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    Due to technical difficulties affecting applicants’ ability to submit applications, this postiion is being re-advertised for an additional three days. Applicants who have already applied to this announcement need NOT reapply.

    This position serves as a scientist for the PPQ, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.  The position serves as an authority in molecular and biochemical diagnosis of plant pests and provides final identification of plant pathogens and other plant pests based on sophisticated state-of-the-art molecular and biochemical techniques for detecting, identifying, and differentiating plant pests, especially plant pathogens that threaten U.S. agriculture.  The incumbent analyzes pest risk, makes recommendations to management, trains other identification personnel in diagnostic methods and interpretation of test results, and collaborates with scientists, plant health regulators and others, worldwide.
    This position coordinates diagnostic operations for PPQ programs, determines the quarantine status of organisms intercepted at ports of entry, and manages PPQ’s pest interception database.  The position also serves as the national authority in performing confirmatory diagnosis of organisms intercepted or sampled in plant quarantine programs from activities such as port of entry inspection, pest detection survey, pest control and eradication programs, smuggling interdiction efforts, export certification inspection and foreign commodity preclearance programs.

    Salary Information: 
    First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range.

    APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response

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    The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.

    The duties may include, but are not limited to:

    • Responsible for making final, authoritative taxonomic determinations of plant pathogens and other plant pests intercepted at ports of entry from all parts of the world.
    • Recommends to management, quarantine actions for perishable and other commodities held at ports of entry based on risk analysis of the identified pest.
    • Searches, reviews, and evaluates current foreign and domestic scientific literature and contacts colleagues for information on new diagnostic testing techniques, particularly for exotic organisms of economic or environmental significance. 
    • Serves as an Agency authority in resolving scientific problems associated with organisms encountered in quarantine programs which require molecular or biochemical diagnostic work to determine their identity.
    • Initiates and cultivates working relationships with scientific colleagues nationally and internationally.  Cooperates with PHP national taxonomic specialists and National Plant Diagnostic Network land grant university laboratories.
    • Evaluates formal requests from field identification personnel for authority to identify plant pests intercepted through PPQ activities using molecular and biochemical techniques. 
    • Identifies and evaluates problem areas or deficiencies in identification skills of field personnel regarding use of molecular and biochemical diagnostics.
    • Provides scientific information and recommendations to technical field personnel and informs them of new diagnostic techniques and other information in order to improve their effectiveness in identification and risk decision-making.  

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Travel for training and work assignments may be required.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/447974400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.