Careers at Virginia Tech

Research Associate

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Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department: School of Plant & Environmental Sci
Location: Blacksburg - Main Campus
Categories: Agriculture / Life Science

Job Description

The position supports the environmental and biological research activities that investigate and reduce physical, chemical, and biological environmental stressors that affect a range of resource issues such as water and soil quality, ecological and human health, and plant health. The successful candidate will assist and support scientific research that concerns chemical and biological analytical method development, validation, and implementation for analytes such as microorganisms, biomolecules, and organic contaminants. These activities will include following appropriate standard QA/QC protocols; establishing and maintaining analytical instruments; documenting, obtaining, processing, and analyzing samples; and constructing scientifically sound analytical data reports. The successful candidate will have the ability to work both independently and with a team to construct, implement, and complete given research projects. The successful candidate will provide support and assistance, as needed, to graduate students and postdocs. The primary work setting will include standard business hours in departmental laboratory facilities, but the successful candidate should also expect and be able to occasionally travel by vehicle to field sites independently, work long days, and participate in overnight travel when required to complete essential tasks. Upon completion of all required tasks, the successful candidate is highly encouraged to participate in scientific writing in the forms of proposals, manuscripts, and meeting presentations.

Required Qualifications

M.S. or equivalent degree related to environmental and biological science such as chemistry, biology, microbiology, soil science, water quality, plant science, geological sciences, or molecular genetics; Demonstrated professional or academic experience involving environmental chemistry, microbiology, plant science, or molecular genetics; Professional experience or knowledge concerning chemical and biological instrumental analysis; Demonstrated capability to operate and maintain chemical and biological instruments and to trouble shoot problems; Demonstrated capability to develop, validate, implement, collect, and manage scientific data;
Excellent communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

Ph.D. or equivalent degree related to environmental and biological science such as chemistry, biology, microbiology, soil science, water quality, plant science, geological sciences, or molecular genetics; Demonstrated experience in utilizing chemical and biological instruments for analysis of organic contaminants and biomolecules in environmental samples and for molecular microbiological analysis;
Demonstrated experience in laboratory management; Demonstrated experience in writing for scientific publications.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with Experience

Review Date


Additional Information


The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.


About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kang Xia at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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