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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 664400
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: Research And Innovation
Department: Great Lakes Bioenergy Researc Ctr Vprgs 10059425
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Agriculture, Research/Scientific

Position Summary

Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top institutions for plant science and microbial ecology research. One position for a research associate (postdoc) is available with the Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). The successful applicant will join a collaborative team to execute research to understand the role of switchgrass microbiome for plant productivity on marginal lands. Gregory Bonito (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences), Sarah Evans (Integrative Biology), and Ashley Shade (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) will jointly advise the successful applicant, who will have a pivotal role in project coordination between these three labs, and work out of the Bonito lab.

Switchgrass is a cellulosic bioenergy crop that is being tested for performance on non-arable (marginal) lands. We seek an excellent research associate (postdoc) to conduct microbiome research to understand the drivers and consequences of switchgrass rhizosphere communities, and to coordinate plant, fungal and bacteria-based team research activities across investigators’ labs. The position will be located on the Michigan State University (MSU) main campus (East Lansing), but will frequently travel to execute collaborative projects at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station (Hickory Corners) and present GLBRC microbiome results at meetings.

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Center consists of an interdisciplinary team of researchers that aim to produce the knowledge and technological advances needed to establish a sustainable lignocellulosic bioindustry.  The center will address a set of interrelated knowledge gaps that currently limit the industrial scale production of bioenergy crops, and specialty biofuels and bioproducts, to create the knowledge needed to develop a new generation of sustainable lignocellulosic biorefineries.

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 Degree

Doctorate -Plant, Soil, Microbial Sciences, Ecology

Minimum Requirements

  • The successful applicant will be independent, motivated, and hold a PhD in a field related to plant, soil, microbial sciences, ecology, bioinformatics/genomics, or similar fields.
  • Experience in conducting field work and/or greenhouse work with plant or soil associated microbiomes is required.
  • Strong wet-lab skills for generating high quality RNA and DNA from plant and microbial tissues, and quantitative skills in bioinformatics and statistics is expected.
  • The successful candidate will have skills in microbiology and molecular laboratory techniques, as well as strong writing abilities.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills are expected.

Desired Qualifications

Experience in managing, analyzing, and coordinating collaboration using large, multi-project datasets will be viewed favorably, as well as skills in data science and experience in high-performance computing resources.

Required Application Materials

Please send a statement describing relevant skills, research accomplishments, and research interests (one page maximum), a current CV, one representative publication, and contact information for three references. 

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, as early as September 1, 2020.

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.

Review of Applications Begins On



Department Statement

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is a U.S. Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Center led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. With Michigan State University and other partners, we are developing sustainable biofuels and bioproducts made from dedicated energy crops grown on marginal lands. Our mission is simple: creating biofuels and bioproducts that are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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