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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Chemist AP-02, 03, 04
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Food Safety and Inspection Service
Job Announcement Number:  FSIS-MCE-2013-0077

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 $106,369.00 / Per Year
Friday, June 28, 2013 to Friday, July 05, 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 all US Citizens.


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 being advertised concurrently under Merit Promotion (MP) procedures. Candidates who wish to be considered under those procedures must apply to FSIS-MMP-2013-0640.
  • This position is located in the Eastern Laboratory in the Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service in Athens, GA.  For more information about the agency, visit  
  • This position is currently covered by the Public Health Human Resources (PHHRS) Demonstration Project.  Please visit: Why PHHRS? How does it benefit employees?
  • AP Band 02 is equivalent to the GS-5/7; AP Band 03 is equivalent to the GS-9/11; AP Band 04 is equivalent to the GS-12/13.
  • Salary Range: AP 02- $31,315.00 to $50,431.00; AP 03- $47,448.00 to $74,628.00; AP 04-$68,809.00 to $106,369.00



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    The incumbents duties include the following:

    • Performs analytical services associated with detecting chemical residues in meat and poultry products. Wet chemistry extraction and clean-up techniques include liquid/liquid extraction and solid phase extraction (SPE).
    • Analytical chemistry detection techniques include colorimetry, chromatography, and mass spectrometry based on current technologies.
    • Performs chemical analyses of increasing complexity to determine the presence of parts per billion levels of pesticides, and veterinary drugs by means of complex, selective, and highly sensitive instrumentation; and participates in the laboratory quality assurance program under ISO 17025 guidelines.
    • Troubleshoots all instrumentation used in the analysis process, including gas chromatographs with electron capture detectors (GC-ECD) and triple quadrupole mass spectrometer detectors (GC/MS/MS); and high-performance liquid chromatographs with ultraviolet detectors (HPLC-UV), diode array detectors (HPLC-DAD), and triple quadrupole mass spectrometer detectors (LC/MS/MS).

    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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    There are two basic components of your experience that together define the qualification requirements, these components are:

    • Specialized experience:  In order to meet the specialized experience requirement, you will need to have completed 52 weeks of progressively responsible specialized experience, equivalent to the next lower band/grade level of the position, within 30 days after the closing date of this announcement.
    • Education:  All applicants must demonstrate successful completion of a full four-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in the physical or life sciences, that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by coursework in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics.

     Specialized experience:

    Applicants who meet the basic requirements are fully qualified for the AP-02 (GS-5/7 equivalent).

    Qualifying specialized experience for the AP-2 level: Includes performing progressively more responsible food and residue chemical analyses, or other work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular competencies needed to perform the duties.  The nature of the work requires that the incumbent has good organizational skills to ensure that work is done accurately and within stated timeframes.  

    Qualifying specialized experience for the AP-3 level: Includes demonstrated food or residue chemistry performance, the capability to assume additional responsibility and ability to perform required tasks at the next higher level.  Excellent organizational skills should be present to ensure that work is done accurately and within stated timeframes.  

    Qualifying specialized experience for the AP-4 level: Includes recent professional work in a food chemistry, food analysis or residue laboratory. The specialized experience should include analytical chemistry work that required the operation of a variety of instruments, including those mentioned above; strong training in instrumental analysis, and computer experience including programming and troubleshooting laboratory instruments. As the instrumentation is acutely intertwined in the analyses process, it is crucial that the incumbent not only have the analytical skill to perform the analysis but also understand how the instrumentation is involved in each step of the process, and be able to make repairs or adjustments. Applicants should also demonstrate experience or training in food chemistry quality control work that included the application of ISO 17025 standards and guides.

    Education Substitution:

    AP-03: Two full years of directly related chemistry or food chemistry graduate education or a masters degree in an appropriate specialty or three full years of progressively higher level graduate education in food chemistry or a related PhD may be substituted for for specialized experience in order to qualify at AP-03.

    • There is NO education substitution at the AP-04 level.
    • Equivalent combinations of education and specialized experience may be qualifying for the position.
    • To receive credit for your education you must provide a copy of your transcript (undergraduate AND graduate) by the closing date of this announcement. Transcript must document specific coursework completed & credit hours earned. You will not be considered for this position without this information. An unofficial photocopy of your transcript is acceptable.
    • When academic credit on a transcript is expressed in terms that differ from U.S. conventional semester/quarter hours, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an official interpretation of such credits in order to equate them to the semester hours specified in the Qualifications Standard Handbook.

    Basic requirement: All applicants must have:  Degree: physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics. OR  Combination of education and experience -- course work equivalent to a major as shown in A above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    All applicants must submit transcripts to verify completion of required education. (FSIS employees currently classified in the Chemist - 1320 Series are not required to submit transcripts.)

    All qualification requirements must be met within 30 days after the closing of this announcement. Please view OPM's Qualifications Standards Handbook. Professional and Scientific Positions-1320 Series.


    • Applicants are evaluated in accordance with Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.
    • We will review your resume and transcript (if required) to ensure you meet basic qualification requirements. If you meet basic qualifications you will be placed in one of three quality categories; Best-Qualified; Well-Qualified; or Qualified based on your answers to the on-line occupational questions. These responses must be supported by your resume and/or other documentation you provide. Responses that are not supported by your resume and/or other documentation may eliminate you from consideration and subsequent referral to the selecting official.
    • Names of candidates in the Best-Qualified category will be sent to the selecting official for consideration.
    • The occupational questions will evaluate you on the following competencies: Analytical reasoning; Chemist/Lab; Attention to detail; Time management.
    • Veteran's Preference: Preference eligible’s will be listed at the top of their assigned category, before non-preference eligibles in that category. Preference eligibles that have a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more (CPS, CP) are placed at the top of the Best Qualified category on the referral list. XP and TP preference eligibles are placed above non-preference eligibles within their assigned category.  For additional information on entitlements click here: Fedshirevets

    **REMINDER** Applicants - Be sure that experience/education as described on your resume contains accurate and sufficiently detailed information to clearly support the competencies. All information used to evaluate your application must be received by the closing date of the announcement. Once the position is closed, no additional information will be accepted.

    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 occasional 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 other flexible work arrangements. 
    • Full performance level of this position is AP-04. 
    • 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. (If applicable)
    • 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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    Completed applications include:

    • 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 documents must be received by 11:59 Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
    • NOTE: The DEU prohibits use of Government franked envelopes for applicants to send in application packages [18U.S.C. 1719]


    • 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.



    Yvonne Martin
    Phone: 612-659-8611
    Fax: 612-370-2376
    TDD: 800-877-8339
    Agency Information:
    Human Resources Operations Division
    Butler Square West, Suite 420C
    100 North 6th Street
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fax: 612-370-2376


    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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