Research Geneticist

Hiring Organization: Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Appalachian Fruit Research Station
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Kearneysville, WV
Application Deadline: August 31, 2020

Responsibilities

  • Conceive, plan, execute, and report research results involving genetic, molecular, and physiological regulation of major factors impacting fruit tree disease resistance, fruit quality, and/or productivity.
  • Perform investigations to understand the genetics that underlie important fruit tree traits, and for the improvement of fruit tree breeding resources.
  • Utilize rapid cycle breeding systems in combination with, genomic selection and gene editing technologies along with traditional breeding strategies to generate superior apple parental types and scion varieties.
  • Study the genetics of target apple traits.
  • Map key loci and identify candidate genes controlling target apple traits.
  • Develop and characterize apple germplasm resources and new apple varieties.

    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.

    Qualifications

    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 Requirements
    Degree: genetics; or one of the basic biological sciences that included at least 9 semester hours in genetics.

    Graduate Education: Genetics, or a curriculum or pattern of training that placed major emphasis on genetics. Graduate study in related fields such as agronomy, horticulture, animal, dairy, or poultry husbandry, entomology, microbiology, plant pathology, chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and physiology that involved cross-training in genetics is qualifying, provided it placed sufficient emphasis on genetics.

    Evaluation of Education: Most students in the field take graduate work because specific training in genetics may be limited at the undergraduate level. Under these circumstances, it may be necessary to evaluate undergraduate course work in genetics in one of two ways, as described below, to determine whether or not it is qualifying.
    • Courses dealing with genetics, some phase of genetics, or specific techniques that are applied in genetics work are acceptable. This includes courses in genetics, plant or animal genetics, molecular and cellular biology, mathematics and statistics (as they apply to genetics), population dynamics, and certain techniques such as those dealing with irradiation.
    • Course work consisting of an appropriate combination of basic courses in genetics and cytology or statistics are also acceptable.
    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: Experience independently conducting research related to plant pathology, plant genetics, or plant breeding; performing horticultural techniques including measuring or characterizing growth and crop quality or disease resistance; performing genomic/molecular biology techniques including gene mapping; AND experience being recognized through citation as a contributor to projects, or peer-reviewed publications and papers related to genetics.

    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: Experience conducting and coordinating a team for research related to plant pathology, plant genetics, or plant breeding; performing horticultural techniques including measuring or characterizing growth and crop quality or disease resistance; performing genomic/molecular biology techniques including gene mapping collaborating with internal and external stakeholders on research of mutual interest; and primary authorship of peer-reviewed journals related to genetics.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

     

     

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