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Research Associate-Fixed Term

Back to search results Apply now Job no: 919642
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Natural Science
Department: Plant Biology Cns 10032114
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Position Summary

  • We seek to recruit a highly motivated and skilled researcher with training in molecular biology, plant genetics, or bioengineering. WALII aims to understand how life continues without water (anhydrobiosis) from the molecular to the organismal levels. The project will leverage recent advances in microscopy, genetics, and physiology to investigate dehydration and desiccation tolerance in Arabidopsis (Theme 2). Successful candidates will investigate how molecules, proteins, and pathways regulate dehydration and rehydration in developing and germinating seeds using an interdisciplinary lens, ranging from biophysics to cell biology and organismal development.

About the Water and Life Interface Institute (WALII, pronounced “Wally”): WALII studies how life interacts with water, from the molecular to the organismal level, across plants, fungi, and animals. WALII is a virtual institute, with scientists located at nine research facilities across the United States. Working together, WALII team members aim to uncover the rules by which organisms interact with water, exploring four integrated themes: 1) the physical and molecular determinants that allow organisms to survive in the solid state; 2) rehydration responses in desiccation-tolerant and -sensitive systems; 3) the molecular grammar of desiccation tolerance conferred by intrinsically disordered proteins; and 4) the short- and long-term evolutionary history of desiccation tolerance. WALII team members have diverse expertise, ranging from biophysics to plant biology, and experience with several desiccation-tolerant and -sensitive systems. The candidate selected for this position will be working primarily on Theme 2.

The institute’s long-term goals are to understand how organisms can tolerate desiccation; invent technologies and concepts to study anhydrobiosis; engineer macromolecules, cells, and organisms that can survive desiccation; and produce the next generation of leaders in all sectors of our society. To achieve these aims, WALII provides mentoring, outreach opportunities, and professional development for all affiliated scientists. That includes funding support for travel to scientific conferences, and internal professional development/training programs. 


  • Leading research independently, preparing publications, and presenting research in scientific meetings. 
  • Applying microscopy, genetics, and physiology techniques to investigate dehydration and desiccation tolerance in Arabidopsis. 
  • Working closely with collaborators and lab members. 
  • Contributing to lab-wide chores, to help foster a productive and positive lab environment. 
  • Participating in virtual WALII activities.

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, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology

Minimum Requirements

  • PhD in any of the following areas: molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, bioengineering.
  • A track record of research productivity and independence.

Required Application Materials

Submit your CV, a cover letter explaining your motivations for applying to this position, and contact information for three people who can provide a reference letter on your behalf.

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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