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Biological Scientist with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Riverdale, MD

Type of position USDA- APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) announces the opening of eight Biological Scientists, in USAJobs. These are permanent GS 12/13 level positions suitable for individuals with expert knowledge of the tools of modern biotechnology as applied to the agricultural/biological sciences as well as knowledge in one or more of the following: plant science; plant breeding and genetics; molecular biology; plant pathology or related microbiology or virology; entomology; agronomy; weed science and ecology; pest and weed management; crop and seed production and management, plant taxonomy; tree biotechnology; pest and weed risk assessment and other closely aligned scientific disciplines.

The vacancy is advertised in USAJobs. The direct link to the posting is – https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/553116900

Employer USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Description of Employer USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) is responsible for the coordination, development, and implementation of all matters and functions pertaining to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) regulation of biotechnology as it relates to plants and plant pests, and acts as liaison on matters involving biotechnology between agencies within USDA and between USDA and governmental and private organizations.
Location Riverdale, MD
Description of Location The positions are located at the APHIS Riverdale, Maryland offices. This location provides direct access to BRS managers and staff, as well as other regulatory agencies, all of which are headquartered in the Washington, DC area. There would also be the opportunity to interact with scientists in academia and elsewhere who are involved in cutting edge research in genetic engineering.
Salary $83,398 to $128,920 per year (GS12/13)
Closing date of competition Dec 9, 2019
Date position available ASAP
Description of duties The duties described are for the full-performance level and may include, but are not limited to:


  • Responsible for technical support and analysis of pest risk and weed risk; prepares appropriate plant pest and weed risk assessments, and assists in keeping risk assessment tools up to date.
  • Prepares a variety of authorization documents, risk assessments, reports, and technical analyses on different aspects of biotechnology.
  • Consults with other experts from the national and international scientific community and advises on the development of multinational standards, risk assessment frameworks, agreements or policy.
  • Provides scientific, technical and analytical support to BRS management, other staff biological scientists and other Divisions/Units of the Agency, as related to the current principles and practices.
  • Represents BRS at professional society conferences, committees, and meetings at the national and international levels.
  • Maintains familiarity with the world’s biotechnology literature on plants; biology and control of plant pests/pathogens and weeds.
  • Collaborates with and supports other BRS and APHIS program units and other agency initiatives, including NEPA compliance, Plant Health Programs, and international efforts.
  • Serves as primary contact with the Compliance Evaluation and Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Branches of BRS’ Regulatory Operations Programs.
  • Serves as technical consultant/advisor to representatives of other Federal agencies, State agencies, industry, academia, biotechnology organizations, and individuals concerning the permitting process.



Qualifications sought Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

BASIC REQUIREMENT: Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

OR Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to the basic requirements applicants must meet the following:

FOR THE GS-12 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-11 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Researched or developed activities in the biological or agricultural sciences involving biotechnology and related to molecular biology, molecular or population genetics, plant ecology, fruit or forest tree biology, weed science, plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, plant breeding or other closely related discipline.
  • Authorship of one or more peer reviewed scientific publications or unpublished government, industry, or other documents (e.g., issue paper, risk assessment or environmental assessment to be published for comment, research report, guidance document, briefing or decision memoranda) related to activities in biotechnology and plant biology or plant pests, diseases, or weeds.
  • Modify or adapt established protocols and procedures in response to test or study findings.

Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.

FOR THE GS-13 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-12 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Analyzed regulatory and environmental issues pertaining to plant health and biotechnology and integrated diverse information and lines of reasoning to create new insights for the issue at hand.
  • Prepared a variety of authorization documents, risk assessments, reports, technical analyses, or position papers on different aspects of biotechnology related to the protection of plant health.
  • Exposure to laws, regulations, or management practices associated with genetically engineered organisms, plant pests, or weeds.

Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.

TRANSCRIPTS are required if:

  • This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified.
  • This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Application procedure  
Submit what Please visit https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/553116900 for requirements
Submit to Applications must be submitted through USAJobs
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