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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Agricultural Science Research Technician
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  ARS-D13E-0088

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$31,315.00 to $40,706.00 / Per Year
Monday, May 13, 2013 to Friday, May 17, 2013
Full Time - Term NTE 13 months
1 vacancy in the following location:
State College, PA United StatesView Map
United States Citizens


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

Our mission is to support environmentally and economically sustainable farming in the northeastern U.S. by improving agroecosystem management. Major research efforts include: 1. Developing fundamental information for establishing, maintaining, and managing diverse forage and grazing lands, recognizing ecosystem services beyond the traditional forage, food, and fiber production to include emerging services such as carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas mitigation, and bioenergy production. 2. Developing fundamental information linking agricultural management with water quality and developing management practices and strategies that balance production and agroecological services. 3. Using experimental measurements, model development, and whole farm simulation to evaluate system interactions and improve farm management effects on air, soil, and water quality.


Candidates must have a valid state CDL Class B driver’s license with hazmat endorsement.


Candidates must have a Certified Pesticide License Category 18.

This is a TERM position not to exceed 13 months. This position may be extended up to a total of 4 years without further competition.


  • You 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


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Typical, but not all-inclusive, duties are illustrated by performance of any combination of the following:


Assists in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of technical duties, in a laboratory, field, or greenhouse environment, common to the assigned area of work of agronomic field crop management.


Performs routine and recurring techniques and studies using a variety of specialized equipment, including farm tractors, forage harvesters and/or pesticide applicators.


Maintains, calibrates and modifies equipment and automated systems used for test and evaluation procedures.


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, prepares solutions and reagents for use in the laboratory, field, or greenhouse, and safely disposes of waste material (both chemical and biological).


Keeps work-site in a neat and orderly manner.



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Basic Qualifications:

GS-5: Applicants must have one year specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-4 level in the Federal service OR successful completion of a full 4-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 directly related to the position.

 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 agricultural as they relate to agronomic field crop production.
2. Skill in operating equipment such as tractors and forage harvesters.
3. Ability to collect, analyze and summarize data.

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 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.


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 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.  The following link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:



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 further information click here.

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.  Click here for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.

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, May 17, 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.  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.  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.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
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 883788.  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 (OF-612 will not be accepted)

Supporting documents (if applicable):
   - T
ranscripts or list of college courses with credit hours, major(s), and grade point average or class ranking
   - 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.



Carey Wilkerson
Phone: (301)504-1393
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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