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    Duties

    Summary

    The incumbent is the Research Leader for the Food Quality Laboratory (FQL) at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), Beltsville, MD. The mission of FQL is to study the biology and physical structure of fruits, vegetables, and grains, with the aim of developing technologies to reduce postharvest losses, and to improve sensory, nutritional and functional quality. 

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    Responsibilities

    Major Duties:
    The incumbent is the Research Leader for the Food Quality Laboratory (FQL) at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD.  The selectee is responsible for leading a multi-disciplinary team of research scientists, and conceives, plans, and conducts individual and collaborative research.  Specific research objectives are to:
    1) understand genetic and environmental factors and pre-/post-harvest handling conditions affecting fresh and fresh-cut produce quality;
    2) devise basic and applied strategies targeting plant physiological, biochemical and or molecular responses to environmental (climatic)/management of temperature, light/radiation, nutrient, atmospheric carbon dioxide/oxygen changes impacts on pre-/post-harvest whole plant and/or fresh-cut fruits and vegetables;
    3) develop, improve, and/or apply sensory and analytical techniques to assess important fruit and vegetable quality attributes, including visual appearance, texture, flavor, and taste; or
    4) develop novel technologies to reduce post-harvest losses and improve product marketability of fresh and fresh-cut produce. 

    As Research Leader, the incumbent serves as unit fund holder, managing human, fiscal, and physical resources assigned to the Laboratory to enhance the quality and productivity of the research unit. The incumbent provides technical information and consultation, both internal and external to the Agency; ensures that research reports and manuscripts comply with Agency guidelines; and fosters cooperative research with scientists within and outside the Unit, and with stakeholders nationally and internationally.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Domestic and International travel may be required to attend scientific meetings, training, and conferences.

    Supervisory status

    Yes

    Promotion Potential

    15

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    Requirements

    Conditions Of Employment

    • Successful completion of a three year probationary period
    • Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
    • U.S. Citizenship Required
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
    • Satisfactory completion of a 1 year supervisory probationary period.

    CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORT: Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest. If hired for this position, you will be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of the effective date of your appointment and annually thereafter.

    To be considered for a research scientist position, you must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Also, submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.

    Qualifications

    This is an interdisciplinary position and may be filled in any of the job series/position titles listed. In addition to the specialized experience requirements, applicants must submit proof that they meet the educational requirements for at least one of the series described in the announcement. Applicants may only be appointed to job series/position titles for which they meet all experience and educational requirements.

    Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected.  For this reason, you are encouraged to apply at all grade levels.  A peer review will be required for selections made at grades GS-13 and above and the selectee will be required to submit supplemental materials.

    Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential. Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically. The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology. *Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.

    Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.

    Your education and experience will be evaluated against all qualification requirements (basic and any additional requirements) listed below.

    Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

    Basic Requirements:
     
    Molecular Biologist, GS-0401 Series 
    Degree: 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 in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    Plant Physiology, GS-0435 Series 
    Degree: botany or plant physiology; or a related scientific discipline that included at least 10 semester hours in plant physiology.

    Food Technology, GS-1382 Series
    Degree: food technology, or dairy technology, microbiology, biology, chemistry, physics, or a related discipline or field of biological or physical science. The course work must have been comprised of at least 30 semester hours in the basic biological and physical sciences, and included at least 20 semester hours in food technology and closely related subjects, or 20 semester hours in subjects that can be applied directly to food technology.
    OR
    Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major, including the course work specified, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    Chemistry Series, 1320 Series 
    Degree: physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics.
    OR
    Combination of education and experience -- course work equivalent to a major as shown in A above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    Additional Requirements:
    In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below.

    GS-14:  Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-14 level of this position are:
    1) Experience conducting individual and team laboratory research, field research and/or modeling of food technology processes making
    use of current and emerging measurement and computer technologies that reduce postharvest losses, and improve the sensory, nutritional and functional quality of fruits, vegetables, and/or grains; AND
    2) Experience managing human (hiring, evaluating performance, monitoring work progress), fiscal, and physical resources for research projects; AND
    3) Experience publishing results in peer reviewed journals in the area of improving food quality.

    GS-15:  Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-14 grade level in the Federal service.  Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-15 level of this position are:
    1) Experience leading individual and team laboratory research, field research and/or modeling of food technology processes making use of current and emerging measurement and computer technologies that reduce postharvest losses, and improve the sensory, nutritional and functional quality of fruits, vegetables, and/or grains; AND
    2) Experience managing human (hiring, evaluating performance, monitoring work progress), fiscal, and physical resources for research projects; AND
    3) Experience publishing results in peer reviewed journals in the area of improving food quality.

    Applicants must address the specialized experience requirements in their resume (or application documents). Applications that do not reflect the specialized experience requirements will not be deemed qualified.

    Supervisory/Managerial Competencies - the following KSAs will also be used to evaluate candidates in the interview and selection process:

    1. Ability to lead and accomplish work through others (i.e. team building, conflict management, cultural awareness, strategic thinking, technology management, and political savvy.)
    2. Ability to communicate with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds in a variety of situations.

    Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

    For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here:
    http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/Standards/group-stds/gs-admin.asp

    Education

    Additional information

    • 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 eligible see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workfordce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, surplus or displaced Federal employee must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and be rated in the Quality Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section.
    • This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.
    • This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
    • Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized.  Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring offical at time of job offer.

    This position requires the selectee to undergo a pre-employment check and a full background investigation. Any offer made is considered a tentative job offer pending the outcome of the pre-employment check. Retention in the position is based upon a favorable adjudication of the background investigation. The incumbent will be subject to periodic reinvestigations.

    This position is in a location covered by a Bargaining Unit.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans' preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans' preference within each category.

    Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

    Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply Online" button to the right.


    To view the application form, visit: https://ars.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=1B015052-7D51-49EA-896C-A98100B20DF8

    Background checks and security clearance

    Drug test required

    No

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    Required Documents

    • Resume clearly describing your experience related to this position as described in the Major Duties, and Qualifications sections of this announcement.
    • Your application package must include the announcement number, title and grade of the position.
    • Statement that you are a U.S. citizen
    • You must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Also, submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.
    • If you are a veteran and you are claiming veterans’ preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. For competitive service positions, active duty service members expecting to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days: you may be granted tentative preference by submitting a “certification” document in lieu of a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. This “certification” is any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date of the submission of the certification. 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 you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference based on service-connected disability, in addition to the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), you must also submit an SF-15, Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference, plus the proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. For more information on veterans’ preference see http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/.
    • You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. You must submit with your application evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at http://www.ed.gov. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcripts; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
    • 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.
    NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, 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).

    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 Service offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at:  https://www.usa.gov/benefits-for-federal-employees

    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 instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET 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 the Agency Contact to request this.

    To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

    NOTE: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g., all SF-50s) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.

    Agency contact information

    Kristen Brunclik

    Phone

    301-504-3415

    TDD

    202-855-1234

    Fax

    301-504-1537

    Email

    Kristen.Brunclik@ARS.USDA.GOV

    Address

    USDA/ARS
    5601 Sunnyside Ave
    Beltsville, MD, 20705
    USA
    Learn more about this agency

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

    USDA is a great place to start or continue your career. USDA is ranked as one of the top 10 "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" by the Partnership for Public Service (http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/rankings/overall/large). Rankings are based on employee feedback regarding satisfaction with their work experience.

    Next steps

    Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account at https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

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 in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:

  • 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.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/517303700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.