Skills needed for employment
The Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory (AGIL) employs research animal scientists, research geneticists, research molecular biologists, research physiologists, and microbiologists. Scientists have advanced degrees in animal breeding and genetics, animal physiology, animal science, cell biology, and molecular biology. The support staff includes animal scientists, biologists, biological laboratory technicians, information technology specialists, and office staff.
For the Animal Improvement Program project, the research applies high level statistical and genetic theory to extremely large databases that contain records for millions of dairy animals. Computer programming, math, science, and English skills are required for almost all positions. Specific knowledge of SAS, C, Fortran, or DB2 and advanced courses in statistics are all useful. Data analysis requires an understanding of the data collected and of genetic principles. Experience with dairy cattle breeding and college training in animal sciences are both useful. Graduate degrees and training in animal breeding, genetics, and statistics are necessary for research geneticist positions related to this project.
Postdoctoral research positions often are available. Starting salary ranges from approximately $55,000 to $60,000 per year for an initial period of 2 years. The laboratory is equipped with the latest technology, including Illumina GAIIX, cBOT, MiSEQ, and HiSeq2000 next-generation sequence analysis instruments, an Illumina iScan for SNP genotyping and gene expression profiling analyses, a Tecan robotic workstation, a CoVaris S2 ultrasonicator for DNA shearing, Nanodrop spectrophotometers, Agilent Bioanalyzers, an Invitrogen Qubit fluorometer, a Leica AS LMD laser microdissecting microscope, a fluorescence-activated cell sorter, a Li-Cor imaging system for western blots, and extensive computational infrastructure and bioinformatic assistance. Various other instrumentation such as microscopes, centrifuges, PCR machines, slide staining equipment, electrophoresis equipment, and cell culture incubators is available.
Current job openings
GS-11/12, $68,036–$88,450/year, 2 years full-time but may be extended up to 4 years
(open until position is filled)
Research will focus on:
- Developing improved sequence data processing programs to identify causal mutations to replace the linked markers currently used in genomic prediction.
- Analyzing sequence genotypes from a global exchange of whole genome data (1000 Bull Genomes Project) to estimate effects of DNA variants on more than 30 dairy cattle traits.
- Assisting with implementing and conducting research projects related to animal genomics and improvement.
- Cooperating in international cattle sequencing research.
Major duties may include but are not limited to design and testing of new tools to include information from DNA sequence data more efficiently in genomic predictions of dairy cattle traits.
The links below are to current ARS job openings listed at the official job site of the US Federal Government, USAJOBS.