Plant Research Assistant, OpenAg (contract)

Job Description

The OpenAgriculture Initiative (OpenAg) brings together partners from academia, industry and government, to develop an open source agriculture and food technology research collective for the creation of the global agricultural hardware, software, and data commons. Together we will build collaborative tools and open technology platforms for the exploration of future food systems.The successful candidate will be part of a team to evaluate new technologies and approaches for controlled environmental agriculture.

 We are seeking a candidate with plant science experience familiar with molecular and plant physiological responses and methods.

He/She will perform plant research experiments to refine the environmental growth chamber for plant research and generates experimental data for publications. The successful candidate is expected to work largely independently on a daily basis after training, and will be closely supervised by OpenAg's Research Lead.

Please note: This is a full-time, contract position for six (6) months with possibility of extension based on funding and research priorities.


  • Applied technical knowledge and practical skills in plant physiology and molecular biology. The ideal candidate should  be able to adopt routine methods to study plant physiological responses such as enzyme activities, antioxidants and photosynthetic pigments measurements, be familiar with spectrophotometer,  primer design and qPCR to execute laboratory projects.
  • Operates and maintains laboratory equipment to complete investigations
  • Prepares, orders, and maintains stocks of necessary reagents, solutions and supplies
  • Documents, compiles, and analyzes experimental data.
  • Must possess a high level of initiative and the ability to work with little supervision.
  • Other related tasks as required.


REQUIRED: Background in molecular biology, plant physiology, or similar technical field and experience in working in a research setting;

Core Competencies

  • Applied technical knowledge and practical skills in, Biotechnology and Plant research methods. 
  • Familiarity with Plant maintenance and measurement protocols (e.g. Photosynthesis and respiration rates, Physiological responses).
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and organizational skills, including the ability to handle a variety of tasks in a fast-paced environment, and attention to detail are required.

Preferred Experience

  • Next generation sequencing, metagenomics;
  • Bioinformatics and genomics data analysis;

TO APPLY*: Please send cover letter, CV/resume, and links to projects to

*Note: Because this is a contract position, it will not appear in MIT's Careers website below. 

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