Research Assistant - DEPP
Beltsville, MD 
Posted 6 days ago
Job Description
Posting Information

Posting Number PG192074EP
Internal Recruitment No
Working Title Research Assistant - DEPP
Anticipated Hiring Range Commensurate with Experience
Work Schedule Monday - Friday / 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (occasional longer work days or Saturday, in case of emergency))
Job Location Beltsville, MD
Department Entomology and Plant Pathology
About the Department
The Plant Protection and Quarantine Science and Technology (PPQ-S&T) - Plant Pathogen Confirmatory Diagnostics Laboratory's (PPCDL) mission is to provide federal confirmatory diagnostics for regulatory plant pests/pathogens; develop and validate advanced molecular and serological detection methods, and proficiency test (PT) panels for plant pests that threaten U.S. agriculture; evaluate the applicability of new, state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies in support of the agency efforts.
Essential Job Duties
The Plant Pathogen Confirmatory Diagnostics Laboratory provides molecular methods for identification of regulatory plant pathogens. The Research Assistant will work under the project title: Evaluation and development of new molecular diagnostic technologies for the detection US quarantine and regulated plant pathogens.

The Research Assistant will work under the general supervision of a team/project leader to support projects at APHIS-PPQ-S&T Plant Pathogen Confirmatory Diagnostics Laboratory (PPCDL) relating to the development and validation of molecular diagnostic assays for plant pathogens of regulatory concern. The incumbent should have a strong background in the molecular biology of microorganisms, plant pathogen or clinical diagnostics, and DNA sequence analysis. The Research Assistant will provide technical support to several staff scientists in preparing sample material, DNA/RNA extractions, running PCRs, and preparing libraries for high throughput sequencing. The incumbent will record details and results of experiments in an official laboratory notebook, enter data into computer programs, write data summary reports, and contribute to the drafting of validation reports and work instructions. Work duties will also include any combination of the following general laboratory maintenance tasks: cleaning and maintaining glassware, preparing media and reagents, preparing agarose gels, restocking and maintaining supplies, autoclaving, operating and maintaining specialized equipment, maintaining greenhouse plants.

The position is based at the APHIS-PPQ-S&T Plant Pathogen Confirmatory Diagnostics Laboratory in Laurel, MD. Federal employees, contractors, subcontractors, experts, consultants, and paid unpaid interns hired for work within the United States or its territories who require access to USDA Mission Areas, Agencies and Staff Offices or controlled facilities, Information Technology (IT) systems or security items or products, must be either U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, also known as "green card" holders.

We are seeking to hire two (2) candidates from this posting.
Other Responsibilities
Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Education and Experience
  • Master's degree in Plant Pathology, Microbiology, or a relevant field, or a relevant Bachelor's Degree with at least three (3) years of experience supporting relevant research.
Other Required Qualifications
  • Demonstrated experience in molecular biology techniques related to diagnostics, including genomic or plant DNA/RNA extraction, conventional and real-time PCR, and gel electrophoresis.
  • Willingness to learn new laboratory techniques and work with new technologies as needed.
  • Attention to details, knowledge of good laboratory practices, quality management systems, and excellent technical skills.
  • Ability to plan and follow planned activities independently, while working as part of a team.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, as well as good written and oral communication skills. The candidate must be able to pass a background check.
  • US citizenship or permanent residency, or a valid work permit is required.
Preferred Qualifications
  • At least two (2 ) years of experience (including MSc study) of plant pathogen biology and/or detection, diagnostics of pathogens (fungi, bacteria, virus or nematodes), and experience with sequence analysis is preferred (not mandatory).
Required License(s) or Certification(s)
Valid NC Driver's License required No
Commercial Driver's License required No
Recruitment Dates and Special Instructions

Job Open Date 09/19/2022
Anticipated Close Date Open until filled.
Special Instructions to Applicants
Please attach a CV, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references.
Position Details

Position Number 00109610
Position Type EHRA Non-Faculty
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week) 1.00
Appointment 12 Month Recurring
Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather
Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events Mandatory - Medical Emergencies
Department ID 111801 - Entomology and Plant Pathology
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. 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.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Hours per Week
Work Hours (i.e. shift)
Monday - Friday / 8:00 am - 5:
Salary and Benefits
Commensurate with Experience
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
3 years
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