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Research Scientist Careers
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The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is a satisfying, exciting, and professionally rewarding place for a research scientist to work.

It's satisfying because our research solves important problems. ARS research scientists provide new approaches and new technologies needed by consumers, producers, and industry. We design these approaches in a manner that is safe to our environment. We seek ways to produce more and better food and fiber, to control insect pests and weeds safely, to get food to consumers in better condition, to improve human nutrition and well-being, to help protect soil, water, and air, to improve animal health, and to find new uses for agricultural commodities.

It's exciting because so much of our research is on the leading edge of science, in highly visible programs with broad public support. Current research involves biotechnology, including molecular biology, genetic engineering, bioinformatics, and membrane research; application of theories of artificial intelligence to computer technology; innovative approaches to pest control through insect neurochemistry and use of pheromones. Each ARS scientist is employed because of his or her unique training and abilities as a researcher.

It's professionally rewarding because each ARS research scientist is a dedicated full-time researcher. Our research scientists work in modern, well-equipped laboratories and enjoy a free and open association with colleagues within the agency, with other USDA agencies, universities, and industry. Paid attendance at professional meetings and symposia and assistance in securing agency patents also help make a career with ARS rewarding and satisfying.

In ARS, the term "research scientist" is an agency used term.

Major Scientific Occupations:

Agricultural Engineering
Animal Science
Food Safety
Soil Science
Physical Science
Plant Science
Veterinary Science

Research Position Evaluation System

Grade levels for research scientist positions in ARS are set using the Research Position Evaluation System (RPES). The RPES is a peer review system based on the "person-in-the-job" concept. Under this concept, research scientists have open-ended promotion potential based on their personal research and leadership accomplishments, which can change the complexity and responsibility of their positions. For more information on the RPES process, visit the following web site: