Biological Science Technician (Biochemistry)
Department Of Agriculture - Stuttgart, AR

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

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.).

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 in the Biochemical field. A thorough understanding of conducting Biochemical/analytical chemistry research, ability to problem solving and modifying new chemical and biochemical methodologies, and the ability to use research instruments and equipment are necessary to these positions.

An ideal candidate for this position would possess a Master of Science degree with a year of research laboratory experience and with experience conducting research analyses on phytochemicals/antioxidants/nutrients or starch structure using high performance lipid chromatography (HPLC), or lipid and fatty acid composition using gas chromatography (GC).

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

Travel is required 15 or more days per year

Must be capable of working in a heavily flooded rice field

Must be capable of distinguishing color

Must be capable of lifting heavy instruments and solvents

DUTIES:
Conducts research laboratory-oriented analytical, biochemical, chemical and physical analyses for studying rice grain physical traits, milling quality, nutritional qualities, functional and processing properties, starch structures, phytochemicals, storage characteristics and stability.

Tests and develops new methodologies in sample preparation, extraction and quantification in the studies of the grain quality traits for various end uses.

Summarizes, analyzes and reports test data from all rice grain quality analyses.

Prepares sample including threshing, dehulling and milling of harvested rice kernels.

Assists in field studies consisting of seed preparation for planting, collection of agronomic data, tagging panicles at developmental stages according to the experimental plan, hand harvest of panicles and preparation of harvested seeds for storage and for grain quality traits analyses.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
GS-08

To qualify at the GS-08 Level applicants must possess one of the following:

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 research laboratory-oriented analytical and biochemical analyses;

Operating and maintaining analytical laboratory instruments and equipment;

Testing and modifying methods in sample preparation, extraction and quantification of biological compounds to fit the needs of research objectives; and

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

OR

Education: One and a half years of graduate level education (27 Semester Hours) in chemistry, analytical chemistry, food science, or biochemistry which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required by this position. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination: A combination of specialized experience and (at least 6 semester hours of) chemistry, analytical chemistry, food science, or biochemistry graduate level education, such that the percentage of required experience plus the percentage of education equals 100%. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

GS-09

To qualify at the GS-09 Level applicants must possess one of the following:

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

Conducting research laboratory-oriented analytical and biochemical analyses;

Operating and maintaining analytical laboratory instruments and equipment;

Testing and modifying new methodologies in sample preparation, extraction and quantification of biological compounds to fit the need of research objectives in the studies of the grain or food quality traits or plant materials;

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

Drafting a significantly portion of peer-reviewed scientific publications or having a co-authorship in a peer-reviewed publication.

OR

Education: Two years of graduate level education (36 Semester Hours) in chemistry, analytical chemistry, food science, or biochemistry which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required by this position. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

OR

Combination: A combination of specialized experience and (at least 6 semester hours of) chemistry, analytical chemistry, food science, or biochemistry graduate level education, such that the percentage of required experience plus the percentage of education equals 100%. (MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

Please ensure a list of three references including their contact information (name, mailing address, phone number and email address) is submitted with your resume (if available).

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 techniques of one or more of the fields of chemistry, analytical chemistry, food chemistry, and biochemistry.
Ability to adapt, develop or improve research techniques and procedures.
Ability to use scientific instrumentation.
Knowledge of the research project objectives to plan experimental design and execution.
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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