View job on Handshake

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit (FADRU) in Orient Point, New York.

Research Project: The National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) is under construction in Manhattan, KS and upon completion will become the successor facility for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) where research, diagnostic testing, and training on foreign animal diseases is currently done. Preparations are underway for the transition of the scientific programs from PIADC to NBAF. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has various types of biological materials, such as stocks of viruses, monoclonal antibodies, serum samples, and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues at PIADC, some of which will need to be transferred to NBAF. However, many of these materials need to be more thoroughly assessed and characterized to support decision-making on their value in order to be transferred to NBAF.

Learning Objectives: Candidates will be trained on how to use computer based biological inventory creation and/or management, cataloging and characterizing biological materials, in order to provide recommendations about the value of the materials to be moved to NBAF.

Characterization will range from paper based research, to biochemical characterization, biological characterization in cell culture and possibly in relevant animal models. This research will be carried out in the BSL2 and BSL3 laboratories at PIADC under the mentorship of ARS scientists. This experience will provide valuable educational opportunities to the participants by providing training and experience using different methods for characterizing various types of materials, analyzing data and forming conclusions.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Miranda Bertram ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: 2021.  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 an additional year 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.

Access to the facility requires eligibility requisites including medical and security clearances that are requisites for final selection.

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 (USDA-ARS-2022-0015)