement to address agricultural challenges. NIFA is committed to identifying and meeting research, education, and extension priorities as legislated by the Congress and in accordance with the USDA and NIFA Strategic Plans.  

    As National Program Leader you will be responsible for performing critical tasks in four broad areas which include the following: Initiate, network and collaborate with partners and stakeholders to identify mission-relevant problems, opportunities and issues requiring Federal attention. Conceive, formulate, and execute programs and activities to respond to existing or emerging problems, opportunities, priorities and issues for development, Apply science-based knowledge to evaluate policy and develop and implement programs in collaboration with universities and other partners. Lastly evaluate and assess the quality, outcomes and impacts of these programs. All the areas involve work in capacity building, competitively awarded, and targeted programs.

    This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion Procedures on announcement number NIFA-M17N-0030. Disabled Veterans, canidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities can apply to the Merit Promotion announcement if they meet criteria for the above and include supporting documents. 

    Learn more about this agency

    Responsibilities

    MAJOR DUTIES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

    • Leads agency initiatives on agricultural data science, interagency initiative in cyber physical systems and other programs as assigned that advance the generation, collection, handling and utilization of data for food and agricultural systems.
    • Responsible for ensuring relevant data science questions are an important part of NIFA’s research agenda and its ability to address issues contained in NIFA’s Strategic Plan and the REE Action Plan.
    • Provides science leadership to complex data science issues to understand how scientific discoveries can benefit society.
    • Scientific knowledge in assigned area and is recognized nationally as an expert in the area of expertise (Data Science, Bioinformatics, and Cyberinfromatics).
    • Maintains scientific competence and keeps abreast of emerging topics, trends, and issues in order to identify mission-relevant programmatic responses to existing and emerging problems, needs and opportunities.
    • Provides input into conceiving, formulating, and executing programs, policies, scientific standards, and guidelines related to area of responsibility.
    • Organizes and coordinates groups of highly-technical experts for the purpose of formulating, directing, and coordinating national research, education, and extension programs.
    • Participates in the evaluation of programs, develops priorities to address needs and advance science.
    • Reviews and writes reports; and represents the agency at professional and inter-agency meetings.
    • Develops budget requests, monitors utilization of funds and recommends changes.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Some travel possible

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    15

    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

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    Requirements

    Conditions Of Employment

    • US Citizenship is required.
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
    • A 1-year probationary period is required.
    • Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
    • Public Financial Disclosure Required (OGE Form 450)
    • You must be a US Citizen or US National.

    Qualifications

    Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience as identified by grade level.

    In order to be found minimally qualified, you must meet one of the following basic education requirements AND the specialized experience requirement.

    BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR GS-0101-SOCIAL SCIENCE:

    Degree:
    Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelors or higher degree in behavioral or social science; or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

    OR

    Combination of education and experience:
    that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

    OR

    Four years of appropriate experience that demonstrated that the applicant has acquired knowledge of one or more the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

    BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR GS-0401-General Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences Series:

    Degree:
    Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelors or higher degree in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

    OR

    Combination of education and experience:
    Courses equivalent to a major, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    Specialized Experience

    At the GS-13:

    Qualifying experience for the GS-13 level includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-12 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience includes (1) Some research, teaching and/or extension experience related to data-intensive, agriculturally relevant topics; (2) Planning and executing a program of work involving multiple concurrent coordinated data science related or data-driven projects to support research, education and/or extension in a scientific organization; (3) Engaging in cross-functional and/or cross-boundary activities to set priorities, determine resource requirements and achieve goals in research teaching and/or extension programs relevant to agriculture; and (4) Has numerous examples of oral and written communications including some refereed articles on data science related research, education and/or extension programs.

    At the GS-14:

    Qualifying experience for the GS-14 level includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-13 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience includes (1) planning and coordinating a program of complex data-driven biological, agricultural, economic or sociological research and analysis; (2) Networking and collaborating with stakeholders on emerging data-related issues relevant to agriculture, food security or rural communities; (3) Writing and publishing research papers in referred journals and presenting at professional meetings; (4) Formulating recommendations and evaluating impacts of research, education or extension programs; and (5) Identifying data- related problems and opportunities in research, education or extension for agriculture, food security or rural communities.

    At the GS-15:

    Qualifying experience for the GS-15 level includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-14 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience includes (1) Leading and coordinating interagency or academic working groups and task forces related to complex agriculturally relevant data science needs and challenges; (2) Engaging in high level, multi-organization discussions regarding organizational policies and guidelines impacting data science needs for agriculture; (3) integrating knowledge and information across disciplines to address problems and opportunities in data science; (4) Providing vision, direction, and perspective for the U.S. agricultural industry:(5) Disseminating the results of research to a variety of audiences, including through peer-reviewed publications and presentations to academic, policy officials, and other professional groups.

    Education

    Additional information

    •Relocation expenses are authorized.
    •This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.
    •BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
    •If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
    •More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
    •Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
    •Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
    •E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
    •Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL or ICTAP eligibility see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
    •Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. See https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ47/PLAW-114publ47.pdf.
    •Bargaining Unit status, eligible, but not in a bargaining unit.
    •If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience, education, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Assessment Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the competencies listed below:

    Technical Competency in Data Science
    Planning and Evaluating
    Partnering

    Writing and Communications

    • We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.
    • Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Non-Competitive candidates need to meet minimum qualification requirements to be referred.

    Note: If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.


    To view the application form, visit: https://nifa.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=AAB23820-4391-4FAE-AA00-A7B6007C0ED2

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Other

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    Required Documents

    The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

    • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.

    • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit http://www.naces.org/members.htm. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

    • If claiming veterans preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
    • If claiming 10-point veterans preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans preference see http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/

    • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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    Benefits

    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/enrollment/new-federal-employee-enrollment/

    E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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    How to Apply

    Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
    The following instructions outline our application process.

    •You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
    •We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
    •This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.

    Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

    Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

    Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.  You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.

    NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

    Agency contact information

    April Harris

    Phone

    301-504-1534

    TDD

    202-855-1234

    Fax

    000-000-0000

    Email

    april.harris@ars.usda.gov

    Address

    USDA/ARS/AFM/NCRBSC/HRB
    5601 Sunnyside Ave
    Beltsville, MD, 20705
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    Next steps

    If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/476161700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.