Agricultural Research Service Research Veterinary Medical Officer Research Microbiologist in Ames, Iowa
Summary This position is located in the Agricultural Research Service, Field Organization, Midwest Area, Research Program Support, Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research, Ames, Iowa. The incumbent conducts basic and applied research on the prevention, diagnosis, and pathogenesis of bacterial diseases of food producing animals and relevant wildlife reservoirs. The research requires knowledge in a broad variety of disciplines including molecular biology, immunology and microbiology. Responsibilities Refine experimental infection models to characterize pathologic and immunologic responses in elk, swine and bison including use of molecular and/or proteomic and transcriptomic techniques. Evaluate host responses to Brucella infections at the molecular level; specifically, characterize host or pathogen gene expression during in vivo infection or after vaccination. Characterize immunologic responses to targeted bacterial antigens and correlate data to vaccine efficacy and or disease epidemiology in natural hosts. Using the models refined in Objective 1, develop new and/or improved diagnostic and intervention strategies to control Brucella infections in wildlife reservoirs responsible for infecting domestic production animals. Identify novel antigenic peptides of Brucella and express in recombinant form, prepare new recombinant vaccine strains, evaluate performance of novel. Brucella antigens in new diagnostic assays, and facilitate implementation of diagnostic assays or intervention strategies under field conditions. Requirements Conditions of Employment 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: Applicants must meet at least one of the basic education requirements listed below in addition to the minimum qualification requirements in order to be considered for the position. GS-701: Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent degree, i.e., Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD), obtained at a school or college of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA). The AVMA web site, http://www.avma.org (external link), has a listing of all AVMA-accredited veterinary medical schools. Graduates of foreign veterinary medical schools that are not accredited by the AVMA Council on Education (Refer to AVMA web site, http://www.avma.org (external link)for information about schools in this category) must meet one of the following requirements. Proof of certification of their final transcript by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) Possession of a permanent, full, and unrestricted license to practice veterinary medicine in a State, District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States that includes successful completion of the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) or its predecessors, the National Board Examination (NBE) and the Clinical Competency Test (CCT). Proof that the education obtained in a foreign veterinary medical program is equivalent to that gained in a veterinary medical program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education. Under this provision, equivalency is established only if an AVMA-accredited veterinary medical school or college accepts the graduate's final transcript from the foreign veterinary medical school at full value for placement into an advanced degree, postgraduate educational program, or training program (e.g. residency or graduate program). Graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must also provide proof of proficiency in the English language by successfully completing one of the nationally and internationally recognized examinations that incorporate assessments of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Examples of examinations that assess mastery of the English language are shown below: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Minimum scores for the TOEFL are 560 for the paper-based version; 220 for the computer-based version; or overall score of 83 for the internet-based version (including 26 or higher in speaking, 26 or higher in listening, and 17 or higher in writing). For the computer-based and paper-based test versions, applicants must also complete the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and the Test of Written English (TWE). Minimum required scores are 55 for the TSE and 5.5 for the TWE; Academic tests (listening, writing, and speaking) offered by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 7.0, with at least 7.0 in speaking, 6.5 in listening, and 6.0 in writing; OR Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 70, with at least 60 in speaking, 60 in listening, and 50 in writing. GS-403: 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 above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. 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 contributing to microbiological research related to pathogens causing disease in animals; evaluating host responses to infections at the molecular level; AND primary authorship of peer-reviewed journal articles related to microbiology or veterinary medicine. 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 leading microbiological research related to pathogens causing disease in animals; evaluating host responses to infections at the molecular level; primary authorship of peer-reviewed journal articles related to microbiology or veterinary medicine; AND research presentations at scientific meetings or conferences. 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 is an interdisciplinary position and may be filled in any of the job series/position titles listed. In addition to the specialized experience requirements, applicants must submit proof that they meet the educational requirements for at least one of the series described in the announcement. Applicants may only be appointed to job series/position titles for which they meet all experience and educational requirements. 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.