University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Seeks Research Greenhouse Specialist in Agriculture

Posted on October 20, 2021
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Seeks Research Greenhouse Specialist in Agriculture
Position Title                                                                                                                                                       University Illinois
Research Greenhouse Specialist in Agriculture     
Position Summary 
This role will serve as 12 month professional with primary responsibility
for the development, implementation and supervision of plant care protocols
for research and educational programs and projects.

Everything the College of ACES does is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence. Be a part of our story.
The Research Greenhouse Specialist in Agriculture serves as a 100% FTE, 12 month professional with primary responsibility for the development, implementation and supervision of plant care protocols for research and educational programs and projects. The Research Greenhouse Specialist is one of a team of professionals in the Plant Care Facility, a year-round operation focusing on providing services to faculty, staff, students and external stakeholders.


Two full time positions are available.

Specific responsibilities of the Research Greenhouse Specialist in Agriculture are as follows:
Greenhouse Research Support
  • Develop, implement and supervise the daily plant care and maintenance protocols for research and educational projects.
  • Consult with greenhouse users regarding proper soil types, fertilizer regimes, production methods, pest-control and sanitation procedures for existing and new projects.
  • Monitor and scout for insect pests and disease symptoms weekly.
  • Implement and apply appropriate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices according to project needs and maintain biological controls.
  • Grow, maintain and propagate plant material for the horticultural plant collections and educational programming.
  • Autoclave plant materials as needed following transgenic protocols.
  • Support other PCF research staff; supervise weekly and daily activities for PCF student and hourly workers. Train and supervise student and hourly employees.
Greenhouse Facility Management
  • Identify and investigate equipment and/or facility issues within assigned greenhouse section.
  • Notify and update the PCF Greenhouse Coordinator of mechanical, equipment or facility issues and repairs in a timely manner.
  • Apply and remove whitewash, seasonally.
  • Service the evaporative cooling systems, seasonally.
  • Respond to greenhouse environmental alarms following a rotational schedule, including greenhouse emergencies.
  • Assist in PCF Storeroom inventory and organization as needed.
  • Update research and education project records. Maintain up-to-date space utilization charges through management software.
  • Implement greenhouse policies and procedures as established by the PCF Advisory Committee.
  • Promote a safe working environment for all greenhouse users, students, staff and faculty.
  • Interact with faculty, staff and students with opportunities for outreach and educational activities.


Administrative Relationship
The Greenhouse Research Specialist is responsible to the Plant Care Facility Coordinator.


Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture, Plant Biology, Crop Sciences, or other related field, required.
  • Required experience:  Minimum of 1 year of experience in a greenhouse, field or nursery production.  Experience with use of computers for word processing, spreadsheet and database software management is required.
  • Valid Driver’s License


Preferred Qualifications
  • Pesticide Applicator License or ability to obtain a Pesticide License from the State of IL
  • 3 or more years of greenhouse, field or nursery production experience.
  • Ability to work independently on tasks to complete weekly goals
  • Strong communication and organization skills
  • Experience or familiarity with plant science research and experimental setup
  • Knowledge of basic greenhouse equipment and environmental controls
  • Knowledge of various pest-management strategies and biological controls
  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs and work in a hot, humid environment


Position Requirements:
To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside (for instance in a greenhouse, outside in fields etc.), and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion. When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors including, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground. In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well including, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that weigh up to fifty (50) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. Ability to climb a ladder is also required.
This position will require occasional weekend and holiday availability.


Additional Information:

The position is a full-time, benefits-eligible, professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date.  Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and sick leave.  State Universities Retirement System.  Group health, dental, vision and life insurance.



For full job description, please visit here

Candidates should create a profile at and upload their Curriculum Vitae (including email address), a letter of interest, and names and contact information for three professional references who are familiar with the candidate’s qualifications and experience by November 1, 2021. All requested information must be submitted for the application to be considered.


For more information, contact Rosie Metallo
Plant Care Facilities Coordinator
217-300-2069 OR







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