Biological Science Technician
Department Of Agriculture - Stoneville, MS

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Incumbent serves as a Biological Science Technician in the Catfish Genetics Research Unit in Stoneville, Mississippi. The mission of the USDA/ARS Catfish Genetics Research Unit, Stoneville, MS is to determine inheritance of desirable economically important traits of channel catfish, determine the optimal strategies for improving germplasm, to develop and release improved catfish germplasm for use as seed stock in commercial production, and to determine water quality parameters that limit production of genetically improved catfish .


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

Major Duties:
Incumbent performs the following duties:
  • Participates in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of duties, in a laboratory and field environment. Such duties include PCR, Real-time PCR, cell culture, western blot, 2-D gel electrophoresis, sterile technique, and maintenance of microbiological inventory ;
  • Prepares and maintains flow-through and re-circulating tanks used in housing test fish res;
  • Responsible for the care and maintenance of fish ;
  • Adjusts feeding rates, and calculates chemical or drug administration to fish or culture facilities ;
  • Recognizes abnormal conditions in fish and their environments and independently applies appropriate treatment ;
  • Microbiological media preparation ;
  • Adapts, modifies or develops new techniques and/or procedures ;
  • Performs the full range of techniques and studies using a variety of specialized equipment such as, but not limited to, thermocyclers, proteomic equipment, imaging instruments, and surgical equipment ;
  • Maintains, calibrates and modifies complex/specialized equipment ;
  • Searches for pertinent literature ;
  • Collects, prepares, evaluates and verifies samples and supporting records ;
  • Maintains records and locates and complies data and other information from various sources ;
  • Keeps detailed records of experimental data ;
  • Tabulates and statistically analyzes and summarizes data using personal computers and software packages ;
  • Maintains inventory of chemicals, stock solutions, etc.; and
  • Prepares solutions and reagents for use in the laboratory and field.
Working Conditions and Other Considerations:
The work involves regular and recurring moderate risks or discomforts which require safety precautions, e.g. working with irritant chemicals or working outdoors. The incumbent will be handling catfish. The employee is required to use protective clothing such as gowns, coats, boots, goggles, and gloves.

GS-05: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-04 level in the Federal service OR successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with major study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. At least 6 semester hours of courses must be directly related to the position to be filled. Directly related education is described as microbiology, microbial physiology, microbial genetics, fish physiology, immunology, and pathogenic mechanisms .

GS-06: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-05 level in the Federal service OR ½ a year of directly related education. Directly related education is described as microbiology, microbial physiology, microbial genetics, fish physiology, immunology, and pathogenic mechanisms.

GS-07: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-06 level in the Federal service OR one full year of directly related graduate education. Directly related education is described as microbiology, microbial physiology, microbial genetics, fish physiology, immunology, and pathogenic mechanisms.

Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for this position are:
1. Knowledge of the principles, theories and pratices of microbiology and sterile technique in order to perform fish cell culture.
2. Skill in the use of laboratory instruments such as thermocyclers, proteomic equipment, imaging instruments, flow-through or recirculating systems.
3. Ability to use computers and software packages to collect and summarize data, e.g. MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SAS, etc.

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.

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.

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: .

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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