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Job Details

Student Trainee Biological Science

El Reno, OK

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The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose mission is finding solutions to agricultural problems of high national importance. The Pathways Student Internship Program provides students with a meaningful paid work experience in a Federal agency while still in school. Internships are open to individuals who have been accepted for enrollment or who are currently enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) from a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis.
This position is located in the Plains Area, Grazinglands Research Laboratory, Great Plains Agroclimate & Natural Resources Research, in El Reno, OK. The mission of the Plains Area is to conduct research in support of ARS goals to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority with emphasis on the agricultural and nutritional challenges of stakeholders and agricultural producers.
This appointment in not-to-exceed 1 year and may be extended in increments not-to-exceed 1 year or less for up to 8 years in total, as long as the student remains eligible for the program. Upon successful completion of the internship program, students MAY be non-competitively converted to a term or permanent position; however, conversion eligibility is not an entitlement of the Student Internship Program.
ARS advertises student internship positions on USAJOBS throughout the year as part of our overall recruitment strategy. Please visit USAJOBS for additional internship opportunities.
Pathways intern positions with not-to-exceed dates are not career ladder positions. Incumbents may or may not be converted to competitive service appointments at the same grade or to a position with a higher career ladder. Typical career ladders for this position are up to GS-2.
Major Duties:
Performs simple routines in support of research projects. Such duties involve very simple repetitive tests, procedures, routines, or operations which require little knowledge or skills in this line of work.
Typical, but not all-inclusive, duties are illustrated by performance of any combination of the following:
Laboratory - prepares routine media, and solutions, by weighing and measuring constituents according to established methods; uses common laboratory equipment and apparatus such as autoclaves, sterilizers, centrifuges and homogenizers; prepares labels for specimens; maintains work area in a neat and orderly manner and may wash or clean other laboratory equipment. Assists in other closely related duties.
Field - performs simple repetitive tasks incidental to the research project; assists in plot preparation and maintenance, plant harvesting and sample preparation and maintenance, as well as sample and seed sorting, or processing for analysis and storage; may perform such duties as servicing and cleaning insect traps, keeping simple records of work accomplished, etc.
Greenhouse - performs simple repetitive tasks incidental to the research project such as watering, fertilizing, weeding, potting, and maintaining plants. Maintains work area in a neat and orderly manner.
Travel Required
Not required
Supervisory status
Promotion Potential
Who May Apply
This job is open to…
U.S. citizens and nationals and permanent residents and foreign nationals who meet employment eligibility requirements.
Currently enrolled students or students accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program.
Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.
Job family (Series)
0499 Biological Science Student Trainee
Conditions of Employment
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
Must be a US citizen or National, Permanent Resident, or Foreign National
U.S citizen for non-competitive conversion to term or permanent position
Must be at least 16 years of age and meet state and federal employment laws
Student enrolled at least half-time, at qualifying educational institution
Must be in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or higher)
May require drug testing dependent on position/location
Must sign a Pathways Participant Agreement prior to appointment
Complete 640 hours of work experience prior to completion of degree
Must successfully pass a background check/security investigation
Students must be at least 16 years of age and meet Federal, State and Local laws governing the employment of minors.
Must be in good academic standing as defined by the educational institution
Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
Must be a U.S. citizen prior to non-competitive conversion to a term or permanent position.
Applicants must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
Program Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment from a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis. Applicants must be seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) and be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or equivalent) throughout the duration of their program.
The duties of the position must be related to either the student’s academic or career goals.
Qualification Requirements
Applicants will be assessed/evaluated through application of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Schedule D, Pathways Internship Positions.
Completion of high school or GED
All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .
For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see ****.
Additional information
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.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should **** (voice and TDD).
More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
Additional helpful hints can be found regarding information on:
Federal Jobs by College Major and Internship/Recent Graduate Opportunities: (****Federal Benefits (****EEO Policy Statement:
****Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:
****Veterans Information:
****If selected, you will be required to sign a Pathways Student Internship Participant Agreement prior to entrance-on-duty date. If selected, you must meet program eligibility requirements, as annotated in the Pathways Participant Agreement, throughout the duration of the internship.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applicants will be assessed/evaluated through application of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Schedule D, Pathways Internship Positions.
Note :
If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you provided false documentatio n, you will be removed from consideration.
To view the application form, visit:
****Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance
Not Applicable
Required Documents
Required Documents
The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration .
Resume must include:
1) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 4) supervisors phone number, e-mail address for each work period listed, and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and 5) other qualifications.
Proof of enrollment or acceptance of enrollment and good academic standing:
In the form of letters, records, or statements issued from a high school, vocational institution, college or university. The documentation provided must be issued from an authorized source (example: university registrar’s office). AND/OR
A copy of your most recent transcripts which show your field of study, school name, students name, current GPA or academic standing, past and current course work, degree program, and major/concentration. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
You must submit the documents below if you claim any of the following:
Veterans , if claiming preference:
DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty showing dates of service and type of discharge. Disabled veterans must include VA letter & SF-15 if claiming 10 pt. preference. Current active duty members must submit certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after date the certification is submitted.
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 upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
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 .
USDA-ARS will provide the following benefits to their student hires:
All students hired under the USDA Pathways Internship Program are entitled to benefits such as:
Commuter Transit Subsidy (pending the availability of budgeted funds/allocations)
Telework and/or Flexible work schedule (upon supervisor approval)
Student interns with a NTE date may be eligible to enroll in the Federal Employee’s Health Benefits (FEHB) Program if they meet the criteria as described in the Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 201, October 17, 2014 ****The cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as it is for all permanent employees. (See 5 CFR 870.202 for life insurance and 5 CFR 890.102 for health 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.

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