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PhD Graduate Research Assistantship

Summary of Position

The Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University is seeking a highly motivated individual interested in pursuing a PhD in the discipline of poultry processing physiology or microbiology. The position will focus on determining the influence of controlled atmosphere stunning systems on the physiological changes during processing which impact the levels of foodborne contaminants and meat/product quality. Work for this position may be performed in a laboratory, classroom, office, or remote field site. Workload priorities may need to be shifted and schedules changed in order to meet multiple deadlines.


  • Conduct research to assess the influence on controlled atmosphere stunning on physiological changes during processing which impact the levels of foodborne contaminants and meat/product quality

  • Maintain precise records of research findings and the analysis of results

  • Write reports as required, communicate findings, and prepare manuscripts for publication

  • Mentor others and work collaboratively in the lab to learn and aid in other projects

  • Present research at professional meetings

  • Other duties as assigned

Required knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Able to organize, multitask time efficiently and work both independently and collaboratively within a multidisciplinary and interactive research environment

  • Effective writing and communication skills, meticulous record keeping

  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team

  • Previous experience with poultry processing, food safety, microbiology, meat quality, data analysis; ideal candidate will have familiarity with several of these disciplines and additional training will be provided as needed


  • An earned MS in poultry science, animal science, food science or a related field by the time of hiring.

To Apply

The research assistantship includes a tuition waiver, health insurance, and $21,000 annual stipend. The position is available in Fall 2024 or Spring 2025. Applications will be reviewed as received and the position is open until filled. Applications must be emailed to Dr. Dianna Bourassa ( as a single pdf containing the materials listed below.

  1. Cover letter describing relevant experience and interest

  2. Curriculum vitae

  3. Statement of Research that describes past research experience and future interests within the research topic

  4. Contact information of the three academic or professional references

  5. TOEFL scores (for international students)

  6. Academic transcripts (unofficial)

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