Interdisciplinary: Research Microbiologist/Physiologist
Department Of Agriculture - Little Rock, AR

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

The mission of the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC) is to improve human health by understanding the effects of early dietary factors and nutritional status on human health. The ACNC, in alliance with partners at Arkansas Children's Hospital ( ACH ), Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute ( ACHRI ) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences ( UAMS ), focuses on all three important components of nutrition research: basic, clinical and applied. Our state-of-the-art facility is designed to house true translational research programs providing a platform for productive collaborations and effective communication of our results to the community.

Our mission is to conduct cutting-edge basic, clinical, applied and translational nutrition research in children to i mprove child development, promote health and prevent diseases later in life. Our diverse outstanding faculty and strong staff are our strengths in following our mission and accomplishing our goals by providing excellence in research standard, integrity and creativity .

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. 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:
As a USDA, ARS research scientist at the ACNC, you will plan and conduct research in one or more areas related to: the regulation of gut microflora composition (microbiome) and the microbial metabolome in neonates and young children or developing animals in response to early diet; adaptation of gut microflora to dietary factors; influence of GI microbiome on development of obesity or effects of obesity on the GI microbiome; and the physiological role of gut microflora in regulation of GI development and/or GI immune system development in animal models and/or children. In this capacity the incumbent conducts both independent research and multi-disciplinary, team-based research (basic, clinical and/or translational) and analyzes experimental data, composes manuscripts for publication of experimental results, presents information at scientific meetings and at other research institutions; develops collaborations with university, industry and government scientists.

You will expand and compliment an existing research program in nutrition and child development. Experimental models (in vivo and in vitro) and/or clinical studies will be employed to study the effects of diet and nutritional status on child development, health and disease prevention. The research will specialize in understanding the role of intestinal microbial ecology/diversity (the microbiome). A demonstrated expertise with 16S rRNA pyrosequencing, metagenome analysis using next-gen sequencing and bioinformatics is expected.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
Basic Requirements : Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible:

Microbiology Series (403): Degree: microbiology; or biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included at least 20 semester hours in microbiology and other subjects related to the study of microorganisms, and 20 semester hours in the physical and mathematical sciences combining course work in organic chemistry or biochemistry, physics, and college algebra, or their equivalent.

OR Combination of education and experience - courses equivalent to a major in microbiology, biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included courses as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Physiology Series (413): Degree: in one of the basic animal sciences or physiology; or a related discipline or field of science that included at least 24 semester hours in the basic animal sciences, of which 10 semester hours were in animal physiology.

Additional Requirements:
GS-12: After meeting the basic requirement applicant must have 1 year of specialized experience (as defined) equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

GS-13: After meeting the basic requirement applicant must have 1 year of specialized experience (as defined) equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the Federal service.

GS-14: After meeting the basic requirement applicant must have 1 year of specialized experience (as defined) equivalent to at least the GS-13 level in the Federal service.

GS-15: After meeting the basic requirement applicant must have 1 year of specialized experience (as defined) equivalent to at least the GS-14 level 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 experimental design and statistical methods in any one of the following disciplines related to gastrointestinal physiology, biology or microbiology, as it relates to human nutrition.

2. Ability to plan, conduct and publish research, document results and make presentations at scientific meetings in the area of expertise related to either gastrointestinal physiology, biology, or microbiology as it relates to human nutrition.

3. A working understanding of the role of microbial ecology/diversity in human health and/or in animal models (pigs, mice, or rats).

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.

R esearch 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.

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.

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.

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:
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 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.

Status candidates who wish to be considered under both alternative merit promotion and non-status competitive examining must submit two complete applications when the position is open to both status and non-status candidates. When only one application is received, it will be considered under alternative merit promotion procedures.

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.

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: 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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