Agricultural Research Service Beltsville , MD 20704
The incumbent serves as a Research Plant Physiologist/Ecologist in the Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland. The mission of this unit is to apply systems theory to the solution of complex, agricultural problems and to develop computer-aided farm decision support systems and assessment tools for environmental study and analysis.
This is an interdisciplinary position and may be filled in any of the job series/position titles listed. In addition to the specialized experience requirements, applicants must submit proof that they meet the educational requirements for at least one of the series described in the announcement. Applicants may only be appointed to job series/position titles for which they meet all experience and educational requirements.
Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected. For this reason, you are encouraged to apply at all grade levels. A peer review will be required for selections made at grades GS-13 and above and the selectee will be required to submit supplemental materials.
Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential. Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically. The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology.
*Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.
The incumbent in this position will work with a multidisciplinary team in the areas of understanding of mechanisms and diversity of plant responses to climate change factors, evaluating agronomic, physiological and biochemical responses of plants, both crops and weeds, to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and/or high temperature and water stress, and to develop, test and modify models of plant response to climate change variables. The incumbent collaborates with other ARS, university and private sector scientists to build the multi-disciplinary team necessary for this research. The incumbent must analyze, interpret and disseminate the findings in the form of reports, presentations and publications in scientific journals.
Occasional travel - To attend scientific meetings and conferences.
Who May Apply
This job is open to
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
Successful completion of a three year probationary period.
Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
US Citizenship is required.
CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORT: Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest. If hired for this position, you may be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of the effective date of your appointment and annually thereafter.
To be considered for a research scientist position, you must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Also, submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
Your education and experience will be evaluated against all qualification requirements (basic and any additional requirements) listed below.
Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.
Plant Physiology Series 0435
Degree: botany or plant physiology; or a related scientific discipline that included at least 10 semester hours in plant physiology.
Ecology Series, 0408
Degree: biology, or a related field of science underlying ecological research that included at least 30 semester hours in basic and applied biological sciences. These hours must have included at least 9 semester hours in ecology, and 12 semester hours in physical and mathematical sciences.
In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below.
Specialized Experience: Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for this position are:
GS-12: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service OR have a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the duties of the position OR a combination of graduate level education and specialized experience. The specialized experience requirements for this position at the GS-12 level are:
Experience defining research problems, developing and executing a research plan, and evaluating results related to plant responses to climate change factors;
Experience using methodologies to develop, test, and apply mathematical models of plant processes and to simulate climate projections using field facilities such as open top chambers and free air CO2 enrichment systems, and controlled environment chambers; and
Experience publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals in plant physiology, ecology, or physiological ecology.
GS-13: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-13 level of this position are:
Experience in conducting research and developing genetic and management models, software tools that would improve the response of agricultural systems to climate change;
Publishing research results in peer reviewed journals related to adaptation of crops to climate change factors; and
Presenting information to professional societies on technical matters and practices in the area of response and adaptation of crops to climate change factors, and crop simulation modeling.
Applicants must address the specialized experience requirements in their resume (or application documents). Applications that do not reflect the specialized experience requirements will not be deemed qualified.
Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.
For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here:
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see . To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, surplus or displaced Federal employee must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and be rated in the Quality Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section.
This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.
This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category.
Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans' preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans' preference within each category.
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 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 Online" button to the right.
To view the application form, visit:
Background checks and security clearance
Resume clearly describing your experience related to this position as described in the Major Duties, and Qualifications sections of this announcement.
Your application package must include the announcement number, title and grade of the position.
Statement that you are a U.S. citizen
You must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Also, submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.
If you are a veteran and you are claiming veterans preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. For competitive service positions, active duty service members expecting to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days: you may be granted tentative preference by submitting a certification document in lieu of a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. This certification is any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date of the submission of the certification. Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
If you are claiming 10-point veterans preference based on service-connected disability, in addition to the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), you must also submit an SF-15, Application for 10-point Veterans Preference, plus the proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. For more information on veterans preference see .
You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. You must submit with your application evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at . You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcripts; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application. NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
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, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from .
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
This job originated on . For the full announcement and to apply, visit . Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.