McKay Lab Project Manager

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
06 Jan 2018
End of advertisement period
03 Feb 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management (BSPM) is committed to excellence in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about insects, plant pathogens, and weeds. Further, BSPM applies this knowledge to solving practical problems related to: (1) management of pests in production agricultural systems, in natural resources and recreational environments, and in residential and public areas; (2) environmental quality, and (3) human and animal health. The Department encompasses the disciplines of entomology, plant pathology, and weed science – thus providing unique opportunities to address critical issues that cut across disciplinary boundaries. BSPM focuses its teaching, research and outreach missions in four program areas each of which involves all three of the department’s disciplinary roots in entomology, plant pathology, and weed science. These programs are: 1) Genomics and Molecular Biology, 2) Ecology and Biodiversity, 3) Biology and Management of Invasive Species, and 4) Integrated Pest Management. BSPM emphasizes knowledge of pests and related organisms; the roles that they play in ecological, economic and social systems; and the application of such knowledge to developing economically and environmentally sound solutions for practical problems. Being interdisciplinary in nature, BSPM values cooperative and collaborative efforts with other units within the University, as well as other relevant entities in the Colorado and beyond.

Position Summary

The McKay lab is leading a large, multi-disciplinary project to develop new methods for field based root and soil phenotyping, including the development of field devices, spectroscopy, image analysis, genotype-phenotype analysis and process-based soil modeling. The project is funded by the ARPA-E ROOTS program. This position involves coordinating project meetings and leading project reporting an evaluation of progress for each of the teams and tasks. The project will generate novel methods as well as data on the genetic basis of root architecture and how it responds to drought. Thus there is ample opportunity for the successful candidate to take part in and lead the writing and publication of science manuscripts.

Required Job Qualifications

  • Masters in biology, bioinformatics, genomics, computer science or highly related field
  • Experience in project management
  • Experience with project reporting
  • Demonstrated oral and written communication skills

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • Managing grant funds in an academic setting
  • Experience in comparative genomics.
  • Programming experience in R, Perl and Python
  • Peer-reviewed publications in Biology, Genetics or Computer Science

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Project Management Duty/Responsibility

  • Coordinate team communications both internally and with external stakeholders; this involves emailing to track progress and organizing face-to-face meetings, videoconferences and conference calls.
  • Project manager will meet weekly with McKay and other members of the McKay lab to align reporting with the timeline and milestones in the funded project.
  • Project manager will produce a document of expectations for tracking progress on project tasks and milestones for each collaborator funded on the project. This is required to meet the reporting requirements of the funding agency.

Percentage Of Time 30 Job Duty Category Project Reporting Duty/Responsibility

  • Create and submit quarterly research reports to the funding agency. This includes soliciting monthly reports from each group funded in the project and evaluating them for accuracy and thoroughness. This is required to track progress relative to the timeline and milestones in the funded project and be ready to respond for update requests from the funding agency.

Percentage Of Time 30 Job Duty Category Accounting Duty/Responsibility

  • Working with existing accounting Admin at Colorado State Universities and collaborating institutions. At CSU this includes communicating with existing accounting staff in multiple departments and colleges and setting expectations for timely and consistent reporting of charges and balances. This is necessary to keep central, standardized records of budgets and research progress toward goals and dates identified in the funded project. The funding agency requires timely and accurate reporting of project spending and how it reflects research progress.

Percentage Of Time 10 Job Duty Category Research Support Duty/Responsibility

  • Contribute to data analysis and evaluation. This research involves statistical analysis and prioritization of important findings. The project manager will prepare figures, results and text for peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as reports to the funding agency.

Percentage Of Time 30

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but for full consideration, all materials must be received by January 31, 2018. Applicants should upload the following: (1) A cover letter addressing your qualifications; (2) CV; and (3) contact information for three professional references who will be asked to provide a reference letter for finalist candidates. References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates. For inquiries about the position, contact Search Chair at For additional information about Colorado State University, consult the university’s website at

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires)

Search Contact John McKay,

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.