Postdoctoral Associate

Apply now Job no: 505115
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month, Time-Limited
Department: 015901 - Coastal Marine Extension Program
Location: South MS Area
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

This is a full-time benefits eligible position with a primary duty station at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GNDNERR) near Moss Point, MS that is administratively associated with the MSU Coastal and Marine Extension Program (CMEP). This position reports to both the GNDNERR Director and MSU CMEP Director. The primary function of this position is to provide leadership and support to the GNDNERR in fulfilling its grant obligations and organizational mission. The scope of work for this position involves interpretation of multi-faceted programmatic activities with state, regional, and national impact; providing leadership and guidance to staff; developing and implementing externally-funded grant projects that address the management objectives and research priorities of the GNDNERR; formulating strategic objectives and implementation plans to accomplish the work; maintaining a research project and publication database; managing budgets and project activities and personnel; providing support for outreach activities; technical oversight of major program initiatives; coordination of the work with internal and external NERR partners; and other duties as assigned. This position is tentatively funded for 2 years but may be extended.

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.

Department Profile:

Mississippi State University’s Coastal and Marine Extension Program (CMEP) is seeking a postdoctoral associate to serve as the research coordinator for the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GNDNERR). The administrative office for CMEP is at the MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, MS; however, the primary duty station for this position will be the GNDNERR located 6005 Bayou Heron Rd, Moss Point, MS.

Area of Specialization:

Ecology and management of coastal uplands, estuaries, or marine ecosystems; geology; coastal engineering; restoration ecology or related discipline

Anticipated Appointment Date:

January 1, 2023. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The essential functions include, but are not limited to, the following. Establishes and maintains scientific expertise, credentials, and integrity to address the research and management priorities of the GNDNERR in partnerships with other professionals. Recommends processes and procedures for the efficient and expeditious operation of the research sector. Performs a variety of administrative tasks dealing with fiscal management, strategic planning, legal compliances, and programmatic functions including but not limited to grant writing. Develops the management priorities for the GNDNERR in coordination with the GNDNERR staff. Success in securing extramural funding in support of the GNDNERR. Collaborate with MSU faculty/staff and other partners to secure extramural funding and to support and enhance the mission of GNDNERR. Providing leadership in developing and executing research projects. Coordinates with the other NERRs on projects and priorities of national significance. Serves as a mentor to MSU and GNDNERR scientists. Maintains a close confidential relationship jointly with the Directors of the GNDNERR and CMEP.

Candidates must have outstanding verbal and written communication skills and the assessment and analytical techniques, and skills required to develop and deliver a research program to fulfill job responsibilities. The successful applicant is expected to adhere to the spirit and the intent of the Mississippi State University’s Guidelines for Employee Conduct. Available:
The following competencies describe the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes that may lead to a successful employee in this position. The successful applicant will be expected to exhibit these competencies or the ability to reach competency achievement within a specified time. These competencies are linked to the essential functions of the job. The employee in this position may be evaluated on these competencies as part of the performance appraisal system. Example behaviors are listed below and are used for illustrative purposes only. Failure of an employee to successfully demonstrate some or all these competencies may result in the employee being placed on a performance improvement plan. These competencies include, but are not limited to, the following.
High Level of Integrity, Strong Work Ethic, Service Orientation, Accountability, Self-Management Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Communication Skills, Self-Development, Workflow Management, Problem Solving/Decision Making, Stakeholder Relations.

Minimum Qualifications:

A doctoral degree in a relevant field from an accredited four-year college or university. The ability to successfully obtain and manage extramural funding and publish peer-reviewed journal articles. Familiarity with northern Gulf coast ecosystems, organizations, and agencies.

ABDs or degree pending considered (all but DISS):


Preferred Qualifications:

One (1) year experience in an administrative, professional capacity supervising and coordinating a variety of functions in an area of work related to the functional responsibility of the GNDNERR.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

The individual should be self-motivated, fit well in a multidisciplinary team environment, and exhibit excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to publish scholarly publications and peer-reviewed journal articles. Knowledge and skills in using Microsoft Office Suites especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint; knowledge and skills in using ArcGIS or equivalent; knowledge and skills in analytical / statistics software; knowledge and skills in multiple document/project management/sharing platforms; Ability to develop and maintain diverse and robust partnerships.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

* Ability to work in extreme weather conditions;
* Ability to work long hours;
* Requires routine travel, including some overnight trips

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Apply online at by submitting a cover letter, vitae, statement of research addressing GNDNERR management and research needs (see GNDNERR Draft Management Plan at, copy of your transcripts, and up to three letters of recommendation (sent separately by your references) to:
Dr. Eric Sparks at

Any social security numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted prior to submitting online.

Screening Date:

November 9, 2022 until filled. 

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?

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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