Biological Science Technician (Animal)
Department Of Agriculture - West Lafayette, IN

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Who May Apply: All U.S. Citizens AND those eligible for consideration under a noncompetitive hiring authority (i.e., 30% or More Disabled Veteran, VRA, Schedule A, Interchange Agreement, etc.).

These positions will be filled as Biological Science Technicians (Animal).

A Biological Science Technician is the authorized title for positions at GS-4 and above other than those classifiable as biological laboratory technicians or agricultural research technicians. This position requires field work.

These positions will be assisting researchers in conducting studies and experiments on food-producing animals. A thorough understanding of conducting biological research, field work, and the ability to use research equipment are necessary to these positions.

  • The salary represented above is the BASE GS rate and does NOT include locality pay. Locality pay may be different per position location.
The position that is located in West Lafayette, IN is in the Livestock Behavior Research Field Office and is a permanent appointment. Only applicants who apply at the GS-5 and/or GS-6 grade level will be considered for this location. The full performance promotion potential is to the GS-9.

The position that is located in Dubois, ID is in the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research Unit and is a TERM appointment not to exceed 4 years. Only applicants who apply at the GS-7 and/or GS-8 will be considered for this location. The full performance promotion potential is to the GS-9.

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

KEY REQUIREMENTS

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:
At the full performance level of the position, incumbents for these positions perform a variety of duties in the following areas:

Actively participates in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of complex technical duties, in a laboratory or field environment, common to the assigned area of work, and contributes ideas towards the planning and sequencing of the technical aspects of the research.

Adapts, modifies or develops new techniques and/or procedures to satisfy the needs of the research project.

Performs the full range of techniques and studies using a variety of specialized equipment.

Maintains, calibrates and modifies complex/specialized equipment and automated systems used for test and evaluation procedures.

Independently initiates action to resolve or correct technical difficulties and results, or recommends resolution to supervisor.

Searches for literature pertinent to area of research for new procedures or techniques to use in the laboratory or field.

Collects, prepares, evaluates and verifies samples and supporting records.

Maintains records and locates and compiles data and other information from various sources.

Keeps detailed records of experimental data.

Tabulates, statistically analyzes and summarizes data using personal computers and software packages.

Maintains inventory of chemicals, stock solutions, etc., prepares solutions and reagents for use in the laboratory or field, and safely disposes of waste material (both chemical and biological).

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
To Qualify at the GS-05 Level:
Specialized Experience: At least one full-time year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-04 grade level in the Federal service:

conducting immunological research, assays, and techniques such as flow cytometry, RNA and DNA extraction, processing animal tissues from swine, cattle, and poultry, and conducting immune cell separation

assisting in maintaining, calibrating, and modifying equipment used for testing livestock such as swine, cattle, and poultry; and keeping records of experimental data

OR

Education: Must have successfully completed a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with a major study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as animal science, environmental science, biology, chemistry, statistics, physics, mathematics or other closely related field which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required by this position. At least 6 semester hours of courses were directly related to the study of animals. Note: One year of full-time undergraduate study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination: Must have a combination of the specialized experience as described above and the education as described in above such that when the two are added, they equal at least 100%. To determine your combination, first compute your experience as a percentage of the experience listed above; then determine your education as a percentage of the education listed above; then add the two percentages. Note: Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

To Qualify at the GS-06 Level:
Specialized Experience: At least one full-time year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service:

conducting immunological research, assays, and techniques such as flow cytometry, RNA and DNA extraction, processing animal tissues from swine, cattle, and poultry, and conducting immune cell separation

assisting in maintaining, calibrating, and modifying equipment used for animal testing

maintaining inventory of chemicals, preparing solutions for use in the laboratory or field, and safely disposing of waste material

OR

Education: Must have half a year of graduate level education (9 semester hours) in animal science, environmental science, biology, chemistry, statistics, physics, mathematics or other closely related field which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required by this position. At least 6 semester hours of courses were directly related to the study of animals. Note: One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination: Must have a combination of the specialized experience as described above and the education as described in above such that when the two are added, they equal at least 100%. To determine your combination, first compute your experience as a percentage of the experience listed above; then determine your education as a percentage of the education listed above; then add the two percentages. Note: Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

To Qualify at the GS-07 Level:
Specialized Experience: At least one full-time year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-06 grade level in the Federal service:

conducting immunological research, assays, and techniques such as flow cytometry, RNA and DNA extraction, collecting and processing biological samples from swine, sheep, cattle, and poultry; conducting immune cell separation and diagnostic ultrasonography.

maintaining, calibrating, and modifying equipment used for and animal testing

collecting, tabulating, analyzing and summarizing data using computers, word processing, and statistical analysis software

maintaining inventory of chemicals, preparing solutions for use in the laboratory or field, and safely disposing of waste material

OR

Education: Must have one year of graduate level education (18 Semester hours) in animal science, environmental science, biology, chemistry, statistics, physics, mathematics or other closely related field which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required by this position. At least 6 semester hours of courses were directly related to the study of animals. Note: One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination: Must have a combination of the specialized experience as described above and the education as described in above such that when the two are added, they equal at least 100%. To determine your combination, first compute your experience as a percentage of the experience listed above; then determine your education as a percentage of the education listed above; then add the two percentages. Note: Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

To Qualify at the GS-08 Level:
Specialized Experience: At least one full-time year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service:

conducting immunological research, assays, and techniques such as flow cytometry, RNA and DNA extraction, collecting and processing biological samples from swine, sheep, cattle, and poultry; conducting immune cell separation and diagnostic ultrasonography.

maintaining, calibrating, and modifying equipment used for animal testing

collecting, tabulating, analyzing and summarizing data using computers, word processing, and statistical analysis software

maintaining inventory of chemicals, preparing solutions for use in the laboratory or field, and safely disposing of waste material

searching for literature pertinent to research for new procedures or techniques to use in the laboratory or field

OR

Education: Must have one and a half years of graduate level education (27 Semester Hours) in animal science, environmental science, biology, chemistry, statistics, physics, mathematics or other closely related field which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required by this position. At least 6 semester hours of courses were directly related to the study of animals. Note: One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination: Must have a combination of the specialized experience as described above and the education as described in above such that when the two are added, they equal at least 100%. To determine your combination, first compute your experience as a percentage of the experience listed above; then determine your education as a percentage of the education listed above; then add the two percentages. Note: Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

All 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.
This position is open to all US Citizens and Nationals, and Noncompetitive and Special Hiring Authority eligibles. You may apply under open-competitive, and noncompetitive procedures, however; you must meet the requirements for one of the following categories to apply as a noncompetitive eligible.
1. A current permanent competitive service employee; former Federal employee who achieved career status in the competitive service; or former Federal employee who served on a career conditional appointment without achieving career status in the competitive service who was separated less than three years ago. This includes applicants who have previously held, or currently hold this position and grade with the same promotion potential as announced for this announcement. You must submit the SF-50 that shows competitive service eligibility to be considered.

2. A Veteran applying for a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA), must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing an honorable discharge to be considered. Eligibility for VRA appointments includes Disabled veterans; Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; and Veterans separated from active duty within the past 3 years. Disabled veterans must provide the SF-15 and supporting documentation from the VA along with DD-214. NOTE: VRA only applies to positions at the GS-11 level and below. 3. A 30% or more Disabled Veteran. You must submit your DD214, a completed SF-15, and letter from the VA dated 1991 or later as proof to be considered.

4. A military spouse. Military spouses are eligible if their active duty military spouse: 1) receives a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move; 2) has a 100% disability rating; or 3) died while on active duty. Please submit supporting documentation as proof to be considered.

5. A Severely Physically Handicapped Schedule 'A' Appointment. Please submit documentation from a State or Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Service as proof to be considered.
6. A Former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteers Appointment. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.
7. Interchange Agreements and Miscellaneous Authorities. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures. Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire. We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications.
Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies:

Knowledge of the principles and practices of animals and biological research.
Skill with research techniques, procedures, and experiments.
Ability to adapt, develop or improve research techniques and procedures.
Ability to obtain, tabulate, statistically analyze, and summarize research data. Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire. High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.
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 the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified 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. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible. CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.

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:
Financial Disclosure Requirement:
The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the REE Ethics Webpage. You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

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.

Reasonable Accommodation:
Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. 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). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.

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