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Assistant Potato Pathologist/Lab Supervisor

Please see Special Instructions for more details.

In order to be considered for this position, please upload your resume and a cover letter outlining how you meet each individual required and preferred qualification.

Position Details

Position Information

Announcement Number STAFF - VA - 18062
For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Nina Zidack
(406) 994-6110

Classification Title Research Professional
Working Title Assistant Potato Pathologist/Lab Supervisor
Brief Position Overview

Plans and coordinates all testing activities for Montana Seed Potato Certification, utilizing the most up-to-date diagnostic methods.

Position Number 4C4639
Department Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology
Division College of Agriculture/MAES
Appointment Type Professional
Contract Term Fiscal Year
If other, specify From date
If other, specify End date
FLSA Exempt
Union Affiliation Exempt from Collective Bargaining
FTE 1.0
Benefits Eligible Eligible
Salary $45,000-50,000 annually, commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications
Contract Type LOA
If other, please specify
Recruitment Type Open

Position Details

General Statement

The Montana Seed Potato Certification Program is seeking a highly motivated individual to coordinate laboratory diagnostics for potato diseases in support of the certification of seed potatoes. The successful candidate will have a working knowledge of plant pathology and diagnostic techniques, manage a high-throughput testing program for viruses, and evaluate and implement new validated diagnostic tools. The MSU Potato Lab conducts over a half million ELISA tests in the summer, a quarter of a million ELISA tests in the winter, as well as over 1000 PCR tests during the fall and winter. Excellent organizational skills are required to manage high-throughput testing and data collection and analysis, as well as supervise up to 45 temporary workers in the summer and 10-15 temporary workers in January. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required for interaction with growers, colleagues and industry professionals.

Duties and Responsibilities
  • Supervising daily work and routine activities in the potato testing laboratory.
  • Supervising summer testing and winter testing.
  • Participating in research projects.
  • Attend selected meetings to represent the Montana Seed Potato Certification and Improvement Program.
  • Preparation of the annual seed potato directory.
  • Assisting with tissue culture programs.
  • Maintaining professional relationships and communications with growers.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of all grower and program information
  • Maintaining accurate records.
  • Hiring of seasonal crews.
  • Preparation of ELISA testing plates and solutions
  • Inventorying and ordering chemicals and equipment.
  • Maintenance of lab equipment.
  • Primary contact for MSU Safety and Compliance
Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  1. Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Pathology or closely related field, with a good background in biochemistry.
  2. Experience in the use of laboratory equipment such as laminar flow hood, autoclave, centrifuges, electron microscope, and thermal cyclers.
  3. Experience accurately maintaining detailed records in a laboratory setting.
  4. Educations or experience in routine laboratory procedures, including maintaining sterile work areas and tools.
  5. Experience in supervising workers.
Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  1. MS degree in Plant Pathology or closely related field.
  2. Experience working with virus disease testing.
  3. Experience working with potatoes and/or potato producers.
  4. Experience with tissue culture and/or meristem procedures.
  5. Experience with data base management.
The Successful Candidate Will

The successful candidate for this position will have the ability to follow written verbal instructions, communicate effectively with employees and the public both in person and over the phone, and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with co-workers, other professionals and the public.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

The person in this position will travel within Montana and Nationwide (2-3x/year) to attend selected meetings representing the Montana Seed Potato Certification and Improvement Program.

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

This position has supervisory duties? Yes

Posting Detail Information

Number of Vacancies 1
Desired Start Date Upon completion of a successful search.
Position End Date (if temporary)
Open Date
Close Date
Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on October 9, 2017; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

In order to be considered for this position, please upload your resume and a cover letter outlining how you meet each individual required and preferred qualification.

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Montana State University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination. As such, the University does not discriminate in the admission, access to or conduct of its educational programs and activities nor in its employment policies and practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, gender, age, political beliefs, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation or preference. In support of the University’s mission to be inclusive and diverse, applications from qualified minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

Montana State University makes accommodation for any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the hiring process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job. To request an accommodation, contact the Human Resources Office, PO Box 172520, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 59717-2520; 406-994-3651; .

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.

MSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures can be located on the MSU Website: .

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter addressing Each of the Required and Preferred Qualifications
  2. Resume
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).