Montana State University

Research Position
Vacancy Announcement
May 1, 2014

Research Associate *located in Moccasin, MT*
Central Agricultural Research Center

Search Number     14-384
Start Date Upon successful completion of search process
Appointment Full-time (1.0 FTE) twelve month appointment, dependent upon funding, need, and performance

$32,000 - $37,000 annually, depending upon relevant qualifications, education, and experience

Benefits Eligible

The position will be located at the Central Agricultural Research Center (CARC) near Moccasin, Montana. CARC is a part of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station headquartered at Montana State University. Founded in 1893 as a Land Grant University, Montana State University (MSU) is composed of eight academic colleges, including the College of Agriculture, and a graduate school and boasts a friendly, supportive faculty and campus environment. Currently, the University hosts an enrollment of over 13,000 students, including approximately 1,900 graduate students. MSU is recognized as one of 108 U.S. Research Universities representing the top tier of the Carnegie Foundation rankings. The CARC is located in the central region of Montana, 150 miles to main campus, 70 miles SE of Great Falls and 30 miles west of Lewistown, in an area known as the Judith Basin. The Judith Basin is open prairie surrounded by six mountain ranges. The area boasts spectacular scenery and the rural appeal of an array of recreational activities including fishing, hiking, hunting for fossils and game, photography, skiing, boating, and musical and other cultural events.


The mission of the Research Centers is to serve the specific needs of the clientele in local production areas and the broader needs of Montana agriculture in general through applied research directed to the problems and impacts of agricultural production. This research associate position is under the supervision of the Central Agricultural Research Center (CARC) Cropping Systems Agronomist to support the cropping systems research program.

Duties and

The main responsibility of this research associate position is to support cropping systems research related to pulse, cereal, oilseed, and bio-energy crops production in central Montana. The successful candidate will participate in the design and establishment of field and laboratory experiments, and organize and implement field and laboratory experiments according to experimental protocols. Specific duties for field experiments include conducting tillage, seed treatment, planting, herbicide application, harvesting, data collection and analysis, and summarization of research results. Some presentations at public meetings and publication writing are required. Additional duties include maintenance of field equipment, laboratory facilities, field study areas, supervision of temporary or seasonal laborers; and other related duties as assigned.

1.   M.S. in agronomy, soil science, or a closely related discipline, or B.S. degree plus substantial research experience.
2.   Field research experience in agronomic crops. The experiences include experimental design, field plot layout, establishment and precision seeding; plot maintenance including fertilization and pest management; precision harvesting of experimental plots, and procedures and practices associated with grain cleaning and processing.
3.   Experience in measuring, collecting and recording of response variables and the associated data management procedures required for statistical analysis.
4.   Experience in use of word processing, spreadsheet, and statistics software.
5.   Experience in operating field equipment, be able to load and unload equipment, and the ability to drive a pick-up truck while towing trailers or farm implements.
6.   Posses or obtain a government pesticide application license.
1.   Possess mechanical and metal fabrication and repair skills, be able to weld, service and repair hydraulic systems, equipment electrical systems.
2.   Experience in laboratory measurement of plant and soil samples for C, N, and other elements using N analyzer and spectrophotometer.
3.   Experience in analyzing data, summarizing results, and writing manuscripts.
The Successful
Candidate Will

Have the ability to work independently and as part of a team environment; be self-motivated; possess highly effective interpersonal skills including the ability to work cooperatively with research faculty, producers, and co-workers; be meticulous and precise in carrying out work assignments; follow instructions, maintain effective attention to detail, meet deadlines, and prioritize competing demands; and represent the CARC in a professional manner.

1.   In accordance with MSU policy, hiring will be conditional upon successful completion of a pre-employment background check.
2.   Some in- and out-state travel will be required, therefore must possess or be able to obtain a valid Driver's License.
3.   Must possess or be able to obtain a pesticide applicators license within six months of hire.
4.   Must be willing to work outside of traditional business hours when research protocols dictate.
5.   Must be able to lift 80 pounds.
6.   Must be able walk on and stand in rough terrain for long periods of time.
7.   Must be able to work in extreme weather conditions. Must be able to work with and around dust, pollen-bearing plants and pesticides.

Screening of applications will begin on May 28, 2014 and will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.


To apply, submit the following:

  • (1) a letter of application that addresses the required and preferred qualifications listed above by clearly indicating relevant education and experience using specific examples; and
  • (2) a current resume or vitae, and
  • (3) the names and contact information of three professional references.

    Electronic submissions in PDF format are preferred, and must have the applicant's signature on the letter of application. For electronic submittals, please indicate "Applicant - Search #14-384" in the subject line of the email.

    Submit materials to:

    • Dr. Chengci Chen
    • c/o Lorrie Linhart, Administrative Associate
    • MSU Central Agricultural Research Center
    • 52583 US Hwy 87
    • Moccasin, MT 59462-9512


Posted 5/1/2014 bbclark