Agricultural Biotechnology Advisor (Biotechnology Advisor)

Washington, D.C
Nov 28, 2020
Dec 05, 2020
Full Time


This position is located in Office of the Chief Economist, Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP). The mission of the OPMP is to: 1) integrate and coordinate the pest management efforts of the Department; 2) provide data and analyses to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to better inform pesticide regulatory decisions; and 3) provide a Departmental focal point for farmers, grower organizations, EPA, and State Land Grant institutions regarding pesticide and pest management issues.
Learn more about this agency


  • Provide professional and technical leadership, coordination, and strategic planning of USDA biotechnology policy.
  • Interact with decision makers in USDA, in other Federal agencies, and in Congress on the development and implementation of biotechnology policy.
  • Act as a contact point for biotechnology information with industry, non-governmental organization, other Federal and? State government agencies, farmers, and others.
  • Develop timely position and option papers and brief senior USDA officials on international and domestic biotechnology policy issues. Develop speaking and briefing materials on biotechnology for senior USDA officials.
  • Serve as Executive Secretary of USDA's Biotechnology Coordinating Committee (BCC).
  • Direct, coordinate, and articulate the pest management national policies and decisions for USDA programs.
  • Serve as Designated Federal Official for the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology.
  • Represent USDA at national and international scientific and/or policy fora and, when necessary, in domestic and international negotiations involving biotechnology policy.
  • Serve as agency liaison on topics/issues related to pest management/pesticides to ensure assessment of technology is current and characterized correctly.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders for the purposes of defining and promoting the work of the office relating to biotechnology/pesticide/environmental risks.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel will be required for meetings, presentations, workshops and related activities; domestic or international travel may be required for occasional field visits.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


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


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

Basic Requirement: This position requires applicants to meet basic requirements in addition to at least one year of specialized experience in order to be found minimally qualified. Applicants MUST meet the following occupational series basic requirement.

General Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences Series, 0401

Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


Combination of education and experience:
courses equivalent to a major, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Specialized experience: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirement as shown above, applicants must also meet the Specialized Experience requirements as shown below. If qualifying based on experience, your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the specialized experience requirements.

GS-15: Qualifying experience for GS-15 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-14 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 developing, coordinating and implementing biotechnology policy related to pest management/pesticides; serving as an agency/organization representative with internal and external stakeholders to coordinate and discuss biotechnology-related matters and activities; and preparing briefing materials on international or domestic biotechnology policy issues for use by senior officials.

(Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents).

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.


All applicants must meet the basic requirement for the General Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences Series, 0401 as outlined in the above Qualifications section.

Additional information

-DIRECT HIRE AUTHORITY: This announcement is issued under the direct-hire authority to recruit for positions for which there is a critical need. Selectee(s) will receive a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service and may be required to serve a one-year probationary period. Category rating, veteran's preference and traditional rating and raking of applicants do not apply to this public notice.
-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 85 out of a possible 100.

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. Your resume and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications, to include any selective placement factor(s), if applicable, for the position.

Under the provisions of the Direct Hire Authority (DHA), veteran's preference does not apply. While veterans' preference does not apply to the DHA, veterans are encouraged to submit their documentation.

Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements, to include any selective placement factor(s), if applicable and who are otherwise eligible to apply for the position, will be referred for selection consideration. For more information on OPM's authorization for DHA, please visit . Applicants who are displaced Federal employees within the local commuting who are requesting priority consideration under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) or Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) must be determined Well Qualified using the below evaluation criteria.

Well Qualified-Meets the minimum qualifications of the position and is proficient in some, but not all, of the relevant competencies.
Qualified-Meets the minimum qualifications of the position but is not proficient in the relative competencies to a substantive degree.
  • Biotechnology Policy
  • Partnering
  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
Any selections made under this notice will be processed as new appointments to the civil service. Current Federal employees would therefore, be given new appointments to the civil 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:

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
High Risk (HR)

Trust determination process
Credentialing , 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, 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.
  • * Although Veteran's Preference does not apply to the Direct Hire Authority, upon selection Veteran's documentation may be required.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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