Staff Microbiologist Ap - Washington, DC

Vacancy No.



Food Safety and Inspection Service


$73,100.00 to $113,007.00


04 to 04





Open Date


Close Date


Job Link

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Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)

Department Of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Sub Agency:
Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
Job Announcement Number:
Job Title:
Staff Microbiologist AP-0403-04
Salary Range:
73,100.00 - 113,007.00 USD /year
Series & Grade:
Promotion Potential:
Open Period:
Friday, November 06, 2009 to Friday, November 27, 2009
Position Information:
Full-time Permanent
Duty Locations:
1 vacancy - Washington DC Metro Area, DC
Who May Be Considered:

1. This position is open to all U.S. Citizens.

2. Officers on active duty in the Public Health Service (PHS)

Commissioned Corps, PHS Inactive Reserve Officers, and current

applicants to the PHS. (See how to apply if applying under this

category; do not apply on-line.)

Job Summary:

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a

public health regulatory agency of the U.S. Department

of Agriculture (USDA).  Our mission is to protect

consumers by ensuring that the commercial supply of

meat *, poultry, and egg products moving in interstate

commerce or exported to other countries is safe,

wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged.


* The "Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008", also referred to

as the "2008 Farm Bill", was signed into Law on June 18, 2008. The

Farm Bill amends the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) to include

Catfish as an amenable species under the Act.


Job Summary:

For those applicants who have federal competitive status

(hold or previously held a permanent competitive appointment in the

federal government) and are eligible for any non-competitives

authorities, you may apply to announcement #FSIS-MMP-2010-0152.


We offer opportunities for future merit-based promotion, career

enhancement and professional development; flexible work schedules,

and transit subsidies in some locations. For more information about

the agency, visit ""


This position is covered by the Public Health Human Resources

(PHHRS) Demonstration Project.


Effective July 19, 2009, FSIS began operating under the PHHRS, a Pay

Banding and Pay for Performance Demonstration Project, in which non-

bargaining unit positions will be classified by career path,

occupational series, and pay bands rather than the traditional

General Schedule (GS) grades in the Federal Service.


PHHRS will offer flexibility to offer exceptional candidates higher

salaries than most other Federal agencies. Additionally, employees

will be eligible to receive an annual pay increase based upon



For more information on PHHRS, including information on its pay

tables and how it will benefit employees, please visit:



This position is located in the Office of Public Health Science,

Food Safety and Inspection Service, Microbiology Division. In this

position you will be responsible for leading efforts on

microbiological issues central to the Agency and to the public


Key Requirements:


Major Duties:

In this position, you will support efforts on microbiological issues

central to the agency through data analysis and interpretation and

support of agency public science health programs.


In this position, you will be relied upon as an expert advisor

in leading supporting or planning projects, in the analysis,

interpretation, and validation of results from data collected on

pathogenic microorganisms, their toxins, genetic material, and in

the application of related detection methodologies.


You will be responsible for the technical and scientific development

and direction of large scale, complex projects for the agency.


As an expert in this position, problem definition is a key

aspect of your responsibility.


You will integrate and coordinate interagency multidisciplinary

efforts of experts and consultants both within and outside of the

government to resolve critical food safety issues.


You will support and contribute to the evaluation of data or program

development, which relies upon product characteristics, process

capabilities, and public health factors required in the development

of standards/guidance and inspection procedures for the prevalence

and levels of various factors or measures related to food products

or processes including those that are FSIS regulated.


You will also lead, support or contribute to program personnel in

formulating approaches to technological, isolation and

identification laboratory standards, and will help develop protocol

and strategically investigate and interpret the relationship between

food safety standards and scientific measure within the FSIS



You may be asked to solve difficult analytical or unusual problems

regarding the isolation and identification of microorganisms.


You will lead or support efforts to design programs or analyses to

ensure that the adequacy of the size samples, and their purpose and

selection for inspection under the Agency's regulations are



You will serve as a resource in the area of pathogen control to to

improve food safety and public health, including issues related to

the development of methods to investigate, design, implement, and

approve the use of control techniques for plants under inspection.  


Your expertise will be utilized reviewing manuscripts, reports, and

correspondence prepared by personnel of the Agency for validity and

completeness of analysis and interpretation of results, and, where

appropriate, to make recommendations for approval or revision. 


You may also be called upon to testify in court as an expert witness

in pathogenic/microbiological matters.


You will utilize a current, working knowledge of Hazard Analysis and

Critical Control Points (HAACCP) plans for meat and poultry

establishments, and will serve as one ot the division's

representatives on product investigtions and recalls and will

coordinate with other Federal public health agencies to protect the

public from outbreaks or increased exposure to adulterated meat or



In this position, your work is the basis for Agency policy

development and regulations, and you will contribute to the decision

making process by preparing technical briefing documents and

participating in discussions with top management officials

concerning emerging issues and policies of importance to the Agency.


All applicants must submit transcripts to verify completion of

required education.  (FSIS employees currently classified in the

Microbiology 0403 Series are not required to submit transcripts.)

There are two basic components of your experience that

together define the qualification requirements.  These

components are:


1.  Specialized experience (as stated)

2.  Education (as stated)


1.  In order to meet the specialized experience requirement, you

will need to have completed 52 weeks of progressively responsible

specialized experience at the next lower band/grade level within 30

days after the closing date of this announcement.


Basic Education Requirements:


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.




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.


Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an

accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher

degree that included a major field of study or specific course

requirements generally as stated in paragraph A in the individual

occupational requirements.


Where specific course requirements are not indicated in paragraph A,

the number of semester hours required to constitute a major field of

study is the amount specified by the college or university attended.

If this number cannot be obtained, 24 semester hours will be

considered as equivalent to a major field of study. The nature and

quality of this required course work must have been such that it

would serve as a prerequisite for more advanced study in the field

or subject-matter area. Related course work generally refers to

courses that may be accepted as part of the program major.




Appropriate combination of education and experience that is

typically specified in paragraph B of the individual occupational

requirements. The "paragraph B" method generally requires that an

applicant possess a core of educational credit, such as described in

paragraph A above, plus additional education and/or experience. The

method of determining the number of semester hours required to

constitute a major field of study is the same as described in

paragraph A.


The quality of the combination of education and experience must be

sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the

knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the

occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the

successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major

in the appropriate field. In addition to courses in the major and

related fields, a typical college degree would have included courses

that involved analysis, writing, critical thinking, research, etc.

These courses would have provided an applicant with skills and

abilities sufficient to perform progressively more responsible work

in the occupation. Therefore, creditable experience should have

demonstrated similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to

perform the work of the occupation.


Specialized experience is recent professional experience as a food

microbiologist or as a microbiologist analyzing a wide variety of

food products. Experience must demonstrate developing or modifying

methods to perform microbiological analysis; ability to isolate,

detect, and confirm food pathogens in food products using up-to-date

methodology; identifying need for development of microbiological

methods and approaches; planning and carrying out projects to

satisfy these needs; planning and conducting microbiological

analyses to solve complex scientific and technical problems, and

interpreting findings and policy related to the isolation and

detection of foodborne pathogens in food products. The experience

must demonstrate good communication skills in order to write complex

protocols, laboratory communications, and scientific publications.

How You Will Be Evaluated:

Applicants are evaluated in accordance with Delegated Examining

Procedures. The top candidates are referred to the selecting

official in score and veterans preference order. 5 or 10 points are

added to the score of veterans who meet the requirements for

preference and submit legible documentation by the closing date of

the announcement. A member 4 copy of the DD-214 must be submitted

for 5 point preference, and for 10 point preference, a DD-214, a 

Veterans administration letter specifying 10 point preference

eligibility, and an SF-15 are requested. In the absence of an SF-15

and DD-214 for 10 point preference, applicants that submit the VA

letter specifying eligibility for preference and an honorable

discharge will be awarded preference, assuming all requirements for 

preference are met. All applicants are rated on the extent and

quality of experience, education, and training relevant to the

duties of the position.  An automated ranking system, based

on the on-line application process is used.  Before a certificate

can be issued to the selecting official, the resume is reviewed

carefully by an HR Specialist to assure that (a) minimum

qualification requirements are met, (b) the resume supports the

answers provided to the job-specific questions, and (c) that your

resume addresses experience and education relevant to this position.


To be well qualified, CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must receive a rating of

at least 85 out of 100.

To preview questions please click here.

The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to

its employees. The following Web addresses are provided for your

reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal



Flexible Spending Accounts - The Federal Flexible Spending Accounts

Program (FSAFeds) allows you to pay for certain health and dependent

care expenses with pre-tax dollars. For information visit:


Health Insurance - The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

offers over 100 optional plans. For information visit:


Leave - Most Federal employees earn both annual and sick leave. For

additional information visit:


Life Insurance - The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program

(FEGLI) offers: Basic Life Insurance plus three types of optional

insurance, for additional information visit:


Long Term Care Insurance - The Federal Long Term Care Insurance

Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for Federal

employees and their parents, parents-in-law, stepparents, spouses,

and adult children. For additional information visit:


Retirement Program - Almost all new employees are automatically

covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a

three-tiered retirement plan. The three tiers are: Social Security

Benefits, Basic Benefit Plan, Thrift Savings Plan. For additional

information visit:

Other Information:



STATES. FSIS utilizes E-Verify to verify identity and employment

eligibility by providing to the Social Security Administration (SSA)

and, if necessary the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work

authorization. E-Verify cannot be used to pre-screen job applicants

or to re-verify current employees and may not limit or influence the

choice of documents presented for use on the Form I-9. If you have

concern that there has been a violation of the E-Verify program or

you feel you have been discriminated during the verification process

based on your national origin or citizenship status, contact the

Office of Special Counsel at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD: 1-800-237-2515).

For more information on E-Verify you may contact DHS at 1-888-464-



>Entitlement to the payment of relocation expenses will be

determined in accordance with the provisions outlined in FSIS

Directive 3820.2


>A background investigation is a requirement for this position. 

Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion

of a background investigation   and favorable adjudication.  Failure

to successfully meeting these requirements could lead to adverse

action proceedings including possible termination.


>If you are selected, you may need to complete a Declaration for

Federal Employment (OF-306) prior to being appointed to determine

suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background

investigation.  False statements or responses on a resume or

application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for

disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.


>Full performance level of this position is AP-04.


>Multiple selections: This announcement may be used to fill

additional, like vacancies should any occur in the commuting area. 



The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination

in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color,

national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital

status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual

orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or

because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any

public assistance program.  (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 USDA's TARGET Center at

(202) 720-720-2600 (voice and TDD).  To file a complaint of

discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,

1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.  20250-9410, or

call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).  USDA is an

equal opportunity provider and employer. 


This Agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with

disabilities.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part

of the application process, please notify the Agency prior to the

closing date.  Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will

be on a case-by-case basis.

How To Apply:

Completed applications include:


1. Answers to all core questions (Completed when registering on-line

in USAJOBS and as part of the initial application process)


2. Answers to all vacancy-specific questions (Completed for each



3. Your on-line resume. Resumes are entered into USAJOBS.

Resumes can be copied and pasted into the personal information area

of your application from other word processing documents at any time

prior to the closing date.


4. Any supplemental documents needed, such as transcripts.


Applicants who do not respond to the on-line vacancy questions and

who do not submit a supporting resume or required supporting

documents will be rated ineligible.


This announcement closes at midnight eastern time on the closing


Required Documents:

1. If you are qualifying based on education, and you are not

currently a FSIS employee in the 0403 series, you must submit your

transcripts.  This information should include course title, school

name/location, date completed, grade, and number of credits earned.


2.   Non-FSIS applicants must submit a copy of their most recent SF-

50B indicating their current grade/band level, status and tenure to

verify competitive status.


3.  If you claim CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, please provide a copy of

your most recent performance appraisal (at least "fully successful"

or equivalent), and proof of eligibility, i.e., a RIF separation

notice or Certification of Expected Separation, and an SF-50 noting

current position, grade/band level, and duty location.


4.  Officers on active duty in the Public Health Service (PHS)

Commissioned Corps, PHS Inactive Reserve Corps Officers,

and applicants to the PHS Commissioned Corps do not apply on-line.

These applicants should send hard copy applications (i.e. curriculum

vitae) to the HR contact listed in this announcement. Applicants to

the PHS Commissioned Corps should also submit a copy of their

Commissioned Corps application. Officers and Corps applicants are

strongly encouraged to submit all the materials requested here (or

their equivalent) in order to be competitive. For general

information on employment as a Commissioned Corps Officer at FSIS,

please contact CDR LouAnn Rector at (202) 720-7208 or



If you claim eligibility for consideration via a variety of non-

competitive special hiring authorities, supporting documentation

should be provided.


Please note: A member 4 copy of the DD-214 must be submitted

for veterens applying for consideration.


For more information on non-competitive appointments, Click here.


Additional Supporting Documentation should be sent using the fax

imaging instructions after you have applied to the vacancy


Faxing Supporting Documentation:


The next step of the application process is to fax all the required

supporting documentation specified in the Required Documents section

of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your

supporting documentation submitted in order to continue with the

online portion of the application process. Please carefully follow

the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are

properly faxed and received. All required documents must be

received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy



***Not all of the document types listed will pertain to you; only

submit documents needed to complete your application package. For

example, the Schedule A Certification document must only be

submitted by individuals applying based on eligibility for

appointment due to a disability. The SF-50 is a form current and

former Federal employees submit to document their Federal employment



FAX INSTRUCTIONS for after you apply to the vacancy announcement:

1. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status

of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need

to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are

submitting an updated copy. (If a document is resubmitted, it

replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document

is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are

adding to, rather than replacing, a previous submission, you must

fax both the old document and the new document for them both to be

accessible to HR.)


2. You must use a separate cover sheet for each category of

supporting documentation (i.e., transcripts, SF-50, DD-214). Choose

the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the

appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column.


3. Click the [Print Cover Sheets] button. A window will pop up

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

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

print the cover sheets. Additionally, you must allow pop-ups.


4. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any

required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved

forward in the application process.


5. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document

is legible and all information is complete and signed, if

necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible.

Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or

patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible

faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification



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

fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number

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

documents from more than one category of supporting documentation,

you must submit them with the appropriate cover sheet. EACH



SHEET. (i.e., Transcripts are one type of document; fax all

pages of your transcript and other education-related documents under

the transcript cover sheet; the SF-50 is another document type, if

you are faxing more than one SF-50, fax them all under the SF-50

cover sheet.)


7. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re-

fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a

unique identification number and bar code, which ensures your

document is processed correctly.


8. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been

successfully received by Human Resources. You should retain your e-

mail confirmation and confirmation of your fax transmittal report as

proof of submission.


Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE

FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required

documentation as specified under the required documents section by

midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy


Contact Information:
Yvonne Martin
Phone: 612-659-8611
Fax: 612-370-2062
TDD: 800-877-8339
Or write:
Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
Human Resources Field Office
Butler Square West, Suite 420C
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Fax: 612-370-2062
What To Expect Next:

You may check your application status on USAJOBS. Applications are

reviewed after the announcement closing date and the best qualified

candidates are referred to the selecting official.

EEO Policy Statement:
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:
Veterans Information:
Legal and Regulatory Guidance:
USAJOBS Control Number: 1728590

Control Number: 84439331


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




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