The incumbent of this position serves as a Biologist at the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) within the Wildlife Services (WS) Program for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The incumbent performs assignments involving program delivery with minimal supervision. The work is primarily concerned with the development of non-lethal methods to aid in the management of wildlife, including mammals, birds and other types of wildlife in urban, suburban and rural environments through fertility control. Both research and development and information sharing activities are conducted. The NWRC Program provides federal leadership in methods development and applying scientific expertise to resolve human-wildlife conflicts, while maintaining the quality of the environment shared with wildlife.
This position is located in the National Wildlife Disease Program involved in surveillance and control of wildlife diseases. Most research activities will be conducted at the NWRC facility in Fort Collins, but occasional field work may be required.
Salary Information: First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.
This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months. (Appointment may be extended up to 4 years without re-announcing.) For more details click: Term Appointments
APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response
The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.
The duties may include, but are not limited to:
- Designs, coordinates and implements surveillance projects under supervision of a disease biologist; ensuring that studies are conducted in compliance with NWRC standard operating procedures and according to study protocols.
- In conducting surveillance, research, and related activities, the incumbent is expected to comply with Biosafety and Biosecurity Procedures, Good Laboratory Practices, Animal Welfare Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and applicable state and federal wildlife laws and regulations.
- Summarizes surveillance and research findings, enters results into computer databases where appropriate, and performs basic statistical analyses of data.
- Ability to assimilate surveillance data into reports and manuscripts for internal and external distribution.
- Plays a major role in maintaining laboratories and equipment to a high standard, including coordination of scheduled maintenance, keeping up to date inventories and preparation of reports as required by site Health and Safety Officer.
- Supports NWRC safety program and quality manufacturing through participation in meetings, inspections and implementation of safety requirements and standard protocols. Identifies related opportunities and challenges to supervisor.
- Establishes and maintains cooperative relationships with other agencies, organizations and individuals in meeting project needs and goals. Represents WS/NWRC program at meetings, conferences and workshops.
- Recommends, through supervisor, areas for potential research; and assists supervisor in development of new ideas and concepts pertaining to the development of methods for wildlife disease surveillance and control.
Occasional travel - Travel may be required work assignments and training
Who May Apply
This job is open to…
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.
Questions? This job is open to 1 group.
- Job family (Series)
0401 General Natural Resources Management And Biological Sciences
Conditions of Employment
- US Citizenship is required
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
- Subject to satisfactory completion of one year trial period.
- Valid state driver's license is required at the time of application.
- Position is subject to random and applicant drug testing.
- Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation
- Successful completion of a 1 year trial period (if new hire to the Federal service)
- Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty to this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee [REMOVE]
- This is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.
- This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation in telework is at the discretion of the supervisor.
- The incumbent must be able to perform activities involving lifting, carrying, pushing, climbing, and walking under conditions ranging from easy to adverse. Equipment and samples that weigh less than 23 kilograms or approximately 50 pounds. The work sometimes requires moderately strenuous physical exertion. The incumbent must also conduct laboratory activities that require standing or sitting for long periods of time and involve repetitive tasks.
- Work is performed in both laboratory and office locations, and at times in the field, all of which requires some physical exertion and exposure to moderate risks and discomforts The incumbent is expected to conduct all duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to injure self or fellow workers. Safety precautions are necessary and protective clothing and/or equipment is required.
- To fulfill field or laboratory requirements in this position, proof of specific vaccinations, including boosters may be required as a condition of employment.
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 by grade level.
BASIC REQUIREMENT: 0401 BIOLOGIST:
A. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position, or
B. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
In addition to the basic requirement:
FOR THE GS-07 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-05 level) that demonstrates:
- Experience compiling data on disease surveillance samples such as avian influenza, feral swine disease, and plague.
- Experience summarizing national wildlife disease data sets for agency reports and public dissemination.
- Experience developing a webpage such as SharePoint sites and biological sample collection protocols for wildlife disease surveillance and research.
Superior Academic Achievement: To qualify based on superior academic achievement, you must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND must meet certain GPA requirements. For more details click: Superior Academic Achievement
1 year of graduate-level education biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
TRANSCRIPTS are required if:
COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-7 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following: Combining Education and Experience for Professional and Scientific Positions
- This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified.
- You are qualifying for the position based on education.
- You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
- You are qualifying for this position based on Superior Academic Achievement.
- This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.
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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
- This position is subject to unscheduled overnight details of undetermined lengths in the event of animal health emergencies or other conditions requiring immediate response, as required by the Agency. (Extensive periods of time may be designated for overnight details.)
- 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 eligible 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.
- 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.
- E-Verify: 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 I-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.
- 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
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 Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. The category rating procedure is used to rank and select eligible candidates. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined on applicants' quality of experience and the extend 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.
- Knowledge of principles and techniques of animal biology and ecology, research principles and procedures, wildlife disease ecology, choice or field trials assessing behavior, and management of wildlife species.
- Skill in capturing, handling, marking, and processing a variety of animal species, conducting various veterinary procedures such as chemical immobilization, blood and tissue collection, euthanasia, and necropsy; collecting, preserving, and labeling biological and environmental materials.
- Knowledge of, laboratory methods, principles, techniques, and safety procedures resulting in quality analytical data, research findings, and reports.
- Skill in the collection, analysis, preparation, and presentation (in written and oral formats) of data related to animal biology and ecology, using common computer software, including word processing, spreadsheets, GIS databases, statistical and graphical packages, and population estimation software.
- Skill in operation and maintenance of field and/or laboratory equipment (traps, animal restraint drugs and devices, GPS units, telemetry equipment) and field vehicles and fleets (automobiles, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, ATVs); procurement and inventory of laboratory and field supplies and equipment.
- Ability to work safely in laboratory and field situations.
Note : 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 and including removal from the Federal Service.
To view the application form, visit: https://aphis.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=095A85AD-3BBC-4548-9B30-A8FD00F2B7B9
Background checks and security clearance
Public Trust - Background Investigation
- Required Documents
The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
NOTE If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
- Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
- College Transcripts 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 education was evaluated by a credential evaluation service as being 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.
- DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) 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 that is signed no later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. The certification must be on the letterhead of the appropriate military branch and include the dates of military service. 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 see http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/
- CTAP/ICTAP Documentation: Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
- Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
- Disability Annuity Termination : Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.
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 Service offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at: https://www.usa.gov/benefits-for-federal-employees
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.