Research Associate I @ Delta Research and Extension Center, Stoneville, USA

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Position Function:

This is a full-time, regular position in the Pollinator Health program located at the Delta Research and Extension Center, Stoneville, MS and in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology in Starkville, MS. The research goal of the lab is to promote the health of all bees; therefore, the incumbent will be responsible for performing professional-level work that includes combination of field work during the summer and laboratory activities for the rest of the year. The incumbent is expected to accept responsibility, carry out directed research and education programs, and work independently with minimal supervision, or collaborate with other team members and individuals from various disciplines. The incumbent must demonstrate interest, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude in carrying out the research program’s goals.

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:

This position will be located at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, MS.

Area of Specialization:

Pollinator Health

Anticipated Appointment Date:

February 2022.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Our research focuses on honey bees, with studies ranging from basic research on viral infections and honey bee immunity, transgenerational and maternal effects, to applied research on colony health and management. The incumbent will be expected to perform a wide range of duties in the field and laboratory. Operate and perform maintenance on specialized beekeeping equipment. Assists with beekeeping activities and seasonal duties associated with requeening and placement of research colonies. Actively organize the molecular laboratory, improve, and implement a variety of laboratory techniques including virus purification and bee injection, dissection and bioassays of live honey bees, RNA extractions, quantitative qPCR, DNA extraction, PCR reactions and gel electrophoresis. Supervise the activities of students and hourly employees participating in research in the field, the laboratory, and bee facility. Assist with organization and coordination of meetings, field days, and information exchanges with area and regional producers to extend information to stakeholders. Create and maintain accurate and timely records of laboratory results to provide Principal Investigator (PI) with information to evaluate direction of research; apply standard quality control procedures to assure accuracy of laboratory research results and make recommendations to PI as requested. Prepare summary reports of research and demonstration efforts, and present results to various groups, including stakeholders and at scientific meetings.

Minimum Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree in Entomology, Agronomy, Biology or related field. Experience in genetic and basic laboratory techniques, as well as beekeeping and honey bee research is required. The incumbent must not be allergic to insect stings and need to have physical ability to work under field conditions to manipulate bee hives as well as valid driver’s license to operate a vehicle. Rank and Salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

Master’s degree in molecular biology, microbiology, entomology, and beekeeping experience. Experimental and analytical skills, understanding and knowledge of research theory. Excellent organizational and project management skills. Ability to work independently and be technically proficient and accurate. Effectively communicate in both written reports and presentations. Initiate and ensure compliance with applicable safety procedures, and attention to detail. Familiarity with the production of multiple crops and pollinators is desirable. An interest in pursuing a graduate degree in entomology is desirable but not required. Acceptance to the MSU Graduate School prior to application is highly desirable.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

The incumbent must be able to work in a team environment, have strong organizational skills, knowledge of basic honey bee biology, experience with insect dissection, nucleic acid extraction, and database management. The individual must be competent in written and oral communication. Competency in computer software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and R is necessary.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Good dexterity as well as hand and eye coordination are required. Physical strength and endurance are needed to perform strenuous outdoor work under hot field conditions for prolonged periods of time. The ability to work after normal work hours during peak seasons will be required. The incumbent must also properly use bee smokers and other hive tools to safely access the hives.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply: All applicants must apply online at Upload 1) your letter of interest (including email address) addressing the aforementioned qualifications, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) unofficial transcript(s) of relevant college level education (any social security numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted prior to submitting online), and 4) a list containing the names and current contact information of three professional references. For additional information contact: Dr. Esmaeil Amiri Delta Research and Extension Center P.O. Box 197 Stoneville, MS 38776 Review of applications will begin January 3, 2022 and will continue until a suitable candidate is found. The incumbent is expected to start before April 2022.

Screening Date:

December 20, 2021.

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

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.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

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