The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the United States Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency and one of the world's premiere scientific organizations. ARS Postdoctoral Research Associates are hired to supplement a lead scientist's research on agricultural problems of high national priority affecting American agriculture.
**ANNOUNCEMENT IS OPEN UNTIL FILLED OR MARCH 31, 2020 WHEN THE ANNOUNCEMENT CLOSES**
This position is a Research Agricultural Engineer/Research Hydrologist/Research Soil Scientist within the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit at East Wareham, Massachusetts.
The incumbent functions as a Research Associate and member of a team that focuses on evaluating irrigation and drainage management strategies to enhance cranberry production in Massachusetts.
To develop a manuscript based on long-term flow data from a tile-drained cranberry bog.
To analyze field data, perform modeling, and identify opportunities to improve drainage management in cranberry production. Also, to develop innovative applications of subsurface tile drainage in cranberry agriculture.
To evaluate the effects of subsurface tile drainage on soil tension, fruit rot and fruit production.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position to attend scientific meetings and/or conferences.
Job family (Series)
0470 Soil Science
0890 Agricultural Engineering
Conditions of Employment
Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check
Direct Deposit ? Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution
Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
Appropriations Law and Immigration Law requirements must be met
A Ph. D is required.
Motor Vehicle or Commercial Driver's License Required to drive government vehicle to remote field locations in Massachusetts.
This position requires a Ph.D in Hydrology, Civil Engineering, Agricultural (Biological) Engineering, Soil Science 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 incumbent must be able to plan, develop, implement research procedures, interpret results and prepare scientific reports and articles for refereed publication. Experience with agricultural production systems and collecting hydrologic field data is highly preferred.
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. The OPM Qualification Standards for this position are below.
Agricultural Engineering Series, 0890:
Degree: Engineering. To be acceptable, the program must: (1) lead to a bachelor's degree in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.
Combination of education and experience - college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following: 1. Professional registration or licensure - Current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT)1 , or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions. 2. Written Test - Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)2 examination or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. 3. Specified academic courses - Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and that included the courses specified in the basic requirements under paragraph A. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program as described in paragraph A. 4. Related curriculum - Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor's degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all inclusive.) Note: An applicant who meets the basic requirements as specified in A or B above, except as noted under B.1., may qualify for positions in any branch of engineering unless selective factors indicate otherwise.
Additional Experience and Training Provisions for Graduates of Engineering Programs:
a. Superior academic achievement at the baccalaureate level in an engineering program is qualifying for GS-7.
b. A combination of superior academic achievement and 1 year of appropriate professional experience is qualifying at GS-9.
c. Applicants with an engineering bachelor's degree who have appropriate experience as a technician equivalent to grade GS-5 or higher may have such experience credited for grade GS-7 only on a month-for-month basis up to a maximum of 12 months.
d. Successful completion of a 5-year program of study of at least 160 semester hours leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering is qualifying at GS-7. Completion of such a program and 1 year of appropriate professional experience is qualifying at grade GS-9.
Definition of Professional Engineering Experience: The professional engineering experience required for grades GS-7 and above is defined as non-routine engineering work that required and was characterized by (1) professional knowledge of engineering; (2) professional ability to apply such knowledge to engineering problems; and (3) positive and continuing development of professional knowledge and ability. Professional knowledge of engineering is defined as the comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences applicable to a specialty field of engineering 3 that characterizes a full 4-year engineering program leading to a bachelor's degree, or the equivalent. Professional ability to apply engineering knowledge is defined as the ability to (a) apply fundamental and diversified professional engineering concepts, theories, and practices to achieve engineering objectives with versatility, judgment, and perception; (b) adapt and apply methods and techniques of related scientific disciplines; and (c) organize, analyze, interpret, and evaluate scientific data in the solution of engineering problems.
Types of Creditable Experience: Professional work in engineering, like that in other professions, is marked by continuing personal effort to keep abreast of the advancing and changing discipline. Continuing education in engineering and related fields is an important element of full professional competence as an engineer that should be considered in evaluating the qualifications of applicants for professional engineering positions. In some situations, experience may be creditable even if it is not clearly professional engineering work. In such cases, the experience must have been preceded by prior responsible professional engineering experience and must contribute directly and significantly to the applicant's engineering competence. For example, an engineer might be assigned to a management-type position in preparation for assumption of higher-level responsibilities in engineering project or program management.
1. Regardless of the field of undergraduate study, completion of the requirements for a master's or higher degree in engineering is fully qualifying for the grade indicated, provided the applicant's total background, i.e., education and any experience, demonstrates evidence of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are substantially equivalent to those acquired through the successful completion of the courses specified in paragraph A..continued under Education.
Agricultural Engineering Series, 0890 continued:
2. With a bachelor's degree in engineering, graduate education in a related field is acceptable in lieu of graduate study in engineering for appropriate types of positions. For example, a Bachelor of Science in engineering plus a master's degree in business administration would be qualifying for Industrial Engineer, GS-9, but not for GS-9 laboratory positions in research and development. The key consideration in determining if such graduate education should be credited is whether or not the education provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of the position being filled.
Soil Science Series, 0470:
Degree: soil science or a closely related discipline that included 30 semester hours or equivalent in biological, physical, or earth science, with a minimum of 15 semester hours in such subjects as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics, and soil fertility.
Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in soil science or a related discipline that included at least 30 semester hours in the biological, physical, or earth sciences. At least 15 of these semester hours must have been in the areas specified in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
Hydrology Series, 1315:
Degree: physical or natural science, or engineering that included at least 30 semester hours in any combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conservation of water resources. The course work must have included at least 6 semester hours in calculus (including both differential and integral calculus), and at least 6 semester hours in physics. Calculus and physics, as described above, are requirements for all grade levels.
Combination of education and experience - course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
Evaluation of Experience: Acceptable experience must have included performance of scientific functions related to the study of water resources, based on and requiring a professional knowledge of related sciences and the consistent application of basic scientific principles to the solution of theoretical and practical hydrologic problems. The following is illustrative of acceptable experience: field or laboratory work that would require application of hydrologic theory and related sciences such as geology, geo-chemistry, geophysics, or civil engineering to making observations, taking samples, operating instruments, assembling data from source materials, analyzing and interpreting data, and reporting findings orally and in writing. In some cases, professional scientific experience that is not clearly water resource experience may be acceptable if such experience was preceded by appropriate education in hydrology or by professional hydrology experience.
Applicants with related experience in hydrology gained through earlier Federal Government employment might have gained that experience in one or more occupational series. Such series include Soil Conservation, GS-457; Forestry, GS-460; Soil Science, GS-470; Civil Engineering, GS-810; Chemistry, GS-1320; Meteorology, GS-1340; and Geology, GS-1350. Comparable non-Federal experience may be given similar credit.
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.
A Ph.D. is required
Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer.
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".
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.
Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.
To view the application form, visit:https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10660664
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
Trust determination process
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions.If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment.Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.