Applications for this vacancy will be accepted from current and former competitive service Federal employees, and candidates eligible under special hiring authorities. Please indicate below how you would like to be considered for this position. You may make more than one selection as applicable. You will only be considered under the options you have selected, so
please choose carefully.
MERIT PROMOTION You may apply under Merit Promotion procedures if you meet the
requirements for one of the following categories:
1. Applicants with Federal status (i.e. current competitive service
Federal employee with career or career-conditional status; or former competitive
service Federal employee with reinstatement eligibility.) Your status is
identified in block 24 on your SF-50 and the position occupied may be found in
block 34 . You must provide a copy of the SF-50, Notification of Personnel
Action. Do not submit SF-50s for awards. You should also submit your most
recent performance appraisal.
2. Veterans eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act
(VEOA). To be eligible, your latest discharge must be issued under honorable
conditions (honorable or general discharge), AND you must be either: a
preference eligible OR a veteran who substantially completed 3 or more years of
continuous active service. You must submit a copy of your DD-214.
NON-COMPETITIVE AUTHORITY - You may apply under Non-Competitive procedures if
you meet the requirements for one of the following categories:
1. Current competitive service Federal employees with career or
career-conditional status who hold a position with the same or higher promotion
potential as the position applying for; OR former competitive service
Federal employees with reinstatement eligibility who held a position with the
same or higher promotion potential as the position applying for. You must
provide a copy of the SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, showing the same
or higher promotion potential as that of the position applying for (i.e. initial
hire action, promotion action or reassignment action.) Do not submit SF-50s for
awards, within grade increases or pay adjustments.
2. Veterans eligible for a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA). You are
eligible for a VRA appointment if you: are in receipt of a campaign badge for
service during a war or in a campaign or expedition, OR are a disabled veteran,
OR are in receipt of an Armed forces Service Medal for participation in a
military operation, OR are a recently separated veteran (within the last 3
years), AND separated under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or
general discharge). You must submit a copy of your DD-214. NOTE: VRA only
applies to positions at the GS-11 level and below.
3. 30% or more disabled veterans. You are eligible if you retired from active
military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30% or more OR
you have a rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs showing a compensable
service-connected disability of 30% or more. You must submit your DD-214, a
completed SF-15, and required documentation.
4. Military spouses whose active duty military spouse: 1) receives a Permanent
Change of Station (PCS) move; 2) has a 100% disability rating; or 3) died while
on active duty. For further information, eligibility criteria and documentation
requirements, please visit:
5. Persons with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric
Disabilities eligible for a Schedule A appointment. You must provide proof of
disability and certification of job readiness. For further information, please
6. Former Peace Corps or VISTA volunteers. You must provide documentation as
proof of non-competitive eligibility.
7. Employees in the excepted service under an OPM approved Interchange
1. Select the answer below that describes your education as it relates to the basic qualification requirements for this position. If you select A or B, please submit a copy of your transcripts for verification.
Your responses to the questions below will be used in the evaluation of your qualifications for the National Program Leader, (Education Challenge). Your resume and application materials must support the level of experience and/or education you claim in this questionnaire. If, after a complete review of your application package, a determination is made that you have overstated your qualifications, you may be rated ineligible for this position.
2. Choose one answer that best describes your education, experience, or combination of education and experience for the GS-15 grade level.
Do you have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-15 level? Specialized experience is fulfilled by the following: 1) Experience in working with the land-grant and other research, education, and extension programs; and ability to provide leadership to work across NIFA and other Federal agencies 2) Skills in developing education and capacity building programs that fit the needs of the targeted audience, to ensure a continuous STEM pipeline into the Food and Agriculture sector; and developing new strategies and initiatives to maintain this pipeline 3) Knowledge in applying principles of the scientific and education contents of biological, agricultural or social science to programs of research, education, and extension; and demonstrated ability to coordinate research, education and extension activities with other professionals
For each of the following tasks, choose the statement from the list of level descriptions below that best describes your experience and/or training. You must respond to questions about the education and/or specialized experience you have had that is related to the requirements of the job you are applying for. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Your narrative resume and/or other application materials must contain evidence to support your responses. Your responses are also subject to verification through background checks, job interviews, or any other information obtained during the application process. Please select only one response for each item.
3. Leadership skills in building new strategies and approaches in programs that support curriculum development, faculty development, student recruitment and retention and forming new partnerships with other agencies with similar objectives.
4. Knowledge of the emerging trends in science education that affect the STEM workforce and pipeline and issues, and ability to work with other groups within and outside of the agency to develop new initiatives to build human intellectual capacity.
5. Knowledge of the latest findings and scientific and technical developments in broad subject-matter (biological, agricultural or social science) field.
6. Stays abreast of the latest findings and technical developments in science education that pertains to food and agriculture, and is able to translate research, education, and extension principles and complex theories and techniques into practical approaches and solutions to critical national issues related to food and agriculture science education and in line with the Agency's mission.
7. Knowledge of grant development and evaluation processes, monitors program impacts, and develops metrics to measure program outcomes.
8. Knowledge of the mission, functions and policies of NIFA as well as knowledge of the science and education programs of other Federal agencies
9. Knowledge of academic requirements for completion of degrees in the food and agriculture sciences disciplines; high-level understanding of challenges and issues in student recruitment, retention, and graduation in the areas of food and agriculture sciences and their preparation as the next generation of leaders and scientists.
10. Knowledge of issues and challenges in institutional capacity building and adequate understanding of the factors that will lead to a more diversified agriculture workforce.
11. Skill in synthesizing research, education, and extension principles and highly complex theories and techniques and translating them into practical approaches and solutions to critical national issues related to NIFA's mission.
12. Knowledge of land-grant and other research, education, and extension programs, as well as U.S. public and private non-profit elementary, secondary and postsecondary academic institutions.
13. Scientific and technical background supported by research and/or teaching experiences and knowledge of the academic requirements in STEM disciplines necessary to direct scientific and training programmatic focus that will address issues that affect students at various types of institutions including land grant and/or minority serving institutions.
14. Skill in formulating technical recommendations and evaluating impacts involved in specialized research, education, and extension programs.
15. Ability to identify gaps and unmet needs in science education and provides recommendations for strengthening the programs.
16. Ability to develop annual long-range plans, strategies, and goals and assist in collecting data and information for the national education programs and ensures that the goals are aligned with the priority areas of the agency.
17. Ability to initiate collaborative efforts with other agencies that support STEM education and human capital development programs.
18. In-depth knowledge of the interrelationships of legal mechanisms and funding opportunities to leverage funds, adapt and amend programs to address changing needs, coordinate resources, and influence the direction of work.
19. Interpersonal and leadership skills to work successfully with diverse stakeholders, other agencies, university and other academic administrators/faculty, citizen groups, industry, and the general public.
20. Knowledge of research, education, and extension methods, principles, advanced theories, concepts, and practices, and demonstrated ability to coordinate such activities with other professionals.
21. Ability to prepare reports and briefings for NIFA leadership in a concise and accurate manner, indicating knowledge of program-related issues and how those issues relate to the overall mission of NIFA.
22. Ability to develop responses to Congressional inquiries, letters from the public and from other constituents of NIFA and USDA, and to requests from other partners and collaborators regarding the status of NIFA food safety programs.