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 Laboratory Technician (Quality Control Methods Development)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24PQ-2013-0097

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$31,315.00 to $50,431.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Monday, April 01, 2013 to Friday, April 05, 2013

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0404-05/07

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Term, not to exceed 13 months; may be extended up to 4 years.

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

07

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy - Harlingen, TX, USView Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

This announcement is open to all United States citizens.

JOB SUMMARY:

Relocation expenses will not be paid. This position serves the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program, Western Region, Texas State Office and is located at the Mexican Fruit Fly Rearing Facility/Laboratory.  The incumbent performs duties related to quality control of mass reared insects and methods development.

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to facilitate the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and to protect the health and care of animals and plants in the United States. MRP offers an array of occupations and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We operate in domestic and global markets. Be part of an organization that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!

This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months. (Appointment may be extended up to 4 years without reannouncing.) For more details click: Term Appointments

APHIS is an emergency response agency.  This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • U.S. Citizenship

DUTIES:

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The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity. The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducts quality control tests to determine viability, competitiveness, and sterility of mass reared flies.
  • Collects and analyzes samples of all insect development stages daily to ensure insect development is within acceptable limits.
  • Monitors diet ingredient batch lots and records lot numbers along with corresponding egg infestation date.
  • Monitors environmental conditions in all production areas, including sanitation, lighting, temperature, and relative humidity daily.
  • Maintains all quality control records in an electronic format and prepares a monthly report summarizing related information.
  • Identifies and follows established protocol for any unmarked Mexfly that could represent a fertile specimen; performs micro-dissection of the internal organs, including reproductive systems in male and female specimens; and prepares sample preparations for histological evaluation, including specimen thin sectioning, mounting, fixation, standard, and fluorescent nuclear stains.
  • Develops and maintains productive working relationships with participating investigators and scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST), and other agencies.
  • Collects, evaluates, and interprets data to provide needed information to researchers and principal investigators.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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To qualify, you MUST meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Applicants can qualify by meeting the EDUCATION requirements specified below and/or the SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE requirements.

EDUCATION

GS-5:  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 mathematics.  At least 6 semester hours of courses must have been in plant pathology, entomology, biology, or cellular/molecular biology.

GS-6:  A half year (or 9 semester hours) of graduate education in plant pathology, entomology, biology, or cellular/molecular biology

GS-7:  One year (or 18 semester hours) of graduate education in plant pathology, entomology, biology, or cellular/molecular biology

TRANSCRIPTS are required if:

  • You are qualifying for the position based on education.
  • You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.

This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. For more information on submitting transcripts, click: Transcripts.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-5/6/7 GRADE LEVELS

Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to the next lower level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors.  Specialized Experience is normally work performed in a controlled environment.

Examples of qualifying experience at the GS-5 grade level include, but are not limited to:

  • Knowledge of the Mexican fruit fly sufficiently advanced to identify life stages, including reproductive maturity and mated status via micro-dissection
  • Conducting sampling and quality control tests on production lots of insects, identifying potential problems, and taking corrective measures
  • Knowledge of general microscopy, histological procedures to process dissected specimens, slide mounting, and standard staining and counterstaining protocols
  • Using computer applications to prepare periodic reports and update electronic records; assisting in the preparation of publications and presentations to appropriate personnel

In addition, examples of qualifying experience at the GS-6/7 grade levels include, but are not limited to:

  • Finding and suggesting solutions to insect production problems
  • Developing guidelines for sampling procedures
  • Providing training and mentoring to employees
  • Overseeing proper procedures in a laboratory setting

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-5/6/7 GRADE LEVELS

Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following:  Combining Education and Experience for Technical and Medical Support Positions


Special Conditions:

  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • DD214 (Member 4 copy) or other veterans' documents required to receive veterans' preference.
  • As a condition of employment, a background investigation may be required for this position.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one-year trial period.
  • Work is performed in an office/laboratory setting.  Incumbent observes all laboratory safety rules and precautions.
  • The diet consumed by the insects may present noxious odor.
  • Work involves some walking, standing, bending, and carrying light items (e.g. documents, books).

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

  • Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. Your resume must support that you meet the specialized experience requirements described above and are proficient in the following skills or competencies below. Please note you are not required to provide specific narrative responses to the skills and competencies described in this section.
    • Knowledge of entomology and insect rearing
    • Ability to perform scientific work, including the application of scientific principles and procedures as they apply to a lab setting
    • Ability to use computers, computer software, databases, etc.
    • Oral and written communication
  • Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligible candidates. The following quality categories will be used: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Within each quality category, veterans' preference eligibles will receive selection priority over non-veterans.
  • Your final category placement will be based on your responses to the assessment questionnaire. Please ensure your resume provides enough detail to support your responses.
  • If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To preview questions please click here.


BENEFITS:

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Eligibility for employee benefits depends on your type of appointment and your tour of duty (work schedule). Generally, you must be hired on a permanent basis and have a regular full or part-time work schedule. For more information on potential benefits, go to: Federal Employee Benefits

Salary:

Range for GS-5: $31,315 to $40,706 (incl. 14.16% locality pay)

Range for GS-6: $34,907 to $45,376 (incl. 14.16% locality pay)

Range for GS-7: $38,790 to $50,431 (incl. 14.16% locality pay)



OTHER INFORMATION:

  • For information regarding CTAP eligibility for displaced Federal employees click: Career Transition Assistance Programs
  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • For information on filing a complaint of discrimination, click: Filing a Complaint


  • HOW TO APPLY:

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    A complete on-line application will require the submission of the following:
    • Resume
    • Responses to the vacancy specific questions (you will be prompted to complete these questions during the online application process)
    • Supporting Documentation which may be required (see links under Required Documents for more information)

    For instructions on using the on-line system click: APPLYING ON-LINE

    For instructions on submitting documents click: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION



    REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

    Click on the following links to see if the supporting documentation is applicable to you:
  • College Transcripts or List of Coursework - MUST be English (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
  • Foreign Degree Evaluation (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) and other Veterans' documents (Veterans Preference)
  • ICTAP/CTAP eligibility documentation (Displaced Employees)
  •  

    Critical Submission Requirements and Reminders

  • Help in applying online is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time at the number listed in the Contact information section.
  • All application materials and supplemental documentation will be accepted until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date.
  • Application and supporting documentation will not be accepted via e-mail.
  • Due to the high volume of applicants, we are unable to confirm receipt of supporting documentation. If faxing, you should retain confirmation of a successful fax transmission including the number of pages successfully transmitted as proof of submission.
  • If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must fax and/or upload both the old document and the new document.
  • Applicants who cannot apply on-line must request a hard copy application packet from the Agency Contact listed in the vacancy announcement. Resumes and/or supporting documentation alone will not be considered without the inclusion of a hard copy application packet.
  • AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

    DO NOT EMAIL DOCUMENTS
    Phone: 612-336-3345
    Fax: 612-336-3560
    Email: Mary.M.Buresh@aphis.usda.gov
    Agency Information:
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
    100 N 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, 510C
    Minneapolis, MN
    55403
    US
    Fax: 612-336-3560

    WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

    You may check the status of your application on-line 24 hours a day through USAJOBS. Status updates will be available after 2-3 weeks. For instructions on checking your application status click: Checking My Application Status. No additional correspondence will be sent.

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    Job Announcement Number:

    24PQ-2013-0097

    Control Number:

    340564300