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The selectee works with scientists and technical personnel in APHIS, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), universities, the private sector, and foreign organizations to develop, evaluate, enhance, and maintain the quality of PPQ's exclusion, detection, quarantine, eradication, treatment, inspection, and response programs.

The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides scientific leadership in qualitative and quantitative analyses in support of the management of invasive species, including arthropods, diseases and other plant pests.
  • Determines from a scientific standpoint the likelihood of invasion, establishment, and movement of quarantine-significant exotic pests in the United States.
  • Obtains, validates, and analyzes data related to pest identification and diagnostics.
  • Develops methods of detection and inspection including scientific and statistically sound sampling procedures for survey of quarantine-significant pests.
  • Estimates spatially dependent probabilities of presence or absence of pests using multivariate statistical analysis of sampling data and factors associated with infestation.

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National


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: post high school education with courses equivalent to a major, which is defined as 24 semester/36 quarter hours, in the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resources management, chemistry or related disciplines appropriate to the position, PLUS appropriate experience or additional course work.

FOR THE GS-12 LEVEL: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirement, 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:

  • Experience leading committees, teams or working groups to address scientific topics that have an impact on plant health or agricultural programs.
  • Coordinated the work of researchers in conducting scientific investigations related to biological systems, arthropods, plant protection or plant pests.
  • Designed and conducted scientific studies in plant protection, biological control, plant pest diagnostics/identification, survey, eradication, exclusion, molecular biology, omics or related areas.
  • Interpreted, evaluated, or analyzed scientific publications, reports, datasets, or similar information related to the plant sciences, which may include a wide range of disciplines (biology, ecology, microbiology, entomology, molecular genetics/genomics).
  • Communicating scientific information orally and in writing to professional scientific organizations, industry, academia, government agencies, or the public.

Note: There is no education substitution for specialized experience at 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.


How You Will Be Evaluated

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


This is a Direct-Hire Authority position, all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications, to include any specialized experience and/or selective placement factor(s), if applicable, will be referred to the selecting official. Before a certificate is issued to the selecting official, your application is reviewed to ensure that you meet all the qualification requirements. A rating will not be used; veteran's preference does not apply due to the existence of the Direct Hire authority for 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, 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.

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