National Program Leader - Plant Health
This National Program Leader (NPL) position is located in the Office of National Programs (ONP). ONP sets research priorities for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and develops, for the Administrator, options and recommendations for resource allocations.
In this position, you will provide national and international leadership to coordinate agricultural research programs relating to diseases of agronomic and horticultural crops. Leveraging cutting edge technologies, you will work with top scientists to direct research aimed at providing high impact solutions to challenges in plant health. You will partner and interface with other government agencies as a technical expert on a wide variety of biosecurity issues involving plant pathogens, including Select Agents and other plant pathogens of national and global importance.
Key characteristics of a successful NPL include having excellent scientific credentials from a personal research program, having a broad vision for research now and in the future, being a team player as both leader and member in high level teams, and having excellent people and communication skills.
This position is conveniently located off the Capital Beltway at the George Washington Carver Center (GWCC) in Beltsville, MD. The GWCC offers free-on-site parking and a free shuttle service to nearby Greenbelt Metro station. If you utilize public transportation to commute, you may be eligible for our commuter subsidy program.
At ARS, we offer a range of family friendly flexibilities, including flexible work schedules, telework options, and on-site child day care, to name a few. Depending on your years of employment, you will accumulate vacation (13-26 days per year) and sick leave (13 days per year). Our health insurance program is a nationally recognized model, offering choice and flexibility along with a substantial employer contribution to premiums. You can pay your share of premiums and out of pocket costs with pre-tax dollars. For retirement, ARS has the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), consisting of three components: Social Security benefits, a basic annuity plan, and the tax-deferred Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Employees pay full Social Security taxes and a small contribution to the basic annuity plan. ARS makes an automatic 1% of salary contribution to your TSP, and will match your TSP contributions up to a total of 5% of salary.
You are making a great choice when you choose a career with ARS!
25% or less - 1-2 trips per month, both international and domestic.
Relocation expenses reimbursed Yes Relocation is authorized.
CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORT: If selected, you will be required to submit Form OGE-450 within 30 days of your initial appointment date, and annually thereafter. Selectee is subject to financial Disclosure Requirements in accordance with 5 CFR, Part 2635, Sub part E regarding business or personal transactions with applicants, borrowers, or business contacts who have or who are seeking business with this Agency. Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. If selected you will be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report.
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.
GS-15: Qualifying experience for the GS-15 includes one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience includes conducting research in the area of Plant Health that resulted in peer reviewed journal articles, patents, and/or germplasm releases and providing senior level technical leadership in the area of Plant Health.
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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Plant Pathologist, GS-0434-15: to qualify for the GS-15, applicants must have a degree in plant pathology; or a related scientific discipline, such as biology, genetics, botany, plant science, microbiology, virology, mycology, or agronomy, that included at least 20 semester hours in basic botany or plant science, and 10 semester hours in plant pathology.
Evaluation of Education: courses in botany, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, plant pathology, crop sciences, 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.
**Class titles on transcripts must be fully descriptive and, if not, applicants should provide additional information as to the content of the class as it relates to the list of required educational requirements. Additionally, it is recommended that you circle on your transcript(s) the completed coursework that meets the criteria described above**
Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPMs Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.
More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: http://www.chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=6465This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor. Read more
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.
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Managements (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:
Plant Health: focus is on the study of the organisms (biotic factors) and environmental conditions (abiotic factors) that cause disease in plants, the dynamic processes and mechanisms by which this occurs, the interactions between these causal agents and the plant (effects on plant growth, yield and quality), and the methods of managing or controlling plant disease. Plant diseases limit plants from achieving their full genetic potential as crops, ornamentals, trees, etc. Plant health interfaces with other scientific fields such as genetics, molecular biology, mycology, microbiology, virology, biochemistry, bio-informatics, plant biology, and botany.
Leadership: Influences, motivates, and challenges others; adapts leadership styles to a variety of situations.
Planning and Evaluating: Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.
Communication: Expresses information to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information; makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.
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=C9E0245A-9908-4AC1-8EAB-A7FA00E02FDF Read more Security clearance Top Secret