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Research Associate - Entomology and Plant Pathology

NC State University
Crabtree Valley, NC
Closing date
Apr 11, 2024
Posting Number:
Internal Recruitment :
Working Title:
Research Associate - Entomology and Plant Pathology
Anticipated Hiring Range:
Commensurate with Experience
Work Schedule:
Monday - Friday / 8am - 5pm
Job Location:
Raleigh, NC
Department :
Entomology and Plant Pathology
About the Department:
As part of the Land Grant University, the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology is composed of over 40 faculty that direct a diverse portfolio of programs in teaching, research, and extension components. Collectively, these strengths not only serve our clientele and our science, but also provide a rich environment for graduate education and training that can be tailored to the specific career interests of the student, irrespective of whether they prefer training in the basic sciences or are preparing for a career in extension. Our education and research programs provide graduate and undergraduate students with unique hands-on learning opportunities using the latest technologies.

The Micropropagation and Repository Unit in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is the National Clean Plant Network center that produces, maintains and distributes to stakeholders high quality, asexually propagated plant material of sweetpotato, berry crops and muscadine grapes that are free of targeted pathogens and pests that cause economic loss to protect the environment and ensure global competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops producers.
Essential Job Duties:
The Reserach Associate will work under the general supervision of the MPRU Director on developing and improving greenhouse management practices to support the production of sweetpotato nuclear plants for distribution to North Carolina Sweetpotato Certified Seed Growers.

Duties include but are not limited to:
  • Coordinate greenhouse-related activities for multiple projects mainly for sweetpotato but other crops such as berries and muscadine grapes will be included.
  • Participate in the development of project proposals, work plans, reports and possibly manuscripts, consult and provide expertise to the PI, as appropriate.
  • Be responsible for sourcing, distributing, and coordinating all living plant material across all stakeholders and institutions.
  • Conduct activities to establish new plants, maintain healthy plants; schedule and provide detailed forecasting of plant development to growers, implement, and improve Greenhouse Best Management Practices.
  • Maintain active accession records of all plants; establish an integrated pest management program, quality control, and recognize areas for improvement and work with necessary personnel to implement these changes.
  • Record details and results of greenhouse management, plant health, and plant production for delivery to stakeholders using a laboratory notebook and digital databases; and write summary reports.
  • Have a strong knowledge of all facets of crop production in both field and greenhouse systems.
  • Have a strong knowledge of greenhouse technology and environmental controls, and be able to diagnose and communicate any greenhouse issues with Facilities maintenance staff.
  • Work duties will also include any combination of the following general greenhouse maintenance tasks: cleaning and disinfecting greenhouse surfaces; preparing potting soil; monitoring pest populations; restocking and maintaining supplies; autoclaving, and operating and maintaining specialized equipment.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive integrated pest management approach and train workers as needed.
  • Track budget expenditures for the projects; and develop or revise work instructions or other Quality Management documents.
Other Responsibilities:
Other duties as assigned.
Minimum Education and Experience:

  • Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree, or relevant Bachelor's degree plus 3 or more years of independent research experience. May require terminal degree and licensure.
  • Documented experience in greenhouse management for multiple labs or projects.
Other Required Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of plant production and maintenance
  • Knowledge of Greenhouse Best Management Practices
  • Knowledge of irrigation systems and maintenance
  • Knowledge of integrated pest management
  • Knowledge of greenhouse technology and environmental controls
  • Knowledge of plant identification
  • Ability to plan and follow planned activities independently
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Good written communication skills
  • Excellent oral communication skills
  • Ability to work on a team
  • Ability to work independently, travel
  • Ability to supervise hourly workers
  • Abilty to collaborate with staff, faculty and students
Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's Degree in Horticultural Science, Plant Science, Plant Pathology, Field Biology, Entomology, Ecology, Biology or a related field.
  • At least five years of relevant work experience with greenhouse management, plant production and propagation, insect/pest control and cultural management of crops of interest.
Required License(s) or Certification(s):
A valid drivers license is required for travel. Valid Driver's License and ability to obtain an NC drivers license is required within 60 days of hire and must be maintained throughout employment.

  • The incumbent will need to independently drive departmental trucks and vehicles.
Valid NC Driver's License required:
Commercial Driver's License required:
Job Open Date:
Anticipated Close Date:
Open until filled
Special Instructions to Applicants:
Applicant required documents: Please attach a resume/CV, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references.
Position Number:
Position Type:
EHRA Non-Faculty
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week):
12 Month Recurring
Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather:
Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather
Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events:
Mandatory - Medical Emergencies
Department ID:
111801 - Entomology and Plant Pathology
NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process are welcome to contact 919-515-3148 to speak with a representative at the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

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