Biological Science Laboratory Technican
Department Of Agriculture - Albany, CA

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Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

The Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit conducts research to enhance the safety of the nation's food supply. You will support a Research Molecular Biologist, working as part of a research team, on a program dedicated to developing rapid and inexpensive detection methods for detecting human noroviruses. Specific experiments focus on using bioinformatics for designing DNA microarrays, and validating microarray colorimetric methods for genotyping strains of human noroviruses that have been associated with food-borne infections.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This TERM appointment is not to exceed 2 years but may be extended up to 4 years total without further competition.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position

Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation

Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service

DUTIES:
Major Duties:
Uses molecular biology techniques, including DNA sequencing, DNA and RNA isolation and reverse transcription

Performs PCR amplification and DNA microarrays to identify human noroviruses genes from environmental and clinical sources.

Uses databases and bioinformatics software to analyze norovirus genes and designs probes for construction of DNA microarrays.

Keeps exact and detailed experimental data records. Accurately interprets findings.

Maintains and calibrates equipment in the laboratory.

Purchases and maintains an inventory of laboratory supplies (reagents and chemicals). Prepares reagents, solutions and culture media.

Maintains records of reagents, chemical stocks and protocols.

Disposes of biological waste materials.

Prepares written reports describing the experimental results and assists in the preparation of manuscripts and/or presentations.

Working Conditions and Other Considerations:
The work involves regular and recurring moderate risks with hazardous biological substances or discomforts which require using protective clothing such as gowns, coats, boots, goggles or gloves. The work requires some physical exertion. In many situations, the duration of the repetitive activity contributes to the arduous nature of the job. There may be agility and/or dexterity requirements, such as hand/eye coordination.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for this position are:
1. Knowledge of theories, principles and practices of molecular genetics, molecular biology or molecular microbiology, virology, and bioinformatics.
2. Skills in amplification of DNA, RNA isolation and analysis of genes from viruses.
3. Ability to collect, interpret and report experimental data using bioinformatics software applications, such as Geneious, Vector NTI, OligoAnalyzer, Primer Express, and DNASTAR Lasergene. Ability to analyze microarray data.

Applicants must address the specialized experience requirements in their resume (or application documents). Applications that do not reflect the specialized experience requirements will not be deemed qualified.

If qualifying all or in part based on your education, you must submit a copy of your academic transcripts OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grade point average or class ranking to verify education when applying for this position. If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position. If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.

Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website for additional information on this topic.

Qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the basic and any additional requirements. The Agricultural Research Service uses a category rating process. Based on evaluation of all written materials submitted in your application for the position, you will be determined to be Ineligible if you do not meet eligibility and/or minimum qualifications criteria; Eligible if you meet all eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria; OR Quality if you meet quality criteria in addition to eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria.

BENEFITS:
The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. The following link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:
http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc .

OTHER INFORMATION:
Persons with disabilities, disabled veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more, certain other veterans, spouses of certain members of the armed forces, and returning Peace Corps volunteers are examples of individuals who are potentially eligible for non-competitive appointment. For further information click here .

Displaced/Surplus Employees: Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if they meet basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and are rated in the Quality Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location. Click here for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.

If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference , you must submit Member 4 copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference , you must submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference plus the proof required by that form.

Financial Disclosure Requirement: Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest. If hired for this position, you may be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of the effective date of your appointment and annually thereafter.

Reasonable Accommodation: If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on 202-855-1234 (TDD).

False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

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