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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 685620
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Natural Science
Department: Kellogg Biological Station Nat. Sci. 10032500
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: Hickory Corners
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Research/Scientific, Non-Union

Position Summary

Position: Hiring a postdoctoral associate in spring or summer of 2021 for work on a new NSF grant "CNH2-L: Resilience to drought or a drought of resilience? The potential for inter-actions and feedbacks between human adaptation and ecological adaptation". Associate will assist in data collection, analysis, and writing results for the grant, projected for 2-year position in the Evans Lab. This position will be in the Evans Lab under supervisor Dr. Sarah Evans at Kellogg Biological Station.. The candidate will also benefit from interacting with other personnel and projects in the Evans Lab, and at Kellogg Biological Station, both described below. 

Qualifications: A PhD in an appropriate discipline is required, as is demonstration of strong written and oral communication skills. Skillsets relevant to the position are the following: soil sampling, DNA and RNA extraction, amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, and bioinformatic skills. Favorable skills are familiarity with modeling, project coordination and collaboration, and soil science.

Start date and salary: The postdoctoral appointment is for two years, but will begin with a one-year appointment, with expectation that it would be renewed for a second year, and further, contingent on external funding.  Start date range is May 2021-September 2021; please describe preferred start date and/or constraints in the cover letter.

MSU is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, first-generation college students, and persons underrepresented in the sciences are encouraged to apply. We will start reviewing applications January 13, and continue until the position is filled. Candidates wishing to apply after this date can email to see whether the position is still open. 

The Evans Lab: ( The candidate will benefit from interactions with personnel and projects in the Evans Lab asking how rainfall, irrigation, and management affect soil health, sustainability and science translation to policy, increasing representation in science, and microbial dispersal and assembly. To investigate these questions, we use molecular techniques, physiological assays, modeling, and terrestrial climate manipulations. The lab is currently a vibrant and supportive community of graduate students and lab technicians/managers and undergraduates. This project will be supported by a technician to assist with project coordination and sample analysis. We have prioritized creation of a diverse environment that supports individuals regardless of cultural background, race, orientation, or ethnicity. 

Kellogg Biological Station ( is a premier biological research station located ~65 miles from the main campus of Michigan State. It is home to 10 faculty and their graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, with interests ranging from biogeochemistry to community ecology to evolution, as well as full-time research staff, visiting research scientists, and many summer undergraduates. It is also home to sites for several national networks, including: the KBS LTER (NSF-funded) and LTAR (USDA-funded), which investigate the fundamental and stakeholder-driven ecology of agricultural landscapes, respectively; and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, examining sustainable bioenergy systems.  


Postdoc development: KBS and the Evans Lab are committed to postdoctoral research career development. The postdoc will have professional development opportunities in the form mentoring, teaching, grant writing, public communication and others, while working on highly collaborative research projects to meet the postdocā€™s defined career goals.

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 -Microbial ecology, molecular microbiology

Minimum Requirements

PhD in appropriate field, and strong oral and written communication skills

Desired Qualifications

DNA and RNA extraction, amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, and bioinformatic skills. Interest in interdisciplinary work, agriculture, and sustainability strongly desired.



Required Application Materials

1) cover letter (2 page max) that includes: research accomplishments; future research interests and directions; experience related to this position; and interest in broader impacts (e.g. outreach, communication, education, DEI, etc.), 2) a CV, and 3) contact information (name, position, phone, email) for three references. Apply online at

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin on January 13, 2021, and will continue until the position has been filled.


Review of Applications Begins On


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 Standard Time

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