Stevia and Organic Agriculture Assistantships

Man cradling 5 sweet potatoes in his arms, wearing an NC State t-shirt with their "Think And Do" slogan printed on it.

Competitive assistantships are available in the Department of Horticultural Science program areas of research for outstanding candidates to a thesis-based master’s and doctoral programs. Students on assistantships receive tuition and health insurance.

Stevia MS Assistantship

An M.S. graduate assistantship is available in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. The assistantship provides a monthly stipend, tuition, and health benefits. The research will focus on the development of weed management programs in organically produced stevia production systems. The information generated from this project will help growers make research-based decisions on weed management practices that will lead to optimized crop management practices and maximized stevia yield and quality. Currently, this information does not exist and is not available to growers who produce organic stevia.  In addition, the student will be able to gain experience working weed management studies in other crops including vegetable and berry crops.

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Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) Assistantship

An M.S. or Ph.D. graduate assistantship is available in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. The assistantship provides a monthly stipend, tuition, and health benefits. The research will focus on the development of weed management programs in organically produced sweetpotato production systems. This research project is part of a larger research project led by a multidisciplinary team from multiple universities consisting of several weed scientists, an entomologist, a plant pathologist, a soil scientist, an extension production specialist, and an extension organic production systems specialist. The information generated from this project will help growers make research-based decisions on pest management practices that will lead to optimized crop management practices and maximized sweetpotato yield and quality. Currently, this information does not exist and is not available to organically produced sweetpotato growers.  The successful candidate will work closely with organic farmers to develop research-based, National Organic Program (NOP) compliant organic recommendations for sweetpotato. We will improve organically produced sweetpotato production systems by addressing the need for sweetpotato clones that are weed suppressive, identifying and confirming weed-suppressive sweetpotato varieties from diverse germplasms, determining if weeds, rotational crops, and cover crops serve as pathogen reservoirs, and determining the impact of fall-planted cover crops on weed control.

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