Research Assistant - Horticultural Science

NC State University
Raleigh, NC
Closing date
Oct 22, 2021

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians

Job Details

Posting Number:


Internal Recruitment :


Working Title:

Research Assistant - Horticultural Science

Anticipated Hiring Range:

Commensurate with Experience

Work Schedule:

M-F 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (additional evenings and weekends may be required)

Job Location:

Raleigh, NC

Department :

Horticultural Science

About the Department:

Our faculty and students conduct cutting-edge research that increases the quality and variety of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants available to consumers worldwide. We are experts in the science, art, technology and business of growing plants. And the demand for our services is growing. Whether through hands-on instruction in our greenhouses, field labs or community gardens, our work ensures the economic and environmental sustainability for horticulture across the state, the nation and the world.

Essential Job Duties:

The Research Assistant position is located at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River, NC, near Asheville. This position will support research in the area of fruit physiology (caneberry and apple). The Incumbent in this position will oversee and conduct research projects related to: 1) caneberry (blackberry and raspberry) cultivar evaluations, 2) canopy and crop load management, and 3) practices to enhance fruit quality and storage potential. The Research Assistant will maintain orchard and research plots while carefully observing treatment responses in order to collect, analyze, and summarize the research data findings.

Position responsibilities include: 1) accurately interpreting and efficiently carrying out research protocols in the field and laboratory, 2) making careful observations of treatment responses, and 3) accurately collecting and summarizing data in a timely fashion. This position includes outdoor activities and often involves manual labor and can be strenuous. When required, field activities will be conducted in inclement weather and extended hours may be required to complete time-sensitive tasks (planting, harvest, spraying, etc.).

Supervision of and cooperation with temporary employees and graduate students is required to complete maintenance and research-specific tasks. Additionally, the Incumbent is expected to communicate, coordinate, and cooperate with research center personnel to carry out routine orchard and small fruit management practices (pruning, canopy management, fertigation, insect, disease, and weed spraying, hand-thinning, harvest, fruit quality assessments, etc.). The position communicates and coordinates with apple and caneberry growers, extension agents, and other faculty/staff in the southeast region (NC, SC, and GA) when required. Where on-farm research tests are conducted, the incumbent keeps cooperating growers informed of needs and restrictions relative to research plots on their farms.

This position has funding for a three-year period with the possibility of renewal contingent on continued funding.

Other Responsibilities:

The position will also ensure equipment (vehicles, tractors, sprayers, and laboratory equipment) is regularly maintained and purchase supplies required for specific research activities. Pesticide applications (plant growth regulators) will be required.

Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Education and Experience:

  • Relevant bachelor’s degree and three years of independent research experience, or a Master’s Degree in Horticulture or a related field.

Other Required Qualifications:

  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to collaborate with staff, faculty, and students.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Proficiency in MS Office.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Relevant research experience In applied, whole-plant physiology of fruit crops.

Required License(s) or Certification(s):

  • Valid NC Pesticide Applicators License or the ability to obtain one within 90 days of hire. Obtaining and maintaining an NC Pesticide Applicators license will be required.
  • NC driver’s license or ability to obtain one within 60 days of hire. This position will be required to drive a program vehicle to and from research sites. The position will also be required to drive a tractor.

Valid NC Driver's License required:


Commercial Driver's License required:


Job Open Date:


Anticipated Close Date:

Open until filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

In addition to your application please submit a CV, cover letter, and the contact information for three (3) professional references.

Position Number:


Position Type:

EHRA Non-Faculty

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week):



12 Month Recurring

Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather:

Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather

Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events:

Mandatory - Medical Emergencies

Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies?:


Department ID:

111501 - Horticultural Science


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or [email protected] Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree equivalency verified at or equivalent service. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.


NC State: Think and Do

NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we're a pre-eminent research enterprise with 12 colleges excelling in all major academic fields.

NC State studentsOur 34,000 high-performing students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures that they leave here ready to lead the workforce. NC State's 13:1 student-faculty ratio is one of the reasons why we're the best college for your money in North Carolina (Money) and the No. 5 best value among public universities nationally (U.S. News & World Report).

Overcoming Challenges, Improving Lives

NC State is one of only two universities in the nation leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers — one developing wearable, self-powered health monitors, and the other researching smart-grid technology. We’re also leading interdisciplinary efforts to curb nuclear proliferation, help farmers confront climate change and build a new American manufacturing sector.

Our research doesn't just get published in a journal or sit on a shelf; it makes an impact. NC State is No. 6 nationwide in commercialization agreements based on university research, and we're No. 2 among universities without a medical school. Our Cooperative Extension Service provides research-based information to citizens in all 100 North Carolina counties. In addition, our industrial extension unit — Industry Expansion Solutions — has created an economic benefit for the state's manufacturers averaging $149 million per year since 2005.

Bright Minds Creating a Bold Future

NC State’s 9,000 faculty and staff are world leaders in their fields, bridging the divides between academic disciplines and training high-caliber students to meet tomorrow’s challenges. NC State students won two Goldwater scholarships, five Fulbright scholarships, one Churchill scholarship and a record-breaking 25 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, 25 faculty are members of the National Academies.

NC State bldg in darkOur Centennial Campus, an award-winning public-private research campus, is home to more than 70 partner organizations working alongside more than 70 NC State research and academic units. Centennial is also the location of the innovative Hunt Library, which Time magazine has dubbed “the library of the future.”

In Raleigh and Around the World

It all happens in one of the best cities in America. A top spot for job-seekers and tech professionals, Raleigh is nationally recognized as a leading urban center:

NC State building oldWith Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh anchors the Research Triangle, a national hotspot for high-tech enterprise. The top companies in the region — including IBM, Cisco Systems, SAS Institute, Biogen Idec and GlaxoSmithKline — are among the country’s best employers. They also lead the way in hiring new NC State graduates.

More than 130 years after its creation, NC State continues to make its founding purpose a reality. Every day, our career-ready graduates and world-leading faculty make the fruits of learning and discovery available to people across the state, throughout the nation and around the world.

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