The research program at the Pontotoc Branch focuses on developing sustainable/profitable management strategies for the MS sweetpotato industry. This research associate position is 100% funded through grants and contracts for a period of 1 year. Position continuance is dependent on funding availability. The incumbent is expected to work closely with the research team to satisfy the goals and expectations of funded projects. Areas of emphasis are sweetpotato production (fertility, weed management, plant physiology), soil health (cover crops, organic amendments), and variety selection for production of clean plant material.
Salary Grade: UC
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.
The individual will be a staff member of the North MS Research and Extension Center, Verona, MS and be housed at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, Pontotoc, MS. This 640-acre research facility is a premier information source for the Mississippi sweetpotato industry and contributes research results throughout the world. Resources include office and staff, three greenhouses, wet and dry labs, and two major land resources that are comprised of 16 soil series. The Pontotoc Branch is located near the main sweetpotato production area of the state and is in constant communication with innovative producers and scientists across the U.S.
Area of Specialization:
Plant Sciences (sweet potato)
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The incumbent will focus on data collection, statistical analyses, and working as a team player to write articles for publication in scientific journals. The management of data would perpetuate the creation of outreach and educational publications, such as bulletins, fact sheets, and web articles. He/she would be expected to prepare and present research results at meetings for professional societies and local grower venues. In addition, there will be an opportunity to participate in projects that are designed to discover new sweetpotato cultivars and plant propagation strategies for the certified clean foundation seed program in Mississippi.
The candidate must have a PhD in Plant Science (Horticulture/Agronomy) or related field. He/she must have excellent written and verbal communication skills to interact effectively with faculty, producers, and the general public. Also, he/she must be trustworthy and respectful to all staff and visitors.
Three years of professional research experience in a related area.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
The candidate must be capable of working within a team environment and exhibit strong self-motivation. He/she should have good working knowledge about experimental designs, how to manage large data sets using Excel, conduct statistical analyses using SAS (plus other software such as ARM), and obtain a Commercial Pesticide Applicators Certification from the state of MS.
Working Conditions and Physical Effort
Regularly involves lifting, bending or other physical exertion. Regularly exposed to one or more elements such as heat, cold, noise, dirt, chemicals, etc.
Job frequently requires walking, standing, lifting, sitting, reaching, talking, hearing, and handling objects with hands.
Requires handling of heavy weight objects up to 60lbs.
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 on all transcripts.
For additional questions, please contact Casey Watts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Position is contingent upon funding availability.
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.