Biologist

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Beltsville, Maryland
Posted
Sep 18, 2020
Closes
Sep 19, 2020
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

This position is located in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), in Beltsville, MD.

The incumbent serves as a Biologist on a multi-disciplinary team and works primarily in the food processing pilot plant which is a 2,000 sq. foot facility where research is conducted on processing and food safety. The position is responsible for supporting research studies on the EMFSL project "Microbial Ecology and Safety of Fresh Produce".

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • Understand the microbial ecology and safety of fresh produce and to mitigate risk of food-borne pathogens.
  • Search scientific literature for principles, methods, and procedures and select the most appropriate for the research goals and fiscal resources.
  • Perform a wide range of research studies pertaining to food safety and quality of fresh and fresh-cut produce, in the research laboratories and the food processing pilot plant.
  • Develop new methodologies, technologies, or equipment for research and monitoring.
  • Independently design and conduct research studies in the commercial or semi-commercial pilot processing plant using established or modified methodologies.
  • Analyze data and recognize conditions and results that may affect research findings. Interprets findings in terms of their scientific significance.
  • Use various software (e.g. AutoCAD, MatLab, SolidWorks, etc.) to design new equipment, to process and evaluate data and findings, and to print small equipment parts.


Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
None

Requirements

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/


Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

Basic Requirements:
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 A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

AND

Specialized Experience : Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. Specialized experience must be described for each grade level advertised. The specialized experience requirements for this position are:

Qualifying experience for GS-11 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-09 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience conducting biological experiments related to fresh produce or food-borne bacteria; maintaining laboratory instrumentation or food processing equipment; recording experimental data to prepare scientific reports; and modifying research experiments.
OR

EDUCATIONAL SUBSTITUTION: 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D degree or equivalent degree, if directly related. Related degrees may include: Chemistry, microbiology, entomology, food science, horticulture, engineering, plant pathology, and post-harvest plant physiology and technology.

OR

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A qualifying combination of Ph.D. level education and specialized experience as described above.

Physical Demands:
The work often requires standing for prolonged periods of time. In other situations, there may be special requirements for agility or dexterity such as exceptional eye-hand coordination, and lifting up to 50 lbs.

Work Environment:
Work is performed in diverse environments including the microbial, food chemistry, field or greenhouse, growth chamber, fresh-cut pilot processing facility, and office. The incumbent will at times work in a biological safety level 2 laboratory, be exposed to irritant chemicals and very loud noises, and on such occasions, is required to follow special safety precautions and wear protective clothing and gear such as laboratory coat, safety glasses, hard hat and boots, gloves, and ear protection.

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.

Education

Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Additional information

This Position is being filled through OPM's government-wide Direct-Hire Authority for this occupation and is open to all U.S. Citizens. Your application will be evaluated for basic eligibility and to determine if your experience and/or education meet the minimum qualification requirements described in this announcement. All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and other basic requirements will be referred and are eligible for selection.

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 based on an evaluation of the following competencies: Applies Technology to Tasks, Biology, and Research. To be well-qualified, applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and must be proficient in most of the requirements of the job.

Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer.
Selections made under this authority will be processed as new appointments to the civil service. Current civil service employees would therefore be given a new appointment to the civil service.

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 selective placement factor(s), if applicable, will be referred to the selecting official. Before a certificate is issued to the selecting official, the resume is reviewed to ensure that you meet all the qualification requirements. A rating will not be used; veterans' preference does not apply due to the existence of the Direct Hire authority for this position.

Note: All answers provided in the on-line process must be substantiated by a resume. If, upon review, it is determined that your resume and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be removed from consideration.

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" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10910427

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, 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.
  • 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 any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. 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 per 5 CFR 330.

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