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Student Trainee (Biological Science)


This position is located within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Crop Genetics and Breeding Research Unit in Tifton, GA.

In this position, you will be responsible for assisting with laboratory research using common laboratory equipment and apparatus such as autoclaves, sterilizers, centrifuges, and homogenizers. You will also be responsible for assisting in plot preparation, plant harvesting, and sample preparation.


Collect, prepare, evaluate, and verify samples and supporting records.
Assist in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of technical duties, in a laboratory, field, or greenhouse environment, common to the assigned area of work.
Perform routine and recurring techniques related to the research project such as watering, fertilizing, weeding, potting, and maintaining plants.
Maintains work area in a neat and orderly manner.
Assist in plot preparation and maintenance, plant harvesting and sample preparation as well as sample and seed sorting, or processing for analysis and storage.
Use common laboratory equipment and apparatus such as autoclaves, sterilizers, centrifuges and homogenizers.
Prepare labels for specimens.


Conditions of Employment

  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Must be in good academic standing and hold a GPA of at least 2.0.Complete at least 640 hrs of work experience prior to completion of degree.
  • Enrolled at least half-time at a qualifying educational institution.
  • If selected, you will be required to sign a Pathways Student Internship Participant Agreement prior to entrance-on-duty date.
  • Satisfactory Background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of two-year trial period.
  • 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 citizens and nationals and permanent residents and foreign nationals must meet immigration law and appropriations law requirements concerning employment.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen prior to non-competitive conversion to a term or permanent position.


Applicants must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement. Program Eligibility Requirements Applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment from a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis. Applicants must be seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) and be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or equivalent) throughout the duration of their program. Please see "Required Documents". The duties of the position must be related to either the student's academic or career goals.

All applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a student on at least a half-time schedule at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program.

All applicants must have academic or career goals that are related to the duties and responsibilities of the position, which may be related to biological sciences.

Education: Enrollment in a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED) program.

Applicants will be assessed/evaluated through application of the agency developed qualification standard for internship positions, which is based solely on level of education.


You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education visit NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

Additional information

  • This is a temporary, excepted service position not-to-exceed 1 year or less and may be extended in increments not-to-exceed 1 or less for up to 8 years in total, when the student intern remains eligible for the program.
  • Student Interns must continue to meet the Pathways Program requirements throughout the duration of the appointment. Incumbents will be required to provide proof of continued enrollment and good standing (GPA of 2.0 or equivalent)each semester or grading period throughout the internship program. Failure to do so will result in termination of the appointment.
  • Upon completion of all program requirements, Pathways Interns may be converted to a term, career-conditional or career appointment within 120 days following successful completion of all their education; however, conversion is not guaranteed.
  • This internship is temporary with a not-to-exceed date of 1 year or less; therefore, it does not have promotion potential.
  • Within-grade increases will not be given during the internship.
  • This position may be eligible to telework up to four days per week, based upon the duties of the position. This position may also be eligible for flexible work arrangements as determined by agency policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements.
  • Benefits

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all 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 including removal from the Federal service.

Clicking 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: