Research Associate

University of Idaho

United States

February 6, 2022


Position Details Posting Number SP003178P

Position Title Research Associate Location Parma Division/College Col of Agricultural & Life Sciences Department Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Nematology FLSA Status Overtime Exempt Employee Category Exempt Pay Range $44,615 annually or higher depending on experience Type of Appointment Fiscal Year FTE


Full Time/Part Time Full Time Position Overview

The University of Idaho Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology seeks a plant diagnostics specialist to join the multi-disciplinary team at the Parma R&E Center. The position will be the key diagnostic lab contact for the Plant Pathology Lab at Parma with responsibility for receiving and initially assessing diagnostic samples and running tests as required or referring them to the appropriate specialist. The successful candidate will also undertake diagnostic test development under the supervision of the PI, as well as undertaking research projects into characterizing plant pathogens, disease monitoring and disease management. This position is contingent upon funding and is a full-time (12-month) position.

Unit Overview

The Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology works to discover safe and healthy ways to protect our food and resources from pests and disease while also protecting our natural ecosystems. We are unique among universities in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West in offering a bachelor's degree with a major in entomology.

Funding This position is contingent upon the continuation of work and/or funding. A visa sponsorship is available for the position listed in this vacancy. Uncertain Internal Posting?

Position Responsibilities

Key Accountability Conducting and coordinating plant disease diagnostic activities by:

Job Duties

Serving area EPPN diagnostic-related programs across plant pathology, entomology, nematology and weed science disciplines over a range of crop, landscape and ornamental plant species. Position will be responsible for the receipt of samples; either conducting a diagnosis themselves or deciding to which extension specialist the sample should be referred. Position will also be responsible for billing the customer where appropriate. This person will be responsible for maintaining professional interaction with growers/clientele and communicating diagnostic findings in a timely manner. The diagnostics labs will use laboratory information management systems and in conjunction with their counterpart at Idaho Falls, obtain quality lab accreditation within 3 years. The successful applicant will be expected to contribute and play a visible role in the activities of the National Plant Diagnostic Network and adhere to the networks policies and procedures. In addition, the successful applicant will be expected to undertake research activities the development of new diagnostic methods and their validation.

Key Accountability Research activities for plant disease surveillance and diagnostics by:

Job Duties

Performing field plant and pathogen analyses techniques to support development of the plant pathology program including conducting a range of molecular based tests, analyzing soil, inoculating plant material with fungal inoculum; performing visual and image-based plant disease assessments in the field and or greenhouse; assisting with analyzing and interpreting data; writing, editing and reviewing literature reviews, progress reports, journal manuscripts and grant proposals and presenting research and education information at local, regional and national meetings as requested by PI; assisting in laboratory, greenhouse, and field research efforts with graduate students, and temporary help in the Plant Pathology Research program by coordinating meetings; ensuring that safety procedures relating to laboratory, greenhouse, and field operations are followed and making recommendations to project leader regarding unusual findings or circumstances for collaborative discussion.

Key Accountability Work cooperatively with other personnel by:

Job Duties

Developing and maintaining positive working relationships with faculty, staff and students at the Parma R&E Center, and with faculty involved in diagnostics located at other locations; interacting with commercial growers and field consultants in a professional and positive manner at field days and educational programs; maintaining training and knowledge as it relates to the overall program's objective by attending workshops and collaborating with other personnel; and performing other duties as assigned within the scope of responsibility of this position.

Required Experience

  • Two years of post-bachelor's research experience related to the domain of this position.
  • Required Education

  • B.S. degree in plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, crop science or closely related field .
  • Required Licensures, Certifications or other Additional Preferred

  • Master's degree in plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, crop science or closely related field.
  • Experience with molecular lab techniques and training in molecular diagnostics and applied plant pathology, entomology and/or nematology diagnostics and IPM practices.
  • Laboratory management experience including monitoring safety compliance, training personnel, and budgeting and procuring necessary supplies/equipment.
  • Experience in developing and revising standard operating procedures.
  • Training or experience in developing and delivering extension programs for producers and county educators.
  • Experience supervising other personnel and advising graduate students.
  • Knowledge of USDA-APHIS regulations and reporting of regulated pathogens.
  • Evidence of participation or willingness to participate in professional activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and effectively with colleagues and clientele.
  • Excellent written communication skills.
  • Experience working independently.
  • Experience managing field, greenhouse and laboratory research projects.
  • Physical Requirements

  • Ability to perform assigned laboratory duties; ability to work with fungal plant pathogens.
  • Ability to do field work collecting plant and soil samples.
  • Working Conditions

  • Work with potentially toxic, volatile, corrosive chemicals and/or carcinogenic substances in a laboratory setting.
  • Degree Requirement Listed degree qualification is required at time of application.

    Posting Date 01/06/2022

    Closing Date Open Until Filled Yes Special Instructions to Applicants

    First consideration date for receipt of applications is January 27, 2022.

    IMPORTANT: To be considered, your “Letter of Qualification” must address EACH of the required qualifications, including pertinent education and/or experience. In addition, to improve your ranking during the evaluation process, address as many of the Preferred Qualifications as possible. Information on a resume WILL NOT be accepted as a substitute for submitting a Letter of Qualification.

    Background Check Statement

    Applicants who are selected as final possible candidates must be able to pass a criminal background check.

    EEO Statement

    The University of Idaho (U of I) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, U of I does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, genetic information or status as any protected veteran or military status in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions and educational programs.

    Applicant Documents

    Required Documents

  • Resume/CV
  • Letter of Qualification
  • Optional Documents

    Supplemental Questions

    Required fields are indicated with an asterisk ().

  • How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
  • Academic Keys
  • Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU)
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Craig's List
  • Department of Labor/Job Service including Job Central or Idaho Works
  • Facebook
  • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)
  • LinkedIn
  • National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (website)
  • Newspaper
  • Professional Listservs (Ex: NACUBO, AAAE, ISMC, etc.)
  • UI Employee
  • UI Register
  • University of Idaho Website
  • Veterans in Higher Ed
  • Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
  • Word of Mouth
  • Other Advertising Venue
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