Research Associate

Apply now Job no: 499761
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 013900 - Prairie Research Unit
Location: Monroe County
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

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 Mississippi Research and Extension Center and be housed in the Prairie Research Unit in Prairie, MS. This 2,456-acre Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station research facility is equipped with a GrowSafe feed intake and feeding behavior measurement system, three permanent cattle handling facilities, equipment sheds and barns, equipment shop, hay production equipment, and row crop production capabilities. Resources include both spring-calving and fall-calving commercial beef cattle herds, office with interactive video classroom, and staff. The experiment station is located approximately 45-minutes driving time from Starkville, MS and the main campus of Mississippi State University and 30-minutes driving time from Tupelo, MS, a major business hub.

Area of Specialization:

Beef Cattle and Forage Production

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Research and operational tasks related to cattle and 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 cattle handling and care to include nutritional, reproductive, and health management.
15. Assists with land preparation, planting, cultivating, crop protection, fertilizing, and harvesting of hay, pasture, and row crops.
16. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

The candidate should have a Bachelor’s degree in animal or plant sciences or closely related field. Also, the qualified individual should have excellent written and verbal communication skills to interact effectively with faculty, staff, producers, and the general public.

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

ABDs or degree pending considered (all but DISS):


Preferred Qualifications:

Master of Science in animal or plant sciences or related field.

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 animal science and/or 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 and office environment.

Received: Supervision from a designated faculty member.
Given: Provide oversight to student workers and intermittent employees.

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

Instructions for Applying:

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.

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.

Advertised: Central Standard Time
Applications close:

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