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Research Associate - Research Geneticist Full-time

at US Department of Agriculture in South Carolina (Published at 05-02-2019)




    The research position will be assigned to the USDA-ARS, U.S Vegetable lab, in Charleston, SC. The mission of the lab is to improve genetic population of vegetable crops by combining resistance to diseases and pests.
    ARS Postdoctoral Research Associates are hired to supplement a lead scientist's research on agricultural problems of high national priority affecting American Agriculture.



    The incumbent will convert SNP-based QTL markers into usable genetic breeding markers to incorporate Fusarium wilt race 1 and 2 resistance into a cultivated watermelon background, screen the USVL watermelon collection for resistance to bacterial fruit blotch and perform GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Study) to identify QTL associated with this resistance. They will screen the USVL watermelon collection for fruit and plant quality, and disease resistance traits and perform GWAS to identify QTL associated with these traits, and screen the USVL watermelon collection for cold tolerance to identify QTL associated with this tolerance for use in breeding efforts to improve watermelon rootstocks for better adaptability in a broader range of geographic locations

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - to complete research, meetings or trainings.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0440 Genetics

  • Requirements


    Conditions of Employment

    • A Ph.D. is required that was obtained within the last four years
    • Appropriations Law and Immigration Law requirements must be met
    • Pre-employment fingerprint check with successful adjudication is required
    • Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position may require a Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret security clearance or be subject to a Public Trust background investigation at the time of appointment, and may be subject to reinvestigation every five years thereafter. A favorable adjudication of the clearance or background investigation at the time of appointment and on reinvestigations is a condition of employment.


    This position requires a recent Ph.D in Genetics, Plant Pathology or Plant Physiology; or one of the basic biological sciences that included at least 9 semester hours in genetics, or a related field of study that has equipped the applicant with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position.
    The research assignment requires a thorough knowledge of current methods used in molecular biology and plant breeding, including techniques used in molecular biology, genetics, and bioinformatics. A thorough understanding of most bioinformatics programs associated with QTL analysis such as TASSEL, and R, as well as the ability to perform QTL, KASP and GWAS analysis.
    Applicants must meet basic Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standard's requirements of the scientific discipline necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position.
    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 grades received 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.


    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.
    Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at http://www.ed.gov . All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

    Additional information

    • Direct Deposit - Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
    • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    Your application will be evaluated to determine if you meet eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, and on the extent to which your application shows that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) associated with the position as defined above under "Qualifications".

    To view the application form, visit: https://ars.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=D25B5F53-F267-4B82-A583-A9EA00B6EE29

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance


    Drug test required


  • Required Documents

    Required Documents

    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.

    __ Resume, Curriculum Vitae, or other document outlining your qualifications
    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)

    __ Indicate country of citizenship __Copy of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Only if claiming veterans preference. Visit the following web site for additional information: http://www.opm.gov/employ/veterans/html/vetguide.asp )

    __SF-15 (Application for 10-point Veterans Preference) plus the supporting documentation required by this form (if claiming 10-point veteran's preference). Visit http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/sf.asp to obtain the form.

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

    __ A one-page abstract of 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 http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter .

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits


    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits .

    A Benefits Package will be authorized for appointments made for a period of more than one year.

    The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/enrollment/new-federal-employee-enrollment/

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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