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Research Assistant I

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 688844
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 11
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Agriculture And Nat Resources
Department: Plant Soil And Microbial Sciences 40000781
Sub Area: AP- Professionals
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Administrative Professionals- AP, Agriculture, Research/Scientific, Union

Position Summary

The Cropping Systems Agronomy program in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University is seeking a highly motivated individual to work as a member of the agronomy research program. This position will support research and extension efforts in understanding how various management practices influence crop productivity, profitability, and resiliency in the context of modern farming practices, climatic patterns, and economic conditions; and ultimately developing agronomic recommendations for corn, soybean, and small grain based cropping systems. The individual will work as a member of a team including professors, research assistants, graduate, and undergraduate students. This is a multifaceted position that includes field, laboratory, data management and presentation responsibilities.

Primary duties of the position include: preparation, planting, in-season management, and harvesting of Michigan Corn Performance Trials (MCPT) as well as other corn agronomic research trials at various locations throughout the state; data collection at trial location and its compilation, analysis, and publication in various sources; oral and written communication of research results to stakeholders; operation and maintenance of research equipment; supervise/train hourly and student employees; good communication with project team and support other research projects.

Specific Responsibilities:

30% Communicating with farmer cooperators and seed company representatives, designing and implementing MCPT and corn agronomic research field trials including trial randomization, seed counting and sorting, organizing equipment and supplies, and traveling to various Michigan locations.

30% Managing and leading field work that includes planting, collecting data and field notes, harvesting, and maintaining field trials at various Michigan locations.

20% Data compilation and analysis, summarization and presentation (oral and written) of research results, publication of MSU Extension E-431 bulletin

10% Safe operation and maintenance of field equipment, manage daily lab activities and website

10% Supervise and train hourly and student employees, support other research projects

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

A Bachelor of Science degree from a four-year college degree program in Agronomy, Crop and Soil Sciences, or closely related discipline; one to three years of related and progressively more responsible work experience in managing cropping systems, field research techniques, operating field research and farm equipment, proficiency with Microsoft Office computer programs, organization and maintenance of research data, statistical analyses and interpretation of research data using various software programs; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicators license is required within one month of hire. A Michigan Commercial Driver’s License with “Group A” designation is required within 2-3 months of hiring

Desired Qualifications

  • Master of Science degree in Agronomy or related field
  • Experience in conducting plant science experiments in the field; managing corn-based cropping systems
  • Familiarity with university corn hybrid testing programs similar to MCPT
  • Demonstrated proficiency in operating and repairing field research equipment with auto-guidance and variable rate technologies
  • Skills in designing experiments and analyzing data in AGROBASE, ARM, SAS and/or other similar statistical programs
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills. Experience in scientific writing and communication of results to scientific and farming community
  • Experience managing and supervising employees

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

Resume and/or Curriculum Vitae

Cover letter

Names and contact information for three professional references

Special Instructions

Address any questions and cover letter to Dr. Maninder Singh (, Dept. of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. Submit application documents to,

Work Hours


Description of End Date

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

Summary of Physical Demands

driving a university vehicle. Lifting, carrying, pushing/pulling, climbing. 

Summary of Health Risks

Spray or mix organophosphate or carbamate insecticides. Work in noisy areas.

Bidding and Eligibility Ends on 1/19/2021 at 11:55 PM 


Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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