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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biological Science Lab Technician AS-0404-02/03
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Food Safety and Inspection Service
Job Announcement Number:  FSIS-MCE-2013-0078

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 $61,678.00 / Per Year
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 to Monday, July 01, 2013
Full-time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Athens, GA, USView Map
  • This vacancy is advertised under Delegated Examining (DE) procedures and is open to US Citizens.
  • This position is being advertised concurrently under Merit Promotion Announcement FSIS-MMP-2013-0607.  Applicants who wish to be considered under those procedures must apply to FSIS-MMP-2013-0607.


    The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged.

  • This position is located in the Eastern Laboratory of the Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service in Athens, GA. For more information about the agency, visit
  • This position is covered by the Public Health Human Resources (PHHRS) Demonstration Project. Please visit:
  • AS Band 02 is equivalent to the GS-5/6/7; AS Band 03 is equivalent to the GS-8/9.



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    The incumbents duties include the following:

    • Works in all phases of laboratory operations and is responsible for providing technical support in a variety of activities, as well as performing directed quality control procedures and assisting special projects. 
    • Provide technical support for the preparation of all specialized media, reagents, buffer solutions, and lab equipment required to analyze meat and poultry products.
    • Plan and schedule all technical support activities in order that media, reagents and other materials are prepared on time.
    • Assure that an adequate inventory of specialized media, control cultures, and supplies are maintained. 
    • Assist in the development and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures in accordance with ISO 17025 and the laboratory management system.
    • Perform the quality control procedures and records in accordance with ISO 17025 and the laboratory management system.
    • Operate and maintain instrumentation in accordance with ISO 17025 and laboratory management system requirements.
    • The majority of the work is performed in a normal laboratory.   The work requires recurring walking, bending, standing and lifting.  Agility and dexterity are required as well as hand/eye coordination.  Employees are required to use protective clothing or gear such as a laboratory coat, gloves, safety glasses, boots, and protective shields and hoods.


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    • One year of specialized experience working laboratory, food microbiology, or directly related laboratory analysis work equivalent to the GS-04/Band 1. Work may be credited when the work was performed in close association with physical scientists or other technical personnel and provided intensive knowledge of scientific principles, methods or techniques. OR
    • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field of physical science, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, or statistics and at least 6 semester hours of courses must have been directly related to the position to be filled. OR
    • I have completed a full course of study of at least 12 months in a school for clinical laboratory technicians. OR
    • At least 52 weeks of specialized experience at the next lower PHHRS pay band (Band 1) or at the next lower comparable band in another pay system.  OR
    • A combination of experience and education to meet the total requirements.  Specialized experience: directly related experience in the line of work of the position to be filled, i.e., technical food laboratory, food microbiology, or directly related laboratory analysis work, that has provided the applicant with the particular Knowledge, Skills and Abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position.  Applicants should have experience in laboratory procedures, instrumentation, quality control procedures, technical methods, computer applications, and performing tests to identify and characterize bacterial cultures.
    • Applicants must have 52 weeks of time-in band/grade at the next lower level within 30 days of the announcement closing date.

    AS-2: Specialized experience is directly related experience in the line of work of the position to be filled, i.e., technical food laboratory, food microbiology, or directly related laboratory analysis work, that has provided the applicant with the particular Knowledge, Skills and Abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position.

    AS-3: Specialized experience includes demonstrated experience with Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis or antibiotic resistance testing.  The AS-3 band requires the capability to assume additional responsibility and the ability to perform required tasks with little direct supervision, and organizational skills to ensure that the assigned work is done accurately and completed within stated timeframes.

    To receive credit for your education you must provide a copy of your transcript by the closing date of this announcement.

    Candidates must meet all qualification requirements as identified in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook. Please click here: for more information



  • Applicants are evaluated in accordance with Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.
  • The resume is reviewed carefully by an HR Specialist to assure that basic qualification requirements are met.
  • If you meet basic qualifications you will be placed in one of three categories; Best Qualified; Well Qualified or Qualified. Best qualified is the top category.
  • Veterans who meet qualification requirements and have adjudicated veterans preference will be placed at the top of the category they fall into based on their answers to the assessment questions; this could be one of several categories, however, non-veterans cannot be selected over veterans that are in the same category.
  • Veteran's preference WILL NOT BE granted without proof as described under the "required documents" section of this announcement. 
  • Names of the candidates in the Best Qualified category will be sent to the selecting official for consideration. 
  • In addition, an HR Specialist will assure the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions; that your resume addresses experience and education relevant to this position, and copies of any required documents that need to be submitted.
  • 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.  
  • The occupational questions will evaluate you on the following competencies: Quality Management, Teamwork, Flexibility, Technical Competence.
  • There are several parts of the application process that affect the overall evaluation of your application: the applicant assessment questions, the core questions, supplemental documentation submitted, and your resume. This automated application system simplifies the application process, by replacing the former KSA job-element questions with the on-line applicant assessment questions. Your resume is an integral part of the process for determining if you meet the basic qualifications of the position, and whether you are found to be best qualified. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly explain what you did and how you did it, rather than just listing your current and former employers.

  • To preview questions please click here.


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  • The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. To find out more visit: Benefits Of Working For The Federal Government.   
  • We are a qualifying employer of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information on the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, please visit: PSLF Program


    • Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an Executive Agency of the Federal Government. Click here: for more information.
    • Selectee may be required to work weekends or holidays.
    • Selectee will be required to serve a probationary period unless prior service is creditable.
    • This position may be eligible for telework and/or other flexible work arrangements.
    • Full performance level of this position is AS-03. 
    • Entitlement to the payment of relocation expenses will be determined in accordance with the provisions outlined in FSIS Directive 3820.2
    • Multiple selections: This announcement may be used to fill additional, like vacancies should any occur in the commuting area.
    • If you are selected, you may need to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) prior to being appointed to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on a resume or application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.
    • A background investigation is a requirement for this position. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meeting these requirements could lead to adverse action proceedings including possible termination.
    • FSIS Utilizes E-verify to verify identity and Employment Eligibility.What is E-Verify? Why is it required? If you have concern that there has been a violation of the E-Verify program or you feel you have been discriminated during the verification process based on your national origin or citizenship status, contact the Office of Special Counsel at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD: 1-800-237-2515). For more information on E-Verify you may contact DHS at 1-888-464¬4218.
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture NON-Discrimination Statement
    • Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement


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    • Answers to all core questions (Completed when registering on-line in USAJOBS and as part of the initial application process)
    • Answers to all vacancy-specific questions (Completed for each job)
    • Your on-line resume. Resumes are entered into USAJOBS. Resumes can be copied and pasted into the personal information area of your application from other word processing documents at any time prior to the closing date.
    • Any supplemental documents required, such as transcripts. Applicants who do not respond to the on-line vacancy questions and who do not submit a supporting resume or required supporting documents will be rated ineligible.
    • If you are unable to apply Online, contact the number listed in the Agency Contact Information section prior to the closing date.  An application package will be mailed out. Prior to the closing of the announcement your completed package along with any required supporting documents must be received in the HR Office. Information received after the closing date will not be accepted.
    • All required application documents must be received by 11:59 Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


  • If you are qualifying based on education, you must submit your transcripts. This information should include course title, school name/location, date completed, grade, and number of credits earned.
  • If you are selected, you will be required to have official transcripts sent directly from your college, in paper form in a sealed envelope or in a secure, certified official electronic format, to our Minneapolis Human Resources Office, prior to reporting to duty.
  • To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP and ICTAP applicants must submit proof of eligibility as described below, meet all qualification and eligibility requirements, be rated well-qualified (receive a score of 85 or higher without points added for veterans’ preference) and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry.  For those instances where the best qualified lists include applicants with scores less than 85, the well-qualified score becomes the lowest score on the best qualified list. Click here for more information.
  • Adjudicated veterans are those who meet the requirements for preference and submit legible documentation by the closing date of the nnouncement. A DD-214 must be submitted, or a letter from the Veterans Administration specifying eligibility as a disabled veteran. For disabled veterans, the SF-15 is requested; in the absence of an SF-15, the VA letter specifying eligibility for preference and an honorable discharge is sufficient, assuming all requirements for preference are met.Click here: for more information
  • The next step of the application process is to fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the Required Documents section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order to continue with the online portion of the application process. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are properly faxed and received.


    If you are unable to upload your documents, you may still fax your documents.

    FAX INSTRUCTIONS for after you apply to the vacancy announcement:

    1. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. (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 both the old document and the new document for them both to be accessible to HR.)

    2. You must use a separate cover sheet for each category of supporting documentation (i.e., transcripts, DD-214). Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column.

    3. Click the [Print Cover Sheets] button. A window will pop up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the cover sheet (s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the cover sheets. Additionally, you must allow pop-ups.

    4. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process.

    5. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes.

    6. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing documents from more than one category of supporting documentation, you must submit them with the appropriate cover sheet. EACH DOCUMENT TYPE MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS TYPES UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. (i.e., Transcripts are one type of document; fax all pages of your transcript and other education-related documents under the transcript cover sheet; the SF-50 is another document type, if you are faxing more than one SF-50, fax them all under the SF-50 cover sheet.)

    7. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re-fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number and bar code, which ensures your document is processed correctly.

    8. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. You should retain your e- mail confirmation and confirmation of your fax transmittal report as proof of submission. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by 11:59 Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


    Yvonne Martin
    Phone: 612-659-8611
    Fax: 612-370-2062
    TDD: 800-877-8339
    Agency Information:
    Human Resources Field Office
    Butler Square West, Suite 420C
    100 North 6th Street
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fax: 612-370-2062


    You may check your application status on USAJOBS. Applications are reviewed after the announcement closing date and the best qualified candidates are referred to the selecting official.

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