Job Listings

Lab and Research Specialist II

Virginia Tech
Job Location:
Blacksburg, 24061
Laboratory and Research

Job Description

The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences (SPES) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Virginia Tech seeks to fill a Laboratory and Research Specialist II to serve as Plant Disease Diagnostician. The incumbent will support the plant disease diagnostic and educational efforts in the Virginia Tech Plant Disease Clinic (VTPDC), a member laboratory of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), a service laboratory and educational resource to Virginia Cooperative Extension offices. The lab receives samples submitted for diagnosis, conducts appropriate diagnostic testing, and provides reports and recommendations to the submitting entities. Through its activities, the lab supports VCE Extension agents, commercial growers, service providers, and home growers by providing clear and timely diagnoses and management recommendations to clientele while maintaining a cooperative, productive relationship with other VCE service labs and offices, relevant Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, campus-based specialists and the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS) Plant Industry Services. The incumbent will be able to work in a fast-paced environment while delivering accurate information to clients. The incumbent will have excellent verbal and written communication skills as well as excellent organizational skills.
Responsibilities include processing samples, using current diagnostic procedures, verify and implement new procedures, and provide clear and timely diagnostic recommendations to clientele while maintaining appropriate records in a diagnostic database. Ensure compliance with Environmental, Health, and Safety, NPDN and regulatory requirements and supervise part-time staff. Develop educational content related to plant problem diagnosis (fact sheets, presentations, interviews, and training workshops) for grower groups, VCE agents, Master Gardeners, and other groups. Develop and maintain a cooperative, productive relationship with specialists at Virginia Tech, other VCE service labs, VCE agents and offices.

Required Qualifications

Bachelor's of Science degree in plant pathology, plant science or microbiology, related field, or equivalent training/experience.

Preferred Qualifications

Masters of Science degree in plant pathology. Experience with plant diagnostics, classical microbiological techniques, and molecular biology methods; Public speaking and written communication experience.

Pay Band


Appointment Type


Salary Information

45,000 - 60,000

Review Date


Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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