Job Overview


Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the United States Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency and one of the world's premiere scientific organizations. ARS Postdoctoral Research Associates are hired to supplement a lead scientist research on agricultural problems of high national priority affecting American agriculture.

The incumbent is a Research Agricultural Engineer in the Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research Unit, within the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Services Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, located in Manhattan, Kansas. The units objectives are to develop methods to quantify grain attributes that impact quality and can enhance productivity. The incumbent is responsible for formulating and conducting both basic and applied engineering research that will achieve this.

U.S. citizens, permanent residents who meet certain eligibility requirements and non-citizens who meet certain eligibility requirements.

Additional information on the employment of non-citizens can be found at:


This position is temporary and has a Not-to-Exceed date of 2 years from the first day of employment.  However, an extension of the appointment may be possible without further competition. The appointment may also end early due to lack of work or funds.


The incumbent is responsible for experimental and practical aspects of planning and conducting research activities within the assigned area. The incumbent will develop instruments and procedures to rapidly and non-destructively detect/measure single kernel grain attributes such as haploid seeds and composition for use in breeding programs, or methods to detect insect damaged kernels. Research objectives will result in new knowledge that is useful for screening poor quality grain from the market and advancing the breeding efficiency of grains.

The incumbent will conduct research on the development of instrumented techniques for cereal grain analysis. Research will focus on whole grain and single kernels with the purpose of selecting grain traits for breeding purposes based on composition, defects or other quality attributes. Sensing methods may include the use of UV, visible and near infrared spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, or imaging. Team supported integration of novel hardware and sensors, electro-mechanical and software systems may be required. Responsibilities will also include manuscript preparation.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Occasional travel offsite and to other USDA/ARS facilities in order to complete work assignments

Relocation Authorized

  • No