U.S. nationals: Research Biologist/Hydrologist/Physical Scientist

USDA Agricultural Research Service

Columbus, OH, USA 🇺🇸

Overview

  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates: 03/09/2023 to 04/07/2023
  • Salary: $86,222 – $133,285 per year
  • Pay scale & grade: GS 12 – 13
  • Location: 1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Remote job: No
  • Telework eligible: Yes—as determined by the agency policy.
  • Travel Required: Occasional travel – Occasional domestic and international travel is required to accomplish research objectives and attend scientific meetings and conferences.
  • Relocation expenses reimbursed: No
  • Appointment type: Permanent –
  • Work schedule: Full-time –
  • Service: Competitive
  • Promotion potential: 15
  • Job family (Series): 0401 General Natural Resources Management And Biological Sciences1301 General Physical Science1315 Hydrology
  • Supervisory status: No
  • Security clearance: Not Required
  • Drug test: No
  • Position sensitivity and risk: Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
  • Trust determination process: Suitability/Fitness
  • Announcement number: ARS-D23MWA-11867847-LSR
  • Control number: 711337700

Summary

The incumbent is a Research Biologist/Hydrologist/Physical Scientist assigned to the Soil Drainage Research Unit, Columbus, OH. The incumbent is expected to develop and lead a research program to understand biogeochemistry processes and interactions of weather, stream hydrology, soil, and land use management on nutrient cycling and transport within freshwater ecosystems of the poorly drained, cool humid region of the Midwest U.S.

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This job is open to

Duties

  • Apply innovative laboratory, field, and in-stream scientific approaches/methods to understand biogeochemistry processes within agricultural headwater ditches and streams.
  • Develop and evaluate management practices/approaches to address nutrient cycling and environmental concerns.
  • Synthesize the findings into practical management decision support systems/tools/models for land use managers and conservationists.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with stakeholders that include federal, state, and local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), and private landowners and cooperators to successfully lead the research program.
  • Publish research results in peer reviewed literature and present findings at regional and national scientific meetings.
  • Provide technical supervision to laboratory and/or field technicians and support staff.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of 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 E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.
  • Successful completion of a three year probationary period.
  • Valid motor vehicle driver’s license is required for travel to local field sites.

Qualifications

Minimum qualification requirements are found in the OPM Qualification Standards Operating Manual for General Schedule PositionsQualification requirements must be identified for each grade level advertised.

General Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences Series, 0401
Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

OR

  1. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Hydrology Series, 1315
Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: physical or natural science, or engineering that included at least 30 semester hours in any combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conservation of water resources. The course work must have included at least 6 semester hours in calculus (including both differential and integral calculus), and at least 6 semester hours in physics. Calculus and physics, as described above, are requirements for all grade levels.

OR

  1. Combination of education and experience: course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Evaluation of Experience: Acceptable experience must have included performance of scientific functions related to the study of water resources, based on and requiring a professional knowledge of related sciences and the consistent application of basic scientific principles to the solution of theoretical and practical hydrologic problems. The following is illustrative of acceptable experience: field or laboratory work that would require application of hydrologic theory and related sciences such as geology, geo-chemistry, geophysics, or civil engineering to making observations, taking samples, operating instruments, assembling data from source materials, analyzing and interpreting data, and reporting findings orally and in writing. In some cases, professional scientific experience that is not clearly water resource experience may be acceptable if such experience was preceded by appropriate education in hydrology or by professional hydrology experience.

Applicants with related experience in hydrology gained through earlier Federal Government employment might have gained that experience in one or more occupational series. Such series include Soil Conservation, GS-457; Forestry, GS-460; Soil Science, GS-470; Civil Engineering, GS-810; Chemistry, GS-1320; Meteorology, GS-1340; and Geology, GS-1350. Comparable non-Federal experience may be given similar credit.

General Physical Science Series, 1301
Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.

OR

  1. Combination of education and experience: education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional Requirements:
In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below.

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 possess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or possess an equivalent combination of graduate level education and experience. Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped applicants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-12 level of this position are:

  • Conducting and synthesizing research related to the field-scale biogeochemistry processes and interactions of weather, field/stream hydrology, soil, and land use management on nutrient cycling and transport in agricultural ditches and streams; AND
  • Publishing research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals; AND
  • Presenting research findings at scientific conferences or academic meetings, either in person or virtually.

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. Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-13 level of this position are:

  • Conducting and synthesizing independent research related to the field-scale biogeochemistry processes and interactions of weather, field/stream hydrology, soil, and land use management on nutrient cycling and transport in agricultural ditches and streams; AND
  • Publishing research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals; AND
  • Presenting research findings at scientific conferences or academic meeting, either in person or virtually; AND
  • Experience supervising staff to accomplish research objectives.

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

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.

To further support your qualifications, it is strongly recommended that you submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Failure to do so could result in loss of your consideration/referral. Also, please 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 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.

Education

Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Additional information

This position requires the selectee to undergo a pre-employment check and a full background investigation. Any offer made is considered a tentative job offer pending the outcome of the pre-employment check. Retention in the position is based upon a favorable adjudication of the background investigation. The incumbent will be subject to periodic reinvestigations.

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.

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 71 out of a possible 100.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. 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.*Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.

Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer.

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

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. Opens in a new windowLearn 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.

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 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:https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11867847

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
  • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, 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 the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • If claiming veteran’s preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
  • 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 per 5 CFR 330.

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 in order 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; contact the Agency Contact to request this.

To begin, click “Apply” and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

NOTE: 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 5MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, TXT or Word (DOC or DOCX). Do not upload Adobe Portfolio documents because they are not viewable.

Agency contact information

 Lakeisha Raybon

Phone

(334) 344-0228

Email

Lakeisha.Raybon@usda.gov

Address

Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Beltsville, MD 20705
US

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Next steps

Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.

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.
You must choose to turn on email notifications in your USAJOBS profile if you want to receive important email notifications that may impact your applicant experience (e.g., If you start an application and do not submit it prior to the closing date, USAJOBS will send an email reminder that the closing date is approaching and your application is in an incomplete status).

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.


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IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development