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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 763448
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Personnel Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: Research And Innovation
Department: Great Lakes Bioenergy Researc Ctr Vprgs 10059425
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Agriculture, Information Technology, Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Working/Functional Title

Plant Microbiome Postdoc 

Position Summary

Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top institutions for plant science and microbial ecology research. One position for a Research Associate is available with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center.  The successful applicant will join a collaborative team to execute research to understand the role of the switchgrass microbiome for plant productivity on marginal lands. Gregory Bonito (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences), Sarah Evans (Integrative Biology), and Ashley Shade (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) will jointly advise the successful applicant. The applicant will work out of the Bonito lab. The position is for one year with a possibility of reappointment, contingent upon continued funding.

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Center consists of an interdisciplinary team of researchers that aim to produce the knowledge and technological advances needed to establish a sustainable lignocellulosic bioindustry.  The center will address a set of interrelated knowledge gaps that currently limit the industrial scale production of bioenergy crops, and specialty biofuels and bioproducts, to create the knowledge needed to develop a new generation of sustainable lignocellulosic biorefineries. Switchgrass is a cellulosic bioenergy crop that is being tested for performance on non-arable (marginal) lands.

We seek an excellent postdoctoral researcher to conduct microbiome research to understand the drivers and consequences of switchgrass rhizosphere communities, and to coordinate plant, fungal and bacteria-based team research activities across investigators’ labs. Strong writing abilities, wet-lab skills for generating high quality RNA and DNA from plant and microbial tissues, and quantitative skills in bioinformatics and statistics are expected. Experience in conducting field work and/or greenhouse work with plant- or soil- associated microbiomes is required.

The postdoctoral researcher will be located on the Michigan State campus (East Lansing) but will frequently travel to execute collaborative projects at Michigan State’s Kellogg Biological Station (Hickory Corners) and present the center’s microbiome results at meetings.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Plant Soil or Microbial Sciences or related field

Minimum Requirements

The successful applicant will be independent and motivated and will hold a PhD in a field related to plant, soil, or microbial sciences, ecology, or bioinformatics/genomics.  The successful candidate will have skills in microbiology and molecular laboratory techniques. Excellent organizational and communication skills are expected.  

Desired Qualifications

Experience in managing, analyzing, and coordinating to collaborate using large, multi-project datasets will be viewed favorably, as well as skills in data science and experience in high-performance computing resources.

Required Application Materials

Please provide:

  1. a statement describing relevant skills, research accomplishments, and research interests (1 page maximum)
  2. a current CV
  3. one representative publication
  4. and contact information for three references

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions

Please be sure to supply all required application materials to be considered for this position. 

Review of Applications Begins On



Department Statement

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is a U.S. Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Center led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with Michigan State University as a primary partner. We are developing sustainable biofuels and bioproducts made from dedicated energy crops grown on marginal lands. Our mission is simple: creating biofuels and bioproducts that are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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