Research Geneticist (Plants)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Beltsville, Maryland
Posted
Nov 16, 2020
Closes
Nov 24, 2020
Function
Analyst, Research
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

This position is located at the Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit at the U.S. National Arboretum in Beltsville, MD. The mission of the Unit is to acquire fundamental knowledge and develop basic and applied concepts related to ornamental horticulture, including the development of technologies resulting in improved woody ornamental landscape plants.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership in planning and conducting applied breeding, genomics and genetic research toward the development of improved ornamental crops using gene discovery and gene editing technologies.
  • Develop an independent research program that uses computational resources, comparative genomics, gene editing, and novel analytical approaches to develop a suite of research and breeding tools to accelerate improvement of woody ornamental plants.
  • Discover, develop, or test novel genes and genetic mechanisms useful for woody landscape plant improvement.
  • Develop and use novel tissue culture and transformation systems for improving disease and pest resistance, adaptation to abiotic stress, aesthetic quality, and/or plant architecture traits in woody landscape plants.
  • Work as a team member to address research priorities, formulate project plans, conduct research, collaborate with other scientists, and provide advice and information to members of the scientific community.


Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for 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 three 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: genetics; or one of the basic biological sciences that included at least 9 semester hours in genetics.

Graduate Education: Genetics, or a curriculum or pattern of training that placed major emphasis on genetics. Graduate study in related fields such as agronomy, horticulture, animal, dairy, or poultry husbandry, entomology, microbiology, plant pathology, chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and physiology that involved cross-training in genetics is qualifying, provided it placed sufficient emphasis on genetics.

Evaluation of Education: Most students in the field take graduate work because specific training in genetics may be limited at the undergraduate level. Under these circumstances, it may be necessary to evaluate undergraduate course work in genetics in one of two ways, as described below, to determine whether or not it is qualifying.
  • Courses dealing with genetics, some phase of genetics, or specific techniques that are applied in genetics work are acceptable. This includes courses in genetics, plant or animal genetics, molecular and cellular biology, mathematics and statistics (as they apply to genetics), population dynamics, and certain techniques such as those dealing with irradiation.
  • Course works consisting of an appropriate combination of basic courses in genetics and cytology or statistics are also acceptable.
  • Additional Requirements
    In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below.

    GS-12: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service or possess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or possess an equivalent combination of graduate level education and experience. Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped applicants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-12 level of this position are:
    • Experience conducting molecular genetic or genomic research on plants;
    • Experience performing gene editing, transformation, or gene discovery in plants; AND
    • Experience publishing plant genetics research articles in peer reviewed journals;

    GS-13: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 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-13 level of this position are:
    • Experience conducting molecular genetic or genomic research on woody ornamental landscape plants;
    • Experience performing gene editing, transformation, or gene discovery techniques on plants;
    • Experience authoring publications of considerable interest the field of plant genetics in peer reviewed journals; AND
    • Being recognized by the scientific community (as evidenced by invitations) as a significant contributor to the field of plant molecular genetics.
    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 60 days of the closing date of the announcement.

    Education

    Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

    Additional information

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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 in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans' preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans' preference within each category.

    Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or 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.

    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/10937267

    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
    Suitability/Fitness

    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.
    • If claiming veteran's 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 not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment.Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
    • If claiming 10-point veteran's 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), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

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