Research Associate

Employer
Mississippi State University
Location
Starkville, MS
Posted
Jul 23, 2021
Closes
Jul 26, 2021
Ref
2302217032
Organization Type
Corporate
Position Function:

The research program at the Pontotoc Branch focuses on developing sustainable/profitable management strategies for the MS sweetpotato industry. This Research Associate position will support research at the station. The incumbent is expected to work closely with the research team to satisfy the goals and expectations of funded projects. Areas of emphasis are sweetpotato production (fertility, weed management, plant physiology), soil health (cover crops, organic amendments), and variety selection for production of clean plant material.

Salary Grade: 13

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges. For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

The individual will be a staff member of the North MS Research and Extension Center, Verona, MS and be housed at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, Pontotoc, MS. This 640-acre research facility is a premier information source for the Mississippi sweetpotato industry and contributes research results throughout the world. Resources include office and staff, three greenhouses, wet and dry labs, and two major land resources that are comprised of 16 soil series. The Pontotoc Branch is located near the main sweetpotato production area of the state and is in constant communication with innovative producers and scientists across the U.S.

Area of Specialization:

Plant Sciences

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Research and operational tasks related to row crop production are included in the essential duties and responsibilities of this position. The following examples are intended as illustrations only of the various types of duties assigned in positions allocated to this classification. The absence of specific statements of duties does not exclude those tasks from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment of the position.

1. Assists faculty, staff, and/or students with research and/or projects.

2. Maintains accurate and timely records related to farm and research operations.

3. Plans, coordinates, and conducts scientific research requiring judgment in the independent evaluation, selection, and substantial adaptation and modification of standard scientific techniques.

4. Applies an analytical approach to the solution of a wide variety of problems, or applies specialized techniques or ingenuity in selecting and evaluating approaches to unforeseen or novel problems.

5. Demonstrates and applies thorough understanding of scientific methods, research protocols, assessment instruments, and data interpretation.

6. Designs, performs, and/or oversees experiments and data collection to ensure data integrity, quality control, and protocol compliance.

7. Collects, analyzes, and interprets data; prepares statistical and narrative reports and/or graphs, as appropriate to the specific position; prepares manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication; presents research results to scientific conferences and other groups.

8. Independently performs most research assignments with instructions as to the general results expected; receives guidance on unusual or complex problems.

9. Ensures proper care in the use and maintenance of equipment and supplies; promotes continuous improvement of workplace safety and environmental practices.

10. Maintains currency of knowledge with respect to relevant state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and/or systems.

11. Summarizes and presents research results at producer/grower field days and scientific meetings.

12. May lead, guide, and train staff/student employees, interns, and/or volunteers performing related work; may participate in the recruitment of volunteers, as appropriate to the area of operation.

13. Operates farm equipment.

14. Assists with land preparation, planting, cultivating, crop protection, fertilizing, harvesting and transportation of sweetpotato and row crops.

15. Manages and maintains property inventory reporting.

16. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

The candidate must have a Bachelor's degree in plant sciences or closely related field. Also, the qualified individual must have excellent written and verbal communication skills to interact effectively with faculty, staff, producers, and the general public. Ability to work collaboratively within a team and independently is essential.

Rank and salary will be commensurate with the education and/or experience of the candidate.

Preferred Qualifications:

Master of Science in plant sciences or related field. A valid Class A Commercial Driver's License or willingness and ability to obtain this license is desirable.

Additional Desirable Qualifications

1. Field and laboratory work experience beyond the minimum required.

2. Must have a valid driver's license.

3. Previous experience operating farm equipment.

4. Desire to seek further educational degrees closely related to the scope of work.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

1. Knowledge of scientific approach and methodologies.

2. Ability to develop and follow research methodology and protocol.

3. Ability to read, understand, follow, and enforce safety procedures.

4. Knowledge of current technological developments/trends in area of agronomy.

5. Knowledge of scientific research principles, practices, and protocols.

6. Ability to design, organize, and coordinate scientific research projects.

7. Knowledge and field/laboratory skills to work in sustainable agricultural practices

8. Computer skills for data analysis (MS Excel, SAS) are also expected.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

1. Work environment involves some exposure to hazards or physical risks, which require following basic safety precautions.

2. Ability to work in extreme weather conditions.

3. Requires heavy physical work; heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling required of objects up to 50 pounds.

4. Will operate and work in close proximity with heavy farm equipment.

5. Contact with herbicides and pesticides is frequent.

6. Work is normally performed in an agricultural field, equipment shop, and office environment.

Supervision

Received: Supervision from a designated faculty member.

Given: Provide oversight to student workers and intermittent employees

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply: http://explore.msujobs.msstate.edu/

Must complete online application; submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and a current unofficial transcript. An official copy of transcripts will be required if selected for an interview. Social security numbers should be redacted prior to submission.

Restricted Clause:

Position contingent upon funding availability.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.