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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Washington State University Everett

Washington State University Everett

Mt Vernon, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, July 5, 2024

Available Title(s):

306-YN_FACULTY - Postdoctoral Research Associate

Business Title:

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Employee Type:

Faculty (+) (Fixed Term)

Time Type:

Full time

Position Term:

12 Month

Position Details:

Summary of Duties:

The Washington State University Small Fruit Horticulture program is recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct plant physiological research on freeze tolerance and mitigation in caneberry (i.e., blackberry and red raspberry). The position is fully funded for two years through the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will join a collaborative project team that will: 1) Develop and release predictive cold hardiness models for several cultivars of blackberry; 2) Investigate automated sensing systems complimentary to manual dissection of buds to assess freeze damage in blackberry and raspberry; and 3) Investigate methods to reduce freeze damage in raspberry and blackberry. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will focus on overseeing and collecting laboratory and field data across several cultivars of blackberry that will be used to generate predictive cold hardiness models in collaboration with a statistician. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will also lead assessment of automative sensing systems to assess freeze damage in caneberry buds, which will increase the efficiency of scoring for freeze injury. Lastly, the Postdoctoral Research Associate will assist in deploying treatments in fields that have the potential to mitigate freeze damage and rate the effectiveness of these treatments. There is the opportunity to present project results to growers as well as plant scientists at the annual Washington Small Fruit and American Society for Horticultural Science conferences. General duties will include: 1) Project data collection; 2) Statistical analysis; 3) Communication (i.e., meeting and collaborating with a project statistician, conference presentations, preparation of project reports and peer-reviewed publications); 4) Management of field and laboratory activities; 5) Supervision of timeslip; and 6) Other.

Data Collection | 35%

Collect data on freeze injury at different time periods and when subjected to different freeze mitigation treatments; collect data to assess the effectiveness of automated sensory systems that have the potential to improve the throughput of freeze injury assessment relative to manual dissection.

Statistical Analysis | 20%

Analyze data resulting from field and laboratory experiments using appropriate statistical techniques; collaborate with a statistician on data analysis and model development for a web-based tool that will be available to growers at the end of the project period; prepare data for dissemination to stakeholders and via peer-reviewed publications.

Communication | 30%

Write reports and peer-reviewed publications; meet and collaborate with a statistician involved in the project on cold hardiness model development; coordinate with on-farm grower cooperators, industry specialists, and staff within the Small Fruit Horticulture lab; participate in extension of project information to stakeholders at the Washington Small Fruit Conference and at other events as appropriate (i.e., American Society for Horticultural Science annual conference).

Manage Field and Lab Activities | 5%

Manage field and lab activities to ensure data are collected according to the project timeline and established protocols; ensure equipment and instruments are functional and maintained.

Supervise Timeslip | 5%

Supervise hourly workers that support data collection.

Other | 5%

Perform other related project duties as required.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in Plant Biology, Horticulture, or related field at time of hire.

  • Experience in plant physiology research, especially freeze or cold hardiness research of temperate plant species.

  • Evidence of ability to conceive, plan, and conduct field and laboratory experiments.

  • Skill in experimental design and statistical analysis.

  • Documented ability to publish research results in scientific, peer-reviewed journals.

  • Skill in the operation and maintenance of complex field and laboratory equipment and instruments for whole plant physiological research.

  • Ability to work under adverse weather conditions in the field and perform repetitive tasks in the field and laboratory.

  • Effective and professional communication skills.

  • Possession or ability to obtain a driver’s license.

Additional Requirements:

  • Ability to work independently.

  • Ability to work collaboratively and support other project team member’s research.

  • Ability to supervise and assist in management field experimental research plots.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with perennial plant species, especially fruit crops.

  • Experience with plant stress physiology research (i.e., freeze injury).

  • Ability to supervise hourly timeslip workers to support research objectives.

Additional Information:


College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS)

Department Name:


City, State, Zip:
Mount Vernon, WA, 98273

Department Link:


Annual Salary:

$60,000.00 - $64,301.00 | Commensurate upon qualifications and experiences.

In accordance with RCW 49.58.110, the above salary reflects the full salary range for this position. Individual placement within the range is based on the candidate’s current experience, education, skills, and abilities related to the position.

WSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes paid sick and vacation leave; paid holidays; medical, dental, life and disability insurance package for employees and dependents; retirement; deferred compensation and optional supplemental retirement accounts.

For a more detailed summary of benefits offered by WSU for Faculty visit: https://hrs.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/2024-Benefit-Overview-for-Faculty-and-AP.pdf

Find total compensation information here: https://hrs.wsu.edu/managers/recruitment-toolkit/total-compensation/.



Position Type:
This is a temporary position.

Temporary End Date:

This is a 12-month position with the option to renew. Renewal is dependent on the need for extension and/or if additional funding is secured to extend employment.

Posting Close Date:

Applicants must submit their completed application by July 21, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Background Check:

This position has been designated by the department to require a background check because it requires access to children or vulnerable adults as defined by RCW 74.34, engages in law enforcement, requires security clearance, interacts with WSU students in a counseling or advising capacity, has access to personal identifying and/or financial information, unsupervised access to university buildings/property, or other business-related need. A background check will not be completed until an initial determination of qualification for employment has been made.

Application Instructions/Required Documents:

Applicants must upload the following required documents to their online application:

  • Resume/CV

  • Cover Letter

External candidates, please upload all documents in the “Resume/CV” section of your application.

Internal candidates, please upload all documents in the “Resume/Cover Letter” section of your application.

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521 (v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or hrs@wsu.edu.