Research Assistant - Potato Breeding and Crop Management (id:54569)

Updated: over 1 year ago
Location: Orono, MAINE
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Research Assistant - Potato Breeding and Crop Management (id:54569)


School of Food and Agriculture - OSFA


Monday - Friday 7:30AM - 4:30PM

Presque Isle, ME

Assists faculty, research scientists and graduate students as they conduct potato breeding and crop management research projects. Coordinates theactivities of the technical staff and student workers associated with the project and provides supervision in consultation with immediate supervisors. The research project involves field, greenhouse, and laboratory studies. The successful applicant will manage, plant, maintain, harvest, and store potato research and seed plots. The successful applicant will conduct potato quality evaluations and will be expected to operate field and laboratory equipment. Typical hiring range for this position is $35,000-$42,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

Complete job description.

The University of Maine is a community of more than 11,200 undergraduate and graduate students, and 2,500 employees located on the Orono campus and throughout the state. UMaine is the state land and sea grant university and maintains a leadership role as the System’s flagship university.  As a result, it is dedicated to providing excellent teaching, research, and service at the university, state, and national levels.

Further information about UMaine can be found at

The University of Maine offers a wide range of benefits  for employees including, but not limited to, tuition benefits (employee and dependent), comprehensive insurance coverage including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and short and long term disability as well as retirement plan options. As a former NSF ADVANCE institution, the University of Maine is committed to diversity in our workforce and to dual-career couples.

UMaine is located in beautiful Central Maine. Many employees report that a primary reason for choosing to come to UMaine is quality of life.  Numerous cultural activities, excellent public schools, safe neighborhoods, high quality medical care, little traffic, and a reasonable cost of living make the greater Bangor area a wonderful place to live. 

Learn more about what the Bangor region has to offer here .


  • The successful applicant will typically have the education associated with a B.S. degree, preferably in Agriculture or a related science-based program; however, appropriate experience combined with a degree in another discipline would also be acceptable.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to supervise and work effectively with a wide range of people and constituencies are required.
  • Skills using common word processing and spreadsheet software and computer technology are also required.
  • The successful applicant will be expected to operate farm equipment that is used to plant, maintain, and harvest research plots; therefore, the successful candidate must be willing to learn how to safely operate such equipment within the first 12-mo of employment to satisfy the position requirement. 
  • The successful applicant must have or obtain a Master’s Pesticide Applicator’s License required within 24 months of employment. 
  • Ability to travel normally requiring a valid driver’s license is required.


  • Substantial experience working with the potato crop is desired.  
  • Substantial experience in field experimentation within potato and/or other crop production systems, greenhouse plant production, seed potato management and handling, and potato quality evaluations are preferred. 
  • Demonstrated experience and ability in the operation of farm equipment, pesticide application, laboratory-based research, and personnel management are preferred.

Supervisory Responsibility:  Supervises the day-to-day activities 4-6 temporary workers (seasonal), 2-4 student workers (seasonal).  Also, supervises 1-2 additional year-round technicians when they work on potato breeding project activities.

Work Schedule:  Normal business hours at the University of Maine’s Aroostook Research Farm are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Due to the nature of the position, work beyond regular hours (to include evenings and weekends) may be necessary to meet the requirements of the position.  The employee shall establish regular office hours and in consultation with the supervisors adjust the work schedule as appropriate.

Work Environment: The projects are located primarily at the Aroostook Research Farm; however, some experiments are also “off farm” on commercial potato farms in the area.  Travel to the University of Maine, “off farm” field sites, and to professional meetings is expected.  During the growing seasons the work is frequently out of doors and sometimes in adverse weather conditions. Field research is conducted out-of-doors on farms where conditions may be hot/cold, dry/wet, dusty, with abundant pollen; biting and/or stinging insects may be common.  Pesticides and fertilizers are used to maintain experiments; appropriate personal protective equipment is provided and may be required.  Greenhouse, sample processing, and grading areas can be dusty.


Materials must be submitted via "Apply For Position" below. You will need to create a profile and application; upload

1.) a cover letter which describes your experience, interests, and suitability for the position 
2.) a resume/curriculum vitae
3.) contact information for three professional references.  

You will also need to complete the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status forms. Incomplete application materials cannot be considered. Materials received after the initial review date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University.


Search Timeline is as follows:

Review of applications to begin: 10/01/2019
Screening interviews to begin no earlier than: 10/07/2019
On-site interviews to begin no earlier than: 10/14/2019
Tentative start date: 11/1/2019 (or as soon as possible thereafter)   


For questions about the search, please contact search committee chair Gregory Porter at  or 207-581-2943.

Appropriate background checks are required.


The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Sarah E. Harebo, Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME  04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).

Fiscal Year (12 Months)

Cover Letter, References, Resume/CV
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