Research Specialist, Small Grains - Crop Sciences
University of Illinois

Urbana, Illinois

Research Specialist, Small Grains - Crop Sciences

Crop Sciences

Job Summary
Conduct field research trials, establish and carry out agronomic management of field research trials.
Duties & Responsibilities

Field research trial operations:
• Carry out all aspects of field research trial management including fertilization, pest management, and irrigation.
• Plant and harvest research trials and seed increases.
• Calibrate and operate specialized research equipment including tractors, planters, sprayers, combines, and threshers.
• Utilize specialized software and GPS to achieve precise planting and trial management.
• Load/unload, tie-down, and haul equipment to off-site trial locations in order to plant, manage, and harvest trials at multiple locations across the state of Illinois.
• Utilize data management software and excel to document and plan work activities, timelines, and schedules.
• Assist in making decisions about the application of agricultural inputs including fertilizer and pesticides as appropriate to achieve project objectives.
• Assist with field site selection and developing field layouts.
• Coordinate with students, program staff, farm managers, and cooperators as needed to carry out trials.

General breeding program operations:
• Conduct wheat and oat breeding population advancement and cross pollination in the greenhouse.
• Process grain and manage seed; including seed packaging, inventory, storage and disposal.
• Take data and notes on research plots.
• Instruct and oversee hourly workers.

Research equipment optimization:
• Maximize the data quality and output from mechanized operations.
• Care for and monitor field research equipment and coordinate with specialized mechanics to maintain all equipment in excellent working condition.
• Carry out basic field repairs as the need arises.
• Coordinate and ensure the routine maintenance of trucks and trailers.

Travel Requirements
20% May have to travel to other research sites

Minimum Qualifications
B.S. in an agronomy, crop science, or a related field; At least 2 years of experience working in an agricultural research program. Prior experience operating and maintaining field research equipment including planters, combines, sprayers and tractors. Experience hauling equipment.

Specialty Factors
Possession of, or ability to obtain, an Illinois drivers' license, and an Illinois Pesticide Applicator's License within 6 months' of starting this position.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of agronomic management of small grains and/or other cereals. Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair and maintenance.
  • Knowledge of common field research trial layouts. Ability to quickly learn how to use specialized research farm equipment.
  • Appointment Information
    This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after 11/16/2022. Salary is commensurate with experience.

    Application Procedures & Deadline Information
    Please include a cover letter, resume and list of three references in your application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on November 3, 2022. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Dr. Rutkoski at For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

    The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify .

    Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal , or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing .

    Requisition ID: 1012289
    Job Category: Research
    Apply at:

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