Student Trainee (Economics/Social Science)

Job Title:Student Trainee (Economics/Social Science)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Economic Research Service

Job Announcement Number:ERS-PATH-0018


$16.16 to $32.81 / Per Hour


Thursday, January 29, 2015 to Thursday, February 12, 2015




Full-Time – Internships




MANY vacancies – Washington DC, DC View Map


US Citizens, Nationals, or Foreign Nationals who meet immigration and annual appropriations requirements; no prior Federal experience is required. See “Conditions of Employment” for more information.Students who are currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program.


Not Applicable




The Economic Research Service (ERS) conducts broad programs of economic and other social science research and analysis relating to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural America for use by public and private decision makers. ERS’ clients are the executive and legislative branches; environmental, consumer and public interest groups, including farm and industry groups; and the general public.

The Economic Research Service is seeking qualified students to participate in the 2015 Summer Pathways Internship Program. This temporary appointment is expected to begin in May and end in September. Internships are open to individuals who have been accepted for enrollment or who are enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) from a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis.

This position is temporary; however, an extension of the appointment may be possible without further competition.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • At least 16 years of age
  • Successful adjudication of fingerprint check


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Interns who are assigned to a GS-0199 Student Trainee (Economics or Social Science) position will assist higher graded economists or social scientists in the design, development, write-up, and publishing of a wide variety of economic and policy-relevant topics for informational and external publication.  Typical, but not all-inclusive duties require a general knowledge of the basic concepts and principles of economics or social sciences and are illustrated by performance of any combination of the following:

  • Collect economic or other information for incorporation into detailed economic research projects;
  • Analyze and interpret economic statistics;
  • Compile and place in an orderly arrangement, specified data from a variety of sources;
  • Use statistical and database software (Excel, Access) to develop and maintain databases and to conduct empirical analyses, independently and as part of a team.


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Applicants must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

Pathways Intern Eligibility Requirements
All applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a student on at least a half-time schedule at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program. You will be required to provide documentation to support your eligibility for the program. See the “How to Apply” section for details.

Qualification Requirements

ERS is seeking students who are working toward a degree in economics or a behavioral or social science or a related discipline.

GS-05:  Completion of 4 academic years of post-high school study leading to a bachelors or equivalent degree.

GS-07:  Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education; or eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement Provision (S.A.A.)* after completion of a bachelors degree.

Completion of 2 academic years of graduate level education, or a master’s or equivalent graduate degree.

Superior Academic Achievement (S.A.A.):  Superior Academic Achievement must have been gained in a curriculum that is qualifying for the position to be filled.  S.A.A. is based on (1) Class Standing – applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class, based on completed courses; or (2) Grade-Point Average – applicants must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or (3) Election to membership in a National Honor Society – membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.
All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see

A post-secondary certificate program must have been completed at a qualified educational institution equivalent to at least 1 academic year or full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.

• Students must be at least 16 years of age and meet Federal, State and Local laws governing the employment of minors.
• Must have at least one year of academic study remaining toward completion of current academic degree.
• Must be in good academic standing as defined by the educational institution which is typically a 2.0 GPA.
• A signed participant agreement is required for employment under Pathways. • Enrolled at least half-time at a qualifying educational institution or accepted as degree seeking student.
• If converted to a Term or Permanent position, the selectee must be a U.S. Citizen.
• Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
• If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS “E-VERIFY” system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.


Individuals will be evaluated against the OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Schedule D, Pathways Internship Positions.


Note: If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you provided false documentation, you will be removed from consideration.
To view the application form, visit:


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All students hired under the USDA Pathways Internship Program are entitled to benefits such as:
-Commuter Transit Subsidy (pending the availability of budgeted funds/allocations)
-Telework and/or Flexible work schedule (upon supervisory approval)

Student interns with a NTE date may be eligible to enroll in the Federal Employee’s Health Benefits (FEHB) Program if they meet the criteria as described in the Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 201, October 17, 2014

The cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as it is for all permanent employees. (See 5 CFR 870.202 for life insurance and 5 CFR 890.102 for health benefits.).


• BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
• Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information(Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
• More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.Additional helpful hints can be found regarding information on:
• Federal Jobs by College Major and Internship/Recent Graduate Opportunities: (
• Federal Benefits (

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Veterans Information:


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin. The following instructions outline our application process.

  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3: Click “Apply Online” and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on “Application Status.” Click on the position title, and then select “Update Application” to continue. NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency’s staffing system. Once in the Agency’s staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
  • Proof of enrollment or acceptance of enrollment and good academic standing:
    • In the form of letters, records, or statements issued from a high school, vocational institution, college or university. The documentation provided must be issued from an authorized source (example: university registrar’s office). AND/OR
    • A copy of your most recent transcripts which show your field of study, school name, students name, current GPA or academic standing, past and current course work, degree program, and major/concentration. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
    • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.

NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agencys staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agencys staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

Conditions of Employment:
– Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment during the pre-employment process.
– Selection for this position is contingent upon proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States plus proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information and guidance on the employment of non-citizens can be found at: For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, available at


Vivian Brooks-Marshall
Phone: 301-504-1758
Fax: 000-000-0000
TDD: 202-855-1234
Email: [email protected]
Agency Information:
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Beltsville, MD,
Fax: 000-000-0000


USDA Student Trainees who study veterinary or biological science or attend an 1890 Land Grant university, 1994 Tribal College, or Hispanic Serving Institution, may be eligible for the USDA Scholars Program to receive scholarship as well as a university grant for room and board.

If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.