Research Chemist

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Beltsville, Maryland
Posted
Sep 23, 2020
Closes
Sep 25, 2020
Function
Analyst, Research
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

This position is located in the Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory (MAFCL) at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Center (BHNRC) in Beltsville, MD. The incumbent will serve as a Lead Scientist using a systems-oriented approach, the incumbent plans, implements, and reports the results of interdisciplinary research on the impact of genetics, environment, management of agronomic production practices, and post-harvest processing (GxExMxP) on the nutritional quality of food crops.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • Work closely with other members of Beltsville Human Nutrition Center (BHNRC) and USDA?s Agricultural Research Service to ensure the studies are relevant to both human nutrition and agriculture.
  • Conduct independent as well as team-based research and will be expected to develop productive collaborations with scientists from universities, industry, and government and other stakeholders.
  • Effectively translate and communicate research results to the public.
  • Develop an interdisciplinary program that will creatively combine scientific methodologies, data, and theories from relevant fields of agriculture, soil and crop science, nutrition, plant physiology, food science, and analytical chemistry.
  • This will be done using statistical and multivariate analyses to work towards the goal of developing adaptive strategies for climate-resilient, intensified, sustainable production of crops with high nutritional quality.
  • Work with the fundamental hypothesis that modification of genetics and management, separately or in concert, will be able to offset changes of nutritional quality imposed by the environment.
  • Collaborate with USDA-ARS researchers across the country and coordinate efforts to identify and quantify the interacting GxExMxP factors affecting the nutritional quality of food crops.
  • Coordinate efforts of ARS and contract labs to determine the nutrient and secondary metabolites of food crops.
  • Establish the variability of the nutrient content of crop varieties grown in different locations and under different management practices.
  • Survey the nutrient and secondary metabolite content of important food crops that may have significant health effects.
  • Determine if existing genetic stock and/or field management practices can compensate for any reductions of nutrients found as a result of environment conditions.


Travel Required

25% or less - Frequent travel will be required in this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
15

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.
  • 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/.
  • Successful completion of a 1 year probationary period.


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 Requirement:

Degree: physical sciences, life sciences, crop sciences, food science or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics.

OR

Combination of education and experience: course work equivalent to a major as shown in A above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
AND

In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below.


At the GS-14:
Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 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-14 level of this position are: Experience leading an interdisciplinary team of scientists to address a research problem of considerable scope and complexity; Experience communicating with a diverse group of experts and to achieve a consensus of results; Experience working in one or more of the following fields: agronomy, plant biology, chemistry, analytical chemistry, OR nutrition; Experience using state-of-the-art analytical methods for determining the nutrient and secondary metabolite content of food crops; Experience with methods for pattern recognition and evaluating sources of variance attributable to GxExMxP factors (i.e., ability to communicate with statisticians and chemometricians); AND Experience publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals related to field crops.

At the GS-15: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-14 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-15 level of this position are: Experience leading an interdisciplinary team of scientists to address a research problem of considerable scope and complexity; Experience communicating with a diverse group of experts and to achieve a consensus of results; Experience working in one or more of the following fields: agronomy, plant biology, chemistry, analytical chemistry, and nutrition; Experience using state-of-the-art analytical methods for determining the nutrient and secondary metabolite content of food crops; Experience with methods for pattern recognition and evaluating sources of variance attributable to GxExMxP factors (i.e., ability to communicate with statisticians and chemometricians); Experience publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals related to field crops; AND Experience running a chemistry lab focused on nutrient analysis of foods.

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.
To further support your qualifications, it is strongly recommended that you submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Failure to do so could result in loss of your consideration/referral. Also, please 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 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.

Education

Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Additional information

This position requires the selectee to undergo a pre-employment check and a full background investigation. Any offer made is considered a tentative job offer pending the outcome of the pre-employment check. Retention in the position is based upon a favorable adjudication of the background investigation. The incumbent will be subject to periodic reinvestigations.

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.
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.

Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential. Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically. The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology. *Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.

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 71 out of a possible 100.
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.

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/10888171

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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