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NBAF Employment Opportunities

USDA is hiring for current National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) positions as well as sponsoring workforce development training, fellowships and internships for the next generation of employees. NBAF employees work for either USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, or ARS, or USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS. These two agencies complement each other to support NBAF’s mission.

Full-Time Federal Employment Opportunities

Prospective applicants seeking federal employment at NBAF must visit USAJOBS for the most up-to-date information on all federal career opportunities and details of the application process. Search the keywords for positions using “USDA” or “NBAF” and “Manhattan, Kansas” as the location.

Interested candidates also are encouraged to follow NBAF on X and LinkedIn for regular employment updates.

Federal Workforce Development/Training Opportunities

Each agency has internships, fellowships or workforce development programs with the goal to train the next generation in highly specialized skills that are needed at NBAF.

NBAF Scientist Training Program, or NSTP

The Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, or FADDL, currently has staff stationed at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, or PIADC, on Plum Island, NY; the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan KS. The APHIS NBAF Scientist Training Program, or NSTP, was developed to identify highly qualified candidates to fill key roles in FADDL as the scientific mission transfer from PIADC to NBAF.


If accepted, the fellows receive funding to cover tuition and fees, stipend, health benefits, materials, supplies, travel and publication costs for a period not to exceed five years.

Upon successful completion of the programs, each fellow is offered a full-time federal position and will fulfill a service commitment dependent on agency needs and timing of degree completion.


Applicants for the program must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.
  • Enrolled in a graduate level (MS, PhD, or DVM/PhD) program at a partner university.
  • In a laboratory-based field of study, including bioinformatics, diagnostics, entomology, microbiology or virology.


The application process is coordinated through each university, which will provide application packets, timelines, point of contact and the process for submission.


Based on the number of years of funding received, fellows will fulfill a tiered service commitment following completion of the program at PIADC or NBAF.

Read more information and application instructions.

NBAF Laboratorian Training Program, or NLTP

The APHIS NBAF Laboratorian Training Program, or NLTP, provides essential knowledge for working with pathogens in a high-containment environment; an introduction to skills and procedures used in a diagnostic laboratory; and initial training for people interested in applying for technical and/or animal health positions with USDA APHIS or other employers.


Trainees will receive:

  • Hands-on experiences conducting viral assays in a high containment laboratory.
  • Conducting diagnostic assays and procedures.
  • Understand common procedures used in a high containment large animal research setting.
  • Work with livestock and/or mosquitoes depending on the university attended.


Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.
  • Entering junior or senior year of undergraduate study OR have recently graduated from an accredited undergraduate program with a degree in biology, chemistry, microbiology, agriculture or other related major.
  • Show a strong interest in a technical laboratory or animal health position at NBAF or another National Veterinary Services Laboratory.


This USDA APHIS-sponsored program partners with universities across the country to educate students. Each host university outlines program requirements for students to fulfill. Learn more about each program.

Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Biosecurity Research Institute
Manhattan, Kansas

Texas Tech University College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Lubbock, Texas

Tuskegee University College of Agriculture, Environment & Nutrition Sciences
Tuskegee, Alabama

NBAF Internships Through Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

NBAF has occasional internships through HACU National Internship Program. Positions vary in interest area ranging from science fields to operational support such as communications. Interns will work side-by-side with NBAF employees and scientists to gain hands-on experience in career fields that support high-containment science. Positions are available for undergraduate and graduate students.

Read more about the program, benefits and eligibility.

To explore available NBAF positions, look under “U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)” and with a mention of NBAF located in Manhattan, KS.

NBAF Internships Through BioKansas

NBAF is partnering with BioKansas to provide internships for students from underrepresented populations to work in science, technology, engineering and math. Interns will work side-by-side with NBAF employees and scientists to gain hands-on experience in career fields that support high-containment science.


During the immersive 10-week summer internship or 15-week fall or spring semester internship, participants will work in person with mentors at NBAF, develop professional and federal employment skills, and earn a monthly stipend ranging from $1,250-$1,530 for part-time interns and from $2,500-$3,060 for full-time interns.


Qualified candidates must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program and have completed at least two years of undergraduate study. Major areas of interest include animal science and pre-veterinary; biology, chemistry, virology and related sciences; communications, graphic design and related fields; computer science, information systems, digital media and other information technology disciplines; cybersecurity; mathematics and physics; and nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, construction science and related disciplines.


The spring 2025 internship application period is July 15, 2024 through Sept. 30, 2024 and the internship would be Jan. 13, 2025 through May 2, 2025. Interested applicants can read more information and apply for free at

Biosafety/Biorisk Management Certification

The Biosafety/Biorisk Management Certification is through a cooperative agreement between USDA ARS and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, or IUP, to provide students with biorisk and biosafety skills to support safe and secure science operations in high and maximum biocontainment facilities.

This 15-16 credit hour certificate is a great addition to a degree in biology, safety sciences, or similar fields and enables students to be at the forefront of protecting laboratories, facilities, personnel, and the community against biological agents and threats.


The Biorisk Management Certificate will prepare students and professionals interested in gaining the necessary skills to support the safe and secure execution of life science operations including work in high/ maximum containment facilities. Students who complete this certificate will become competitive for entry-level biosafety and/or biorisk management positions in many different fields. The program offers five $1,000 scholarships per year and a total enrollment of 8-10 students per year.


The certificate program is open to any individual within and outside the U.S. For scholarship and externship opportunities, candidates must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident. No qualifications are required to enroll in the program; however, a deficiency course may needed for candidates who do not meet the minimum program requirements as a graduate student or professional. No qualifications are required for the undergraduate program.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and students can progress through the program at their own pace. Apply and enroll in the program through Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Read more information on the undergraduate and graduate certificate programs.

Animal Caretaker in Biocontainment Training Program

This summer internship opportunity is part of a 5-year cooperative agreement (2022-2027) between USDA ARS and Texas A&M University to increase awareness and provide practical, entry-level training opportunities for agricultural and biocontainment research animal care careers. Participants will learn the highest standards for animal care and welfare, while enhancing laboratory safety and supporting the nation’s resilience to emerging, transboundary and zoonotic diseases.


Students will receive a competitive stipend and three weeks of intensive training at Texas A&M University’s Global Health Research Complex biosafety level-3 agricultural training facility (didactic and experiential training modules). Next, they will participate in a three-week internship at a USDA ARS laboratory to demonstrate skills learned, develop relationships with mentors, and explore future employment opportunities. Finally, they will close-out the experience with a networking meeting at Texas A&M University for all trainees and mentors.


All participants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident with a high school diploma.


Read more about the program and application process.

Short-Term Experiential Opportunities to Enhance the Veterinary Workforce

NBAF, Boehringer Ingelheim and USDA ARS have entered into a 5-year agreement (2021-2026) to provide training opportunities to 12 veterinary students per year. Students will conduct summer research in one of nine USDA ARS animal health research facilities. The program is 10–12-week internship to demonstrate skills learned, develop relationships with mentors, and explore future employment opportunities. The goals of this program are to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to conduct research in livestock infectious diseases.
  • Raise awareness of federal research careers for veterinarians.
  • Increase partnerships with veterinary schools.


Funding for the summer will be administered to the scholar through each scholar’s school. Each scholar will receive a $7,500 stipend for the summer administered through their university. Travel assistance and conference registration fee waivers for the scholars will be provided to their universities. Students also will attend the BI National Veterinary Scholars Symposium in August.


Participants for this program must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident and enrolled in good standing or recently completed a DVM/PHD degree program from an accredited university.


Candidates will need to submit a coversheet, cover letter and resume or CV. Read more about the application process.

NBAF Fellowships through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)

NBAF and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education are providing several scientific fellowships. For current openings and opportunities, please visit Zintellect and search the catalog keyword for “NBAF.”


The participant will receive a monthly stipend equal to educational level and experience.


Qualifications are dependent on the type of position and field of work candidates are seeking.


A complete application consists of:

  • An application.
  • An unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted.
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list.
  • Two educational or professional recommendations.