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Job Title: SDA-ARS Research Fellowship in Laboratory Quality Assurance
Job Number: USDA-ARS-P-2024-0172
Organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Posted: 5/21/2024
Type: Full-Time
Number of Openings: 1
Location: Manhattan,  KS    USA
Position Description: *Applications are reviewed on a rolling- basis, and this opportunity may close before the submission deadline.

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), located in Manhattan, Kansas.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting- edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) will be the premier center of scientific excellence for the study of transboundary, emerging, and zoonotic animal diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture economy, food supply, and public health. This state-of-the-art facility will be a national asset that helps protect our nation’s agriculture and citizens against the threat and potential impact of serious animal diseases.

The NBAF Quality Assurance Unit is working to build a culture of quality by coordinating and implementing quality initiatives and continual improvements while using quality management systems in support of the ARS research programs at NBAF. The quality management system (QMS) consists of very specific policies, processes and procedures involved in the planning and execution of state-of-the-art research ensuring compliance with regulations, improvements, and providing data for evidence-based decision-making.

Research Project: The ideal candidate will have at least a Master's degree and be interested in contributing to the development and implementation of a comprehensive quality management program to ensure that defined science activities meet all QMS requirements such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001, ISO 35001, Good Laboratory (GLP) or other quality assurance standards. This program will promote consistency, reliability, and efficiency in research and organizational processes at NBAF. Under guidance of a mentor, the participant may provide support for this project related to improving quality in the research environment by recommending and implementing solutions for quality control in analytical instrumentation and software, participating in equipment checks and calibrations, and providing corrective and preventative maintenance on associated equipment as required to maintain efficient scientific operations. The participant may also prepare research papers for presentation at technical conferences or for publication.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this training the candidate will have a clear understanding in how to implement quality management processes and procedures that are critical to achieving safe, reliable and effective science and operations at a high containment laboratory (BSL3 and BSL4). In addition, the candidate will collaborate closely with NBAF Quality Assurance Manager to improve the tracking of performance metrics used to evaluate the functionality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the QMS, creating the foundation that will support NBAF to achieve the high standards and expectations set for quality and integrity.

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Veronica Fris ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 2024. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.

Qualifications: The qualified candidate must have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with anticipated degree completion within one year of starting appointment.

Candidates with an interest in laboratory research consistency, reliability, and efficiency are encouraged to apply.

Organization Description:

Closing Date: 8/21/2024
Desired Starting Date:
Contact Name: ,  SDA-ARS Research Fellowship in Laboratory Quality Assurance
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How to Apply: The application must be completed through Zintellect.

Additional Information:

Web Site Delete Date: 8/21/2024