Research Scientist 2 in Remote in Saint Paul, MN 55101

State of Minnesota

Job Details

Working Title: Research Scientist 2 Job Class: Research Scientist 2 Agency: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Who May Apply: This vacancy is open for bids and for all qualified job seekers simultaneously. Bidders will be considered through 09/06/2023.
Date Posted: 08/31/2023
Closing Date: 09/26/2023
Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Division/Unit: Pesticide and Fertilizer Management Division / Pesticide Technical Unit Staff
Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift
Days of Work: Monday – Friday
Travel Required: Yes (5-10%)
Salary Range: $28.96 – $42.67 / hourly; $60,468 – $89,094 / annually
Classified Status: Classified
Bargaining Unit/Union: 214 – MN Assoc of Professional Empl/MAPE
FLSA Status: Exempt – Professional
Telework Eligible: Yes
Designated in Connect 700 Program for Applicants with Disabilities: Yes

Make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.
The work you’ll do is more than just a job. Join the talented, engaged and inclusive workforce dedicated to creating a better Minnesota.

Job Summary

This announcement will be used to fill two (2) permanent vacancies.
This position will work closely with PhD and Master’s level staff from state and federal agencies, non-technical staff, the University of Minnesota, and occasionally pesticide registrant companies, pesticide users, and other key stakeholders. This full-time position is based out of St. Paul, MN, and is eligible for telework anywhere in the state of Minnesota.
This position exists to provide scientific expertise and effective education and communication to diverse staff and stakeholders on pesticide topics, such as risk to human health and the environment, pesticide fate and transport, and the safe and legal use of pesticides. This position will lead reviews on pesticide topics and provide coordination and material for education and outreach communicating complex scientific and regulatory information to a variety of stakeholders. This work enables the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to make science-based decisions that can affect how pesticides are used in Minnesota and provides valuable support to stakeholders needing to understand pesticide science and regulation.
This position is part of the Pesticide Technical Unit in the Pesticide and Fertilizer Management division at the MDA. The Pesticide Technical Unit interacts with MDA programs that regulate the sale and use of pesticides in Minnesota. Such programs include monitoring surface water and groundwater for pesticides, developing and promoting pesticide best management practices, permitting and inspection of ag chemical facilities, licensing of facilities, licensing of applicators, and investigating pesticide misuse. The Pesticide Technical Unit also serves as a bridge between science and policy. The Unit links research and practice by informing the MDA and pesticide users of current regulation and research-based best management practices that protect the integrity of the food supply, the health of the environment, and the strength and resilience of the agricultural economy.
Responsibilities include:

Track and research scientific and regulatory pesticide issues related to environmental and human health and pesticide contaminants of emerging concern.
Evaluate and interpret complex scientific research to plan and lead special registration reviews of pesticide and pesticide related issues. Use reviews to identify and recommend actions to agency management and the Commissioner of Agriculture and inform interested parties of the MDA’s considerations and decisions.
Develop and implement effective education and communication on scientific and regulatory pesticide issues, such as risks to environmental and human health and scientifically backed mitigation measures.
Develop and promote best management practices (BMPs), brochures, factsheets, stewardship plans about safe and legal pesticide use.
Represent the MDA in work groups, task forces, and in communications with the public and news media.


Minimum Qualifications
To facilitate proper years of service crediting, please ensure that your resume clearly describes your experience in the areas listed and indicates the beginning and ending month and year for each job held.
A Master’s or higher degree in Environmental or Agricultural Sciences field such as: Weed Science, Plant Pathology, Applied Plant Science, Entomology, Agronomy, Soil science, Water Resources Management, Environmental chemistry, studies, resource management, and geology, or a closely related field.
Three (3) years of practical experience designing, conducting, and analyzing research or evaluating and interpreting research data related to pesticides or other agricultural chemicals. A PhD degree in an environmental, agricultural, or closely related science may substitute for two (2) years of experience.
Knowledge of agricultural cropping systems and pesticide related environmental and human health issues in Minnesota or comparable conditions.
Experience managing outreach and education projects.
Excellent oral and written communication skills suitable for communicating with diverse groups including farmers, scientists, registrants, and elected officials, and able to write and edit exceptional written materials.
Established history of writing and publishing scientific material such as extension articles, scientific reports, peer-reviewed articles, and/or scientific communication articles.
The ability to celebrate diversity and a strong commitment to a respectful and inclusive work environment.
Preferred Qualifications
A PhD or higher degree in an environmental or agricultural science or a closely related field.
More than 3 years of practical experience designing, conducting, and analyzing research or evaluating and interpreting research data related to pesticides of other agricultural chemicals.
Experience working in agricultural cropping systems in Minnesota or comparable conditions.
A demonstrated working knowledge of, or experience with, state, Tribal, or Federal government pesticide laws and programs.
Experience or knowledge of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) or similar chemicals as they relate to the environment, agriculture, or agricultural chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, adjuvants, etc.
Knowledge of herbicide resistance, pesticide formulations, toxicology, fate and transport properties, or benefits and risks associated with pesticides and related technologies.
Experience working with the public, media, or Minnesota agricultural organizations on complex and controversial scientific or policy issues.
Physical Requirements
Most of the work for this position will be performed in indoor conditions. The incumbent may be sometimes required to work outdoors in field conditions or overnight for conferences and events.
Additional Requirements
A job offer will be contingent upon successfully passing a background check. It is the policy of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, as part of its hiring procedures, to conduct background checks on the finalist(s) for positions within the agency. The background check may consist of the following components:

SEMA4 Records Check (applies to current and former state employees only)

Employment Reference Check

Driver’s License Check

Conflict of Interest Review

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will not sponsor applicants for work visas. All applicants must be legally authorized to work in the US.

Application Details

How to Apply
Select “Apply for Job” at the top of this page. If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email For additional information about the application process, go to
If you have questions about the position, contact Theresa Cira at
To receive consideration as a Connect 700 Program applicant, apply online, email the Job ID#, the Working Title and your valid Proof of Eligibility Certificate by the closing date to Tracy Ohmann at
About Minnesota Department of Agriculture
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has served our state for more than 125 years. The work we do touches every Minnesota citizen every day.
Our mission is to enhance all Minnesotans’ quality of life by equitably ensuring the integrity of our food supply, the health of our environment, and the strength and resilience of our agricultural economy.
Our three general areas of responsibility include:

Protecting our food supply;
Protecting our natural resources; and,
Cultivating our agricultural economy.

Why Work for Us
Join our interdisciplinary team of (very cool) Research Scientists to make a tangible impact protecting Minnesota’s environment and human health. You will work with scientific and regulatory experts across a broad scope of pesticide-related topics such as water quality monitoring, pollinator health, endangered species, contaminant transport, toxicology, PFAS, and education and outreach. We explain and communicate science to decision-makers in the Agency, pesticide users, farmers, and other stakeholders. The work we do is used to develop pesticide best management practices and inform decisions about the regulation of pesticides. Join our team to see the impact your efforts have helping Minnesotans use pesticides safely and judiciously.
Diverse Workforce
We are committed to continually developing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our state and the populations we serve. The varied experiences and perspectives of employees strengthen the work we do together and our ability to best serve the people of Minnesota.
A recent engagement survey of State of Minnesota employees found:

95% of employees understand how their work helps achieve their agency’s mission
91% of employees feel trusted to do their jobs
88% of employees feel equipped to look at situations from other cultural perspectives when doing their job
87% of employees report flexibility in their work schedule

Comprehensive Benefits
Our benefits aim to balance four key elements that make life and work meaningful: health and wellness, financial well-being, professional development, and work/life harmony. As an employee, your benefits may include:

Public pension plan
Training and professional development
Paid vacation and sick leave
11 paid holidays each year
Paid parental leave
Low-cost medical and dental coverage
Prescription drug coverage
Vision coverage
Wellness programs and resources
Employer paid life insurance
Short-term and long-term disability
Health care spending and savings accounts
Dependent care spending account
Tax-deferred compensation
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Tuition reimbursement
Federal Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Programs, resources and benefits eligibility varies based on type of employment, agency, funding availability, union/collective bargaining agreement, location, and length of service with the State of Minnesota.

Minnesota state agencies are equal opportunity, affirmative action, and veteran-friendly employers. The State of Minnesota recognizes that a diverse workforce is essential and strongly encourages qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.
We will make reasonable accommodations to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email and indicate what assistance is needed.