Agricultural Science Research Technician

Employment Type

: Full-Time

Industry

: Miscellaneous



Summary

This position is located at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) in Geneva, NY. PGRU maintains diversity collections of vegetable and fruit crops with the objectives to acquire, maintain, evaluate, and distribute genetic resources of these crops and their wild relatives. The incumbent provides support for all aspects of field and farm operations involving cultivation, maintenance, evaluation and distribution of vegetable and fruit crop collections.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • Collects, prepares, evaluates and verifies vegetable and fruit crop samples and supporting records.
  • Maintains inventory of chemicals, stock solutions, etc., prepares solutions and reagents for use in the laboratory, field, or greenhouse, and safely disposes of waste material (both chemical and biological).
  • Participates as a team member with the scientist in all phases of an agricultural research process related to vegetable and fruit crop and assumes full technical and operational responsibility for specific phases of the research.
  • Maintains records and locates and compiles data and other information from various sources.
  • Travel Required

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

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    9

    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
  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Subject to one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period unless prior service is creditable. New USDA supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required training program before the end of their probationary 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 E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Driver's License
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Pesticide Applicators License
  • 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.

    Specialized Experience: 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-7
    Qualifying experience for GS-07 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-06 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 participating in an experiment or research project related to vegetable or fruit crops; collecting or evaluating samples related to vegetable or fruit crops; maintaining records of scientific data; and operating or maintaining scientific equipment.

    OR

    Education: One full year of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's or equivalent graduate degree, if directly related to the position. Related degrees may include Agronomy, Genetics, Biology, Agriculture, or Horticulture.

    OR

    A combination of graduate level education and specialized experience as described above.


    At the GS-08
    Qualifying experience for GS-08 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-07 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 participating in an experiment or research project related to vegetable or fruit crops; collecting or evaluating samples related to vegetable or fruit crops; operating and maintaining scientific equipment; recording and analyzing scientific data; and preparing scientific information to be included in manuscripts or preparing reports.

    OR

    Education: Two full years of graduate level education or a Master's degree, if directly related to the position. Related degrees may include Agronomy, Genetics, Biology, Agriculture, or Horticulture.

    OR

    A combination of graduate level education and specialized experience as described above.

    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.

    Education

    Additional information

    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.

    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.

    Physical Demands:
    The work requires some physical exertion, such as regular and recurring walking or bending. Regular periods of carrying or lifting heavy objects (over 50 pounds)is also required. In many situations the duration of the activity (such as most of a work day) contributes to the arduous nature of the job. In other situations, there may be special requirements for agility or dexterity such as exceptional hand/eye coordination.

    Read more

    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 and USDA policy using category rating. 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 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:

  • Agricultural Science
  • Research
  • Applies Technology to Tasks
  • 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.

    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/10816373 Read more

    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.
  • 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.

    Benefits

    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.

    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.


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