The Crop Improvement and Protection Research Unit located in Salinas, California is seeking a permanent, full time, Research Plant Pathologist. The mission of this Unit is to facilitate sustainable production of vegetable, sugar, fruit and ornamental crops through basic and applied research.Learn more about this agency
As a Research Plant Pathologist the incumbent will be responsible for, but not limited to:
- Develop and test biological and/or chemical control measures for the soilborne fungal pathogens affecting strawberry production with emphasis on Fusarium oxysporum and Macrophomina phaseolina;
- Apply metagenomic approaches based on next generation sequencing to characterize soil microbial communities associated with infected and healthy strawberries;
- Conduct population analyses of Fusarium oxysporum and Macrophomina phaseolina affecting strawberry through molecular and microbiology based studies;
- Screen and evaluate plant genetic resistance against Fusarium oxysporum and Macrophomina phaseolina; and
- Develop or improve diagnostic tests for both Fusarium oxysporum and Macrophomina phaseolina.
Occasional travel - Incumbent will occasionaly travel to conduct research and to attend scientific meetings and conferences.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- Successful completion of a three year probationary period
- Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
- U.S. Citizenship Required
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORT: 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.
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.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
Your education and experience will be evaluated against all qualification requirements (basic and any additional requirements) listed below.
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.
Degree: plant pathology or a related scientific discipline that included at least 20 semester hours in basic botany or plant science, and 10 semester hours in plant pathology.
Graduate Education: must have been in plant pathology, or in one of the recognized subject-matter fields of plant pathology, or have followed a curriculum or pattern of training that placed major emphasis on plant pathology or one of the recognized subject-matter fields of plant pathology, such as those dealing with particular types of pathogens, diseases of particular kinds of crops, or chemical or biological controls. Graduate study in related fields such as microbiology, plant physiology, genetics, agronomy, horticulture, forestry, or biochemistry may also be qualifying, provided it placed a sufficient amount of emphasis on plant pathology.
Evaluation of Education: courses in botany, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, plant pathology, agronomy, forestry, horticulture, or similar subjects may be used to meet the 20-semester-hour requirement in basic botany or plant science. To meet the specific 10-semester-hour requirement in plant pathology, the courses must have been in plant pathology, or have dealt with specific subject matter areas of plant pathology such as those concerned with viruses, fungal or bacterial diseases, host-plant relationships, biotic or chemical controls, environmental or physiological diseases, parasitic diseases, etc.
GS-12: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service or possess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or possess an equivalent combination of graduate level education and experience. Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped applicants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.
Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-12 level of this position are:
Experience conducting laboratory, controlled environment, and field plot research in the area of plant pathology, including research on soilborne plant diseases.
GS-13: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full 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 the GS-13 level of this position are:
Experience developing biologically or chemically based disease management strategies for soilborne plant pathogens.
Experience performing soilborne plant-pathogen interaction analysis and microbial community analyses using biochemical, molecular, or bioinformatics/statistical methods.
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.
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.
For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here:
- Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workfordce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, surplus or displaced Federal employee must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and be rated in the Quality Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section.
- This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.
- This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
- Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring offical at time of job offer.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans' preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans' preference within each category.
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.
Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply Online" button to the right.
To view the application form, visit: https://ars.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=48DB84E5-3FCD-4567-8BBE-A96700B79CF8
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
- Resume clearly describing your experience related to this position as described in the Major Duties, and Qualifications sections of this announcement.
- Your application package must include the announcement number, title and grade of the position.
- Statement that you are a U.S. citizen
- 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.
- If you are a veteran and you are claiming veterans’ preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. For competitive service positions, active duty service members expecting to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days: you may be granted tentative preference by submitting a “certification” document in lieu of a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. This “certification” is any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date of the submission of the certification. Veterans’ preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans’ preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
- If you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference based on service-connected disability, in addition to the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), you must also submit an SF-15, Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference, plus the proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. For more information on veterans’ preference see http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/.
- You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. You must submit with your application evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at http://www.ed.gov. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcripts; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
- Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
The Federal Service offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at: https://www.usa.gov/benefits-for-federal-employees
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET 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 the Agency Contact to request this.
To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.
NOTE: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g., all SF-50s) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.
Agency contact information
Amanda L Wilkerson
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Beltsville, MD, 20705
Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account at https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/512971900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.