PhD Graduate Research Assistant: Poultry Microbiology and Food Safety

The Poultry Science Department at Mississippi State University is seeking a highly motivated Ph. D. graduate research assistant who is interested in poultry microbiology and food safety research beginning in the fall semester of 2020 or spring semester of 2021.

The research will focus on identifying vaccine antigens from the genome of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni.


The selected candidate will be responsible for but not limited to the following tasks:

  • Working in a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratory and live challenge facility

  • Developing research protocols

  • Conducting field trips (commercial poultry farms) for sample collection

  • Performing laboratory microbiological analysis

  • Performing data analysis using statistical software such as SAS

  • Preparing scientific manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals

  • Preparing posters and oral presentations for scientific conferences

  • Assisting in other research projects and departmental activities

Stipend: $20,000 plus tuition waiver and health insurance.


Desired qualifications:

  • M.S. in Poultry Science, Animal Science, Food Science, Microbiology or related fields

  • Enthusiasm for conducting research on farm as well as in the lab

  • Prior microbiology and molecular research experience preferred but not mandatory

  • Strong oral and written communication skills

Contact Dr. Li Zhang for more details by email lz245@msstate.edu or phone 662-325-3416. Please send a cover letter that states your interests, research experience, and career goals. Additionally, please send your CV, an unofficial transcript, and GRE, TOEFL or IELTS scores, if available and pertinent. Email and contact information is also requested for 3 references.

About Mississippi State University, Department of Poultry Science

The Department of Poultry Science at Mississippi State University is one of six poultry science degree granting departments remaining in the United States. Our research programs and teaching curriculum mirror current industry practices. As such, we have a large percentage of graduates that work in the industry and allied industry (62% as a current average). However, all graduates have opportunities for employment in the poultry industry. The department supports Mississippi's largest commodity, which has provided 100% placement of our graduates since the first Poultry Science degree was awarded in 1948. A very high percentage of our pre-vet students are accepted into vet school. Baccalaureate or graduate degrees in Poultry Science are an excellent start to a career.

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