Student Trainee (Agronomist)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Annapolis, Maryland
Posted
Oct 22, 2021
Closes
Oct 27, 2021
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

Position is under the Pathways Student Internship Authority, designed to provide students enrolled in a variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level paid work opportunities in agencies to explore federal careers while in school. If selected you must report no later than June 2022 to begin the internship. Student Trainees assignments will be under direct supervision, developmental in nature and assist in gaining the competencies necessary for the duties listed below.
Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • This position is designed to provide a career-oriented introduction to the background, philosophy, concepts, and scope of the NRCS Agronomy Management Programs and a practical understanding of the policies of the employing organization.
  • Assists in making site and condition surveys.
  • Assists in providing technical guidance to landowners and operators in the application of conservation practices such as cropping systems, nutrient, pest, tillage and irrigation management.
  • Assists with planning or conducting meetings for the purpose of assisting customers in getting a better understanding of their conservation problems
  • Assignments are developmental in nature and, in conjunction with formal education, the Intern will gain the necessary competencies leading to conversion to a permanent professional position in Agronomy
  • Work assignments are selected to ensure that the Intern receives on-the-job training and exposure to one or more program functions.
  • Receives training in the principles, concepts, work processes, and regulations of one or more functional areas of Agronomy and Biological Sciences.
  • As training advances and proficiency is demonstrated, work assignment are increasingly more demanding, and are designed to provide experience in a variety of activities
  • On a scheduled basis, following the Pathways Participant Agreement, receives assignments in various Agronomy and Biological Sciences functions.
  • Receives formal and on-the-job training in OPM, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Conservation Service policies, rules, regulations, and procedures
  • Is instructed on the use of personal computers, and file and data management.


Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
4

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National or be lawfully permitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident or otherwise authorized to be employed. Must be a U.S. citizen at the time of conversion to the competitive service.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
  • Must be in good academic standing as defined by USDA as a cumulative GPS of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Complete at least 640 hrs of work experience prior to completion of degree
  • Enrolled at least half-time at a qualifying educational institution
  • A signed participant agreement is required for employment under Pathways
  • Satisfactory Background investigation and/or fingerprint check
  • Successful completion of two-year trial period
  • 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 https://www.e-verify.gov/
  • This position requires the incumbent to possess a valid state driver's license.
  • The incumbents of Internship positions may be reassigned/relocated to any geographical location where the employee's services are needed as determined by management. Mobility agreement may be required.
  • The candidate's academic and career goals must be related to the position that they are appointed to.
  • Federal employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of their duty location. If selected, you will be required to submit documentation of COVID-19 vaccination before appointment.
  • The agency will provide additional information regarding what COVID-19 vaccination information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.


Qualifications

Program Eligibility Requirements:

Applicant must meet the definition of a student that is, be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited technical or vocational school, two-year or four-year college or university, graduate or professional school. You must be taking at least a half-time academic course load leading to a degree or certificate. A certificate program is defined as a post-secondary education, in a qualifying educational institution, equivalent to at least one academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.5 or equivalent) to qualify for the intern program and to stay throughout the duration of their intern in, or related to, the internship opportunity being advertised.
  • Examples of relevant educational fields for this position include but are not limited to: agronomy; or related discipline of science that includes agronomic subjects, such as those dealing with plant breeding, crop production, and soil and crop management or other natural resource-related disciplines that will allow applicants to qualify for the conversion requirements listed below.

Position Qualifications: Applicants must meet position qualifications requirements as shown below at the time of appointment. The agency must be able to verify that the education was completed successfully before the applicant can be appointed.

Below is the education requirement to be qualified for this position:
  • GS-02: Completion of high school or possession of a GED diploma.
  • GS-03: Completion of 1 full academic year of post-high school study.


One full academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours or the equivalent as defined by the accredited college or university.

One full academic year of graduate education is defined as 18 semester hours or the equivalent as defined by the accredited college or university.

Conversion Information: Candidates selected from this announcement may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to a permanent position in the competitive service, provided that all terms of the Internship Program are met and there is an available position. Conversion is not mandatory or guaranteed and is at agency discretion.

Pathways Interns may convert to a permanent position for which they qualify for (e.g., GS-0471) as outlined in the intern's Pathways agreement. Upon conversion to the competitive service, this position will have a career ladder up to the GS-9 full performance level. To be eligible for conversion, you must satisfactorily complete all Pathways Program requirements:
  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience prior to graduation;
  • Complete all mandatory training requirements;
  • Meet performance expectations and be recommended for conversion;
  • Meet suitability requirements; and
  • Meet the position's Qualification Requirements of the associated occupational series as outlined in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, General Schedule Qualifications Standards. See the link below:

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=0400-ndx

GS-0471 Basic Requirement :

Degree: agronomy; or related discipline of science that included at least 30 semester hours of course work in the basic plant sciences, including at least 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, such as those dealing with plant breeding, crop production, and soil and crop management.

Education

College Transcripts: You must submit a copy of your college transcript or high school diploma/GED certificate as proof that you meet the educational requirements for the grade to which you are applying. You may submit unofficial copies of transcripts at the initial phase of the application process; however, if selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entrance-on-duty. See "Required Documents" section for more details.
MUST PROVIDE all transcripts/proof of enrollment/acceptance, and/or current class schedule.
All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see http://www.ed.gov/

Additional information

Student Interns must continue to meet the Pathways Program requirements throughout the duration of the appointment. Incumbents will be required to provide proof of continued enrollment and good standing (cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale) each semester or grading period throughout the internship program. Failure to do so will result in termination of the appointment.
  • Physical Demands: Work requires regular and recurring physical exertion such as walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, climbing steep banks, or negotiating other terrain features.
  • Work Schedules: Selected Interns will be expected to work full-time (40 hours per week) during school summer breaks, and may be allowed to work part-time during the school year, depending on location/state selected.
  • Promotion to the next higher grade may occur without further competition once all legal and regulatory requirements are met to include management's certification of the continuing need for performance of duties at the higher grade level.
  • 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=6465
  • Promotion Potential: If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
  • Training/IDP: This position requires 40 hours of formal, interactive training. An Individual Development Plan (IDP) must be completed and approved by the supervisor within 45 days of appointment.
  • This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Current USDA policy includes telework for an 8 hour work day, 4 days per week; other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.


How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be reviewed to determine if you meet the Position Qualifications and Pathways Intern Program Eligibility Requirements listed in the "Qualifications" section above. Applicants who meet these requirements will be placed on the certificate of eligibles per the grade qualified and forwarded to the selecting official for further review and consideration. Selections will be made from the certificate of eligibles. Interviews may be conducted but are not guaranteed.

Veteran's preference applies in the arrangement of qualified applicants for all USDA Pathways Programs positions (5 CFR 302.101(a). Qualified applicants eligible for veteran's preference will be referred and considered ahead of non-veterans.

NOTE: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you provided false documentation, you will 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/11262539

If you are graduating in the same semester or term in which you are appointed, you must be able to complete 640 work hours prior to graduation. Spring 2022 graduates will be required to provide proof of continued enrollment for Fall 2022. If no proof of continued enrollment is provided, you will be deemed ineligible for an internship.

These positions have a targeted effective date of Spring-Summer 2022. The tour of duty is full-time and may be filled at the GS-02, GS-03 grade level with promotion potential to G-04, with a target conversion position of GS-0471-09.

Before you submit an application for any of our vacancies, you should completely review the announcement and requirements. You should only apply for positions you meet the required minimum qualifications AND program requirements described in the announcement. Do not apply to a duty location if you are not willing to accept or travel to that location.

If you have reviewed the announcement and believe that you meet both the minimum qualifications and the program requirements, you should document your experience and education in your resume. Since traditional resumes do not provide all the information needed to determine your status, you should create a more detailed resume to use when applying to Federal positions. Please ensure that your resume contains your full name, permanent address, contact phone number and email address.

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
Credentialing

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.
  • Transcripts: A copy of your most recent transcripts is required, preferably showing field of study, school name, student's name, current GPA or academic standing, past and current course work, degree program, and major/concentration. Please be sure to submit all available transcripts to help ensure that you are properly evaluated for the qualification requirements of this position. Note: An unofficial copy of your transcripts is sufficient with this application; however, if selected, official college transcripts will be required prior to entering on duty.
  • Enrollment Verification: If your transcripts reflect current/in-progress enrollment, separate enrollment verification is not required. If your transcripts do not reflect current/in-progress enrollment, you must provide proof of current enrollment or acceptance in the form of letters, records, or statements issued from an authorized source (i.e. University Registrar's Office).
  • Academic Verification: If your transcripts do not reflect current Academic Standing/GPA, please provide proof of your academic standing in the form of letters, records, or statements issued from an authorized source (i.e. University Registrar's Office).
  • 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 FEDSVISITVETS .


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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