Research Molecular Biologist (Proteomics)
Department Of Agriculture - Ithaca, NY

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

Our research unit seeks to provide innovative pest and disease management methods that reduce the use of synthetic chemical pesticides while still providing long-term control. Targets include insects, nematodes, diseases, and viruses attacking field and greenhouse crops and invasive weed species in semi-natural and natural areas of the Northeast. To accomplish our objectives, research is conducted in both basic and applied areas in order to interfere with pest/pathogen life cycles and/or host-pest/pathogen interactions; our approaches include genomics, genetic resistance, development of biopesticides and biological control agents, risk analysis and post-release monitoring, secondary metabolism, and genetic manipulation in host and control agent or pathogen populations. An extensive culture collection of fungal pathogens of insect and nematode pests is a unique resource that supports many of our research efforts. Key commodities are potato, small grains, greenhouse and nursery crops, and natural ecosystems, but results are applicable to many crops and agroecosystems in general.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

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

DUTIES:
The incumbent will function as a team member in the Potato and Cereal Pathology CRIS and will develop an independent research program, concentrating on the fundamental aspects of insect-vectored plant diseases, with special emphasis on the plant virus transmission by aphids, using molecular biology and proteomic approaches. The overall goal of the potato and cereal pathology research program is to address the immediate and long-term needs of the potato and cereal industry to manage insect- vectored diseases associated with potato and cereal production. The primary objectives of the research are to: (1) plan and lead efforts involving proteomics and molecular biology of virus-plant-vector interactions; (2) expand efforts to analyze and characterize insect, virus and plant proteins that regulate insect transmission of viruses; and (3) design, implement, and analyze proteomic mass spectrometry data generated with state-of-the-art technologies.

The incumbent is expected to publish research results in peer-reviewed publications and make presentations at scientific meetings.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
Your education and experience will be evaluated against all qualification requirements (basic and any additional requirements) listed below.

Basic Requirements :
Research Molecular Biologist, GS-0401: A . Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position OR B. Combination of education and experience -- Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

This position has a positive education requirement. 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. Application materials will not be returned.

Additional Requirements :
GS-12: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a directly related field; OR one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 in the Federal Service.

GS-13: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 in the Federal Service.

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 of vector biology and plant virology/pathology in order to conduct research on the mechanisms of disease transmission by insects.

2. Knowledge of principles of proteomics to identify and study the function and interactions of proteins involved in vector transmission of plant viruses/pathogens .

3. Skill in state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and protein analysis supporting discovery science in vector biology .

4. Skill in bioinformatics of proteomic and genomic data.

5. Ability to plan, conduct and report research in peer reviewed publications and make presentations at scientific meetings.

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.

To be considered for a research scientist position, you must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Also, submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.

Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected. A peer review may be required to determine the appropriate grade level of the position and supplemental materials may be required from the selectee.

Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential. Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically. The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology. *Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.

Education:
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 in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-II/s2-e4.htm#e4a for additional information on this topic.

Time-in-grade restrictions apply for all candidates considered under Alternative Merit Promotion.

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.

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 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:
Veteran's Preference: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference , you must attach member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference , you must attach an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form. Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) , a special hiring authority, will be considered. VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service. Veterans who are released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour are also eligible.

Creditable Service: Service credit for annual leave accrual may be granted for directly related non-Federal work experience or uniformed service for newly appointed individuals, or those individuals reappointed after a break in service from civilian Federal employment of at least 90 calendar days. The amount of non-Federal service to be credited will be based on the amount of directly related and documented experience that the selectee possesses as documented by the employee and which is approved by agency management.

Relocation Expenses: Payment of relocation expenses will be determined in accordance with P&P 412.5, Recruitment and Retention Incentives and Other Special Pay, Sections 6 and 7, as amended by Bulletins 03-402 and 05-412.5, which may be found at http://www.afm.ars.usda.gov/ppweb/Bulletins/05-412-5.pdf . See also http://www.afm.ars.usda.gov/hrd/staffing_recruit/reloweb.htm .

Financial Disclosure Requirement: Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest. 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.

Optional Form 306, (Declaration for Federal Employment): If you are selected for this position, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.

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 that applicant meets the qualification standard and eligibility requirements for the position, meets minimum education and experience requirements, meets all selective factors where applicable and is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry. 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. Additional information on CTAP and ICTAP is available at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp .

Selective Service System: Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.

ARS Reasonable Accommodation Contact Information: 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).

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