Requisition ID:  18282

Research Assistant

Job Summary

The Research Assistant will be responsible for managing the sorghum field and breeding nursery activities following directives of Principal Investigator and lead scientists. Additional duties will include:


  • Performance tests of varieties and hybrids, and management of crop nurseries for breeding and for seed increases, (planting, establishing and maintaining optimal agronomic crop conditions, pollinating, harvesting, threshing and seed processing)
  • Curate and maintain seed of sorghum germplasm
  • Arrange propagation schedule for genetic stocks in long term storage
  • Collect, store, and process agronomic data collected in research nurseries and production fields
  • Supervise student and temporary help with field and seed lab activities
  • Guide field operations of graduate and undergraduate student research
  • Independently operate farm machinery (tractors, planter, combine) and conduct preventative maintenance on these
  • Coordinate land requests, field management operation options, planting and harvest schedules with ACRE and PAC superintendents and off-season farm managers
  • Organize seed shipments for winter nurseries and remote testing locations
  • Order supplies needed for project activities


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 1 year crop breeding and genetics nursery management experience
  • In lieu of degree consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of related education and required experience (Associate's degree + 3 years of related experience; HS diploma/GED + 5 years of related experience)
  • Experience managing field operations for crop breeding and genetics
  • Flexibility to travel to winter nursery (Puerto Rico) for extended periods (1-2 times in the Winter and early Spring for durations of 2-4 weeks each)
  • Maintain a welcoming and diverse work environment
  • Basic computer skills required for generating planting layouts and curating germplasm collection
  • Ability to operate farm equipment and machinery (tractors, planters, combine)
  • Ability to operate a forklift



  • Experience pollinating, harvesting and threshing of sorghum

Additional Information:

  • All new hires will be expected to follow Protect Purdue guidelines. To learn more, visit  
  • Purdue will not sponsor an employment related visa for this position
  • A background check will be required for employment
  • FLSA: Exempt (Not Eligible for Overtime)
  • Retirement Eligibility: Defined Contribution Waiting Period
  • Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer.  All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply

Nearest Major Market: Lafayette