The incumbent serves as the Head of the Diagnostic Services Section (DSS), at the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL), National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL). The function of this unit is to conduct diagnostic testing for foreign animal disease (FAD) investigations and surveillance programs, perform developmental studies on new FAD diagnostic modalities, and provide training programs in the recognition and diagnosis of FAD to participants from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), state veterinary departments, veterinary colleges, academicians, zoological parks, and foreign countries. It is also within the scope of this section to validate diagnostic assays for the detection of endemic and exotic livestock disease and training state diagnostic laboratory personnel in diagnostic assays for exotic livestock diseases.
The incumbent is required to travel daily to Plum Island from Orient Point, NY or Saybrook, CT aboard a Government-provided marine vessel. Due to the contagious nature to livestock of foot-and-mouth disease and other diseases under study at PIADC, PIADC Biological Safety Regulations specify a personal quarantine for employees working in PIADC BSL-3 biocontainment. As a condition for employment, all personnel entering the BSL-3 biocontainment facilities at Plum Island shall not be in contact with specific susceptible animals off the Plum Island premises for a period of five (5) days after leaving biocontainment. Currently, restricted species are cattle, sheep, goats, deer, other ruminants & swine. Horses, birds (agricultural and pet birds) & rabbits are normally permitted but restrictions may be placed on staff working with contagious agents affecting these species. Employees who violate this requirement may be removed from employment or subject to other disciplinary actions. Restricted livestock or other restricted animals should not be housed on the premises where the employee under quarantine restrictions lives.
The activities of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) at Plum Island, New York, will be moving to a new facility currently being constructed in Manhattan, Kansas. FADDL employees will be involved in the planning and implementation of the transfer of functions and the overall logistics of the move to the new site. The completion of the move is targeted for 2022; however FADDL personnel and functions will be moved in a phased schedule.
The duties may include, but are not limited to:
Serves as a VMO and technical expert in the study and diagnosis of foreign animal diseases and; as supervisor of the Section coordinates all activities required for diagnostic work. This position has national and international responsibilities. The incumbent is responsible for maintaining diagnostic preparedness for over 40 foreign and domestic animal diseases and to complete a differential diagnosis of diseases from suspect samples originating from the United States or from any country around the world.
Provides a specialized expertise in the differential diagnosis of exotic diseases such as classical and African swine fevers (CSF and ASF), foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), vesicular stomatitis (VS), vesicular exanthema of swine (VES), swine vesicular disease (SVD), peste des petits ruminants (PPR), contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Rinderpest (RP), as well as in serotyping approximately 60 subtypes of FMD.
Completes diagnostic and safety tests on samples of animal origin and related products.
Maintains quality control of diagnostic materials used.
Maintains the select agent inventory of dangerous pathogens within the regulatory requirements.
Evaluate diagnostic test methods and respective protocols.
Develops new and/or improves existing laboratory procedures for detection of FAD agents and their antibodies, including protocol documentation.
Develops appropriate materials and maintains an expertise on FADs to develop and provide leadership in conducting specialized seminars and training sessions given to members of federal/state agencies, universities, zoological parks, and foreign countries in the recognition and diagnosis of diseases exotic to the United States.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
BASIC REQUIREMENT: Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent degree, i.e., Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD), obtained at a school or college of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA). The AVMA website has a listing of all AVMA-accredited veterinary medical schools. AVMA website: https://www.avma.org
ORGraduates of foreign veterinary medical schools that are not accredited by the AVMA Council on Education must meet one of the following requirements: a) Proof of certification of their final transcript by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG); b) Possession of a permanent, full, and unrestricted license to practice veterinary medicine in a State, District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States that includes successful completion of the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) or its predecessors, the National Board Examination (NBE) and the Clinical Competency Test (CCT); OR c) Proof that the education obtained in a foreign veterinary medical program is equivalent to that gained in a veterinary medical program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education. An AVMA-accredited veterinary medical school or college must have accepted the final transcript from the foreign veterinary medical school at full value for placement into an advanced degree, postgraduate educational program, or training program (e.g., residency or graduate program).
In addition, graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must also provide proof of proficiency in the English language by successfully completing one of the nationally and internationally recognized examinations that incorporate assessments of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Examples of examinations that assess mastery of the English language are shown below:
a) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Minimum scores for the TOEFL are 560 for the paper-based version; 220 for the computer-based version; or overall score of 83 for the internet-based version (including 26 or higher in speaking, 26 or higher in listening, and 17 or higher in writing). For the computer-based and paper-based test versions, applicants must also complete the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and the Test of Written English (TWE). Minimum required scores are 55 for the TSE and 5.5 for the TWE. b) Academic tests (listening, writing, and speaking) offered by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 7.0, with at least 7.0 in speaking, 6.5 in listening, and 6.0 in writing; OR c) Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 70, with at least 60 in speaking, 60 in listening, and 50 in writing.
Graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must submit test results with their application. Results of more than one test or testing session cannot be combined to meet the standard.
Waiver Provision: English language proficiency assessments may be waived for qualified job applicants whose native language is English (i.e., the official or common language of an individuals country of birth is English) who submit a diploma or other official documentation as proof of graduation from a high (secondary) school where the entire curriculum and educational programs were taught in the English language for the entire 3 or 4 years of full-time attendance.
FOR THE GS-14 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-13 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Providing scientific and managerial oversight for a diagnostic laboratory of animal infectious diseases.
Diagnosing animal diseases using knowledge of veterinary medical sciences such as virology, microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, pathology, or a related scientific field.
Providing guidance using laboratory management experience in support of a multi-disciplinary staff with expertise in veterinary microbiology, pathology, molecular biology and bioinformatics.
Communicating animal health issues, both verbally and in writing, to a variety of audiences (e.g., presentations to stakeholders, peer reviewed journal articles, and/or internal materials/emails).
Effectively managing the use of personnel, equipment, space, and funding to accomplish the mission.
TRANSCRIPTS are required. This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified. This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.
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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
The Center for Veterinary Biologics regulates veterinary biologics vaccines bacterins, antisera, diagnostics kits and other products of biological origin. The National Veterinary Services Laboratories perform animal disease testing for Veterinary Services and are the only APHIS laboratories dedicated to testing of diagnostic specimens for domestic and foreign animal diseases.