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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-0038

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, July 25, 2014 to Friday, October 24, 2014
Full-Time - Permanent
FEW vacancies - Washington DC, DC   View Map
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.
Not Applicable


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, August 25, 2014. The second referral of candidates will be made from applications received by 11:59 PM EST, September 25, 2014. The third referral of candidates will be made from applications received by 11:59 PM EST, October 24, 2014.

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

Food Economics Division

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.

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.

Resource and Rural Economics Division

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 the 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): About ERS


  • Occasional Travel
  • There may be occasional travel to meetings.


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


  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • A 1-year probationary period is required.
  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Suitable for Federal employment determined by a background investigation.


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ERS seeks Research Agricultural Economists for positions with 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:

  • Applying economic, econometric, and statistical principles and concepts to conduct high quality research and analysis, improve quality, and enhance the analytical usefulness of data;
  • 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;
  • Serving as a technical expert on research and program development activities within the Agency, with other agencies, and research institutions;
  • Conducting research involving theoretical and empirical issues of concern to Agency programs, including research that often involves investigation and experimentation into unexplored areas using state of the art techniques; and
  • Collaborating with outside experts to research and communicate difficult concepts and findings to officials responsible for public policy.


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Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.

Basic Requirements:
A. 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; OR
B. 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 includes 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/or rural development; OR

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 to meet the total experience requirement.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All qualification requirements must be met by 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. Applicants must verify successful completion of the required education prior to appointment. All other applicants must be available to report for duty at the time of selection. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.



The category rating procedure is used to rank and select eligible candidates. Under category rating, applicants who meet basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position and whose job related competencies have been assessed are ranked by being placed in one of the following categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:
•Economic Research
•Technical Application
•Database Management Systems
•Written Communication

We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.
To view the application form, visit:


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The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:


•Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at
•More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
•Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
•Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing. •E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.

  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. 
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience and/or if you are using education to meet the criteria for the quality category. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.
Other required documents may include:
CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.
Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

NOTE: 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 upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


Phone: 301-504-1758
Fax: 000-000-0000
TDD: 202-855-1234
Agency Information:
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Beltsville, MD,
United States
Fax: 000-000-0000


If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

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