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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Biological Science Laboratory Technician - Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service

 Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Title: Biological Science Laboratory Technician
Department: Department Of Agriculture
Agency: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Job Announcement Number:PATHR-PPQ-APHIS-2015-0644
$32,733.00 to $43,397.00 / Per Year
Thursday, April 23, 2015 to Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Full-Time - Recent Graduates
2 vacancies in the following location(s):
Atlanta, GA
Buffalo, NY
Recent graduates from a qualifying educational institution having completed an academic program within the preceding 2 years.  Note: Veterans who were precluded by their military service obligation from meeting this requirement will have up to 6 years to apply.  Current students may apply if they will complete their degree requirements by June 30, 2015. 
The incumbent performs a variety of duties in a Plant Inspection Station / laboratory environment in support of the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Identification specialists (Identifiers) and assists them with special projects in the disciplines of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Botany (CITES).
The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for 1 year and includes:
  • Orientation program
  • Mentorship throughout the program.
  • Individual Development Plan to create and track Recent Graduates' career planning, professional development, and training activities.
  • At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program.
  • Opportunity for career advancement.

The Marketing and Regulatory Programs will be at Tuskegee University accepting applications for this position.  Applications will be accepted on-site only in Room 117 Henderson Hall on the campus of Tuskegee University, located at 120 Old Montgomery Road, Tuskegee Institute, Alabama 36088.  Candidates may drop off application packages on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central time.
The Marketing and Regulatory Programs conducts multiple hiring events throughout the year as part of our overall recruitment strategy.  We will be announcing additional Pathways job opportunities within the next 30 days on USAJOBS.  If you are unable to apply in-person at Tuskegee University, please note that you will be able to apply on-line to the positions posted under our next hiring opportunity.

If you have questions on how to apply, please see the Agency Contact Information that is listed below.
  • Occasional Travel
  • Occasional travel may be required

  • No

  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age

The duties described are for the full-performance level.  At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope with less independence and limited complexity. 

Pre-processing of routine interceptions submitted to the Plant Inspection Station, including:
  • Reviewing forms (PPQ 309a) for errors and completeness, reporting errors to supervisors so a request may be made to the submitter to make corrections.
  • Sorting submissions of interceptions into various taxonomic groups.
  • Distribution of interceptions to the appropriate identifier.
  • Entering appropriate data into databases.
  • Forwarding of specimens to the appropriate National identifier.
  • Tracking the interceptions throughout the entire process.
  • Maintaining interception logs (paper and electronic).
  • Processing of specimens to facilitate identification by the identifier. This includes:
  • Making microscope slide and whole specimen mounts.
  • Ordering and/or preparing various solutions and mounting media.
  • Processing of specimens to facilitate identification by the identifier. This includes:
  • Making microscope slide and whole specimen mounts.
  • Ordering and/or preparing various solutions and mounting media.

Managing assigned collections (Entomology, Botany and Plant Pathology)
Scheduling, organizing, and executing other pest identification support activities, as assigned. 

Assisting Plant Health Safeguarding Specialists, as necessary, in the inspection of propagative plant materials (including plants, seeds, and bulbs) and in their laboratory and field activities.

Selection will be at the GS-0404-5 with the possibility of conversion to a permanent or term Biological Science Technician, GS-404 with promotion potential to the GS-7 level.  Conversion eligibility and position is not guaranteed and depends on the program unit’s needs. 

To qualify, you MUST meet all program and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement. 


To be eligible for the Recent Graduates program, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

Completed all requirements for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution within the previous two (2) years.  Current students who will complete their degree requirements by June 30, 2015 will be considered.


Individuals who, due to a military service obligation, were precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described above shall have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon release or discharge from active duty. This eligibility period cannot extend more than 6 years from the date on which the requirements for the academic course of study were met.

All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see

EXPERIENCE: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-04 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
• Research activity or control program work.
• Nursery work that required the growing and maintenance of plants in a controlled environment
EDUCATION: Applicants must have successfully completed a four year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics.  At least 6 semester hours of courses must have been in biology, entomology, botany, or agriculture.

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE:  Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following:Combining Education and Experience for Technical and Medical Support Positions

Special Conditions:
  • Transcripts including your major field of study and the date your degree was conferred are required (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).  Applications will not be considered without this documentation.
  • If selected, official transcripts will be required prior to entrance on duty.
  • DD214 (Member 4 copy) or other veterans’ documents required to receive  veterans’ preference and/or to document eligibility for individuals who, due  to military service obligation, were precluded from applying within 2 years of completing their academic program
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • A Pathways Participant Agreement will be required if you are selected for a position. The agreement must be signed by all applicable parties prior to entrance on duty.
  • Satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response
  • The work is mostly sedentary, performed in a laboratory setting, and requires use of a microscope, computers and laboratory equipment. 
  • Handling of small organisms and dissection requires above average dexterity.
  • May be exposed to mildly irritating chemicals.


Recent Graduates may be non-competitively converted to a term or permanent position in the competitive service. To be eligible for conversion the Recent Graduate must meet all of the following:
  • Be a U.S. Citizen;
  • Successfully complete at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program as outlined in the Participant Agreement.
  • Demonstrate successful job performance.
  • Meet the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

Before you submit an application for this vacancy, please carefully review the position requirements. Please apply only if you meet the required minimum qualifications AND Recent Graduates program eligibility requirements described in the announcement. 

If you have reviewed the announcement and believe that you meet both the minimum qualifications and the program requirements, you should document your experience and education in your resume. Since traditional resumes do not always provide all the information needed to determine your status, you should create a more detailed resume to use when applying to Federal positions. Your resume should include:
  • Type of degree and date it was received or is expected to be received.
  • Statement of U.S. citizenship
  • Job announcement number
  • Work and/or volunteer experience including employment dates, hours worked per week, salary and supervisor information
  • References
  • Please ensure that your resume contains your full name, permanent address, contact phone number and email address.

Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements of the Recent Graduates program and the basic qualification requirements established for the position may be referred to the selecting official for consideration. Qualified applicants with veterans’ preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans’ preference.
To view the application form, visit:


  • Relocation expenses are not authorized.
  • The incumbents of Recent Graduates positions may be reassigned/relocated to any geographical location where the employee’s services are needed as determined by management.
  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS “E-VERIFY” system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identification discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
  • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at:

Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process for this announcement.
  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents in-person by 4:00 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
  • Representatives are available at 612- 336-3286 to assist you with questions prior to the application period during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  Central Time (CT), Monday - Friday).
  • Applying in-person is required. Applications will be accepted in Room 117 Henderson Hall on the campus of Tuskegee University, located at 120 Old Montgomery Road, Tuskegee Institute, Alabama 36088.  You may apply on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central time.   If you require directions to the location, please contact Carmen Walton at (612) 336-3286 for assistance.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on an as-needed basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

Step 1: Create a cover letter (optional) State the position for which you are applying.

Step 2: Create a resume and obtain academic documentation. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to the position for which you are applying. In addition, your resume should include a statement of U.S. citizenship, the job announcement number, your degree program, major/concentration, date degree was conferred, work and/or volunteer experience and references.

Step 3: Drop off application package on-site. You must apply in-person at the location listed above on the date and during the times specified.  LATE APPLICATIONS will not be considered. 

You must submit a complete Application Packages by 4:00 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required time frames. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc.  Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  1. Cover letter - (OPTIONAL) identify the positions/locations you are applying to, academic program, academic major, and graduation date.
  2. Resume that includes the following information: 1) statement of U.S. citizenship; 2) job announcement number; 3) contact information; 4) completed degree (major and type); 5) date degree was completed; 6) work/volunteer experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates or employment; and title, series, and grade, if applicable; 7) supervisor’s name, phone number and email address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and 8) references. 
  3. Current transcripts: an unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however if selected, an official college transcript will be required. Transcripts MUST include the student’s name, name of the school, type of degree, degree program, and date it was conferred.  If your school's transcripts or documentation do not provide all the necessary information listed above, you should include additional official academic documentation that meets the requirements. 
  4. DD-214 and VA documentation, if claiming 10-point Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10-point preference should also submit a SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans Preference.Current active duty members must submit a certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.

Phone: 612-336-3286
Fax: 612-336-3560
Agency Information:
100 N 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, Suite 510C
Fax: 612-336-3560

After the conclusion of the event, your application package will be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualification and eligibility requirements for the position. Qualified veterans’ preference eligibles will receive selection priority over non-veterans. 

You will be notified if you are referred to the selecting official for consideration and if you were selected or not selected.  If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.

Control Number: 401818000

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