Department of Agriculture – Research Microbiologist

Published by Cori VanGalder on

Department of Agriculture - Research Microbiologist


The incumbent serves as a Research Microbiologist in the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Peoria, Illinois. MPM scientists conduct research in genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to produce information and technologies needed to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world.


  • Conducts research to understand the role of the microbiome and microbial diversity in mycotoxin contamination of grain.
  • Identifies and characterizes microorganisms or microbial communities that reduce mycotoxin contamination.
  • Manipulates microbial populations or metabolites to control mycotoxin contamination of grain.
  • Identifies microbial based strategies to regulate/reduce pathogen inoculum formation in the field.
  • Determines how environmental variables affect plant and soil microbiomes and influence the diversity of mycotoxigenic fungi and mycotoxin contamination.
  • Collaborates with other Agricultural Research Service (ARS), university and private sector scientists to build the multi-disciplinary team necessary for this research.
  • Analyzes, interprets and disseminates the findings in the form of reports, presentations and publications in scientific peer-reviewed journals.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National
  • 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
  • Successful completion of a three year probationary period.


Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

Microbiology Series, 0403

Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: microbiology; or biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included at least 20 semester hours in microbiology and other subjects related to the study of microorganisms, and 20 semester hours in the physical and mathematical sciences combining course work in organic chemistry or biochemistry, physics, and college algebra, or their equivalent.


  1. Combination of education and experience:courses equivalent to a major in microbiology, biology, chemistry, or basic medical science that included courses as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional Requirements

In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below.

GS-12: Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the duties of the position (i.e. microbiology or microbiology ecology) OR one-year (52 weeks) of specialized experience (defined below) equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal Service OR a combination of graduate level education and specialized experience.
Specialized Experience: Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled.

The specialized experience requirements for this position at the GS-12 level are:
Conducting and publishing original research related to plant or soil microbiomes or the impact of the composition and structure of microbial communities on plants or their pathogens.

For additional details and to apply, go to: