Student Trainee (Biological Science)

Department Of Agriculture, An...
Washington D.C.
Mar 13, 2017
Mar 21, 2017
Full Time

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to help protect the health and value of American agriculture. APHIS is a multi-faceted Agency responsible for safeguarding U.S. agricultural resources from pests and diseases, managing wildlife damage and regulating genetically engineered organisms. If your education and career interests focus on animal health, wildlife management, plant science, entomology, microbiology, biochemistry, production agriculture, or similar disciplines, we want you!

The Pathways Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions from high school to graduate level with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed.  Intern positions are established under a Federal program called Pathways for Students and Recent Graduates to Federal Careers

The APHIS Biological Science Intern Program offers you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in your field of study and will help you pursue your career goals, while doing work that touches the lives of Americans every day. The program offers a formal training experience that may last up to 2 years with the possibility of conversion to a permanent position upon successful completion of the program.  Conversion is not guaranteed. Permanent positions may include Microbiologist, Wildlife Biologist, Biological Scientist, Agriculturist, or Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer.

As an intern you may work a full or part time schedule depending on your availability.  You may be eligible for health insurance coverage and other benefits available to Federal employees. This is your opportunity to begin building a successful career!

USDA is a great place to start or continue your career. USDA is ranked as one of the top 10 "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" by the Partnership for Public Service ( Rankings are based on employee feedback regarding satisfaction with their work experience.

The educational/career focus & locations for the APHIS Biological Science Intern program are:

  • Wildlife Management/Animal Science:Auburn, AL; Phoenix, AZ; Springfield, IL; Augusta, ME; Columbia, MO; Billings, MT; Albuquerque, NM
  • Plant Science/Entomology/Agricultural Biotechnology:Fort Collins, CO; Riverdale, MD; Raleigh, NC;
  • Microbiology:Ames, IA; Raleigh, NC; Riverdale, MD
  • Plant Science/Agriculture:Gainesville, FL; El Segundo, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Honolulu, HI; Kapalua, West Maui, HI; Linden, NJ; Austin, TX; McAllen, TX
Travel and housing expenses will not be paid. 

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: APHIS Emergency Response

  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel may be required for training and work assignment purposes.

  • No

  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Proof of student status must be submitted with the application.
  • All applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old.
  • To qualify, you MUST meet all selective factor and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

    The following Selective Placement Factor (SPF) requirement is being used to determine whether an applicant fully qualifies for this position. Therefore, it is MANDATORY that all applicants meet this requirement in order to receive further consideration for this job vacancy. Applicants are required to submit all transcripts to support the selective placement factor. Applicants who fail to meet the selective placement factor may lose further consideration.


    Students must be enrolled in a degree seeking program in the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resources management, chemistry, or related disciplines including animal health, wildlife management, plant science, entomology, microbiology, biochemistry, or production agriculture.


    GS-4: Completion of 2 full academic years of post-high school study or an associate's degree in the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position being filled.

    GS-5: Completion of 4 academic years of post-high school education leading to a bachelor's or equivalent degree in the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position being filled.

    GS-7: Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or equivalent)in the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related discipline;  
    OR eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement provision which is: completion of the requirements for a bachelor's degree in a qualifying area of study from an accredited institution AND attainment of specific GPA requirements. 
    For more details click: Superior Academic Achievement

    ALL TRANSCRIPTS (undergraduate and graduate) are required.

    APHIS uses the following to determine acceptable grade point average and good academic standing for Pathways Intern participants:   

    • the student’s cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale; or
    • the minimum GPA requirements of the academic program in which the student is enrolled, if greater than 2.0; or
    • the minimum academic requirements based on the grading system established by the qualifying academic program in which the student is enrolled (i.e. vocational or business school);
    • and the student must meet all requirements established by his/her academic institution to be considered in good academic standing. 
    All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see

    Special Conditions

    • All applicants must be in good academic standing as described above.
    • If selected, official transcripts will be required prior to entrance on duty.  Proof of enrollment or acceptance for the upcoming academic term or semester will also be required.
    • Transcripts (official or unofficial) and proof of current enrollment must be included with your application.  See the "Required Documents" section for more information.
    • Students selected to be an APHIS Biological Science Intern will be required to sign a Pathways Participant Agreement; the agreement must be signed by all applicable parties prior to reporting for work.
    • Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully completed adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
    • Work schedule will be determined when student is selected.
    • Pay will vary based upon the selectee's duty location.  A final salary determination will be made upon selection.
    • This Internship confers eligibility for a noncompetitive conversion to a permanent or term position in the competitive service contingent upon meeting all applicable Internship Program requirements and the needs of the agency. You will be considered for conversion to a permanent or term position upon the successful completion of your Internship. However, please note that eligibility for conversion does not guarantee the agency will opt for conversion.
    • Some positions may require the use of protective equipment.
    • Interns working at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, IA may be required to have specific vaccinations in order to obtain access to high-level biosecurity labs.
    • Occasional travel may be required.
    • Selectees will be asked to provide proof of continued qualifying enrollment and good academic standing throughout their participation in the Pathways program.


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