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    Duties

    Summary

    Positions are located in the Microbiology Branches of our Office of Public Health Science Field Laboratories located in: Athens, GA; St. Louis, MO; Albany, CA.

    Please note that the salary listed is for the Rest of the United States. Pay may increase depending upon the locality pay of the area of the position.
     
    Vacancy limited to first 100 applications received and closes at 11:59pm ET on the closing date or at 11:59pm ET on the day we receive the 100th application, whichever comes first.

    Learn more about this agency

    Responsibilities

    This position may be filled as a GS-5/7/9/11 with promotion potential to GS-12 multi-grade career ladder. If position is filled at a developmental grade level, assignments will be of a more limited scope, performed with less independence, and may reflect limited complexity and personal contacts. At developmental levels, selectee will be acquiring the background necessary to function at the full performance level.

    Below are some of the duties you may perform:

    Independently plans and carries out assigned microbial analyses on a variety of samples of meat, poultry, and egg products, including the very difficult, complex, or unusual samples and analytical requests submitted to the laboratory.

    Performs the full range of microbial examinations of meat and poultry products and their ingredients to determine the presence, numbers and species of bacteria with particular emphasis on salmonella, listeria, staphylococcus, clostridium, E. coli 0157:H7, and other species important in food intoxication, food inspection, and sanitary microbiology.

    Prepares and maintains reagents, and control cultures necessary to perform assigned analyses. Performs all necessary quality control and quality assurance procedures of instruments, equipment and reagents.

    Performs quality testing of media and reagents and performs lot acceptance on commercially acquired test kits and reagents. Maintains quality assurance records in such a manner that they serve as documentation for ISO Guide 17025, the Microbiological Laboratory Guidebook, and the Quality Assurance Plan of the laboratory.

    Interprets and evaluates the results of the microbial analyses and compares the results to pertinent agency regulations to determine whether the sample meets regulatory standards.

    Partakes in an on-going assessment of established analyses and make recommendations to higher authority when sufficient evidence supports changes to standard operating procedures or an established methodology.

    Develops and writes laboratory and section work instructions, spreadsheets and forms.

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    12

  • Job family (Series)

    0403 Microbiology

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    Requirements

    Conditions Of Employment

    • Satisfactory completion of a background investigation and fingerprint check
    • US Citizenship is required.
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
    • A 1-year probationary period is required.
    • Education (See Qualifications and Evaluations)
    • May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.

    Please note that the salary listed is for the Rest of the United States.  If selected your pay may be increased depending upon the locality pay of the area of the position. 

    •  May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period. 

    •   If you are selected, you may need to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) prior to being appointed to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on a resume or application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

    • Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. Failure to successfully meet these requirements could lead to adverse action proceedings including possible termination.

    Qualifications

    Applicants must meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified below. 
     
    Specialized experience:  In order to meet the specialized experience requirement, you will need to have completed 52 weeks of progressively responsible specialized experience at or equivalent to the next lower grade level. This experience may be gained under GS, PHHRS, another pay band system, or any combination of GS, pay band, or other experience.

    To qualify at the GS-5:
    Applicants who meet the basic education requirements are fully qualified for the GS-5.

    To qualify at the GS-7:
    Your resume must demonstrate at least one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-5 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience in a food microbiology laboratory performing microbial analyses.

    OR Superior Academic Achievement.
    OR One full year of related graduate level education in microbiology
    OR A combination of graduate education and appropriate experience may be used to substitute for specialized experience in order to qualify at GS-7.

    To qualify at the GS-9:
    Your resume must demonstrate at least one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-7 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience in food microbiologist or experience as a microbiologist analyzing a wide variety of food products.
    Specialized experience requirements include:Experience in using standard quality systems; AND
    Experience in developing and modifying analytical methods; AND
    Experience planning and conducting microbiological analyses to solve complex scientific and technical problems; AND
    Experience in interpreting findings. 
    OR Two full years of directly related (microbiology) graduate education 
    OR A master's degree in an appropriate specialty in microbiology may be used to substitute for specialized experience in order to qualify at GS-9.
    OR A combination of graduate education and appropriate experience may be used to substitute for specialized experience to qualify at GS-9.

    To qualify at the GS-11:
    Your resume must demonstrate at least one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-9 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience in food microbiology or experience as a microbiologist analyzing a wide variety of food products.

    Specialized experience requirements include:

    Experience using standard quality systems; AND
    Experience developing and modifying analytical methods; AND
    Experience planning and conducting microbiological analyses to solve complex scientific and technical problems; AND
    Experience interpreting findings; AND
    Experience in writing protocols and laboratory communications.
    OR Three full years of progressively higher level graduate education in microbiology
    OR A related PhD in microbiology may be substituted for experience to qualify at GS-11.
    OR Combinations of higher level education and appropriate experience may also be qualifying.

    For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here:
    0403-Microbiology

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Education

    Basic Education Requirements - All Grades:

    To be considered for this position, all applicants must demonstrate successful completion of a full four-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in microbiology; or biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included at least 20 semester hours in microbiology and other subjects related to the study of microorganisms, and 20 semester hours in the physical and mathematical sciences combining course work in organic chemistry or biochemistry, physics, and college algebra, or their equivalent.

    OR Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in microbiology, biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included at least 20 semester hours in microbiology and other subjects related to the study of microorganisms, and 20 semester hours in the physical and mathematical sciences combining course work in organic chemistry or biochemistry, physics, and college algebra, or their equivalent, plus appropriate experience or additional education

    Additional information

    Career Transition Assistance Plant (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): 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.
    • This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.  
    • 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).
    • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: CHCO Council.
    •  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.
    •  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 I-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.
    •  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.
    •  Relocation expenses may be authorized.
    •  This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.  Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Category placement will be determined based on applicant's quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies: 

      • Technical Competency in Microbial Analysis
      • Reasoning
      • Problem Solving
      • Self Management
      • Teamwork
    Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions.  Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.  Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

    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 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 Federal service.
    To view the application form, visit: https://fsis.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=A34A7895-A52F-4877-98EF-A9A100B07B79

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Q - Nonsensitive

    Drug test required

    No

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    Required Documents

    • 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 and grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.

    • 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 NACES. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

    • If claiming veterans preference, you must submit a DD-214, 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) you 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 Feds Hire Vets.
     
    • 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: Benefits For Federal Employees.

    We are a qualifying employer of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information please visit: Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

    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.  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. 
     
    Applying online is highly encouraged.  We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday).  If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agent 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.

    If you do not have access to the Internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employment office, or another establishment that provides internet service to complete online application and the assessment questionnaire.  If this is not an option, refer to the Alternative Methods for Applying section below for specific instructions. 

    Alternative Methods for Applying:  If you are unable to apply using the internet, please fax your request for an application package along with your name and mailing address to:  612-370-2060.

    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. veteran's preference) 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.

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

    Agency contact information

    Kayni Loyd

    Phone

    612-659-8633

    TDD

    800-877-8339

    Fax

    612-370-2376

    Email

    kayni.loyd@fsis.usda.gov

    Address

    USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service
    Butler Square West, Suite 420C, 100 North 6th Street
    Minneapolis, MN, 55403
    USA
    Learn more about this agency

    The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety of meat, poultry and processed eggs.

    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. Rankings are based on employee feedback regarding satisfaction with their work experience. For more information on USDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, visit FSIS.

    PLEASE NOTE: This vacancy is limited to the first 100 applications received and will close at 11:59pm ET on the closing date or at 11:59pm ET on the day we receive the 100th application, whichever comes first.

    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 into your USAJOBS account to check your application status.  We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

    EEO Policy Statement: Click here

    Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement: Click here

    Veterans Information: Click here

    Legal and Regulatory Guidance: Click here

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/517640700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.