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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » Carl Hayden Bee Research Center » Careers

Department: Department Of Agriculture                                                                                                                 FINAL

Agency: Agricultural Research Service

Sub Agency:  Honey Bee Research Center

Job Announcement Number: ARS-X10W-0037



Interdisciplinary: Research Entomologist/Research Microbiologist


Salary Range: $67,613 to $123,519 USD Per Year

GS-12: $67,613 ??? 87,893; GS-13: $80,402 - $104,525; GS-14: $95,010 - $123,519

Open Period: 01/06/2010 to 02/03/2010

Series & Grade: GS-0403, 0414-12/13/14

Position Information: Full-Time  Permanent


Duty Location: 1 vacancy -  Tucson, AZ 


Who May Be Considered:

Applications will be accepted from US Citizens, from current and former competitive service Federal employees, and people eligible under special hiring authorities.



Job Summary:

Seeking a permanent, full-time scientist to plan, implement, and report the results of research aimed at isolating and identifying symbiotic microbes in social insects and their food stores (pollen, nectar, etc.) that are required to maximize food processing, control pathogens, and maintain colony health.   


** All applicants who previously applied for ARS-X10W-0002 must re-apply to be considered. **


Your U.S. citizenship must be verified before entrance on duty.


**************************************************************************************NOTE:  In order to view and/or print the entire announcement, please scroll to the bottom of this page and click on ???Print Preview???, then ???Print???.  Otherwise, you may miss important instructions on qualification requirements and how to apply for this position.  **************************************************************************************

Major Duties:

This position is located at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Unit in Tucson, Arizona.  The mission of the Center is to conduct research to optimize the health of honey bee colonies through improved nutrition and control of Varroa mites, in order to maximize production of honey bee pollinated crops. 


Incumbent conducts both independent research and team-based research to investigate the role of symbiotic microbes in the conversion of pollen into bee bread, royal and worker jelly and identifying enzymes and other metabolic components produced by the microbes and those synthesized by the honey bee.  The incumbent will also determine the impact of contamination of pollen collected by bees, antibiotics applied by beekeepers to treat hive diseases, and supplemental feeding of protein and carbohydrate supplements on the growth and diversity of symbiotic microbes.   



Your education and experience will be evaluated against all qualification requirements (basic and any additional requirements) listed below.


Basic Requirements:

Research Entomologist (0414):  Degree: entomology; or a related discipline of the biological or physical sciences that included at least 16 semester hours in entomology OR Combination of education and experience--courses equivalent to a major that included course work as above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


Research Microbiologist (0403):  Degree: microbiology; or biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included at least 20 semester hours in microbiology and other subjects related to the study of microorganisms, and 20 semester hours in the physical and mathematical sciences combining course work in organic chemistry or biochemistry, physics, and college algebra, or their equivalent OR Combination of education and experience--courses equivalent to a major in microbiology, biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included courses as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


This position has a positive education requirement.  You must submit a copy of your academic transcripts OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grade point average or class ranking to verify education when applying for this position.  If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position.  If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.  Application materials will not be returned.


Additional Requirements:


GS-12: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 in the Federal Service OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the duties of the position.

GS-13:  One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal Service.
GS-14:  One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 grade level in the Federal Service. 

Time-In-Grade Restrictions apply for all candidates considered under Merit Promotion/Alternative Merit Promotion.

Specialized Experience is experience which has equipped you with the following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities - 'KSAs' required to perform the duties of this position: 


1.  Knowledge of microbiology, microbial ecology, and/or molecular biology in order to identify symbiotic bacteria and fungi in social insect colonies.
2.  Knowledge of entomology in order to recognize changes in social insect behavior due to environmental effects.
3.  Skill in genomic and metagenomic techniques in order to determine the role of particular microbes in the processing and storing of food by social insects.
4.  Ability to conceive, plan, conduct, and report research results in peer-reviewed, scientific journals.


To be considered for a research scientist position, you must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation.  Also, 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.


Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected.  A peer review may be required to determine the appropriate grade level of the position and supplemental materials may be required from the selectee.


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.


Education:  Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped you with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work.  Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States.  It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.  Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at for additional information on this topic.


How Will You Be Evaluated:

You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the basic and any additional requirements.  The Agricultural Research Service uses a category rating process.  Based on evaluation of all written materials submitted in an application for the position, you will be determined to be Ineligible, if you do not meet eligibility and/or minimum qualifications criteria; Eligible, if you meet all eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria; OR Quality, if you meet quality criteria in addition to eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria.  For information about how to address KSAs, please visit our website at, click on 'How to Apply,' then click on 'What are those KSAs anyway?'  For more information about the evaluation process, please visit our website at:, click on 'How to Apply,' then click on the link to 'Qualifications and What They Mean.'



A Benefits Package is authorized for this position.  Additional information about Federal benefits can be obtained at


Other Information:

Veteran???s Preference:
For further details, call the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at 703-724-1850 or TDD 978-461-8404.  Select General Information on the Federal Employment Policies and Procedures, and then Veteran???s Preference and Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans.  Visit their VetGuide website at

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA):  Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA), a special hiring authority, will be considered.  VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service.  Veterans who are released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour are also eligible.

Creditable Service:
Service credit for annual leave accrual may be granted for directly related non-Federal work experience or uniformed service for newly appointed individuals, or those individuals reappointed after a break in service from civilian Federal employment of at least 90 calendar days.  The amount of non-Federal service to be credited will be based on the amount of directly related and documented experience that the selectee possesses as documented by the employee and which is approved by agency management.

Relocation Expenses:
Payment of relocation expenses will be determined in accordance with P&P 412.5, Recruitment and Retention Incentives and Other Special Pay, Sections 6 and 7, as amended by Bulletins 03-402 and 05-412.5, which may be found at  See also

Financial Disclosure Requirement:
Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest.   You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.   

False statements:
If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be
hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

Optional Form 306, (Declaration for Federal Employment):
If you are selected for this position, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.

Displaced/Surplus Employees: 
Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection.  CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if that applicant meets the qualification standard and eligibility requirements for the position, meets minimum education and experience requirements, meets all selective factors where applicable and is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry.  Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location.  Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.  Additional information on CTAP and ICTAP is available at

Selective Service System:
Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.

ARS Reasonable Accommodation Contact Information:
If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on 202-855-1234 (TDD). 


How to Apply:

Applications may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the appropriate address and/or facsimile number, but they must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date.

If sending your application as an attachment to an email, do not send zipped files.  They will be removed in accordance with standard electronic security procedures.

If hand delivered, be sure your application is received in the Human Resources Division on or before closing date.

If application packages do not contain all of the requested information, you may lose consideration for the job.  To help you ensure your application fully outlines your qualifications and eligibility for this position, please submit the following documentation as appropriate.   Some of the items listed may not apply to you.  NOTE:  Applications received in postage paid government envelopes will not be considered.


__ Optional Form 612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment), Resume, Curriculum Vitae, or other document outlining your qualifications (Go to and scroll down to obtain the OF-612).

The following information is required of all applicants:

__ Announcement number, title, and grade(s) of the position

__ Full name, mailing address (including zip code) and day and evening phone numbers (with area code)

__ Statement that you are a U.S. citizen (if not using the OF-612)

__Copy of DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) (only if claiming veteran???s preference) (Visit the following web site for additional information: 

__SF-15 (Application for 10-point Veteran???s Preference) plus the support documentation required by this form (if claiming 10-point veteran???s preference) (Go to the web site at to obtain form.)

__ Paid and non-paid work experience related to the position.  For each period of work experience include:

          ___Job title

          ___Series/grade (if Federal employment)

          ___Duties and accomplishments

          ___Employer???s name and address

          ___Supervisor???s name and contact information

          ___Starting and ending dates of employment (at least month/year)

          ___Number of hours worked per week


          ___Indicate if we may contact current supervisor/employer

__ Other job related information, such as training courses (title & year); skills (e.g., other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, etc.)

          ___Certificates/licenses (current)

          ___Honors, awards, and special accomplishments

          ___Supplemental questionnaire if applicable
                (usually for Federal Wage System positions - WG, WL, WS)

__ Copy of college transcripts (if qualifying all or in part on the basis of education for this position) (If you have non-conventional education, e.g., foreign study, continuing education units, life experience, etc., go to the web site at and look under the heading ???Other Education??? for information governing acceptability of this type of education.)

__ Copy of SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) to verify possession of competitive civil service status (if you are a current or previous federal employee)

__ Copy of most recent performance appraisal (if you are a current federal employee)

__ Second copy of application package IF you are a candidate with competitive status.  (NOTE:  All status candidates who wish to be considered under both alternative merit promotion and non-status competitive examining must submit two (2) complete applications when the position is open to both status and non-status candidates.  When only one (1) application is received, it will be considered under the alternative merit promotion procedures if the applicant is a current or former Federal employee with reinstatement eligibility.)

__ Support documentation for eligibility for special hiring authorities, such as disability, Peace Corps service, etc.  (If you have questions about whether you are eligible for a particular hiring authority, please call the servicing HR specialist or visit the web site at .
__ Support documentation if you are a USDA surplus or federal displaced employee (See pertinent section under ???Other Important Information??? below.

__ Self-certification of typing speed (if required as a basic qualification for the position)

__ While not required, a separate response to the required knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs listed under Specialized Experience) and Selective Placement Factor(s), if present, for this position may better highlight your specific qualifications for this position.  (For an explanation of KSAs, go to the web site at

As an Applicant for a Research Scientist Position, you must also submit the following:

__  A one-page abstract of MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation

__  A resume of 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 invitations); and publications.

__  A list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, and recognition.

If this is your first time applying for a federal job, or if you wish to view more detailed information about various aspects of applying for federal jobs, go to

Location Contact Information:  Ann Forwood, (520) 670-6380 x100


Contact Information:

            Keli A. Martin

            Phone: 301-504-1584

            Fax: 301-504-1535

            TDD: 202-855-1234

            Internet: SCIRECRUIT@ARS.USDA.GOV


            Or Write:

            Department Of Agriculture


            5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Stop #5106

            Beltsville MD 20705-5106




What to Expect Next:

You will be notified at four stages throughout the hiring process - upon receipt of your application, if you meet the minimum qualifications, if you are referred on the selection certificate, and when a final selection has been made.



Career Opportunities

The links below are to current ARS job openings listed at the official job site of the US Federal Government, USAJOBS.

ARS openings in Tucson, AZ
ARS openings in Arizona
ARS openings nationwide