You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.

Data Scientist/Student Trainee (Mathematical Statistician)

Students! Passionate about all things data? Want to gain experience in the field, have the opportunity to transition to a full-time job, while helping learn how to solve complex public health challenges? Join us as a Data Scientist (Mathematical Statistician) intern at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, where we lead with science to make data-driven decisions that protect public health! Apply by 01/25/2021.

NOTE: This is a U.S. Government job in public health and you must be a US Citizen or US National to apply. Review education (including prerequisite coursework) and documentation requirements very carefully before submitting your application. Contact the HR Specialist listed below and in the announcement if you have questions.


This job is open to:

About the Internship
This position is in the Office of Planning, Analysis, and Risk Management (OPARM), Office of the Assistant Administrator. OPARM oversees Agency data science, visualization, reporting, integration and advanced analytics; strategic planning; evaluations; surveys; enterprise risk management; and internal controls. The Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from undergraduate to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.

Program Completion
This is an indefinite appointment. Upon successful completion of the program and at the agency's discretion, the appointee may be non-competitively converted to a term or career or career-conditional appointment, upon conversion this position has a full performance level of GS-12. Service in the Pathways Program confers no right to further employment in either the competitive or excepted service. An agency wishing to convert a student must therefore execute the required action to do so within 120 days of successful completion of the degree and program requirements.

Applicant Contact Information
HR Specialist--Jaime Torres: (612) 659-8627 or 

About the Agency
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for protecting the public's health by ensuring the safety of the Nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products. For more information on USDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, visit the FSIS website.

Salary Range: $39,684 to $63,906 per year

Telework Eligible: Yes as determined by agency policy 

Travel Required: Occasional travel

Relocation Expenses Reimbursed: No

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about Federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

Work Schedule
An intermittent schedule is prohibited under the USDA Pathways Programs. A Student Trainee may work a full-time or part-time schedule. Supervisors are responsible for establishing a work schedule for Student Trainees in accordance with 5 CFR, 610.121. The work schedule should not interfere with their academic schedule. Supervisors and Student Trainees should agree on a formally-arranged schedule of school and work so that:
  1. Work responsibilities do not interfere with academic performance;
  2. Completion of the educational program (awarding of diploma/certificate/degree) and the Internship Program is accomplished in a reasonable and appropriate timeframe;
  3. The Supervisor is informed and prepared for the student’s periods of employment; and
  4. Requirements for non-competitive conversion to term or permanent position in the competitive service are understood by all parties.

As a Student Trainee, your duties will include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Using statistical (including data science), data visualization and other software applications or tools to query and analyze data, draw conclusions, and make recommendations with respect to existing policies and planned initiatives.
  • Expressing ideas and concepts orally and in writing, and by numeric and graphic means, to support the coordination and tracking of data analysis activities.
  • Reviewing, analyzing, monitoring, visualizing, and interpreting public health and operational data.
  • Performing quality checks to assess consistency of data reporting across program areas.
  • Tracking project activities, tasks, and status to ensure data and performance-related deliverables are properly monitored, completed, and communicated.
  • Performing other duties as assigned.

Conditions of Employment
  • Accepted for or currently enrolled in a qualified educational institution.
  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Satisfactory Background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134, all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit
  • Service in the Pathways Program confers no right to further employment in either the competitive or excepted service.
  • All USDA Student Interns must be at least 16 years of age at the time of their appointment.
  • A USDA Pathways Programs Participant Agreement must be completed before the Student Trainee's Entrance-On Duty (EOD).
  • All requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

To qualify for this position, you must meet BOTH the Pathway Internship Eligibility requirements as well as the minimum Qualifications for the position:
To Be Eligible For An Appointment Under The Internship Program You Must Meet The Following Requirement: Student applicants must be accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, *certificate, etc.) in a qualifying educational institution, on a full or half-time basis as defined by the institution in which the student is enrolled. Student Trainees must be in good academic standing, as defined by the institution they are attending. Generally at least a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) for undergraduate programs (cumulative; no rounding) and a 3.0 GPA for advanced degree programs. Individuals must meet the definition of a student throughout the duration of their Internship appointment.
(*NOTE: Certificate Program: This term is defined, in 5 CFR 362.102, and means postsecondary education in a qualifying educational institution equivalent to at least 1 academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.)
To Qualify At The GS-05 Grade Level: Successful completion of4 academic years above high school leading to a bachelor's degree OR Bachelor's degree.
To Qualify At The GS-07 Grade Level: Successful completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education OR Superior Academic Achievement (S.A.A.) after completing a bachelor's degree. S.A.A. is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership.
1. Class standing. Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.
2. Grade-point average (G.P.A.). Applicants must have a grade-point average of:
a. 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better)as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; OR
b. 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required course completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum.
3. Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies listed below. These honor societies are listed by the Association of College Honor Societies: Agencies considering eligibility based on any society not included in the following list must ensure that the honor society meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.
Program Completion
This is an indefinite appointment. Upon successful completion of the program and at the agency's discretion, the appointee may be non-competitively converted to a term or career or career-conditional appointment, upon conversion this position has a full performance level of GS-12. Service in the Pathways Program confers no right to further employment in either the competitive or excepted service. An agency wishing to convert a student must therefore execute the required action to do so within 120 days of successful completion of the degree and program requirements.

If this position is eligible for conversion, the anticipated position for conversion would be into the following occupations: GS-1529/1550-09.11.12 Interdisciplinary Data Scientist OR GS-1501-09.11.12 Data Analyst. The anticipated position may change based on the needs of the organization. Interns must qualify and meet the individual occupational requirements for the position.

A student performing work in anyone of the following areas, will have to meet the Individual Occupational Requirements (IOR) for that particular series.

Prior to conversion to a term or career or career conditional appointment, Student Trainees must satisfactorily complete all training, program, and educational requirements.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Successfully complete academic course of study.
  • Complete a minimum of 640 hours of work experience under the Internship Program.
  • Complete 40 hours of mandatory AgLearn Training.
  • Meet the OPM Qualification Standard for the position the Intern may be converted to.
  • Maintain acceptable performance under the agency's approved performance management system.
  • Receive favorable recommendation for conversion from supervisor.

If Using Education To Qualify: To use your education as a basis for meeting the Minimum Qualification Requirements (MQR) for this position, you MUST submit academic transcripts demonstrating that you meet the qualifying educational requirements. If specific course work is required to fulfill the MQR, you must supply transcripts from each academic institution in which the required courses were taken to receive credit for that course work. See the "Qualifications" section of this announcement for more details.

College Transcripts
You MUST submit a copy of your college transcripts which show:
  • Your Field of Study
  • School Name
  • Student's Name
  • Current GPA or Academic Standing
  • Past and Current Course Work
  • Degree Program
  • Major/Concentration
An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
To be eligible and to qualify for a conversion to a term or career or career-conditional appointment, Student Trainees must meet the following academic degrees and course requirements for that particular series.

Mathematical Statistics Series, 1529
  • Degree: that included 24 semester hours of mathematics and statistics, of which at least 12 semester hours were in mathematics and 6 semester hours were in statistics.
  • Evaluation of Education: Courses acceptable toward meeting the mathematics course requirement above must have included at least four of the following: differential calculus, integral calculus, advanced calculus, theory of equations, vector analysis, advanced algebra, linear algebra, mathematical logic, differential equations, or any other advanced course in mathematics for which one of these was a prerequisite. Courses in mathematical statistics or probability theory with a prerequisite of elementary calculus or more advanced courses will be accepted toward meeting the mathematics requirements, with the provision that the same course cannot be counted toward both the mathematics and the statistics requirement.

Computer Science Series, 1550
  • Degree: Bachelor's degree in computer science or bachelor's degree with 30 semester hours in a combination of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. At least 15 of the 30 semester hours must have included any combination of statistics and mathematics that included differential and integral calculus. All academic degrees and course work must be from accredited or pre-accredited institutions.
  • Evaluation of Education: Applicants should have sufficient knowledge to understand the fundamental concepts and techniques of computer science. Courses designed to provide an introduction to computer science techniques and methodologies, to problems of system design, and to other specialized fields are acceptable. Courses or experience in teaching elementary, business, or shop mathematics are not acceptable.

General Mathematics and Statistics Series, 1501
  • Degree: Mathematics, statistics, or actuarial science. The degree must be in a major field of study (at least at the baccalaureate level) that is appropriate for the position.

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, candidates are to ensure these requirements are met. If you do not submit sufficient academic documentation demonstrating that you meet the eligibility and MQR for this position, your application will be deemed incomplete & any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service. Visit for a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.

If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information or you will be ineligible for further consideration.

Additional Information
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 80 out of a possible 100.
If you are selected, you may need to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) prior to being appointed to determine suitability for federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on a resume or application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including removal from federal service.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: CHCO Council.
Please select Veterans Policy for further information about veteran specific hiring options.
Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.
  • If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicant who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on the applicant's quality of experience and the extent the possess the following competencies:
  • Analytical Skill
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Data Analysis
  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Planning and Evaluating

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the Best Qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.
**REMINDER** Applicants, be sure that experience/education as described on your resume contains accurate and sufficiently detailed information to clearly demonstrate that you have the listed competencies. All information used to evaluate your application must be received by the closing date of the announcement. Once the position is closed, no additional information will be accepted.
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal service.
Selecting the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.
To view the application form, visit:

Carefully review the full vacancy announcement on USAJobs for all requirements for this position before applying.

How to Apply
Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement to be entered into the system prior to its closing.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

To begin, click "Apply Online" via USAJobs and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: In your USAJOBS account, you will have the opportunity to select your stored USAJOBS resume, create a new resume or upload a resume, and upload other relevant documents. All uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). See "Required Documents" for details. Select the document you want to submit.

Step 3: Click "Apply Online," answer all required questions, verify the documents you selected from USAJOBS transferred into the Agency's staffing system, and attach any additional documents that may not have transferred or be required. If qualifying based on education, you must submit a legible copy of your college transcript(s), with your application package, showing your conferred degree (if any) and/or applicable coursework as proof that you qualify based on education. If you have not yet graduated, submit your current transcript.

NOTE: It is an applicant's responsibility to submit updated information. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employment office, or another establishment that provides internet service to complete the online application and the assessment questionnaire. If this is not an option, refer to the Alternative Methods for Applying section below for specific instructions.

Alternative Methods for Applying: If you are unable to apply using the internet, please fax your request for an application package along with your name and mailing address to: 1-833-840-9220.

Next Steps
Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account to check your application status.