Eric Uthus (
Mon, 24 Jun 1996 19:26:19 +0200


Postdoctoral Research Associate in nutrition, mathematics, engineering, or
computer science. This is a 2 (possibly 3) year appointment - it is a
noncareer (not permanent) position.


U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202


The incumbent will develop new procedures involving novel mathematical or
computer approaches such as chaos, catastrophe, fractals, fuzzy logic, neural
networks, and other cognitive methods that could be used for deriving
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs). An underlying concern with derivation of
the RDAs, is that an element of judgment is required when deciding which data
to use and how the data should be used. This project would determine methods,
which if were employed, would make the RDA process more objective. The
incumbent would use existing data to derive a systematic approach for
derivation of RDAs for mineral elements. Work could be theoretical, but the
goal is to establish a mechanism and working model to make the RDAs more
objective and more informative.


Knowledge of mathematics in one or more of the following areas: chaos,
catastrophe, fractals, fuzzy logic, neural nets, or other cognitive methods.
Experience in computer programming. Knowledge of nutrition is desirable but
not necessary.


Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) are defined as the intakes of essential
nutrients that, on the basis of scientific knowledge, are judged by the Food
and Nutrition Board to be adequate to meet the known nutrient needs of
practically all healthy persons. RDAs are used to plan and procure food
supplies for population subgroups; to interpret food consumption records of
individuals and populations; to establish standards for food assistant
programs; to evaluate the adequacy of food supplies in meeting nutritional
needs; to design nutrition education programs; to develop new products in
industry; and to establish guidelines for nutrition labeling of foods.

An underlying concern with derivation of the RDAs, is that an element of
judgment is required when deciding which data to use and how the data should
be used. This project would determine methods to make the RDA process more
objective. The incumbent would use existing data and novel
mathematical/computer approaches such as chaos, catastrophe, fractals, fuzzy
logic, neural networks, or other cognitive methods to derive RDAs for mineral


The Grand Forks Human Nutrition Center is one of five human nutrition research
centers operated by the ARS. The mission of the Center is to determine
nutrient needs for humans and to provide information concerning healthy food
choices and a healthful food supply. Emphasis is on determining mineral
requirements that prevent disease and promote health and optimal function
throughout life. The 80,000 square foot facility contains a laboratory for
each of 13 senior scientists, a 14-bed metabolic ward for long-term, live-in
human volunteer studies, and a separate area for community-based human
studies. The Center is located near the campus of the University of North
Dakota where access to a Cray J-90 computer is available, if needed.


Postdoctoral Research Associate Citizenship Information

Applicants for this postdoctoral research position in the Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) may be filled by (1) citizens of the United States, (2)
a citizen of a country which is a member of a Defense Treaty of which the
United States is also a member, e.g., NATO, SEATO, RIO Treaty, or (3) by
citizens of countries which the U.S. Congress has specifically exempted from
the restricting legislation. The legislation which restricts employment to
these groups is the annual Treasury, Postal Service and General Government
Appropriations Act. The restriction to citizenship applies only to positions
(as is this position) in the continental United States.

Countries falling under (2) above:

Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile,
Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador,
France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Italy, Japan,
Korea (Republic of), Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua,
Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Thailand,
Tobago, Trinidad, Turkey, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and
Northern Ireland), Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Exempted countries (category 3 above):

Citizens of Ireland or Israel; South Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian
refugees paroled into the United States after January 1, 1975; Aliens from
Cuba, Poland, South Vietnam, the countries of the former Soviet Union, or
Baltic Countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) lawfully admitted to the United
States for permanent residence; Natives of American Samoa and Swains Island;
Persons born in the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John)
after February 27, 1927; Natives of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern
Mariana Islands (including Saipan, Rota, and Tinian); and Nationals of Peoples
Republic of China who were in the U.S. on or before June 5, 1989, up until
April 11, 1990, and qualify under the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992.

The list of counties is, to my knowledge, accurate only to November, 1993. If
you question the list, please contact me.


The Postdoctoral Research Position (also referred to as Associate or
Associateship) offered through the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is a
noncareer appointment which will last two years (there are situations,
however, in which the appointment can be extended). Applicants must have
completed requirements for the Ph.D. degree prior to entrance on duty
(starting dates are flexible). Preference is to hire persons with no more
than 4 years postdoctoral experience. However, well-qualified scientists more
than 4 years beyond the Ph.D. degree should not hesitate to apply. Eligible
applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion,
sex, age, nondisqualifying physical handicap, or national origin.

Associates are appointed at no less than the first step of grades GS-11 or
GS-12 which are $34,839 and $41,926, respectively (appointments are usually
made at the GS-11 grade). This pay does not include any cost of living
increase and locality pay adjustment that may apply. The gross annual salary
is subject to Federal and State income tax and social security/Federal
retirement deductions. Sick leave at the rate of 13 days per year and 13 days
annual (vacation) leave are provided. Associates appointed initially for
longed than a year are eligible for health and life insurance benefits.
Job-related death or injury is covered by the Federal Employees Compensation
Act. Any moving allowances will be discussed.

Associates devote full-time effort to research and advanced training. No
additional monetary aid may be accepted from another appointment, fellowship,
scholarship, grant or similar personal funding during the period of the
Associateship. The laboratory will provide the necessary support service,
supervisory, facilities, and equipment for the research. Publication of
research results obtained during the period of the Associateship is strongly

There is no specific closing date for this position. If interested, please
e-mail, fax, or mail me your resume/CV. If at all possible, include your
e-mail address for further correspondence.


Eric Uthus, Ph.D.
USDA, ARS, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center
PO Box 9034
Grand Forks, ND 58202
701-795-8395 (FAX)