Research Specialist in Plant Breeding - Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (...

Job description




Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

PRIMARY POSITION FUNCTION/SUMMARY: Conduct and manage research on plant breeding and genetics of perennial grasses.



  • Prepare and execute experiments on plant breeding and genetics of perennial grasses, especially Miscanthus and sugarcane. Work will be conducted in the field, greenhouse, growth chamber and office.
  • Supervise the cultivation of plants in the field and greenhouse, and propagation of plants in preparation of field trials.
  • Collect data from research experiments; implement high-throughput systems that include designing barcodes, setting up and using Bluetooth enabled measuring devices, and linking the collection devices to tablet computers for in-field data collection.
  • Manage data files and organize completed files on the local area network.
  • Supervise the collection and processing of seed and biomass samples.
  • Coordinate and participate in off-campus field experiments with collaborators.
  • Conduct routine maintenance on field plot research equipment.


  • Supervise the hiring and work of hourly employees.
  • Maintain inventories of supplies, equipment, seed, and plants in the greenhouses.
  • Order supplies as needed.


Education: Required: Bachelor's degree in biology, agriculture, horticulture or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.

Experience: Required: Three years plant breeding and genetics research experience. Preferred: Five years grass and/or forage breeding and genetic research experience. Experience leading a field crew would be desirable.

Training, Licenses or Certifications: Required: Already have or ability to obtain IL pesticide applicator’s license.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Required: Plant breeding and genetics research. Effective communication, organizational, personal relations, and leadership skills. Ability to work effectively as both a team member/leader and independently with minimal supervision. Preferred: Knowledge of the operation and maintenance of greenhouses, tractors, threshers and small farm equipment.

Environmental Demands: Most work will be conducted in field and greenhouse settings. Work may be physically demanding including hot, humid, or inclement weather. Position involves lifting and hauling up to 20 pounds. Lifting, stooping, bending, and walking distances is required.

SALARY: Commensurate with experience and qualifications

APPOINTMENT STATUS: Full-time academic professional, grant-supported appointment renewable annually pending continued funding and satisfactory progress within the position. Qualified individuals will be eligible to receive vacation, sick, and personal leave; retirement through the State Universities Retirement System; and group health, dental, vision and life insurance.

START DATE: As soon as possible after the close date

TO APPLY: Applications must be received by May 18, 2021. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload a letter of which details qualifications noted above, resume and the names and contact information of three professional references. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. For further information, please contact Erica Hanson, Human Resources, [email protected].

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

College Name or Administrative Unit:OVCRI Category:6-Research Title:Research Specialist in Plant Breeding - Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (144501) Open Date:04/09/2021 Close Date:05/18/2021 Organization Name:Inst for Sustain, Enrgy, and Env




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Job No:
Posted: 4/11/2021
Application Due: 5/18/2021
Work Type: Full Time