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

Job Title:Biological Science Lab Tech/Biological Science Tech/Agricultural Science Research Tech (Plants)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Agricultural Research Service

Job Announcement Number:DEU-13-771011-TS

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$24,518.00 to $39,748.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Thursday, December 06, 2012 to Monday, December 24, 2012

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0404-04/06

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Multiple Appointment Types

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

09

DUTY LOCATIONS:

Few vacancies in the following location(s):
Fargo, ND United StatesView Map
Lincoln, NE United StatesView Map
Tifton, GA United StatesView Map
Mandan, ND United StatesView Map
Frederick, MD United StatesView Map
More Locations  (1)

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens and Non-Competitive Hiring Authority Candidates

JOB SUMMARY:

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

Who May Apply: All U.S. Citizens AND those eligible for consideration under a noncompetitive hiring authority (i.e., 30% or More Disabled Veteran, VRA, Schedule A, Interchange Agreement, etc.).

These positions will be filled as Biological Science Technicians (Plants), Biological Science Laboratory Technicians (Plants), or Agricultural Science Research Technicians (Plants) depending upon the location.

A Biological Science Laboratory Technician is the authorized title for all positions at GS-4 and above that involve the performance of work in an operating or research program within a laboratory environment and which require an intensive knowledge of laboratory practices and techniques. These positions will require primarily laboratory work, but may also require some field work.

A Biological Science Technician is the authorized title for positions at GS-4 and above other than those classifiable as biological laboratory technicians or agricultural research technicians. This position requires field work. These positions will be assisting researchers in conducting studies and experiments in the Plant or Botany field. A thorough understanding of conducting Plant research, field work, and the ability to use research equipment are necessary to these positions.

An Agricultural Science Research Technician is the authorized title for all positions at GS-4 and above that involve the performance of work in agricultural research activities, e.g., field areas, growth houses, greenhouses, barns, etc., and require primarily an intensive knowledge of agricultural practices and techniques.

*The positions in Lincoln, NE and Fargo, ND will be term positions 13 Months but Not To Exceed 4 years. All other positions will be permanent positions.

* The promotion potential of each position will vary. The maximum promotion potential for some (but not all) of the positions is shown above.

*The salary represented above is the BASE GS rate and does NOT include locality pay. Locality pay may be different per position location.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Valid State Driver's license.
  • Other Requirements Apply Per Location: Please see Requirements Section.

DUTIES:

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At the full performance level of the position, incumbents for these positions perform a variety of duties in the following areas:

  • Actively participates in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of complex technical duties, in a laboratory, field, or greenhouse environment, common to the assigned area of work, and contributes ideas towards the planning and sequencing of the technical aspects of the research.
  • Adapts, modifies or develops new techniques and/or procedures to satisfy the needs of the research project.
  • Performs the full range of techniques and studies using a variety of specialized equipment.
  • Maintains, calibrates and modifies complex/specialized equipment and automated systems used for test and evaluation procedures.
  • Independently initiates action to resolve or correct technical difficulties and results, or recommends resolution to supervisor.
  • Searches for literature pertinent to area of research for new procedures or techniques to use in the laboratory, field, or greenhouse.
  • Collects, prepares, evaluates and verifies samples and supporting records.
  • Maintains records and locates and compiles data and other information from various sources.
  • Keeps detailed records of experimental data.
  • Tabulates, statistically analyzes and summarizes data using personal computers and software packages.
  • Maintains inventory of chemicals, stock solutions, etc., prepares solutions and reagents for use in the laboratory, field, or greenhouse, and safely disposes of waste material (both chemical and biological).


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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To Qualify at the GS-04 Level:

Specialized Experience: One full-time year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-03 grade level in the Federal service:

  • assisting with Nursery work that required the growing and maintenance of plants in a controlled environment;
  • assisting with research in horticulture, agronomy, plant pathology, or botany; and
  • collecting and summarizing data from greenhouse, laboratory, or field research.

OR

Education: Successfully completed two years of undergraduate study (60 Semester Hours) that included at least 12 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, plant pathology, chemistry, microbiology, statistics, ecology, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics AND have at least 6 semester hours of courses in plant pathology, microbiology, horticulture, ecology, plant science, plant breeding, agronomy, or botany which demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by this position.  (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Combination of the specialized experience described in "A" above and at least 12 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, plant pathology, chemistry, microbiology, statistics, ecology, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics AND have at least 6 semester hours of courses in plant pathology, microbiology, horticulture, ecology, plant science, plant breeding, agronomy, or botany which demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by this position. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

To Qualify at the GS-05 Level:

Specialized Experience: One full-time year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-04 grade level in the Federal service:

  • growing and maintaining plants in a controlled environment (i.e., Nursery, laboratory, field site, greenhouse, etc.);
  • assisting with research in horticulture, agronomy, plant pathology, or botany;
  • utilizing research equipment to conduct plant research; and
  • collecting and summarizing data from greenhouse, laboratory, or field research.

OR

Education: Successfully completed a full four-year course of study leading to a Bachelor's degree (120 Semester Hours) with a major field of study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, ecology, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, plant science, or mathematics AND have at least 6 semester hours of courses in horticulture, plant pathology, microbiology, mycology, ecology, plant science, plant breeding, agronomy, or botany which demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by this position.  (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Combination of the specialized experience described in "A" above and (at least 6 semester hours of) horticulture, plant pathology, microbiology, ecology, mycology, plant science, plant breeding, agronomy, or botany graduate level education, such that the percentage of required experience plus the percentage of required education equals 100%. To calculate, first determine your total number of graduate semester hours, and divide that number by 120. Next, divide the total number of months of qualifying experience by 12. Now add your percentages of education and experience. The two percentages must total at least 100% for you to qualify based on your combination of education and experience. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

To Qualify at the GS-06 Level:

Specialized Experience: One full-time year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service:

  • growing and maintaining plants within a greenhouse, laboratory, or field site;
  • assisting with research in horticulture, agronomy, plant pathology, or botany;
  • utilizing plant research laboratory techniques and equipment (i.e., aseptic technique for media preparation and isolation of fungi and bacteria, light microscope techniques, inoculating plants in greenhouse or field; making plant tissue cultures, PCR, gel electrophoresis, bacterial cultures, conducting Agrobacterium-Mediated plant transformation, maintaining/propagating plants in tissue cultures, using and developing molecular markers, etc.) to conduct research; and
  • collecting, tabulating, analyzing, and summarizing data from greenhouse, laboratory, or field research.

OR

Education: ½ year of graduate level education (9 semester hours) in horticulture, plant pathology, microbiology, ecology, mycology, plant science, plant breeding, agronomy, or botany which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required by this position.  (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination of Experience and Education: Combination of the specialized experience described in "A" above and at least 6 hours of horticulture, plant pathology, microbiology, ecology, mycology, plant science, plant breeding, agronomy, and botany graduate level education.  (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)


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

The following locations have additional conditions of employment:

  1. Frederick, MD: This location works with foreign plant diseases, so it is necessary to do research in a Bio-safety Level 3 plant containment facility, where one is required to wear medical scrubs. The selectee will be required to shower out of the facility after each visit. To work with these pathogens and in this facility, selectees must be fingerprinted and pass a background check. Selectee will be required to take and pass a Drug Test.
  2. Lincoln, NE: Applicant must be able to lift over 35 pounds, work outside in heat, cold, dust, pollen, etc.
  3. Stuttgart, AR: Work is performed under extreme weather conditions including temperatures above 95 deg. F with high humidity (i.e. in flooded rice paddys). Selectee must wear thigh-length rubber boots required to perform labor while in rice paddys. Selectee must be willing and able to operate and work with farm  machinery. Selectee must be able to acquire a pesticide applicator' license.
  4. Fargo, ND: Applicant must have or be willing and able to obtain a Certified Pesticide Applicator's licence. Applicant must be able to lift over 35 pounds, work outside in heat and cold, and be exposed to potential allergenic pollen and fungal spores. Must be willing and able to operate farm machinery.
  5. Mandan, ND: The ideal Candidate for this position will possess experience and/or education in range or plant ecology, be able to lift 50 pounds, work outdoors in heat, cold, dust, pollen etc, walk over difficult terrain for at least 1 mile and stand or kneel for long periods of time. The ideal candidate will also able to use respirators, protective suits and other personal protective equipment.
  6. Tifton, GA: Besides the ability to work in a laboratory, applicant must be able to work outside (including bending for taking measurements) and in a greenhouse environment.
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.
This position is open to all US Citizens and Nationals, and Noncompetitive and Special Hiring Authority eligibles.  You may apply under open-competitive, and noncompetitive procedures, however; you must meet the requirements for one of the following categories to apply as a noncompetitive eligible.
1. A current permanent competitive service employee; former Federal employee who achieved career status in the competitive service; or former Federal employee who served on a career conditional appointment without achieving career status in the competitive service who was separated less than three years ago. This includes applicants who have previously held, or currently hold this position and grade with the same promotion potential as announced for this announcement. You must submit the SF-50 that shows competitive service eligibility to be considered.
2. A Veteran applying for a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA), must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing an honorable discharge to be considered. Eligibility for VRA appointments includes Disabled veterans; Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; and Veterans separated from active duty within the past 3 years. Disabled veterans must provide the SF-15 and supporting documentation from the VA along with DD-214. NOTE: VRA only applies to positions at the GS-11 level and below.
3. A 30% or more Disabled Veteran. You must submit your DD214, a completed SF-15, and letter from the VA dated 1991 or later as proof to be considered.
4. A military spouse. Military spouses are eligible if their active duty military spouse: 1) receives a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move; 2) has a 100% disability rating; or 3) died while on active duty. Please submit supporting documentation as proof to be considered.
5. A Severely Physically Handicapped Schedule 'A' Appointment. Please submit documentation from a State or Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Service as proof to be considered.
6. A Former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteers Appointment. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.
7. Interchange Agreements and Miscellaneous Authorities. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures.  Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into one of three categories:  Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire.  We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications. 
Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Knowledge of the principles of plant research.
  • Ability to use scientific instrumentation for plant research.
  • Knowledge of plant research or project procedures, processes, and methods.
  • Skill in the use of personal computers and software packages for data collection, analysis, and presentation.

Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire.  High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.
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 the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified 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.  Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.  CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.


BENEFITS:

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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:  http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc.



OTHER INFORMATION:

Financial Disclosure Requirement:
The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the REE Ethics Webpage. 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.

Reasonable Accommodation:
Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. 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). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


 



HOW TO APPLY:

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Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, December 24, 2012.  You must apply online or by fax (see below for details).  Applications sent by mail (including e-mail) or 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
ApplicationManagerHelpDesk@opm.gov.

Note: To return to a previously saved or incomplete application, use the following link: 
https://applicationmanager.gov/.  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 771011.  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. Click here to 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.


REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

The following documents are required:  
   - Assessment questionnaire (completed online or submitted by fax using the 1203FX) 
   - Resume
In addition, you may need to submit supplemental documentation (as outlined below).  Failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of this announcement will result in the loss of the particular consideration you are requesting.
Veterans' Preference:  To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit Member 4 copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility.  To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the documentation required by that form.  Active Duty Service Members must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed.  Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation.

Transcripts:  If you indicate that you possess any form of post-secondary education, you must submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree(s). At the time your education was obtained, the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. You may lose consideration for this position if you fail to provide this information.
Foreign Education:  To receive credit for education outside the U.S., you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

Midwest Services Branch
Phone: (816)426-5706
Email: KANSASCITY@OPM.GOV
Agency Information:
Recruitment Effort for OPM and FSA
Call or e-mail us with your questions
Thank You, MO
00000
USA

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

Once your complete application package (including all required documents) is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

Additional Duty Location Info

Few vacancies in the following locations:
Fargo, ND United StatesView Map
Lincoln, NE United StatesView Map
Tifton, GA United StatesView Map
Mandan, ND United StatesView Map
Frederick, MD United StatesView Map
Stuttgart, AR United StatesView Map

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Job Announcement Number:

DEU-13-771011-TS

Control Number:

332108900