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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Research Agricultural Economist
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Economic Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  ERS-S14N-0016

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$75,621.00 to $98,305.00 / Per Year
Friday, January 03, 2014 to Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
Many vacancies in the following location:
Washington DC, DC View Map
All US Citizens (***IMPORTANT APPLICATION INFORMATION: See Below for information concerning cut off dates)
Q - Nonsensitive


NOTE: This announcement has been amended to include additional information regarding the Evaluation process.  Please see the 'How You Will Be Evaluated' section for more details.


IMPORTANT APPLICATION INFORMATION: This is an Open Continuous announcement and will be open until all positions have been filled.  The first referral of candidates will be made from applications received by 11:59 PM EST, January 09, 2014.  The second referral of candidates will be made from applications received by 11:59 PM EST, February 12, 2014.  The third referral of candidates will be made from applications received by 11:59 PM EST, April 09, 2014.  Subsequent cut off dates may be established.

Multiple selections will be made from this announcement to fill vacancies across the following the Economic Research Service (ERS) Divisions:


Market and Trade Economics Division (MTED)

The mission of MTED is to conduct research on U.S. and global economic factors affecting markets for agricultural products. The MTED research program includes analysis of domestic program and trade policy alternatives, special studies of emerging developments in domestic and international markets, development and dissemination of market information, and commodity and trade forecast and projections.  Data indicators, forecasts, and special studies are disseminated to the policy makers, program officials, and the public in publications, briefings, and electronic products.


Food Economics Division (FED)

The FED provides economic research, monitoring and statistical indicators, and staff and policy analysis of consumer, and food marketing issues, including consumption determinants and trends; consumer demand for food quality, safety, and nutrition; food security status of the poor; food marketing competition and condition; low-income assistance programs; and food safety regulations.  Data indicators, forecasts, and special studies are disseminated to the policy makers, program officials, and the public in publications, briefings, and electronic products.


Resource and Rural Economics Division (RRED)

The mission of RRED is to provide information and analysis to enhance public policy, and to conduct analysis that informs national public and private decisions involving the interrelationship among natural resources, environmental amenities, rural development, and agricultural activities, agricultural research and development, technology and productivity, the structure of farming, upstream agricultural and other rural businesses, farm income, and the well-being of farm and rural households.  Data indicators, forecasts, and special studies are disseminated to policy makers, program officials, and the public in publications, briefings, and electronic products.


Please see the following link for more information about the Economic Research Service (ERS):


  • Not Required


  • Yes
  • Relocation and recruitment incentives may be negotiated at the time of selection


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation


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The Economic Research Service (ERS) seeks Research Agricultural Economists for positions that involve responsibility for formulating research plans, developing methodology, determining data needs, and defining resources needed to carry out complex economic research and analysis programs of great significance, difficulty, and national importance. 


Duties will vary depending on the mission of the Division in which the incumbents work, and include:

  1. Applying economic, econometric, and statistical principles and concepts, to conduct high quality research and analysis, improve the quality, and enhance the analytical usefulness of data;
  2. Providing advice and guidance to Agency and external colleagues to ensure application of sound economic principles and the use of effective quantitative and research methods;
  3. Serving as a technical expert on research and program development activities within the Agency, with other agencies, and research institutions;
  4. Conducting research involving theoretical and empirical issues of concern to Agency programs. Such research often involves investigation and experimentation into unexplored areas using state of the art techniques; and 
  5. The incumbent collaborates with outside experts to research and communicate difficult concepts and findings to officials responsible for public policy.


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Basic Requirements:


Degree: A bachelor’s (or higher) degree in economics that included at least 21 semester hours in economics and 3 semester hours in statistics, accounting, or calculus.




Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major in economics, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


In addition to the Basic Requirements listed above:


GS-12: Applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal service which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.  For this position, specialized experience is experience applying advanced economic research methodologies and quantitative analysis techniques to the conduct of complex economic research, analysis and outlook relevant to agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural development.




Completed (or expect to complete within 9 months) a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in agricultural economics or related discipline


Education and experience may be combined for all grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the closing date of this vacancy announcement; however, applications can be accepted from students who expect to complete qualifying education requirements within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement. It must be verified that education was completed successfully before the applicant can be appointed.  All other 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. 


Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures. Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire.  We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications. 


NOTE: A Subject Matter Expert (SME) will participate in the evaluation process.


Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Skill in applying advanced economic research methodologies to the analysis of agricultural sector issues.
  • Skill in the development of a complex database supporting advanced econometric or programming model analyses.
  • Ability to formulate research plans, develop methodology, determine data needs, and define resources needed to carry out complex economic research and analysis.
  • Skill in the use of quantitative, statistical, and econometric software packages to prepare and present economic research data.
  • Skill in the use of data management, graphic and presentation software to present agricultural research results.
  • Ability to communicate economic concepts and research results in professional forums or peer-reviewed publications.

Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire.  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.


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 the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified 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.  Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.  CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.




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A benefits package is authorized for this position. CLICK HERE for more information concerning federal benefits.


Selective Service System:
Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.
CLICK HERE for further information.

Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment:
If you are selected for this position, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.
CLICK HERE to access the Optional Form 306.

Financial Disclosure Requirement:
The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the
REE Ethics Webpage. You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

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:
Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. 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). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.


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Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, April 09, 2014.  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:
Click here to print a fax cover page 
2. Complete all blocks on the cover page using Vacancy ID
1023268.  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)

In addition, you may need to submit supplemental documentation (as outlined below).  Failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of this announcement will result in the loss of the particular consideration you are requesting.

Veterans' Preference:  To determine your eligibility for Veterans' Preference, CLICK HERE.  To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility.  To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the documentation required by that form.

Transcripts:  If you indicate that you possess any form of post-secondary education, you must submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree(s). At the time your education was obtained, the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. You may lose consideration for this position if you fail to provide this information. CLICK HERE for more information on this topic.

Foreign Education:  To receive credit for education outside the U.S., you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs. There is normally a fee associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that are accredited to evaluate education, visit National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.


Diane Wolf
Phone: (301)504-1366
Agency Information:
Economic Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Avenue Rm 3-1274A
Beltsville, MD


Once your complete application package (including all required documents) is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

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