Open & closing dates
Opening and closing dates
07/12/2019 to 07/28/2019
Pay scale & grade
GS 9 - 11
$52,912 to $83,228 per year
A Cost-of-Living-Allowance (COLA) of 4.76% will be added to the stated salary. COLA rates are subject to change.
1 vacancy in the following location:
Yes as determined by agency policy
This job is open to
U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
This position is located in the ARS, Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research Unit (TCCPRU) in Hilo, Hawaii.
Learn more about this agency
The incumbent provides professional support to the TCCPRU in conducting chemical analyses for a range of fresh tropical crops, stored commodities, and value-added products. The incumbent participates in planning, experimental design, validation, implementation, and data analysis of these investigations.
- Selecting the proper methods and procedures to meet research goals.
- Isolating, purifying, identifying and quantifying plant nutrients, flavor volatiles, and phytochemical compounds by applying established or modified chemical and biochemical methods.
- Performing experiments which are designed to elucidate agricultural and food chemistries related to the quality of fresh, stored, and processed tropical crops.
- Maintaining, calibrating and operating moderately complex laboratory instruments, e.g. HPLC, GC-MS, UV-VIS spectrometer.
- Analyzing results according to established procedures, conducting statistical analyses, and maintaining databases.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position
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
- Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
- Subject to one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period unless prior service is creditable. New USDA supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required training program before the end of their probationary 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 E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
To qualify for the GS-09 level, you must have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-07 level OR 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree in an academic discipline directly related to the duties of the position. Examples of specialized experience include: Performing established experiments to analyze and characterize plant, food or other biological samples for nutrients, flavor volatiles, or phytochemical compounds; Operating sophisticated laboratory instruments related to plant and food analysis, postharvest physiology, and food science including HPLC and GC-MS instruments; Analyzing and interpreting data and writing laboratory reports that discuss experimental procedures and results.
To qualify for the GS-11 level, you must have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-09 level OR 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in an academic discipline directly related to the duties of the position. Examples of specialized experience include: Researching methods to enhance shelf life, flavor, nutrients, and other quality attributes of tropical fruit, vegetable, and nut crops; Utilizing biochemical or physiological strategies to determine impacts to quality during preharvest, postharvest, and processing; Conducting chemical and physiological analyses for fresh tropical crops, stored commodities, and value-added products; Isolating, purifing, identifing and quantifing plant nutrients, flavor volatiles, and phytochemical compounds by applying established or modified chemical and biochemical methods; Operating and maintaining sophisticated laboratory instruments related to plant and food analysis, postharvest physiology, and food science including HPLC and GC-MS instruments; Conducting compositional analyses of plant material, including proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, pigments, phytochemicals, and bioactive compounds.
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.
In addition to the specialized experience listed above applicants must have experience independently maintaining, calibrating and operating HPLC and GC-MS instruments.
This position has the following minimum educational requirement: Degree in physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics. OR Combination of education and experience -- course work equivalent to a major as shown above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
*Education is required. 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.
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 85 out of a possible 100.
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.
NOTE: Legislation provides that federal salaries in Hawaii will transition from base pay plus a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) to the locality pay-based system that applies in the 48 contiguous states. Locality pay will be phased in, and COLA will be phased out accordingly through annual reductions. Currently, the COLA pay in Hawaii is 10.64% with the exception of Hawaii Island, which is 4.76%. The salary annotated on this announcement includes the locality, however, does not include the cost-of-living allowance.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures and USDA policy using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants' quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:
Chemistry/Biochemistry: Professional knowledge of the principles, theories, and practices of analytical chemistry, food chemistry, or plant biochemistry.
Plant and Food Science Research: Skill in chemically analyzing fresh fruit/vegetable/nuts. Experience in working with the biochemistry of fresh food products including fruits, vegetable, nuts and oil crops.
Technical Competence: Ability to use advanced scientific equipment and technologies. Ability to independently maintain, calibrate, operate and determine results of moderately complex laboratory equipment used in the analysis of fresh fruits, vegetable and nuts.
Written Communication: Ability to communicate in writing. Ability to maintain lab notebooks and records and to communicate research results clearly to intended audience.
Scientific Community Involvement: Knowledge of scientific community and procedures. Reviews scientific literature, keeping abreast of current advancements to determine established methods and select and modify procedures to meet research goals.
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. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.
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/10546095
Background checks and security clearance
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.
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.
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 to Apply
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: 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. You must verify that uploaded documents 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. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g. SF-50s or veteran docs) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.
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 to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
Legal and regulatory guidance