This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Research Animal Geneticist/Research Computational Biologist

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Agricultural Research Service

Job Announcement Number:ARS-X13E-0010

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$75,222.00 to $116,282.00 / Per Year


Thursday, November 15, 2012 to Monday, December 17, 2012




Full Time - Permanent


1 vacancy in the following location:
Kingston, RI United StatesView Map


US Citizens and Status Candidates


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


You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position.


The incumbent will serve as lead scientist for the Shellfish Genetics Program, conducting research on shellfish improvement.


The position is located at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island and is administered from the USDA-ARS National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center in Franklin, Maine.


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position


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Major Duties:


The incumbent will conduct research of genetic, genomic, biochemical, physiological, evolutionary, and agricultural performance data with molluscan shellfish germplasm for the U.S. marine aquaculture industry.  Incumbent will develop new information and theory in quantitative genetics, molecular genetics, and selective breeding of shellfish and transfer new methods for developing and managing improved germplasm resources to practical breeding programs.  Will interact and collaborate with shellfish growers, geneticists from University and ARS facilities and others as part of an East Coast shellfish breeding consortium.  The primary objectives of the research are to: (1) develop novel procedures that enable mixed-family selection and on-farm participatory breeding consultations with industry; (2) estimate quantitative genetic parameters for economically important traits and facilitate the optimization of multi-trait genetic improvement strategies; and (3) identify methods and techniques for incorporating genomic information into a selecting program.  The incumbent is expected to publish research results in peer-reviewed publications and make presentations at scientific meetings.


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


Basic Requirements:


Research Geneticist (Animal), GS-0440:  Degree: genetics; OR one of the basic biological or agricultural sciences that included at least 9 semester hours in genetics.


Research Computational Biologist, GS-0401:  A. Degree: computational biology, bioinformatics, biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, biochemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position. OR B. Combination of education and experience -- Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


This position has a positive education requirement.  You must submit a copy of your academic transcripts OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grade point average or class ranking to verify education when applying for this position.  If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position.  If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.  Application materials will not be returned. 


Additional Requirements


GS-12:  Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a directly related field; OR One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service.


GS-13:  One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the Federal service.



Qualifications requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.



Specialized Experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled.  The specialized experience requirements for this position are:

1. Knowledge of the principles, theories and practices of quantitative and molecular genetics in order to conduct shellfish research.

2. Skill in quantitative and molecular genetic analyses in the development of breeding and selection approaches to enhance productivity of shellfish aquaculture.

3. Ability to plan, conduct and report research in peer reviewed publications and make presentations at scientific meetings. 

4. Ability to perform statistical analysis to access, manipulate, and guery large databases for gene expression and DNA sequencing platforms in order to design selection and breeding programs for shellfish improvement.


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.


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.

Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected.  A peer review may be required to determine the appropriate grade level of the position and supplemental materials may be required from the selectee.

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.

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.


Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States.  It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.  Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at for additional information on this topic.

Time-in-grade restrictions apply for all candidates considered under Alternative Merit Promotion.


All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.


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.



You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the basic and any additional requirements.  The Agricultural Research Service uses a category rating process.  Based on evaluation of all written materials submitted in application for the position, you will be determined to be Ineligible if you do not meet eligibility and/or minimum qualifications criteria; Eligible if you meet all eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria; OR Quality if you meet quality criteria in addition to eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria.


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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:



Veteran's Preference:  If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form. Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA), a special hiring authority, will be considered.  VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service.  Veterans who are released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour are also eligible.

Creditable Service:  Service credit for annual leave accrual may be granted for directly related non-Federal work experience or uniformed service for newly appointed individuals, or those individuals reappointed after a break in service from civilian Federal employment of at least 90 calendar days.  The amount of non-Federal service to be credited will be based on the amount of directly related and documented experience that the selectee possesses as documented by the employee and which is approved by agency management.

Relocation Expenses:  Payment of relocation expenses will be determined in accordance with P&P 412.5, Recruitment and Retention Incentives and Other Special Pay, Sections 6 and 7, as amended by Bulletins 03-402 and 05-412.5, which may be found at  See also

Financial Disclosure Requirement:  Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest.   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.

Optional Form 306, (Declaration for Federal Employment):  If you are selected for this position, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.

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 that applicant meets the qualification standard and eligibility requirements for the position, meets minimum education and experience requirements, meets all selective factors where applicable and is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry.  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.  Additional information on CTAP and ICTAP is available at

Selective Service System:  Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.

ARS Reasonable Accommodation Contact Information:  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). 


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Applications may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the appropriate address and/or facsimile number listed below, but they must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, December 17, 2012



Department of Agriculture


5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Stop 5105

Beltsville, MD  20705-5105






If sending your application as an attachment to an email, do not send zipped files.  They will be removed in accordance with standard electronic security procedures.  If hand delivered, be sure your application is received in the Human Resources Division on or before closing date.


To ensure your application fully outlines your qualifications and eligibility for this position, please review the application package checklist at:

NOTE:  Applications received in postage paid government envelopes will not be considered.


Carey Wilkerson
Phone: (301)504-1393
TDD: 202-855-1234
Agency Information:
Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, MD


You will be notified at four stages throughout the hiring process - upon receipt of your application, if you meet the minimum qualifications, if you are referred on the selection certificate, and when a final selection has been made.

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