Job Overview


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

The Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory (EMFSL) of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland is seeking a permanent, full-time Research Microbiologist. The EMFSL conducts research to understand how pathogens are disseminated on farms, in the environment, in food product, develops methods to detect, characterize, and mitigate contamination to prevent foodborne illnesses.  

Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected.  For this reason, you are encouraged to apply at all grade levels.  A peer review will be required for selections made at grades GS-13 and above and the selectee will be required to submit supplemental materials.

Research 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. *Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.


Major Duties:

The selectee will conduct research to better understand host distribution, sources of contamination, and dynamics of transmission of protist parasites with importance in the safety of food and water resources. The main parasites under investigation will be Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Microsporidia, and Blastocystis. The specific objectives of the incumbents's research will be to: develop and evaluate new methodologies applying molecular techniques to improve parasite recovery, identification and characterization of protist parasites of food safety importance; conduct whole-genome sequencing to characterize the differences between zoonotic/non-zoonotic and pathogenic/non-pathogenic Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Blastocystis, and E. bieneusi; develop intervention and treatment strategies against zoonotic parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The position requires work with zoonotic pathogens in BSL-2 laboratories. The incumbent will be expected to prepare written work products based on research to be reviewed and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and other publications as well as to present research findings at scientific meetings.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel for meetings and conferences

Relocation Authorized

  • Yes
  • May be authorized by management