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Biological Science Technician - Pathways Program - Remote

The incumbent is assigned our Science & Technology unit, and provides scientific and technical support at the national level to address science-based problems related to the APHIS, PPQ's mission to safeguard United States (U.S.) agricultural and natural resources while promoting safe trade.

We will be collecting applications for this position at the 2024 MANRRS Conference, as well as on-line. Please see "How to Apply".

This job is open to recent graduates (individuals who have graduated from an accredited educational institute or certificate program within the last  2 years, or 6 years for Veterans) and current students completing their degree by 6/30/24.

Recent graduate who has, within the previous two years, completed a qualifying Associate's, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, professional, vocational or technical degree or certificate program. Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree due to military service obligation have up to six years after degree completion to apply. Current students who will complete their degree by 06/30/2024 may also apply.


  • The duties may include, but are not limited to:
  • Prepares bibliographies on state of current knowledge in assigned subject areas.
  • Prepares standard datasheets, technical reports, pest lists, host lists, maps, journal article indexes, reference manuals, presentations, or other materials.
  • Responds to requests for information concerning research in specific areas related to risk analysis, plant health, and related fields relevant to the agency's safeguarding programs.
  • Assists in the preparation of scientific briefing papers, reports, newsletters, and other outreach material.
  • Serves on cross-functional working groups to assist representative(s) with plant health emergencies, program management activities, data gathering, and written report preparation.
  • Assists in project management by tracking project data, and coordinating, populating and/or maintaining project tracking systems.
  • Assists in issuance of newsletters, providing printouts from project tracking databases, and preparing presentation materials for seminars and meetings.
  • Makes arrangements for national scientific meetings, workshops, conferences, seminars, and planning sessions in support of the development and maintenance of national PPQ programs.
  • Ensures all workplans are clearly written, methods are appropriate for the project, objectives and timelines are reasonable, and budgets are clearly justified.

RequirementsConditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Individuals who were born male after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Satisfactory Background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one-year trial period.
  • 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
  • Periodically, some domestic or international travel or work in the field, or in a laboratory, involving moving about or moving light-weight scientific equipment may be required.
  • Occasional domestic and/or international travel to agricultural or natural resource sites, the port, or commodity processing facilities may be required.
  • A valid Driver's License from a US state or territory is required.



To qualify, you MUST meet all program and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

To be eligible, applicants must meet one of the following requirements;

  • Completed all requirements for an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution within the previous two (2) years. Current students who will complete their degree requirements by 06/30/2024 will be considered. or
  • Individuals who, due to military service obligation, were precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described above shall have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon release or discharge from active duty. This eligibility period cannot extend more than 6 years from the date on which the requirements for the academic course of study were met.

Applicants must meet the following specialized experience and/or education requirements listed below:

FOR THE GS-07 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to the next lower level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors.

- Knowledge of plant pests and/or diseases and their impacts to US agriculture and the natural environment.
- Collecting, synthesizing, and reporting biological data and scientific facts.
- Expressing oneself logically and concisely in both verbal and written communications.
- Tracking project data, and coordinating, populating and/or maintaining project tracking systems.

OR Graduate education that included at least 18 semester hours with an emphasis in mycology, plant pathology, entomology, malacology and botany.

Note: Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

TRANSCRIPTS are required.

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-07 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for that grade level. Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed graduate education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for that grade level.

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.


Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Transcripts including the date your degree was conferred are required. Applications will not be considered without this documentation. For those graduating this semester by 06/30/2024 you will have to provide proof of conferment prior to entrance on duty.

Additional information

  • Recent Graduate appointments are intended to last for 1 year.
  • If selected, official transcripts will be required prior to entrance on duty.
  • A Pathways Participant Agreement will be required if you are selected for a position. The agreement must be signed by all applicable parties prior to entrance on duty.
  • Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty will be the responsibility of the selected employee.
  • Locality pay will vary based upon the selectee's duty location. A final salary determination will be made upon selection.
  • Promotion Potential: If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

CONVERSION REQUIREMENTS Recent Graduates who satisfactorily complete all the USDA Recent Graduates Program requirements may be non-competitively converted to a Term or Permanent appointment in the competitive service. Conversion is not guaranteed. Recent Graduates converted to Term appointments may later be non-competitively converted to a Permanent competitive service position. To be eligible for conversion the Recent Graduate must meet all of the following:

  • Successfully complete at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program as outlined in the Participant Agreement.
  • Demonstrate successful job performance.
  • Meet the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.
  • Worksite Information: This is a 100% remote position that must be located within the 50 United States, its territories, or possessions. The duty station for a remote designation is the selectee's home and must be established within the defined geographic options prior to start date. The selectee is not required to regularly work from a government facility however, the option may be available.