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

Job Title:Program Support Assistant (OA)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Agricultural Research Service

Job Announcement Number:ARS-X13W-0012

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$34,907.00 to $50,431.00 / Per Year


Friday, November 16, 2012 to Friday, November 23, 2012




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Lincoln, NE United StatesView Map


US Citizens and Status Candidates


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

As the personal assistant to the Research Leader and Location Coordinator, the incumbent coordinates a variety of administrative duties all of which contribute to the scientific mission of the Unit.


  • You MUST be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position, and
  • Suitable for Federal employment as determined by a background investigation
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.


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Major Duties: The incumbent serves as the Location and Unit's primary administrative point of contact. Coordinates research project activities, prepares travel documents, purchases and procures supplies and equipment, and monitors human resources actions. Uses an electronic calendar and other automated processes to commit supervisor's time and search online systems such as the World Wide Web for Unit and Location management functions. Produces various written work products which may include graphs, tables, photographs, or scientific data. Manages visitors, phone calls, mail and faxes, and visitors for the research Unit and Location Administrative Office. Develops, modifies, and implements office procedures as needed. Prepares agendas, notifies attendees and manages logistics of local, national, and regional meetings. Also serves as timekeeper and coordinates submission of scientific case write-ups for review.


Working Conditions and Other Considerations: You must verify your ability to type at least 40 words per minute in order to qualify for this position; if you do not verify your ability to type at least 40 words per minute you will not be considered. Work is conducted in an office setting and is essentially sedentary, but requires some walking, standing, bending, and carrying light items.



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GS-06: In order to qualify, applicants must demonstrate one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-05 grade level in the federal service OR 6 months of directly related graduate education that provided the Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities to do the work of the position.

GS-07: In order to qualify, applicants must demonstrate one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-06 grade level in the federal service OR 1 year of directly related graduate education that provided the Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities to do the work of the position.

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying.

Typing Speed:  A minimum typing speed of 40 wpm is required.

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

1) Ability to review and select available guidelines that are applicable and/or appropriate to the work to be accomplished.

2) Knowledge of office administration, travel, agreements, human resources, procurement and purchasing, and/or pay and leave in order to support scientists and other administrative staff.

3) Ability to manage multiple administrative functions and ensure work is completed in accordance with established deadlines.

4) Skill in operating a personal computer, printers and scanners, and associated word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software.

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.

If you are qualifying all or in part based on your education, 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 MUST provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.

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 outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment.  It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying; for more information go to the
Office of Personnel Management's website.

Time-In-Grade restrictions apply for ALL candidates considered under Alternative Merit Promotion.

Qualification requirements MUST be met within 30 days of 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 Vacancy 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 your 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; for an overview of the benefits currently offered go to



Persons with disabilities, disabled veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more, certain other veterans, spouses of certain members of the armed forces, and returning Peace Corps volunteers are examples of individuals who are potentially eligible for non-competitive appointment; for more information click here.

Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) will be considered.  VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who 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; you MUST submit Member 4 copy of your DD-214.

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 they meet basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and are rated in the Quality 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; for more information Click here.

If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point Veterans' Preference, you MUST submit Member 4 copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility.  If you are claiming 10-point Veterans' Preference, you MUST submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference plus the proof required by that form.

Financial Disclosure Requirement: 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 may be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of the effective date of your appointment and annually thereafter.

Reasonable Accommodation: 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).

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.


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Your application package MUST be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, November 23, 2012.  You MUST apply online or by fax; see details below. Applications sent by mail including e-mail or those that are 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.  From USAJOBS, you will be routed to Application Manager.  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.

If you need technical assistance with the online application process, please send an e-mail to

Note: To return to a previously saved or incomplete application, use the following link:  Track your progress to a Complete Application Package using the My Application Packages checklist and status displays in Application Manager.

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 788106.  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. 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.   


The following documents are required:
   - Assessment questionnaire; completed online or submitted by fax using the 1203FX
   - Resume; the OF-612 WILL NOT be accepted

Supporting documents (if applicable):
   - Transcripts or list of college courses with credit hours, major(s), and grade point average or class ranking
   - SF-50 that includes title, series, grade and tenure if you are a current or former Federal employee

   - Most recent performance appraisal if you are a current Federal employee
   - Veterans' documentation (DD-214, SF-15, etc.)
   - Documentation providing proof of non-competitive eligibility
   - CTAP/ICTAP documentation

If your application package does not contain all required documents, you may lose consideration for the position.

Please DO NOT include your Social Security Number (SSN) on your resume or supporting documents.


Catherine Beck
Phone: (301)504-1573
TDD: 202.855.1234
Agency Information:
Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, MD


Once the online questionnaire is received you will receive an acknowledgement email. After a review of your complete application is made you will be notified of your rating and or referral to the hiring official. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.

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