Assistant Director for Research Planning and Product Performance Research

Website NC State University

Vacancy Type EHRA Non-Faculty
Is Internal Transfer Only No
Working Title Assistant Director for Research Planning and Product Performance Research
Salary Range
Anticipated Hiring Range Commensurate with Experience
Position Number 00007478
Work Schedule 8am – 5pm / Monday – Friday
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) 1.00
Department 110313 – IR-4 Project
Department IR-4 Project
Job City & State Raleigh, NC
Primary Function of Organizational Unit The IR-4 Project is a national Federal/State partnership research program to assist farmers of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, ornamentals and other specialty crops by facilitating registration of safe and effective chemical and bio-based pest management products. The IR-4 Project is needed because the crop protection industry focuses their research efforts on major crops such as corn, soybean and cotton that provide the companies adequate return on their development investment.

Without IR-4, farmers of specialty crops would only have access to a few crop protection products to protect their crops. IR-4 Project Headquarters provides national leadership, coordination and regulatory compliance for the IR-4 Project research activities performed by approx. 125 scientists at over 20 public sector research farms and five analytical laboratories throughout the United States.

Essential Job Duties The Assistant Director for Research Planning and Product Performance Research is part of the IR-4 Project’s national leadership team. This position is responsible to ensure that IR-4’s national network of specialty crop commodity associations/grower groups, public sector researchers, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the crop protection industry are actively involved in IR-4’s mission to facilitate regulatory approval of crop protection technologies for specialty crops and minor uses. This includes leading stakeholder engagement in the establishment of IR-4’s research priorities to address farmer/grower pest management needs. This position also has responsibilities to lead IR-4’s efforts in development of product performance data (aka efficacy and crop safety “value” data) for food crops in IR-4 Food Crop Program and non-food crops in the Environmental Horticulture Program.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Direct the IR-4 Project’s comprehensive national efforts in the development of product performance data associated with IR-4’s Food Program (including Integrated Solutions) and with IR-4’s Environmental Horticulture Program (30%):
    • The Assistant Director of Planning and Product Performance Research is the primary leader of IR-4’s product performance research with crop protection products. The primary goal of this effort is to develop quality data to document that specialty crop and/or minor uses of a chemical or bio-based pesticide are safe and effective on food and non-food crops. This position also provides leadership in IR-4’s new and innovative Integrated Solutions research efforts. Collectively this position is responsible for a research budget over $1.5 million annually.
    • Activities include setting and implementing technical and operational policies for IR-4’s product performance research at the national Headquarters office as well as the 30+ field research sites. Assisting the Principal Weed Scientist, Principal Entomologist, and Principal Plant Pathologist in developing research plans, assessing data and opportunities for the data to support registrations.
  • Directly manage the establishment of research priorities for IR-4 research in food crops (30%):
    • Directly lead IR-4’s open and transparent efforts to establish vital research priorities each year for Magnitude of the Residue studies, targeted product performance research and Integrated Solutions. These activities include assisting stakeholders in submitting new Requests for Assistance, directly liaise with industry to negotiate and develop registration strategies, document strategies for public viewing in IR-4’s databases. The positions will also work with to obtain from EPA an assessment of registration potential for specific uses/products.
    • Working with the IR-4 Regional, offices (University of Florida, University of Maryland, Michigan State University, and University of California-Davis) develop a preliminary assessment of the many potential research projects. The most important projects are nominated for further consideration at IR-4 Priority Setting Workshops.
    • Lead efforts to convene IR-4’s annual priority-setting workshop to establish research priorities. Activities and deliverables include a fair, transparent priority setting process that takes into account the most important pest management needs/voids for specialty crop farmers.
  • Management of IR-4’s Principal Research Scholars including Principal Weed Scientist, Principal Entomologist, Principal Plant Pathologist, and Environmental Horticulture Manager (15%):
    • Develop and manage an effective, high performing team of Principal Research Scholars in Weed Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology and Environmental Horticulture that are individually responsible to manage IR-4’s efficacy and/or crop safety research projects throughout the United States in their respective subject area. Assure that the group effectively manages resources to best fulfil the rapidly increasing data needed by registrants, state regulatory authorities, EPA, and international partners to asses if products are safe and effective.
  • Continuing education/training for IR-4 Project (15%):
    • Lead the IR-4 National Training Committee to ensure that all IR-4 Project scientists and support staff have the education, training and background materials to perform their job functions successfully. This includes coordination of the once every three-year, National Education Conference, quarterly training programs for field researchers, training of liaisons (company and state) representatives, etc.
  • Program Management, Policy Development and other activities (10%):
    • Participate in weekly IR-4 Headquarters Management Team meetings to develop policy decisions and manage implementation. Responsible to bring issues and potential solutions to the Management Team. Also attend and participate in the IR-4 Project Management Committee (PMC) Meetings as a non-voting member. Provide reports and updates to the PMC. The position will also lead IR-4’s Annual Crop Tour to assist US Environmental Protection Agency scientists in learning about specialty crops.
    • Activities and deliverables include providing sound council and advice to support the smooth and efficient operations of IR-4. Provide back up and assistance to the Executive Director and Senior Associate Director when necessary. Serve as an intermediate to others to ensure IR-4 communication and outreach are timely and relevant.
Other Work/Responsibilities
  • Willing to travel to IR-4 meetings throughout the United States.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
Minimum Education/Experience
  • PhD in the plant protection sciences (Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science), horticulture, or related area.
  • At least 10 years of experience with managing research programs in the crop protection sciences.

All degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions.

Departmental Required Skills
  • Ability to maintain attention to details, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal skills.
Preferred Experience, Skills, Training/Education
  • Strong background in specialty crops.
  • Interacted and worked with or within the land-grant university system.
  • Functional knowledge of US EPA pesticide regulations.
Required License or Certification
  • Valid NC Driver’s License or the ability to obtain within 60 days of start.
Special Instructions In addition to your application please submit a CV, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references.
Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies? No
Proposed Hire Date 07/01/2020
AA/EOE NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree equivalency verified at or equivalent service. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

Supplemental Question

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you learn of this opportunity?
    • NCSU Website
    • NCSU Executive Search Services
    • Other Online Job Board
    • Carolina Job Finder / Employment Guide
    • Job / Career Fair
    • The Chronicle of Higher Education
    • HERC
    • Professional Journal
    • Print Advertisement (Newspaper / Periodical)
    • Professional Organization
    • Direct Contact from NCSU HR Representative / Recruiter
    • NCSU Employee Referral
    • Social Media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Other)
    • Other
  2. If you learned about this vacancy from “other source” or “other website”, please provide the source.(Open Ended Question)
  3. * Do you have, or will you have by date of hire, a PhD in plant protection sciences (Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science), horticulture, or related area?
    • Yes
    • No
  4. * Do you have at least 10 years of experience with managing research programs in the crop protection sciences?
    • Yes
    • No
  5. * Please briefly describe your experience/background in specialty crops.(Open Ended Question)
  6. * Do you have functional knowledge of US EPA pesticide regulations?
    • Yes
    • No
  7. * Do you have a valid NC Driver’s license or the ability to obtain one within 60 days of your start date?
    • Yes
    • No

Application Materials Required

Required Documents

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Contact Information for References