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Research and Employment Opportunities

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Student Research Opportunities

Communications Assistant for – STEPS Center

The Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center is looking for an undergraduate student to help support internal and external communications for the Center. Duties include drafting social media posts and news stories; recording video interviews; editing videos; maintaining and publishing WordPress website content; photographing events; assisting with overall Center communication strategy and other related duties as needed. Experience using WordPress and/or editing videos preferred but not required. This is a mostly remote position with some in-person event attendance.

How to apply: Please send an email to the supervisor, Dr. Meagan Kittle Autry (, using the email body as a cover letter to explain your interest in the position, what professional skills you’d like to gain in the role, and any relevant experience or coursework you have. Please attach your resume.

Employment Opportunities

The N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative seeks outstanding candidates who share our vision to be the world’s premier plant sciences enterprise accelerating discovery, talent development and applied solutions that solve agricultural challenges through interdisciplinary, team-based science.

For a comprehensive search of all current NC State openings, visit the NC State’s jobs site.

Current Openings

Temporary Research Specialist – The Ristaino Lab

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology is hiring a part-time research technician for a period of one year beginning in the summer of 2023. The research technician will join the Ristaino lab team and faculty in the cluster for Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security (EPDGFS) and work on a project funded but the Plant Sciences Initiative and USDA APHIS and NCDA.

The research specialist will work with the lab manager and graduate students on projects related to the development, testing, and deployment of in-field sensors for early plant disease surveillance on potato, tomato, and rhododendron. We are developing cost-effective sensor platforms for monitoring Phytophthora diseases using LAMP, CRISPR assays, and MinIon sequeign platforms. We are targeting Phytophthora infestans, P. kermoviae, P. ramorum and P. nicotianae on various crop hosts and testing the technology in laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments. Duties will include:

  • Using protocols developed by supervisor and peer-reviewed manuscripts to perform research tasks related to experiments with Oomycete plant pathogens
  • Observes, collects, and records a variety of data from laboratory and field experiments
  • Helps with the maintenance of laboratory culture collections of fungi and Phytophthora and greenhouse plants
  • Other duties as assigned

Postdoctoral Research Scholar – EnBiSys Lab

The EnBiSys Lab, lead by Cranos Williams, is seeking an enthusiastic, highly motivated postdoctoral research associate to lead the development of APIs, data workflows and dashboards that will bridge the gap between big data and decision making in agriculture. The goal is to deliver a decision support platform to ag stakeholders that integrates analytics, querying, and data visualization. A successful candidate will be able to work with an interdisciplinary team of land grant university faculty and graduate students, effectively communicate technical knowledge to diverse groups, and successfully mentor graduate students developing machine learning and deep learning models that analyze and extract insights from these data. Individuals with knowledge of tools for handling big data, cloud computing platforms, databases and data workflows are encouraged to apply.

Postdoctoral Research Scholar – Wei Research Group

The Wei Research Group at NC State University is jointly hiring a full-time postdoctoral scholar. The postdoctoral scholar will be jointly mentored by Prof. Qingshan Wei in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) and Prof. Yong Zhu in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at NC State.

The postdoctoral scholar will lead a multidisciplinary project to develop new generation plant wearable sensors that can detect both biochemical (e.g., volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) and physical signals of the plant and its growth environments (e.g., light, humidity, and temperature). The candidate will lead the sensor design, fabrication, testing, and data analysis. Application of similar sensor technology for monitoring human health will also be tested.