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Veterinary Student Trainee - Adel A. Malak Scholarship

Want to make a difference while getting paid, receiving training, earning paid vacation/sick leave, and having the potential to convert to a permanent, full-time job? Join the Food Safety and Inspection Service--the #1 employer of Federal veterinarians--and help protect public health as a Malak Scholar! 20 openings nationwide (see potential duty locations in the Additional Information section). Work schedules vary depending on student's schedule (full-time or part-time). Salary: $46,696-$74,250/year.  Apply by 11:59pm ET on 12/01/2023. Priority will be given to the first 200 applicants.


The Adel A. Malak Scholarship provides veterinary students with scholarship funding for tuition, books, tutors and laboratory fees awarded for each year in the program (up to four years), paid employment during summer/school breaks, conversion to a permanent appointment, mentorship, professional development, participation in retirement savings plans, and paid vacation and sick leave.

For more information on the FSIS Adel A. Malak Scholarship, view our Student Programs page (scroll to the Malak Scholars program to read a personal story from one of our recent scholars) or email .

Students must be currently enrolled full-time in or have been accepted into a U.S. accredited and U.S. AVMA accredited college or university Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program or equivalent full-time with at least 2 academic years of study in Veterinary Medicine remaining. View the list of AVMA-accredited colleges/universities. College or university must be a registered entity in the System for Award Management (SAM). 



A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a Federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about Federal benefits.


  • These positions are Excepted Service appointments in the FSIS Office of Field Operations (OFO), which is the frontline in inspecting meat, poultry, and processed egg products.
  • Employees coordinate inspection/enforcement activities in more than 6,000 federally inspected establishments nationwide, as well as at import establishments, ensuring that the products that FSIS regulates are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled.
  • This office also is responsible for ensuring that the regulated product that is imported into the United States meets our standards, and that the regulated product that is exported to other nations meets the standards that they have set forth.
  • As a Student Trainee (Veterinary) you will:
  • Assist in the examination of livestock and poultry for the purpose of detecting diseases or abnormalities which would render the meat unfit for human food purposes.
  • Work with line inspectors to perform visual, tactile and incisory inspections of heads, viscera, carcasses, and edible offal.
  • Assist in making dispositions on abnormal animals/carcasses/birds retained for veterinary examination. These dispositions will include infectious diseases, neoplasms, trauma, contamination, poisonings, residues, metabolic disorders, etc.
  • Assist a program veterinarian in performing activities to verify that animals are handled and treated humanely.
  • Observe conditions in the plant to ensure the plant is following its Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs).
  • Observe conditions in the plant to ensure that sanitary conditions meet prescribed requirements.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • This announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


Agency Contact

Jamie Mitchell, HR Specialist: 612-852-7730 or


Conditions of Employment

  • All requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement. This includes responses to all eligibility assessment and occupational questionnaires, along with submission of your resume and all supporting documentation.
  • Must meet Pathways Program requirements. Follow link to the Pathways Handbook (
  • A signed participant agreement is required for employment under Pathways. Form will be provided upon selection before entry-on-duty date is set.
  • Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must complete a Pre-Employment Certification Statement for Selective Service Registration.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or Foreign National Eligible.
  • Selectee must be able to obtain a successful completion of pre-employment medical examination.
  • Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. If selected you may be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report inquiry.
  • College or university must be a U.S. AVMA accredited and a registered Entity in the System for Award Management.
  • Currently enrolled full-time or have been accepted into a U.S. accredited and U.S. AVMA accredited college or university Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program or equivalent full-time.
  • Must provide transcripts that support the qualifications. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for application package. Official transcripts will be required if selected.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must be in and remain in good academic standing as defined by the educational institution throughout the program.
  • Selectee must have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.


To qualify for the USDA Pathways Internship Program and the FSIS Adel A . Malak Scholarship, you MUST meet the Selective Placement Factor (SPF) and Qualification Requirements stated below.

To qualify at the GS-7 grade level: Successful completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education (an academic year of graduate education is the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 academic year of full-time study) towards earning a DVM or equivalent at a college or university of Veterinary Medicine OR Superior Academic Achievement (S.A.A.) after completing a bachelor's degree. S.A.A. is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership.

1. Class standing. Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.

2. Grade-point average (G.P.A.). Applicants must have a grade-point average of:

  • 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed 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 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required course completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum.

Note: Grade-point averages will be rounded to one decimal place.

3. Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies listed below. These honor societies are listed by the Association of College Honor Societies . Agencies considering eligibility based on any society not included in the following list must ensure that the honor society meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.

To qualify for the GS-7, you must submit required transcript(s) that show AT LEAST one of the conditions below:

  • One academic year of graduate education
  • Bachelor's degree showing S.A.A.

To qualify at the GS-9 grade level: Successful completion of 2 academic years of graduated level education, or a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree.

To qualify for the GS-9, you must submit required transcript(s) that show AT LEAST one of the conditions below:

  • 2 academic years of graduate education
  • Master's degree
  • Equivalent Master's degree

The following Selective Placement Factor (SPF) requirement is being used to determine whether an applicant fully qualifies for this position. Therefore, it is MANDATORY that all applicants meet this requirement in order to receive further consideration for this position and scholarship. Applicants are required to submit transcripts as outlined below in education section of announcement and/or proof of enrollment. If current enrollment is not identified on the transcripts and/or proof of enrollment to support the selective placement factor, you will be determined as not eligible.

SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR: Applicants who fail to meet the Selective Placement Factor may lose further consideration. Students must be currently enrolled full-time or have been accepted into a U.S. accredited and U.S. AVMA accredited college or university Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program or equivalent full-time for Fall 2024. To see a list of AVMA accredited colleges/universities, visit: Accredited Colleges. All colleges or universities must be a registered entity in the System for Award Management.

Note: Selected students must have at least two academic years of Veterinary Medicine remaining and must be enrolled full-time.

Promotion Potential: If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.



COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS: You MUST submit a copy of your most recent college transcripts which show the following:

  • Your Field of Study
  • School Name
  • Student's Name
  • Current GPA or Academic Standing
  • Past and Current Course Work
  • Degree Program
  • 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. For students newly accepted to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program or equivalent for Fall 2024 you must also submit proof of your acceptance or enrollment along with your previous unofficial transcripts as part of your complete application package.

This Internship/Scholarship confers eligibility for a noncompetitive conversion to a permanent or term position in the competitive
service contingent upon meeting all applicable Internship Program requirements and the needs of the agency. You will be considered
for conversion to a permanent or term position upon the successful completion of your Internship and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program or equivalent. However, please note that eligibility for conversion does not guarantee the agency will opt for conversion.

PROGRAM COMPLETION: This is an indefinite appointment. Upon successful completion of the program and at the agency's discretion, the appointee may be non-competitively converted to a term or career or career-conditional appointment, upon conversion this position has a full performance level of GS-12 an may have supervisory duties assigned. Service in the Pathways Program confers no right to further employment in either the competitive or excepted service. An agency wishing to convert a student must therefore execute the required action to do so within 120 days of successful completion of the degree and program requirements.

CONVERSION FROM STUDENT TRAINEE: Prior to conversion to a term or career or career conditional appointment, Student Trainees must satisfactorily complete all training, program, and educational requirements.

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Successfully complete academic course of study.
  • Complete a minimum of 640 hours of work experience under the Internship Program.
  • Complete 40 hours of mandatory AgLearn Training.
  • Meet the OPM Qualification Standard for the position the Intern may be converted to.
  • Maintain acceptable performance under the agency's approved performance management system.
  • Receive favorable recommendation for conversion from supervisor.

Additional Incentive upon conversion:

  • Accelerated Promotions: In-plant veterinarians hired at the GS-11 level may be non-competitively promoted to the GS-12 level in as little as 6 months. An accelerated promotion is not guaranteed. Supervisory approval and the proper certifications are required.

For more information regarding FSIS incentives, click here.

What Does the FSIS Adel A. Malak Internship Program Offer?

  • $15,000 scholarship funding for tuition, books, tutors and laboratory fees awarded for each year in the program, up to four years.
  • Paid employment during summer and school breaks as a Veterinary Student Trainee while you complete your DVM or equivalent. The work schedule during the academic year is negotiable. The Adel A. Malak Scholarship provides the opportunity to work a minimum of 640 hours to meet Pathways Programs requirements for conversion.
  • Conversion without further competition to a permanent appointment with promotion potential to the GS-12 level with FSIS' OFO upon successful completion of the program with a DVM degree or equivalent, training, and other work requirement(s). Note, upon conversion, the employee may be assigned supervisory responsibilities. Location discussed prior to conversion.
  • Comprehensive mentorship and professional development program.
  • Participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System and Thrift Savings Plan (401K plan) and paid vacation and sick leave while in pay status.


Additional Information


What to expect if selected for the USDA Pathways Internship Program and the FSIS Adel A . Malak Scholarship:

  • A Pathways Participant Agreement and Food Safety Inspection Service Memorandum of Understanding will be required if you are
    selected for a position. These agreements must be signed by all applicable parties prior to entrance on duty.
  • Scholarship recipients will be required to sign a Service Agreement acknowledging they will work in the FSIS, Office of Field Operations
    (OFO), one year, for every academic year they accept scholarship funding, not to exceed 4 years after they have been converted to a career or career conditional appointment as a Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer (SVMO)/Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian (SPHV). This agreement must be signed by the scholarship recipient prior to entrance on duty.
  • Your schedule during the academic year is negotiable. During school breaks and summers, travel to/from the official duty station and housing expenses, will be at the student's expense.
  • Travel occurs on an occasional basis and visits to remote locations or isolated rural areas may be required where you may be subject to
    regular and recurring risks associated with working around animals.
  • Student intern relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • Work may require use of protective equipment.
  • Your Pathways duty station will be determined by the agency. (See below for potential duty stations. Note: this list is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.)
  • Locality pay will vary based upon the selectee's duty location. A final salary determination will be made upon selection.
  • Pre-Employment Physical: This position requires a pre-employment physical. Position Requirements.
  • Functional Requirements and Environmental Factors: Please click on the following link to see information regarding the Functional Requirements and Environmental Factors positions.

Potential duty stations:


Stafford Springs

New York
West Valley
Brasher Falls
Red Hook

West Groton


North Aurora






Grand Island




South Dakota

Washington State
Moses Lake



St Joseph


San Angelo
Johnson City
Corpus Christi
Fort Worth
Mount Pleasant

Broken Bow


New Mexico


North Carolina
Mt. Olive
Tar Heel


Mt. Airy

West Virginia

New Jersey


How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above and based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education and training you described in your application package.

We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by a Human Resources Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume and education supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume, application, and transcripts. Be sure that your resume and transcripts clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.

You will also be assessed on the following competencies:

  • Reasoning
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Attention to Detail
  • Problem Solving

Applicants who meet basic eligibility criteria will be referred in an unranked list in the following manner: Preference eligibles having a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more are considered FIRST, followed, SECOND, by other 10-point preference eligibles, THIRD, by 5-point preference eligibles, and, LAST, by non-preference eligibles.

If referred to the hiring manager you will be contacted via email (USAJOBs account email) to submit supplemental information and documentation. This must be received by the deadline that will be provided to you in a separate email after this job announcement closes (typically within two weeks). (1) Three letters of recommendation from college officials; such as professors, deans, or counselors. Recommender may not be related to you. For one of these references, you may substitute a supervisor's recommendation if the work experiences under that supervisor are related to your college major. (2) An original essay by you, not to exceed 500 words, addressing this topic: "Why I should receive the Adel A. Malak Scholarship and What Contributions I would make to FSIS, Office of Field Operations". Once received a subject matter expert may contact you to conduct an interview and review your resume and other application materials to determine your qualifications based on the required competencies. Please ensure that your resume and supplemental documentation highlights accomplishments that demonstrate possession of the required competencies.

Link to Interview Policy: click here.

If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, your score can/will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form;  i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply Online" button to the right.

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

***Applications will not be considered without this documentation ***

  • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties, including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; and title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications. If you need assistance in creating a federal resume please click here.
  • Unofficial Transcript: A copy of your most recent transcripts which show your field of study, school name, student's name, current GPA or academic standing, past and current course work, degree program, and major/concentration. Official transcript(s) will be required, if applicant is selected for a position.
    • Proof of enrollment or acceptance of enrollment in the form of letters, records, or statements issued from authorized source (i.e. college or university registrar's office) are encouraged as well.
    • Students must be enrolled for the Fall 2024 semester on a full-time basis.
  • Veterans if claiming preference: DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty showing dates of service and type of discharge. Disabled veterans must include VA letter & SF-15 if claiming 10 pt. preference. Current active duty members must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. The certification letter should be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch of the service and contain (1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; and (2) the character of service. For more information regarding Veterans click here.

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 Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's 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). ONLY online submissions will be accepted, none by fax or e-mail; however, applicants with disabilities can contact the agency with reasonable accommodation requests.


If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.


How to Apply

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

You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically. We are available to assist you during normal business hours. Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office for an alternate method. All electronic and hardship application packages with supporting documents must be complete to be considered.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already 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: In your USAJOBS account, you will have the opportunity to select your stored USAJOBS resume, create a new resume or upload a resume, and upload other relevant documents. All 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). See "Required Documents" for details. Select the document you want to submit.

Step 3: Click "Apply Online," answer all required questions, verify the documents you selected from USAJOBS transferred into the Agency's staffing system, and attach any additional documents that may not have transferred or be required. If qualifying based on education, you must submit a legible copy of your college transcript(s), with your application package, showing your conferred degree (if any) and/or applicable coursework as proof that you qualify based on education. If you have not yet graduated, submit your current transcript.

NOTE: It is an applicant's responsibility to submit updated information. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue.

NOTE: Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 5MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, TXT or Word (DOC or DOCX). Do not upload Adobe Portfolio documents because they are not viewable.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employment office, or another establishment that provides internet service to complete the online application and the assessment questionnaire. If this is not an option, refer to the Alternative Methods for Applying section below for specific instructions.

Alternative Methods for Applying: If you are unable to apply using the internet, please fax your request for an application package along with your name and mailing address to: HR (Branch 1) 1-833-840-9220.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).


Next Steps

This vacancy will close at 11:59 pm ET on the closing date; priority will be given to the first 200 applicants.

Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further documentation, evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log into your USAJOBS account to check your application status.

It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information here.


Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.