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

USDA-ARS Fellowship in Pollinator Metagenomics

*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and LocationA research opportunity in genomic analyses of microbes found across diverse pollinator species is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), within the Bee Research Laboratory, located in Beltsville, Maryland. The facility is located in 20 minutes North of Washington D.C. and 40 minutes south of Baltimore, MD.

We and our 300 honey bee colonies are based on the 4,000 acre Beltsville Agricultural Research Center with several hundred colleagues devoted to various scientific subjects and disciplines. Our proximity to Washington, D.C. allows collaborations with numerous nearby academic and government research facilities. The participant will join a research facility that is focused on honey bee health, with a staff that includes 6 scientists and support scientists, seven technicians, plus numerous students, research associates, and visiting scientists.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

Research Project: The participant will be assigned to a project investigating bee diversity and disease for the Beenome100 sequencing project. Pollinators are critical for natural and agricultural systems. The Beenome100 project aims to sequence, assemble, and annotate the genomes of 100 U.S. bee pollinators, while also strengthening resources for the honey bee, a key pollinator and insect model. The participant will contribute to this project, coordinated by USDA-ARS and the University of Illinois, to help sequence 100+ U.S. bee genomes, and gain insights into the biology and specific threats faced by these and other pollinators.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant may be involved in and learn from the following activities:

  • Genome assembly and analysis of bees and their parasites
  • Phylogenomic analyses and identification of key markers and genes of evolutionary importance
  • Epidemiological analyses of links with pollinator health
  • Correspondence and collaboration with international scientists
  • Design and develop experiments including RNA-Seq
  • Data analysis
  • Drafting manuscripts reporting experimental results

Mentor(s)The mentor for this opportunity is Jay Evans ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: 2024.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds. 

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.



The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion estimated by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience developing and conducting experiments using gene-based assessments of bee diversity
  • Proficiency with scripting languages (e.g. R, Bash, Perl, Python) and with open-source bioinformatics tools
  • Experience with genome assembly and/or analysis
  • Experience with host-parasite interactions among bees and their microparasites
  • Excellent wet lab and basic molecular biology skills
  • Be highly motivated, reliable, and able to succeed in a diverse, collaborative, and interdisciplinary environment?