In this position you will be responsible for coordinating the development and validation of molecular diagnostic operations for Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) programs, determining the quarantine status of organisms intercepted at ports of entry, and domestically as part of PPQ's pest surveys.Learn more about this agency
- 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:
- Making final, authoritative molecular taxonomic determinations of plant pathogens and other plant pests intercepted at ports of entry, found in samples from domestic field surveys, and domestic emergency program.
- Conferring with national and international taxonomic and/or molecular scientists to apply collective data.
- Recommending quarantine actions for perishable and other commodities based on risk analysis of the identified pest.
- Searching, reviewing, and evaluating current foreign and domestic scientific literature and contacts colleagues for information on new diagnostic testing techniques.
- Identifying and evaluating problem areas or deficiencies in identification skills of field personnel regarding use of molecular and biochemical diagnostics.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel domestically and internationally for this position.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a US Citizen or US National
- Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
- Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check
- Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
- Direct Deposit : Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution
- Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
- Testing Designated Position: Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.
- Valid state driver's license is required at the time of application.
QualificationsApplicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
BASIC REQUIREMENT: Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
OR Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
FOR THE GS-11 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-9 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
- Knowledge and understanding of scientific principles of plant pathology, virology, microbiology, molecular biology, or other related sciences to support regulatory programs for disease control, management, exclusion or eradication.
- Experience executing scientific investigations, in response to program needs, aimed at evaluation, optimization and/or validation of advanced molecular and serological methods, and technologies for diagnostic and identification of plant pathogens, with emphasis on plant viruses.
- Experience communicating technical or scientific information orally and in writing in a succinct and organized manner to scientific audience or other pest management professionals.
- Experience working on teams or working groups to address scientific topics related to plant health.
Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.
FOR THE GS-12 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-11 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
- Experience in applying the scientific principles of plant pathology, virology, microbiology, molecular biology, or other related sciences to develop and evaluate methods to support plant pathogen regulatory programs for disease control, management, exclusion or eradication.
- Experience initiating and coordinating scientific investigations in response to program needs that support the development and/or evaluation of new advanced, fit for purpose, methods, technologies or protocols used for plant pathogens detection and identification, with emphasis on plant viruses.
- Experience communicating technical or scientific information orally and in writing on aspects of project progress to scientific audience, industry representatives, other state/federal government agencies and cooperators.
- Experience in managing technical support staff in developing and applying molecular methods for plant pathogen (virus) detection and identification.
TRANSCRIPTS are required if:
COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-11 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following: Combining Education and Experience for Professional and Scientific Positions
- This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified.
- You are qualifying for the position based on education.
- You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
- This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
See Qualifications section above.
- Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
- First time hires to the federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.
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 for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.This is a Direct-Hire Authority position, all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications, to include any specialized experience and/or selective placement factor(s), if applicable, will be referred to the selecting official. Before a certificate is issued to the selecting official, your application is reviewed to ensure that you meet all the qualification requirements. A rating will not be used; veteran's preference does not apply due to the existence of the Direct Hire authority for 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, you may be found ineligible. 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.
To preview the application questionnaire, please visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10447028
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
- Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications; and 5) supervisors name and phone number for each work period listed and whether or not they may be contacted for reference checks.
- If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program. For further information, visit the following: Foreign Education Evaluation. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
- Although veterans' preference doesn't apply under Direct Hire Authority, applicants are encouraged to provide documentation of their eligibility. If claiming veterans' preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions within 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. The certification must be on the letterhead of the appropriate military branch and include the dates of military service.
- If claiming 10-point veterans' preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
- 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), last performance appraisal that is at least fully successful or its equivalent, and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
- 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.
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.
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.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at www.usajobs.gov. 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. You may want to 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. In addition, 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. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue.
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. You must verify that uploaded documents 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. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g. SF-50s or veteran docs) 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
APHIS Human Resources
AddressAnimal and Plant Health Inspection Service
USDA APHIS MRPBS
250 Marquette Avenue, Suite 410
Minneapolis, MN 55401
If you set up your USAJobs account to send automatic email notifications, your 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. 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 to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.
Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.
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/527409300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.