Careers at Virginia Tech

Research Specialist II

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Work type: Staff
Senior management: Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department: Alson H. Smith, Jr. AREC
Location: Winchester, Virginia
Categories: Agriculture / Life Science, Research / Scientific

Job Description

This is an off-campus position located at the Virginia Tech’s Alson H. Smith Jr Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) in Winchester, Virginia. It supports research and extension program in plant pathology and requires research and diagnostic skills applicable to conducting field and closed-space efficacy trials with pesticides on tree fruit, and to conducting laboratory procedures and experiments. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: independently applying experimental and maintenance pesticide treatments dictated by weather and crop growth stage conditions (leading design, modification, application, timing decision); records management in the greenhouse, lab, and field; managing day to day operations of the plant pathology laboratory; training and supervising seasonal staff and/or graduate students; participate in design and implementation of research projects, conduct disease ratings, collecting, analyzing and summarizing data, and writing segments of technical reports and manuscripts to relevant clientele; troubleshooting equipment problems and performing preventive maintenance on equipment.

Required Qualifications

Associate’s or Bachelor degree in relevant field, and/or relevant work experience in conducting fruit tree pesticide efficacy trials and orchard maintenance practices. Obtain VDACS commercial pesticide applicator’s certifications (Core and Category 10. Research and Demonstration). Demonstrated skills and expertise in one or more areas related to plant pathology or plant protection: contributed to the design and performance of research projects; experience with plant disease diagnostics and assays; experience in a leadership, training, or supervising capacity; experience in the operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of field and laboratory equipment; experience with preparing chemical solutions for research and maintaining essential laboratory supplies; demonstrated experience with computer software for entry, analysis, and summarizing data; ability to follow instructions, maintain accurate, complete work records; communicate effectively in oral and written English; ability to lift up to 55 pounds.

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrated experience with designing and carrying out experiments in the field, greenhouse, and/or laboratory. Demonstrated experience with experimental and maintenance pesticide applications to orchard crops using air-blast and handgun sprayers. Experience with fruit tree pruning, driving 50+ horsepower tractors, calibrating sprayers and applying pesticides. Supervisory experience. Experience working in a research setting, interacting with diverse constituents and colleagues.

Pay Band


Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

February 10, 2023

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 Srdjan Acimovic at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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