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COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for K-State Employees


Research Assistant

Apply now Department: 3670010110 Plant Pathology
Job no: 511845
Employment type: Staff Full Time (Unclassified - Term)
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Categories: Agriculture, Research / Scientific / Grants, Natural / Quantitative Sciences, Crop Production, Plant Sciences
Pay Grade: 06B

About This Role:

The Akhunov lab in the Department of Plant Pathology is seeking a Research Assistant to work in collaboration with the USDA wheat genetics breeding program to manage the greenhouse crossing and laboratory marker evaluation program for trait introgression into wheat. These are critical activities in the development of wheat germplasm with new traits or combinations of traits.  The position provides leadership for greenhouse and laboratory operations, managing aspects of the breeding and selection.  The record-keeping associated with the position is critically important to the success of the breeding effort.  The position supervises undergraduate employees associated with the project, and the position provides liaison with the USDA-ARS genotyping laboratory and KSU Integrated Genomics Facility, which houses critical equipment resources.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Manage DNA marker component of wheat trait introgression pipeline. Duties include sampling tissue, extracting DNA using robotic technology, managing DNA marker testing of breeding material, summarizing data, and preparing reports for breeding selection. Provide liaison with the USDA ARS hard winter wheat genotyping laboratory and KSU IGF.
  • Implement the crossing program for trait introgression.  Provide oversight of plant material, including the construction of planting plans, selection of individual parents for crossing, execution of crosses, harvest seed, construction of pedigrees.  Ensure that plants are protected from pest injury and receive appropriate fertility, light, and water.  Responsible for record-keeping for greenhouse activities, integrating into systems used in the breeding program(s).
  • Manage breeding information, including planting plans, pedigrees, and trait-associated marker data.  Use cloud-based data storage to ensure accessibility and integrity, and software tools including the Intercross application for crossing records, Breedbase, Microsoft Excel and Access, and BarTender.
  • Supervise undergraduate students working in the laboratory and greenhouse.  Provide daily direction in their activities. 
  • Ensure adequate supplies are available for the greenhouse and laboratory needs of the project.  Monitor supply inventory and ensure needed supplies are ordered.

Seasonally, this position will need to be available on Saturdays for 3-4 morning hours for crossing activities.

Why Join Us:

Kansas State University is located in a dynamic college community in the Flint Hills region of northeastern Kansas. Manhattan, KS was ranked as #2 of the top 100 best places to live on livability.com (https://livability.com/best-places/top-100-best-places-to-live/2018/ks/manhattan). The Department of Plant Pathology at Kansas State University comprises a large and diverse group of scientists with excellent reputations in research, teaching, and extension. Our strengths are in applied plant pathology, microbiology, biosecurity, disease diagnosis, management, host-parasite resistance genetics, pathogen and microbe genetics and genomics, genomics and biotechnology. Additional information can be found at http://www.plantpath.k-state.edu.

Kansas State University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, paid time off – vacation, sick, and holidays.   To see what benefits are available, please visit:  https://www.k-state.edu/hcs/benefits

We Support Diversity and Inclusion:

Kansas State University embraces diversity and inclusion.  The university actively seeks individuals who foster a collegial environment and cooperative interactions with coworkers, students, and others.  The University is dedicated to promoting the Principles of Community.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in agronomy, botany, genetics, plant breeding, or a closely related field. Or a bachelor's degree in another scientific discipline with experience in plant sciences.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in agronomy with biotechnology coursework, preferrable graduate coursework in plant breeding/genetics
  • Experience performing cross-pollination of cereal crops plants.
  • Experience with laboratory techniques that include DNA extraction and DNA marker protocols.
  • Experience with MS Excel

Other Requirements:

  • All K-State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (unless granted an exemption by the university) by December 8, 2021 or their first day of employment, whichever is later, pursuant to the federal executive order for federal contractors. To learn more about this requirement and potential exemptions, please visit K-State’s COVID-19 website.
  • Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment
  • Seasonally, this position will need to be available on Saturdays for 3-4 morning hours for crossing activities.

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documents:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  1. Contact information for 2 professional references.

Screening of Applications Begins:

Screening begins immediately. For best consideration, apply by December 10, 2021.

Anticipated Hiring Salary Range:


Equal Employment Opportunity:

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

Background Screening Statement:

In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

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