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Sweet Potato Research Technician - Raleigh, NC
North Carolina State University




Below you will find the details for the position including any supplementary documentation and questions you should review before applying for the opening.  To apply for the position, please click the Apply for this Job link/button.

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Please see Special Instructions for more details.

This is a time limited position (one year with possible renewal).

Posting Details

Job Posting Information

Vacancy Type


Is Internal Transfer Only


Time Limited?


Time-Limited Appointment Length

One year with possible renewal


Research Technician

Band Level


Working Title

Sweet Potato Research Technician

Salary Range

$24,190 - $60,588

Anticipated Hiring Range

Commensurate with experience

Salary Grade Equivalency


Position Number


Work Schedule

40 hrs/wk, 7am - 4pm

Full Time Equivalent (FTE)



111501 - Horticultural Science


Horticultural Science

Job City & State

Raleigh, NC

Primary Function of Organizational Unit

The Sweetpotato Breeding and Genetics program is dedicated to serving the needs of sweetpotato growers and allied industry members in NC, the US, and internationally. The annual value of the sweetpotato industry in NC exceeds $170 million. Our goals are to: 1) develop improved conventional, ornamental, and industrial sweetpotato varieties; 2) conduct genetic research to broaden the germplasm base of sweetpotato through the incorporation of new value-added traits; 3) provide advanced training and leadership for national and international students, scientists, and policy-makers interested in sweetpotato and crop improvement in general.

Since 1901, the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Horticultural Science have been providing innovative teaching, research and outreach to the citizens of North Carolina, the nation, and the world. Our research and extension programs are recognized worldwide for their contributions to applied horticultural production and to discovery science. We generate and extend knowledge about fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, and landscape design for the purpose of increasing food security and food safety, sustaining the environment, enhancing economic vitality, and improving the quality of life for individuals and their communities.

Essential Job Duties

The individual hired for this position will assist the sweetpotato breeding and genetics program. The employee will assist with the management of our greenhouse-based breeding activities. Occasional support of our field- and laboratory-based breeding activities will also be expected. Primary duties will include: the propagation and maintenance of plant material in the greenhouse; the establishment, trellising, pollination, and harvest of seed from sweetpotato plants grown for breeding and crossing purposes; entry of data into the computer for record keeping and data analysis; and routine interaction with greenhouse, field, and laboratory personnel to ensure that all plant materials are watered, fertilized, and pest control measures are applied as needed. Additional laboratory-based activities will include assisting an existing Research Technician with pathology disease screen work. Field activities will include assisting with sweetpotato planting and harvest, and harvesting seed from breeding nurseries located off-campus.

Other Work/Responsibilities

Assist graduate students and project members in greenhouse and field research activities. Supervision and safety training of part-time employees. Safety certification.

Minimum Experience/Education

Demonstrated possession of the competencies necessary to perform the work.

Departmental Required Skills

-Basic understanding of plant development for horticultural crops such as sweetpotato.
-Good organizational and time management skills including the ability to develop work schedules for the timely harvest of seed.
-Able to work independently.
-Able to work non-standard hours, including early mornings during planting and harvest seasons, and occasional weekends.
-Thorough knowledge of computer applications for recording and reporting field and greenhouse activities, data, and developing research reports and summaries.
-Must be able to lift 50lbs safely as moving large lugs of sweetpotato/bags of soilless media will be required.
-Must be able to operate greenhouse equipment and make crosses while standing for long periods of time.
-Must be able to perform physically demanding job in hot and humid greenhouse and field conditions

Preferred Experience, Skills, Training/Education

Preference will be given to candidates with the following minimum qualifications: High School or Associates degree in Agriculture with 5+ years of greenhouse/horticultural work experience. BS or higher degree in Horticultural Science or related field with 1 or more years of relevant work experience preferred. Familiar with procedures in greenhouse research. Experience in operation and maintenance of greenhouse systems. Proficient use of computer software (Word and Excel) and hardware. Oral and written communication skills. Organized and detail oriented. Ability to work in a team setting and independently with minimal supervision.

Required License or Certification

Valid NC Drivers License for driving state owned vehicle.

Special Instructions

This is a time limited position (one year with possible renewal).

Job Open Date


Must Be Open Until 

Positions will be posted until 5:00 PM ET on this date. Positions remaining posted after this date are still accepting applications but may close at any time.


Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies?


Proposed Hire Date


Alternate Option

If no applicants apply who meet the required competency level and training & experience requirements, then management may consider other applicants. Salary would be determined based on competencies, equity, budget, and market considerations.


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. 
p. Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.
Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree verified at Degree must be obtained prior to start date.
p. NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

1.     How did you learn of this opportunity?

        NCSU Website

        NCSU Executive Search Services

        Other Online Job Board

        Carolina Job Finder / Employment Guide

        Job / Career Fair

        The Chronicle of Higher Education

        Professional Journal

        Print Advertisement (Newspaper / Periodical)

        Professional Organization

        Direct Contact from NCSU HR Representative / Recruiter

        NCSU Employee Referral

        Social Media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Other)


2.     If you learned about this vacancy from "other source" or "other website", please provide the source.

(Open Ended Question)

3.     * Do you have a combination of training and experience required to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position?



4.     * A valid NC driver's license is required for this position and must be maintained as a condition of employment. Do you have a valid NC driver's license or will you obtain it within 60 days of start date?

        Yes, I have a valid NC driverís license and understand that it must be maintained as a condition of employment.

        Yes, while I do not currently have a valid NC driverís license, I will obtain it within 60 days of hire and maintain it as a condition of employment.

        No, I do not currently have a valid NC driverís license, and I will not obtain it.

5.     * Are you able to lift 60-90 pounds occasionally?



6.     * Do you have the willingness and physical stamina needed to work under greenhouse and field conditions, including hot weather and some physical labor?



Application Materials Required

Required Documents

1.     Resume

2.     Cover Letter

3.     Contact Information for References

Optional Documents



Job Posting


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