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Research Assistant Professor

South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
Commensurate with qualifications.
Date posted
Jun 20, 2024

Job Details

Are you an early career scientist excited about translational bioproducts research and interested in advancing scale-up solutions that mature laboratory findings to impactful products? Join South Dakota State University (SDSU) as a Research Assistant Professor to facilitate academic bioproducts research and make expert contributions to collaborative projects at the state-of-the-art Dakota BioWorx bioproducts research center. This position will be located on our main campus in Brookings, South Dakota and is a 12-month, full-time, benefit-eligible position. 

Over the next decade, (SDSU) aims to double its research productivity to over $120 million in research expenditures and to drive economic development through innovation and regionally relevant outcomes. Bioproducts research in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) and College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) seeks to answer fundamental questions on microbial and plant metabolic capacities and pathway regulation as well as translation of such capacities to produce value-added and impactful bioproducts with societal and economic benefits. 

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant mission of access.

Must be authorized to work in the U.S. Sponsorship is not available for this position.


  • Lead fundamental and applied science research projects to enable scale-up and translational bioproducts development. This includes leading and participating in extramural grant applications to secure funding, and publications and technical reports to disseminate information.
  • Be a proactive resource expert to stimulate bioproducts research and translation at SDSU and other SDBOR institutions. 
  • Coordinate bioproducts research projects between South Dakota research universities and Dakota BioWorx.
  • Advise and assist Dakota BioWorx on infrastructure development for bioproducts scale-up research.
  • Provide training and outreach on bioproducts technologies to students, interns and other stakeholders.


Salary for this position will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. We offer a generous retirement plan that includes 6% matching, 10 hours of annual leave each month, 9.34 hours of sick leave each month, and eleven paid holidays. Relocation benefits are available per university’s guidelines. 


South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with over $60 million annual research expenditures, more than 200 academic programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students. We offer a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access. The university is part of a dynamic community for families, students, young professionals, and retirees, which offers an abundance of attractions and activities. South Dakota State University offers a wide range of excellent benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


  • Ph.D. degree in Microbiology or a closely related field completed by start date of appointment.
  • At least one year experience working with bioproducts equipment, in particular fermentation vessels of different scales.
  • Experience in development of bioproducts research projects and grant proposals.
  • Ability or potential to work as a contributing team member, as well as be self-motivated and work independently on research projects.
  • Ability or potential to train students and other researchers in bioproducts-related technologies. 
  • Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Effective organization and time management skills.


  • Experience leading a research project.
  • Relevant work experience in university or industry research.
  • Familiarity with federal and state regulations regarding research, grants and contracts.
  • Proficiency in writing, editing, and reviewing technical documents.
  • Past/current experience as part of a grant recipient team.


South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 academic programs, an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students, and over $60 million annual research expenditures.

South Dakota State University offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity of thought, and excellence through continuous improvement.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of South Dakota State University is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. Brookings is listed as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees, and is rated among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school, and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by July 22, 2024.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of (i) a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, (ii) CV that includes brief details on research project experiences highlighting candidate’s contributions, and list of proposals and publications, and (iii) a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process. 

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14. 

For questions on the position, contact search committee chair, Dr. Ananda Nanjundaswamy,, or 605-688-4019.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant access mission. SDSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to, and SDSU prohibits discrimination on, the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007, 605-688-4128.


South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive higher- education institution. As South Dakota’s Morrill Act land-grant university, SDSU had a fall 2023 enrollment of 11,505, with students coming from 48 states and 74 countries. Students can choose from 88 majors, 38 specializations, 104 minors, 39 master’s degree programs, 16 Ph.D. programs and two professional doctorates. The university also offers courses at various off-campus sites as well as undergraduate and graduate programs online through the Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

Named the 33rd safest college town by SafeWise (2022), Brookings (pop. 23,993) is just 55 miles north of Sioux Falls on Interstate 29, 200 miles from Minneapolis and 400 miles east of Rapid City and the Black Hills. Students from communities in Nebraska, North Dakota and Iowa also find SDSU within an easy day’s drive.

The Division of Research and Economic Development works closely with university researchers, business leaders and other sponsors to promote faculty expertise aimed at solving real-world problems in society and industry. The university is a leader in bioprocessing, agriculture and precision agriculture, remote sensing and life sciences.

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