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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biological Science Technician - Pathways Recent Graduates
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  ARS-R13E-0065

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$34,075.00 to $44,293.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 to Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Full Time - Recent Graduates NTE 12 mos
1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map
Recent graduates who have completed a qualifying degree or certificate within the previous 2 years. Veterans precluded from applying due to their military service obligation must be appointed within 6 years of receiving their degree or certificate.


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

The Agricultural Research Service is seeking qualified recent graduates to perform technician duties as an Herb Garden Intern for the Gardens Unit with the United States National Arboretum in Washington, DC.


  • U.S. Citizen
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Driver's license required


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As a participant in the Pathways Recent Graduates Program, you will: 

  • Assists the Herb Garden curator in the development and maintenance of the plant germplasm collection.
  • Performs general gardening tasks that provide proper environmental conditions for germplasm including watering, mowing, mulching and weeding.
  • Maintains proper greenhouse conditions including correct nutritional regimens and environmental variables.
  • Perform routine and recurring techniques and studies using a variety of specialized equipment.
  • Collect, prepare, evaluate, and verify samples and supporting records; maintain records and locate and compile data and other information from various sources.
  • Keep detailed records of experimental data and plant inventories.
  • Keep work-site in a neat and orderly manner. 


Other Considerations:


The work schedule during growing season is Tuesday-Saturday.



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Eligibility Requirements:


Applicants must be within 2 years of completion of program requirements for an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctoral or technical/vocational degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.  Preference eligible veterans who were precluded from applying due to their military service obligation begin their 2-year eligibility period upon release or discharge from active duty.  Eligibility for these veterans cannot exceed 6 years from the date on which the degree (or certification) was completed.  


Basic Requirements:

GS-05:  One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-04 level in the Federal Service OR successful completion of a full four year course of study leading to a Bachelor's degree with major study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathmatics.  At least 6 semester hours must be directly related to the position (e.g. microbiology, botany, pest management, etc.).


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


1.  Knowledge of the basic principles of horticulture or botany.


2.  Knowledge of garden maintenance and development such as weeding, propagation, planting, watering and/or pest management.


3.  Skill in the use of garden maintenance equipment such as a lawn mower, leaf blower, loppers, and pruners.


4.  Ability to collect and summarize data using a personal computer and software packages. 




If 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 will have to 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.  Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website for additional information on this topic.



Your resume, supporting documents and responses to the online questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you meet eligibility and minimum qualification requirements. 


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For an overview of benefits that may be offered to Federal employees, please visit:



Recent Graduates may be non-competitively converted to a term or permanent position in the competitive service.  To be eligible for conversion, the Recent Graduate must:

  • be a U.S. citizen;
  • have successfully completed all requirements of the Program;
  • have demonstrated successful job performance consistent with the applicable performance appraisal program; and
  • meet the OPM qualification standard for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

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.

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).



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Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, March 20, 2013.  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.


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 791780.  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 
  • Transcripts
  • Veterans' preference documentation (if claiming veterans' preference)  

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.


Stacy Robey
Phone: (301)504-1518
TDD: 202-855-1234
Agency Information:
Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsvlle, MD


Once the online application process is complete, you will receive an acknowledgement e-mail.  Qualified applicants will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.  If there are qualified candidates with veterans' preference, only those applicants will be referred to the hiring manager.        

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