Student Research Technicians- 6 Positions

Hiring Organization: MSU Tree Fruit Entomology Lab
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: East Lansing, MI
Application Deadline: April 30, 2021


The Tree Fruit Entomology lab works to control insect pests in apple, cherry, and peach orchards. We are currently looking for 6+ student technicians to assist with our summer research program. These positions would require a 40 hour/week commitment and would last through August, with longer employment options available for exemplary work performance.

Full Project Description:

Our lab investigates sustainable pest management strategies to reduce the need for insecticides in Michigan’s tree fruit agriculture industry. Our research primarily focuses on studying insect pheromones for use in mating disruption and in monitoring for tree fruit pest populations. We are also focused on understanding the biology and management of relatively new invasive species like spotted wing drosophila and brown marmorated stink bug.

Daily Tasks:

The six positions we are hoping to fill will include four primarily field-based technician opportunities, and two primarily lab-based technician opportunities.

Lab technicians will work closely with one of our graduate students to assess insect traps for target pest species, and may also help maintain lab insect colonies, distribute supplies to field personnel and perform general lab upkeep and organization.

Field technicians will be responsible for traveling to and from agricultural field sites 4-5 days per week, performing experiments in the field and communicating instructions, data and daily needs to and from your direct supervisor. Field technicians will operate more independently and may largely set their own schedule, but may experience long hikes over uneven terrain, hot and/or rainy weather, and biting insects. Due to COVID restrictions, field technicians must be comfortable driving alone up to 4 hours per day (vehicles provided by the lab).

Job Details:

Employment period is Jun 1 – August 30, 2021, with potential for a later end dates, depending on project needs and employee performance. Starting salary is $12.00/hour, with higher wages available for exceptional candidates.

To Apply:

Compile a cover letter and resume describing previous educational, work and research experience including the names and contact info of three references. Send as one PDF to Dr. John Pote at with “Tree Fruit Field Technician” in the subject line.


Required qualifications: Valid U.S. driver’s license with a good driving record. Applicant must be responsible and independent, have excellent attention to details and good communication skills, be able to follow experimental protocols, and have the ability to work independently. Desired Skills: Lifting equipment up to 40 pounds, interest in lab research, integrated pest management (IPM), insect/animal behavior, horticulture or farming.

The Tree Fruit Entomology Lab is committed to actively promoting diversity within our lab, but requiring previous experience can often be a barrier to diversity in hiring. Therefore, our ideal applicant should be able to learn quickly and adapt to new challenges, even if they may not have previous lab experience.