This position is located in the Agriculture Research Service (ARS), Crops Pathology/ Genetics Research Unit, in Davis, CA.
This position will support a Research Soil Scientist conducting studies to characterize microbial communities and microbiological processes in agricultural systems (e.g., foliar and soil-borne environments).
This is a term, time-limited appointment with an initial duration no less than 13 months and can be extended up to a total of 4 years.
Major Duties may include, but are not limited to:
Performs experiments which are designed to provide answers for bacterial DNA research.
Performs sterile techniques, microbial cultivation and mammalian cell culture on biological samples.
Performs molecular biology techniques to include DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis, and quantitative real-time PCR analysis.
Conducts literature searches for information relevant to the research methods, techniques and procedures.
Maintains equipment and instrumentation in top working condition, performing routine preventative maintenance and minor repairs, and promptly reporting signs of malfunction or need for major repairs.
Occasional travel - Occasional travel for research purposes, maybe once or twice a year.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
You must be a US Citizen or US National.
Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
Successful completion of a one year trial period.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified below.
To Qualify for the 0403 Series:
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelors or higher degree in microbiology; or biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included at least 20 semester hours in microbiology and other subjects related to the study of microorganisms, and 20 semester hours in the physical and mathematical sciences combining course work in organic chemistry or biochemistry, physics, and college algebra, or their equivalent.
Combination of education and experience:
courses equivalent to a major in microbiology, biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included courses as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
In addition to the basic requirement above, all applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications:
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:
At the GS-05 :
Applicants who meet the basic requirements described above are fully qualified for the GS-05 level.
At the GS-7:
Qualifying experience for GS-7 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-5 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 helping conduct research on genetics and microbial communities; collecting and entering microbiological data; and assisting with statistical data analysis.
One full year of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a masters or equivalent graduate degree, if directly related. Related degrees may include Botany, Agronomy, Plant Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Soil Science or Soil Biology, Molecular or Cellular Biology, Genetics, or a similar area of emphasis.
SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT (SAA ):
(1) A grade point average of B (a GPA of 3.0 or higher) for all completed undergraduate courses, or those completed in the last 2 full years of undergraduate study; OR (2) A grade point average of B (a GPA of 3.5 or higher) for all courses in your major field of study, or those courses in your major completed in the last two years of undergraduate study; OR (3) Rank in the upper one-third of your class in the college, university, or major subdivision; OR (4) Membership in a national honor society (other than freshman honor societies) recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies.
COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
A qualifying combination of education and experience.
For more information on the qualifications for this position, click
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.
More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK:
Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
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
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL or ICTAP eligibility see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/ . 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.
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.
This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Managements (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:
Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.
If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. 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 Online" button to the right.
To view the application form, visit:
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, 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) supervisors phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) 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; 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 http://www.naces.org/members.htm . All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
- If claiming veterans 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. Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
- If claiming 10-point veterans 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 see http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/
- 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.
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.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits .
The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.