Research Associate I

Apply now Job no: 507517
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 011900 - Biochem,MolBio,Entmology&Plant Path
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The Mississippi Entomological Museum is accepting applications for a highly motivated and experienced individual to join our team as a Research Associate in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University. The successful candidate will be responsible for overseeing the museum’s collection of over 2 million pinned and alcohol specimens that are used for research and education. They will also be responsible for ensuring the integrity and accessibility of the specimens by ensuring that the collection is well organized; including curating all parts of the collection to a high level; integrating new material; coordinating with staff, students, and volunteers to digitize and database specimens and manage the collection database; maintaining an pest free environment; managing loan requests and donations; assisting visiting researchers and students that need to access the collection; and participating in outreach events.

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 Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology pursues an academic research and service mission within the traditions of Land-Grant Universities. The Department offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and currently advises approximately 500 undergraduate and 50 graduate students.

Area of Specialization:

Entomological Research Collection curation and management.

Anticipated Appointment Date:

July 2024. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Curate and maintain the museum's research collection, ensuring specimens are properly identified, labeled, and stored using modern museum methods and standards.
• Update/develop and implement collection management policies and procedures to ensure the long-term preservation of specimens.
• Coordinate acquisitions, loans, and exchanges of specimens with researchers and other institutions. Works with federal and state agencies to ensure compliance with all collecting, possessing and shipping regulations and permits. Receives and reviews collections offered by potential donors.
• Facilitate access to the collection for researchers, students, and the public, including assisting with inquiries and providing tours.
• Process specimens for preservation and storage using appropriate methods and techniques to provide for their optimum use in study and display.
• Develops and implements environmental conditions and pest management strategies to ensure collection welfare.
• Supervises and coordinates the training and work of museum staff, student workers, and volunteers, to keep the collection use working efficiently and effectively.
• Updates and maintains the collections database and other retrieval systems to enhance access to and use of the collections and associated information.
• Conduct research on insect taxonomy, systematics, and biodiversity, contributing to scientific publications and grant proposals.
• Collaborate with museum staff, faculty, and students on educational programs, exhibitions, and outreach activities.
• Participation in field sampling and attending and presenting at professional meetings and seminars relating to the collection, data management, and other collection-based projects.
• Assists with grant development to support proper care, data management, and development of the collection.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Bachelor's Degree.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Relevant Experience (yrs.): 3 years
• Master’s or Ph.D degree with area of focus in Entomology, Biology, Museum Studies, or a related field.
• Coursework relevant to biology, entomology, insect taxonomy, museum studies, systematics, or biogeography
• Strong knowledge of entomological principles, specimen preparation techniques, and collection databases.
• Extensive experience in insect collection management, curation, and taxonomy.
• Working knowledge of computers, desktop and electronic publishing and modern digital imaging skills and database management.
• Excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.
• Ability to work independently as well as part of a collaborative team.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Experience with digitization and online databases for specimen management.
• Experience in operation of compound and dissecting microscopes along with laboratory procedure.
• Experience supervising volunteers, interns, or student workers.
• Excellent organization skills and dealing with large sets of data.
• Excellent computer skills such related to spreadsheets and word processing.
• Excellent interpersonal, communications, organizational, and problem-solving skills.
• Ability to prioritize competing demands and meet deadlines.
• Ability to innovate and work as a team member.
• Ability to anticipate barriers to project completion; plan and manage contingencies.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

• Requires limited lifting of files, records, and insect drawers.
• Fieldwork requires ability to drive and includes exposure to the outdoors and associated unpredictable weather.
• Frequent, external imposed deadlines; set and revised beyond one’s control; interruptions influence priorities; difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days; meeting of deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position.
• Job frequently requires walking, sitting, reaching, talking, hearing, handling objects with hands.
• Travel to various events and field sites may be necessary with some overnight stays required on occasion.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Applications must be submitted through the Human Resources
Management website at by completing the professional
application and submitting a cover letter, resume, three references, and current dated unofficial transcript. Any social numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted prior to submitting online. An official transcript will be required if selected for an interview.
For additional questions, please contact Swayze Hollenhead at

Screening Date:

April 25, 2024, until filled. 

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 (ADA), 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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