Postdoctoral Associate - Applied Plant Pathologist

Virginia Tech
Virginia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Jan 14, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Description

Virginia Tech’s Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center is recruiting a full-time postdoctoral associate to join a multistate, transdisciplinary team investigating the boxwood blight pathogen biology and epidemiology, and developing practical and sustainable management solutions for this disease. Boxwood is the No. 1 evergreen shrub crop in the U.S., and an iconic plant in American landscapes, including many historic gardens. Boxwood blight is an emerging disease that is affecting everyone on the horticultural chain from grower to consumer, while posing an increasing risk to the American boxwood heritage.
This is one of the three postdoctoral positions we are recruiting for the project. These postdoctoral associate positions present tremendous opportunities not only to shape the future of boxwood and boxwood heritage through research and development but also to set a new model for plant biosecurity in the 21st century through stakeholder partnership and international collaboration. The postdoctoral positions also are great opportunities for junior scientists to develop and advance professional career by honing their skills and connecting with peers and industry leaderships. Self-motivated scientists with a doctoral degree awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one-year of eligibility remaining are encouraged to apply.

The primary responsibilities of this position are to conduct field trials evaluating the performance of recently identified biological control agents and selected antidesiccant products as a physical barrier for disease mitigation at a production nursery in Western North Carolina with a history of boxwood blight. The selectee will also investigate the mechanisms by which agents and antidesiccants control the disease. (50:50).

All postdoctoral associates are required to publish their research results in a timely manner. This position may have some managerial opportunities/responsibilities. These may include: (1) to facilitate internal communications among 14 (co-)Project Directors (PD) and their associates at twelve institutions/labs located in seven states, a 10-member advisory panel (AP) representing different sectors of the environmental horticulture industry across the country, and many stakeholder and international collaborators, (2) to coordinate and review individual teams’ quarterly progress reports then assemble them into a quarterly newsletter and share with AP and other stakeholders, and (3) to schedule and organize quarterly project meetings (online only) and annual meetings, while assisting the Extension Team to translate research results into relevant outreach materials.

This position is available now. The postdoctoral associate will be housed in the Hong Lab. The position is benefit eligible, including health insurance and retirement contribution, while salary will be commensurate with experience. This postdoctoral associate will also receive close mentoring from other project leaders and Co-PDs of respective subject areas at collaborating institutions in addition to Virginia Tech. Further, this postdoctoral associate will regularly interact with AP and other industry leaders as well as international collaborators.

Required Qualifications

• A PhD degree in plant science, microbiology, or a closely related discipline awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one-year of eligibility remaining are encouraged to apply.
• A basic understanding of plant pathology, epidemiology, and plant disease management
• Field and greenhouse experience with plants
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with Experience

Review Date

February 1, 2021

Additional Information

The successful Candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check

Must have a driver's license check

Must have an acceptable and safe driving record

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 veteran 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 Dr. Chuan Hong at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Advertised: January 14, 2021
Applications close:

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