In accordance with the IHL Board Directive and Executive Order 14042, MSU requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and upload vaccination documentation by January 4, 2022 or prior to the start of employment. Alternatively, employees may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement, as specified under the federal executive order. Further information will be shared during the onboarding process should you accept an offer of employment.

Research Associate I or II

Apply now Job no: 503418
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 191000 - Geosystems Research Institute
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The Geosystems Research Institute (GRI) at Mississippi State University seeks a highly motivated and self-driven research associate who is experienced and highly capable in operating uncrewed (water) surface vehicles and is experienced in biological remote sensing, data collection, and processing. Plans, executes, facilitates, and promotes advanced scientific research projects. Incorporates innovation and develops advances in research concepts, methodologies, and approaches as needed. Designs develop and tests new equipment, instruments, reagents, and/or experimental protocols for research (including hardware, software, statistical methods, etc.). Collaborates with other researchers as appropriate. Participates in the preparation and writing of grant/contract applications and reports and may serve as (co) author of scientific research manuscripts. May supervise other research staff. May present work at meetings and provide peer review of grant applications and research manuscripts.

Salary Grade

Rank and salary based on experience.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Operate uncrewed (water) surface vehicles (USVs) in support of various research projects
• Assist with USV and uncrewed aerial system (UAS) data collection and analysis
• Process data from any of a multitude of sensors that measure such things as pH,
conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, chlorophyll, colored dissolved
organic material (CDOM), carbon dioxide, turbidity, soil moisture, visible light, near infrared
signal, plant height, etc. using sensors like thermometers, radiometers, lasers, lidars,
ADCPs, etc.
• Document project results in reports
• Support composition of conference and journal manuscripts
• Presentation of project results to peers, program managers, and the public
• Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

• BS in Engineering Technology or a closely related field
• Experience operating autonomous (water) surface vehicles for scientific data collection
• Demonstrated ability in developing manuscripts and presentations using Microsoft Office
(MSWord and PowerPoint)

Grade and salary will be commensurate with individual’s background, education and experience.

Beginning with a bachelor’s degree:
A professional employee with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Technology or closely related field can begin work at the Research/Extension Associate I level. To begin at the Research/Extension Associate II level, one must have a bachelor’s degree in the required discipline and a minimum of three years relevant experience and the equivalent of a master’s degree.

Beginning with a master’s degree:
A professional employee with a master’s degree in Engineering Technology or closely related field and one year of relevant experience and demonstrated competence can begin work at the Research/Extension Associate II level.

Preferred Qualifications:

• MS in Engineering Technology or a closely related field
• Experience operating autonomous aerial systems for scientific data collection
• FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification
• Knowledge, skills, and abilities in Computer Aided Design (to design interface and
mounting components)
• Demonstrated proficiency in ArcGIS spatial analysis software
• Knowledge of agricultural processes, agricultural practices, and/or natural resources
• Demonstrated ability to work in multidisciplinary teams
• Qualifications within levels (I or II) are on a case-by-case basis with factors that include
work experience, past research funding, professional honors and awards, decisive
discoveries, management experience, professional accomplishments, and demonstrated
ability in leadership.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Apply online by submitting a cover letter, resume, and a copy of your transcript(s). Any social security numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted prior to submitting online.

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Condition of Employment:

As required by Executive Order 14042, If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before beginning employment with the University.

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?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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Applications close:

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