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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Interdisciplinary: Research Molecular Biologist/Research Chemist
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  ARS-X14W-0021

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$68,809.00 to $106,369.00 / Per Year
Monday, November 25, 2013 to Monday, January 06, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Grand Forks, ND View Map
United States Citizens
Q - Nonsensitive


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

Seeking permanent, full-time Research Molecular Biologist/Research Chemist to apply the principles and techniques of biochemistry, metabolism, and cell and molecular biology in support of on-going programs dedicated to elucidating the transgenerational factors affecting the propensity to develop adiposity.


The Working Title for Chemist is Research Biochemist; the Official Title is Research Chemist.




  • Occasional Travel
  • Domestic Travel For Regional/National Conferences; Local Travel For Collaboration


  • No


  • You MUST Be A U.S. Citizen To Apply For This Position
  • Suitable for Federal Employment As Determined By A Background Investigation
  • Males Born After 12/31/59 MUST Be Registered With Selective Service


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Major Duties:
The Healthy Body Weight Unit is a translational science unit focusing on the underlying biological aspects of and interventions needed to facilitate healthy body weight and prevent obesity. The incumbent's research will address the effects of various maternal dietary and physical activity factors on offspring lipogenesis, gut microbial energy extraction and/or the muscle secretome, and on offspring eating, fat oxidation, glucose metabolism and/or physical activity. The incumbent may use animal models or human studies with volunteers that employ biochemical, physiological, and physical assessments of body composition and metabolic status. Research results will be published in refereed scientific journals.


The incumbent will have access to an extensive state-of-the-art research center including a controlled-feeding kitchen; applied physiology, and health behavior laboratories, and human performance laboratories in a newly constructed fitness center (with DXA, indirect calorimetry, and phlebotomy), and a food and health behavior laboratory for basic eating and physical activity studies. The center also includes a 14-bed residential metabolic unit, a live-in whole room calorimeter, a whole-body scintillation counter, a mobile laboratory, statistical/data processing core, nutritional analytics core, clinical biochemistry laboratory, a genomics, transcriptionomics, and proteomics laboratory, a mass spectrometry core, and a vivarium and cell culture core.  The incumbent will also have access to a health behavior and human performance laboratory in a newly constructed fitness center (with DXA, indirect calorimetry, treadmill, bicycle ergometer, and phlebotomy).

Working Conditions and Other Considerations:

Work is conducted in a research/clinical/laboratory environment which has inherent risks and requires wearing approrpiate attire. 


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Basic Qualifications


GS-0401 - Research Molecular Biologist - degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resources management, chemistry or related disciplines appropriate to the position OR a combination of courses equivalent to a major, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


GS-1320 - Research Chemist - degree in 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 a combination of education and experience - course work equivalent to a major as shown above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional work.


Additional Requirements


GS-12: In order to qualify, applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree OR demonstrate one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal Service.


GS-13: In order to qualify, applicants must demonstrate one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal Service.

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

1. Knowledge of molecular biology, biochemistry, nutrition, or metabolism physiology in order to plan, conduct, and support experiments focused on the effects of maternal diet and physical activity on offspring propensity for developing obesity.

2. Skill in characterizing gene expression and the metabolism of multiple metabolites.


3. Skill in working with human and animal subjects in accordance with appropriate care and welfare, and management and protection rules and guidelines.


4. Ability to use biochemical, molecular biological and physiological assessments to complete studies in animal and/or human volunteers.


5. Ability to conceive, plan, conduct, and report research results in peer-reviewed, scientific journals.

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.

To be considered for a research scientist position, you must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation.  Also, submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.

Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected.  A peer review may be required to determine the appropriate grade level of the position and supplemental materials may be required from the selectee.

esearch scientists have open-ended promotion potential.  Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically.  The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology. 


** The final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.

This position has a positive education requirement.  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 MUST 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; for more information go to the Office of Personnel Management's website.

Time-In-Grade restrictions apply for ALL candidates considered under Alternative Merit Promotion.

ALL 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 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; for an overview of benefits currently offered go to:



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 attach Member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference plus the proof required by that form.

Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA), a special hiring authority, will be considered.  VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service.  Veterans who are released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour are also eligible.

Status candidates who wish to be considered under both alternative merit promotion and non-status competitive examining must submit two complete applications when the position is open to both status and non-status candidates.  When only one application is received, it will be considered under alternative merit promotion procedures.

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.

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.

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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Applications may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the appropriate address and/or facsimile number listed below, but they MUST be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, January 06, 2014.  Certain individuals are entitled to file a late application and must contact the Agency Contact listed below for details and application instructions.

Department of Agriculture
5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Stop 5106
Beltsville, MD  20705-5106


Fax: 301.504.1587

If sending your application as an attachment to an email, do not send zipped files.  They will be removed in accordance with standard electronic security procedures.  If hand delivered, be sure your application is received in the Human Resources Division on or before closing date.


To ensure your application fully outlines your qualifications and eligibility for this position, review the application package checklist at:

NOTE:  Applications received in postage paid government envelopes will not be considered.


Catherine Beck
Phone: (301)504-1573
TDD: 202-855-1234
Agency Information:
Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, MD


You will be notified by mail once your application is received.  After a review of your complete application is made, you will be notified or your rating and/or referral to the hiring official.  If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.   

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