National Program Leader Epidemiology Of Food Safety - WASHINGTON, DC

Vacancy No.



Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education & Extension Service


$82,961.00 to $127,442.00


13 to 14





Open Date


Close Date


Job Link

Apply Online

Who may apply








Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)

Department: Department Of Agriculture
Agency: Cooperative State Research, Education & Extension Service
Sub Agency: Cooperative State Research, Ed, and Ext Service
Job Announcement Number:

National Program Leader (Epidemiology of Food Safety)
Salary Range: 82,961.00 - 127,442.00 USD per year
Open Period: Thursday, October 09, 2008
to Thursday, November 20, 2008
Series & Grade: GS-0401-13/14
Position Information: * Permanent * Full-Time
Promotion Potential: 15
Duty Locations: 1 vacancy - Washington DC Metro Area, DC
Who May Be Considered:

This is a competitive vacancy, open to all United States citizens. 

Applications will also be accepted from individuals eligible through

the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency

Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), in the local commuting


Job Summary:

(CSREES) advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment,

human health and well being, and communities by supporting research,

education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University

System and other partner organizations.  CSREES is committed to

supporting programs with results that serve all Americans and

improve lives worldwide.


This position is located in the Processing, Engineering and

Technology (PET) section of the Plant and Animal Systems unit at

CSREES.  The Processing, Engineering and Technology section contains

a balance of discipline-based components, including agricultural and

biological engineering, biology, food science, food safety,

nanoscience, nutrition, occupational safety and health, and

instrumentation and technology.  The PET section is responsible for

providing national program leadership in food safety, engineering,

bio-based products, agricultural safety and health, nanotechnology

and administering related competitive grant programs.


The incumbent provides leadership in the epidemiology of food

safety and risk-based approaches to reducing food borne illness. 

Food safety programs in the PET section are highly

interdisciplinary, and integrate the research, education, and

extension components of a science-based program that seeks to

prevent both unintentional and intentional contamination of food

through an integrated approach.  National Program Leaders for the

food safety program in the PET section are responsible for

developing and communicating policy recommendations on food safety

research, education and extension to the higher administration.  In

addition, they are responsible for pre-award and post-award

management and administration of various competitive food

safety grant programs.  They are also integrally involved in

promoting interagency collaboration, and interacting with federal,

industry, public and private stakeholders.  National Program Leaders

actively conduct reviews of academic programs at Land Grant



This position is conveniently located near L'Enfant Plaza Metro

station and easily accessible by several express commuter bus

services.  If you are looking for an exciting career in the federal

government, this may be the opportunity for you!

Key Requirements:

  • United States Citizenship

Major Duties:

The incumbent will be a key player in the interdisciplinary food

safety program, addressing issues that span the entire food system. 

Expertise in epidemiology of food safety and risk-based approaches

to reducing food borne illness; knowledge of intervention

technologies in preventing and reducing microbial loads and toxic

substances; and knowledge of the control of food contamination

across the food chain are required.  The incumbent must

have the ability to work with public health officials in closing the

knowledge gaps, linking applied research and education outcomes to

food borne illness incidents.  The incumbent is expected to gather,

analyze, and interpret stakeholder input and, where appropriate,

synthesize and integrate stakeholder recommendations into existing

food safety programs.  The incumbent will develop strong inter- and

intradepartmental collaborations with program- and administrative-

level officials at various food safety agencies, particularly those

at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Agricultural Marketing

Service (AMS), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Food Safety and

Inspection Service (FSIS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA),

Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency

(EPA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  You will also

establish and maintain contacts and relationships with high-level

officials in universities, professional societies, and industry to

provide effective cooperation and continuation of research,

education, and extension efforts; and collaborate with relevant

positions in other units of the agency.  


Required Qualifications:


Specialized Experience:



In addition to fulfilling the basic qualifications, you must have at

least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12

grade level in the Federal service.  The experience is typically in

or related to the work of the position being filled, such as

experience providing direction and leadership to a food safety, food

science, public health, or nutrition research, education, or

extension program.



In addition to fulfilling the basic qualifications, you must have at

least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13

grade level in the Federal service.  The experience is typically in

or related to the work of the position being filled, such as

experience providing direction and leadership to a regional or

national food safety, food science, public health, or nutrition

research, education, or extension program.

If you wish to be considered through merit promotion procedures, all

time-in-grade, time after competitive appointment, and qualification

requirements must be met within thirty days of the closing date of

this announcement.


To be minimally qualified for this position you must have one

of the following:


Basic Qualifications


(A)a four-year degree in food science, microbiology, nutrition,

public health, or a related scientific discipline such as

agriculture, chemistry, biology, etc. (a Ph.D. or DVM is highly





(B)a combination of education and experience that included at least

24 semester hours of course work in one or more of the fields listed

above, plus appropriate experience or additional course work

that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through

the successful completion of the four-year course of study as

described above.


NOTE: You are REQUIRED to submit Transcripts with your application

for this position.

How You Will Be Evaluated:

Your application will be evaluated and rated under the Category

Rating and Selection Procedures.  Your resume will be reviewed and

compared against your responses to the vacancy specific questions. 

You must answer every question that accompanies this vacancy

announcement, as your responses will better highlight your specific

qualifications for this position.  The score you receive is based on

these responses and is a measure of the degree to which your

background matches the requirements of the position.  Eligible

candidates will then be placed for selection consideration into two

categories as described below:


Well Qualified Category: 

Exceeds the minimum qualification requirements based on review of

resume and responses to the vacancy specific questions.


Best Qualified Category:

Outstanding level based on review of resume and responses to the

vacancy specific questions.


Your responses to the online questionnaire should demonstrate the

following competencies (you do not need to address them separately):



Mastery knowledge of food safety in order to establish and lead

agency programs and formulate technical recommendations or solutions

to critical national issues.



Ability to lead others and lead change in the development,

implementation, and coordination of major research and extension

programs in food safety.



Ability to plan and act strategically in developing program goals

and priorities, and in assuring the relevancy, quality, and

performance of research and extension programs.



Ability to work effectively with others, communicate clearly both in

writing and orally, interact with diverse stakeholders, support

equal opportunity and workforce diversity programs, policies, and



Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses

to the applicant assessment questions.  High self-assessment in the

applicant questions that is not supported by information in your

resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status, and subsequent

referral to the selecting official.


To preview questions please click here.


A Benefits Package is authorized for this position.  CLICK HERE for more information concerning federal benefits. 


Other Information:

Veterans Preference:


To determine your eligibility for Veterans Preference, CLICK HERE.  For further details, call the U.S. Office of

Personnel Management (OPM) at (703) 724-1850.  Select Option 2

initially.  Then select Option 2 again for "General Information on

Federal Employment Policies and Procedures."  Select Option 2 once

more for "Veterans Preference and Special Appointing Authorities for

Veterans."  Then select which item you wish to hear more about: 

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, Veterans Preference,

Special Appointing Authorities, etc. 


CLICK HERE to visit the VetGuide website. 



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. 

CLICK HERE for further information.




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.  CLICK HERE to access the Optional Form 306.



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 Bulletin 03-402.  CLICK HERE for specific information concerning these items.



Financial Disclosure Requirement:


The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public

confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. 

Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and

statutes as described on the REE Ethics Webpage.  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.



Reasonable Accommodation:


Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with

disabilities.  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).  The decision to grant reasonable

accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.



Civil Rights Policy Statement:


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an equal opportunity

employer and provider.  Discrimination is prohibited in all USDA

programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national

origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual

orientation, and marital or family status.  (Not all prohibited

bases apply to all programs.)  Persons with disabilities who require

alternative means for communication of program information (Braille,

large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center

on (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).


To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office

of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence

Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C.  20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964

(voice and TDD).

How To Apply:


Your application and all required supplemental documents must

be submitted in the manner specified in this section. Applications

may be submitted by other means, but only in cases involving

reasonable accommodation or extreme hardship. To request this

service contact Vivian Brooks at (202) 720-6087 or TDD (202) 855-



Most libraries and employment offices can provide access to the

Internet. If applying on-line poses a hardship for you, please speak

to the Agency Contact in this announcement PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE

for assistance. Additionally, you must have an email account to

apply for positions through this process. If you do not have an

email account, you may obtain a free email account from websites

such as,, etc.


Please be advised that your application will be regarded as

incomplete and will not be considered if the Human Resources Office

does not receive your application and all required supplemental

documentation, as specified in the "Required Documents" section of

this vacancy announcement, by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)

on the closing date of this vacancy announcement.


You must follow all three steps described below in order to

complete the application process:


STEP 1 - (Online Resume - USAJOBS)


Click the "Apply Online" button at the bottom of this vacancy

announcement. This will take you directly to the USAJOBS resume

builder. Please follow the instructions to create an account, or

if you are an existing user, to log into your account. Information

you provide in USAJOBS is general information completed by all

applicants. The information you provide and your Federal resume will

become part of your application and will automatically be

transferred to the USDA QuickHire system. After you finish

submitting your resume from USAJOBS, you will automatically be taken

to QuickHire where you will be asked to complete the next step of

the application process.


STEP 2 - (Vacancy Specific Questions - QuickHire)


In QuickHire, you will answer vacancy specific questions

necessary to evaluate your qualifications for the specific job to

which you are applying. Please be sure to allow yourself adequate

time to apply for this position. The system will not save your

responses unless you finish all of the questions for the specific

grade level for which you are applying. If you wish to save your

answers and return to your application at a later time, then you

must respond to all of the required questions for the specific grade

level. Additionally, it is suggested that you save your work often

to avoid losing information. When completed, the information you

provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the vacancy specific

questions will become your application. After the vacancy closes the

Human Resources office uses the application package to rate, rank,

and certify candidates.


STEP 3 - (Supporting Documentation - QuickHire)


The last step of the application process is to fax all of the

required supplemental documentation that is specified in

the "Required Documents" section of this vacancy announcement.

These required documents must be received by 11:59 PM Eastern

Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

The fax cover sheets with fax instructions are displayed in

QuickHire after you finish answering all vacancy specific questions.

You must use a separate fax cover sheet for each type of supporting

document.  Please follow the instructions below carefully to ensure

your supporting documents are properly faxed and received:




1. After answering all vacancy specific questions in QuickHire,

you will be taken to a page containing a list of fax cover sheets

for all requested supplemental documents.


2. Choose the document coversheet(s) you would like to print by

selecting the appropriate check boxes in the "Select Cover Sheet"



3. Click the "Print Cover Sheets" button. A new window will pop

up containing the fax cover sheet(s) that you selected. Print the

cover sheet(s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to

print the coversheets.


4. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure that it is

legible and that all information is complete and signed, if



5. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and

fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number that is

specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing more than one


corresponding cover sheet to the fax number specified on the cover



6. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event that you need to

re-fax your supporting documents for this vacancy announcement at a

later time. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification

number, which ensures that your document is processed correctly.


7. You should receive an e-mail that the fax has been

successfully received by Human Resources. This EMAIL CONFIRMATION is

your official receipt of submission. The fax confirmation generated

by the fax machine is NOT your official receipt of submission.


Required Documents:

In addition to electronically submitting your resume and completing

the vacancy specific questions by the closing date of this

announcement, you may also need to submit supplemental

documentation.  Please submit these documents by fax, in accordance

with the instructions listed in Step 3 under 'How to Apply'.  Your

failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of

this announcement will result in the loss of the particular

consideration you are requesting.



Merit Promotion

If you are a current or previous federal employee with competitive

status and would like to be considered under merit promotion

procedures, you must submit a copy of your most recent SF-50 and

Performance Appraisal.  Additionally, if you are requesting

consideration for non-competitive eligibility, but do not yet hold

the full performance level of this position, then you must submit an

SF-50 that documents your full performance level.  Failure to do so

may cause you to lose consideration for this position through merit

promotion procedures.


Special Hiring Authorities

To be considered under Special Hiring Authorities (e.g., Schedule A,

VRA, 30% or More Disabled Veteran's Program, etc.), you must submit

documentation that provides evidence of this eligibility.  Please

also indicate your eligibility in Core Question numbers 13 and 14. 


Veterans Preference

If you are claiming Veterans Preference, you must submit the

following documents relative to your claim.  Please also see the

section "Additional Information", to learn more about preference



5-Point Veterans' Preference

To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit a copy of your DD-214

(Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) or other

proof of eligibility. 


10-Point Veterans' Preference

To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit a SF-15 (Application

for 10-Point Veterans Preference), plus the documentation required

by that form. 


CLICK HERE to access this form.


Your failure to submit supporting documentation may cause you to

lose consideration for your preference. 


Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and Interagency Career

Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Applicants:

Applicants requesting consideration under the CTAP or ICTAP programs

must submit documentary evidence of eligibility.  Well qualified

CTAP and ICTAP applicants within the local commuting area will

receive selection priority as provided by OPM regulations.  Well-

qualified means the applicant meets the basic qualification and

eligibility requirements; is rated above minimally qualified based

upon your resume/application and responses to the vacancy specific

questions; and is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the

position upon entry.  If you are requesting consideration as a CTAP

or ICTAP applicant, you must submit the following:


1) A copy of your RIF Separation Notice or Certification of Expected

Separation or other documentation indicating that you are a surplus


2) Evidence of full performance level of current position;

3) A copy of your most recent performance appraisal; and

4) A copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel




If you indicate that you possess any form of postsecondary

education, submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree

(s).  At the time your education was obtained, the entire

institution, applicable school within the institution, or the

applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an

accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S.

Department of Education.  You may lose consideration for this

position if you fail to provide this information. 

CLICK HERE for more information on this topic.



Foreign Education

To receive credit for education outside the U.S., you must show

proof that the education has been submitted to a private

organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign

educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to

be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education

programs.  There is normally a fee associated with this service. 

For a list of private organizations that are accredited to evaluate

education, visit National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.

Contact Information:

Vivian Brooks
Phone: 202-720-6087
Fax: 000-000-0000
TDD: 202-855-1234
Or write:
Cooperative State Research, Ed, and Ext Service
USDA/ARS/Human Resources Division
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-0308
Fax: 000-000-0000

What To Expect Next:

Once your complete application is received, we will conduct an

evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The

best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration

and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Send Mail to:
Cooperative State Research, Ed, and Ext Service
USDA/ARS/Human Resources Division
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-0308

Fax: 000-000-0000
For questions about this job:
Vivian Brooks
Phone: 202-720-6087
Fax: 000-000-0000
TDD: 202-855-1234

Control Number: 1363506


Note: We cannot accept applications on behalf of Federal Agencies. Application instructions are listed within the Job Description.




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