Research Assistant III

East Lansing
May 17, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Position Summary

This position provides technical support for the Tree Fruit Physiology Research Program in the department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. Responsibilities include assistance to the program director and oversight of field and laboratory experiments including development of experimental designs and implementation of research trials related to horticultural management and physiological studies of tree fruit. Maintenance of field research plots to include irrigation, fertilization, tree training, pruning, fruit thinning, growth monitoring, and harvest on commercial farms throughout tree fruit regions of MI and at MSU research centers and coordination and communication of activities with members of the research team and Farm Staff at MSU research centers; preparation and application of plant growth regulator solutions and nutrients; measurement of growth and development of organs to include microscopy, imaging and quantitative and qualitative analyses of pre- and post harvest fruit quality attributes. The successful candidate will operate and maintain research instruments and collect, organize, statistically analyze and prepare data for presentations. Will oversee ordering supplies, supervising temporary employees and undergraduate students, and coordinate activities to support graduate students, postdoctoral research associates, visiting scholars, and industry and faculty collaborators working within the research team. The position is physically demanding and requires the ability to work outside in inclement weather conditions for extended periods to ensure the timely completion of research objectives.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired through completion of one or two years of post-bachelor degree work, such as a Master's in horticulture or plant related discipline to include environmental sciences; one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in research methodologies, experiment design, statistical analyses of research data, and record keeping; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Possession of a commercial pesticide applicator license within 6 months of start date. 

Desired Qualifications

Masters Degree in horticulture or plant related discipline to include environmental sciences; experience in plant physiological research techniques; experience in the horticultural management of tree fruit orchards; microscopy skills (light microscopy, SEM, confocal, stereo-zoom, etc.) and fluency in image analysis software; proficiency in programming and operation of data loggers; experience with remote sensors and use of UAVs for data collection; ability and interest in publishing research results; excellent organizational and communication skills; positive attitude and ability to work both independently and with a diverse team environment.  

Required Application Materials


Cover Letter

Contact information for 3 references

Work Hours


Description of End Date This is an off-date position funded for one year from date of hire with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.

Summary of Physical Demands

 Ability to occasionally lift 50 lbs and regularly lift up to 30 lbs.

Summary of Health Risks

Preparation and application of plant growth regulator solutions and nutrients. 

(Bidding eligibility ends 5/23/17 at 11:55 pm)

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