Postdoc Jobs
Research Scholar
Institution: North Carolina State University
Location: North Carolina, United States
Category: Science - Biology
Posted: 09/16/2020
Application Due: 00/00/0000
Type: Fulltime

 As part of the Land Grant University, the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology is composed of over 40 faculty that direct a diverse portfolio of programs in teaching, research, and extension components. Collectively, these strengths not only serve our clientele and our science, but also provide a rich environment for graduate education and training that can be tailored to the specific career interests of the student, irrespective of whether they prefer training in the basic sciences or are preparing for a career in extension. Our education and research programs provide graduate and undergraduate students with unique hands-on learning opportunities using the latest technologies.


Essential Job Duties

Project Title: Development and validation of advanced methods for detection and identification of plant quarantine pathogens.

The Research Scholar incumbent will conduct independent and original research in support of APHIS PPQ S&T Beltsville Laboratory mission on the development of advanced diagnostics for viral plant pathogens of regulatory importance. The diagnostic technologies include PCR, RT-PCR and real-time PCR, Isothermal Amplification-based assays, Next-generation-sequencing, whole-genome sequence analysis, and methods for sample preparation.

Methods developed will be used by federal regulatory surveillance and eradication programs. The incumbent, under the guidance of a Section Supervisor or Team leader, will receive input from stakeholders, review available literature, select the appropriate technology, and develop a work plan with a detailed experimental part. The incumbent will execute the project, collect and analyze data according to the QMS guidance. The incumbent is expected to prepare progress and validation reports on a specific schedule.

When needed the incumbent will work on technology transfer and/or provide training to diagnosticians from inside PPQ or outside laboratories.

The research will be informed by other similar technologies under development at the APHIS PPQ S&T Beltsville Laboratory and the incumbent will be expected to present research findings at professional meetings and to extend these findings to key stakeholders, including plant protection officials at state and federal agencies. The incumbent will provide confirmatory routine and non-routine diagnostic or support other lab activities as directed by the Supervisor.

This position is based at the CPHST Beltsville Laboratory in Beltsville, MD.


Other Work/Responsibilities

The incumbent is expected to manage of the assigned project(s);

  • Track budget expenditures for the project work.

  • Perform all research with adherence to the APHIS PPQ CPHST Beltsville Laboratory Quality Management System.

  • Develop work instructions for the use of these diagnostic platforms by field personnel.

  • The incumbent may oversee day to day activities of a research assistant or biological laboratory technician, and/or provide training to lab personnel.

  • Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor.


Minimum Education/Experience

PhD in Plant Pathology, Virology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology or other closely related fields.


Departmental Required Skills

  • OPT (at least 2 years remaining) can be considered.

  • Documented experience in molecular biology of microorganisms, especially plant viruses; computational biology/bioinformatics; genomic or plant DNA/RNA extraction; conventional and real-time PCR and RT-PCR analysis; gel electrophoresis; maintaining pathogen inoculated plants in greenhouse condition.

  • Attention to details, knowledge of GLP and QMS, SOP instructions and excellent technical skills.

  • Ability to plan and follow planned activities independently.

  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office (or similar software).

  • Good written and oral communication skills.


Preferred Experience, Skills, Training/Education

  • Knowledge of plant pathogen biology and/or detection & diagnostics of pathogens (virus and viroids) and experience with sequencing and sequence analysis is preferred.

  • Experience with development and execution of conventional PCR, real-time PCR, DNA sequence analysis, plant pathogen biology and/or diagnostics of pathogens (viruses and viroids).

  • Experience with diagnostic platform adaptation or evaluation and experience with laboratory procedures of applicable molecular biology and techniques as well as experience with experimental design.

  • Experience in plant virus or clinical diagnostics; attention to details; keeping good records, working with regulated organisms and under permitting conditions.


Required License or Certification



Special Instructions

In addition to your application, applicants should submit the following:

  • Cover Letter

  • CV

  • Contact Information for 3 Professional References

  • Original transcripts with an official seal of college degree.


Job Open Date



Anticipated Closing Date



Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies?



Proposed Hire Date




NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree equivalency verified at or equivalent service. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

Application Information
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