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Senior Laboratory Scientist, Quality Assurance Officer

Recruitment #21-000081-0001


Position will be located at a New State of the Art Animal Health Laboratory due to open in Late Fall or Early Winter 2021!




27722 Nanticoke Rd. Salisbury, MD 21801

Main Purpose of Job

As Agriculture Laboratory Scientist Advanced and Quality Assurance Officer, this position serves primarily to support the Agency mission to prevent and control infectious disease of livestock and poultry, and to assure consumer confidence by conducting highest quality veterinary analytic and diagnostic tests available in the assigned regional laboratory of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. This employee has lead responsibility for technical and scientific work performed in the molecular diagnostic program. As Quality Assurance Officer, this employee will play an important role in the ongoing process to further enhance the laboratory accreditation status including quality assurance and control protocols to meet ISO 17025 accreditation standards. This position is considered an essential employee for continuity of operations purposes.


Provides lead Agricultural Lab Scientist Molecular Diagnostic Testing in performing Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) for Avian Influenza (AI), Newcastle Disease (ND), Swine Influenza (SI), Infectious Bronchitis (IBV), Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT), Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT), Mycoplasma gallisepticum MG), Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) and Infectious Coryza.  Conducts rRT-PCR surveillance testing for AI and ND as outlined in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and conducts identification of Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) genotypes by use of gene sequencing and rRT-PCR Genotype specific primers.

Provides backup to Agriculture Laboratory Scientist III in performing serology, virology, bacteriology, mycology, and parasitology testing where cross-trained and certified, in accordance with SOP on avian and other species when requested for the purpose of determining the cause of death and/or to determine which organism is responsible for illness and mortality.

Maintains accurate records of worksheets and test results, as required by Federal and State guidelines, as periodically  inspected by Laboratory Supervisor and others.

Will lead and train other Laboratory employees in technical details of upkeep of the Laboratory Quality Manual and Quality Management System.

Performs and records quality assurance checks on a regular basis of equipment and surfaces to check for bacterial, fungal and molecular contamination according to SOP.

Will be assigned 24 hour on call status periodically and can involve emergency duty any time, night or day.  Some weekend and evening duty required in the event of a disease outbreak or other assigned Agency activity.  May involve occasional overnight travel in and out of state.  This is a Continuity of Operations essential employee.


Education:   A Bachelor’s degree in the biological or chemical sciences from an accredited college or university including one course in general microbiology and one course in pathogenic, clinical or medical microbiology.

Experience: Three years of experience performing laboratory analysis work in a biological, chemical, food, commercial, animal health, medical or public health laboratory.


1. Experience performing veterinary analytical, diagnostic, and epidemiological laboratory testing work may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the required education.

2. A Master’s degree in the chemical or biological sciences from an accredited college or university may be substituted for one year of the required experience.

3. A Doctorate degree in the chemical or biological sciences from an accredited college or university may be substituted for two years of the required experience.

4. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a commissioned officer in natural resources management and biological science classification or natural resources management and biological science specialty codes in the animal science field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience and education. 


Applicants must meet the selective qualification(s) to be considered. Include clear and specific information on your application regarding your qualifications.

At least one year of experience with real time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) in a laboratory, including test setup, troubleshooting and interpretation of results as a primary responsibility.


Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator's license valid in the State of Maryland.


1. Candidates for some positions may be given a medical examination to rule out color blindness.

2. Employees in this classification must be willing to undergo and maintain rabies immunization.


Please make sure that you provide sufficient information on your application to show that you meet the qualifications for this recruitment. All information concerning your qualifications must be submitted by the closing date. We will not consider information submitted after this date. Successful candidates will be ranked as Best Qualified, Better Qualified, or Qualified and placed on the eligible (employment) list for at least one year.



The online application process is STRONGLY preferred. If you are unable to apply online, you may mail a paper application to: Maryland Department of Agriculture  Human Resource Office, Room 304,  50 Harry S. Truman Parkway  Annapolis, MD  21401.

If you are submitting additional information, such as diplomas or transcripts, the preferred method is to upload them online with your application.  If you are unable to upload, you may mail, hand-deliver or fax (HR Fax # 443-602-9831). All paper applications must be received by 4:30 PM on the closing date, no exceptions.  (Postmarks not accepted.) Resumes will NOT be accepted in lieu of completing the online or paper application.

For questions concerning this recruitment, please contact: Kathleen Newhouse at 410-841-5837 or

 TTY Users: call via Maryland Relay As an equal opportunity employer, Maryland is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State’s diversity. People with disabilities and bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. We thank our Veterans for their service to our country.

Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet. Apply Online
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.
Apply via Paper Application. You may also download and complete the Paper Application here.