DuPont Research Associate - NAC lab in Johnston, Iowa

Research Associate - NAC lab (Job Number: ABT00001770)


DuPont Pioneer, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, agronomic support, and services to farmers in more than 90 countries. Innovative and customer-focused, DuPont Pioneer seeks to increase farmer productivity and profitability, and to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Increasing populations, changing economies, and limited cultivatable land are significant factors driving Pioneer to use the broad application of plant science to improve the value generated from each field.

The Nucleic Acid Characterization (NAC) laboratory is a centralized analytical laboratory providing qualitative and quantitative PCR analysis to support DuPont Pioneer scientists as they seek to improve various crops through conventional breeding and genetic engineering. We are world-class experts in DNA/RNA detection and quantitation. We provide data in a rapid, cost effective and efficient manner. We partner with our colleagues to provide agile and flexible analytical solutions to answer their experimental questions. We produce high quality data that unequivocally fulfills the experimental design and answers the questions being asked.

The focus of this position is to be an active team member in the real time quantitative PCR production process by completing the sample receiving and extraction needs of the NAC lab. The Research Associate will be a key member of the production team. Primary responsibilities will be to receive all NAC samples and ensure samples are processed according to specific extraction methods in a timely manner. Responsibilities may include performing experiments to troubleshoot quality issue within the receiving and extraction area. This person will also ensure preventative measures are put in place to prevent the need for rework. Another critical responsibility will be to engage in process improvement projects within the extraction and set up area. In addition, utilizing automation to complete work will be required.


  • Receive and extract NAC samples daily

  • Monitor and maintain automation equipment.

  • Write protocols for current lab processes as needed.

  • Actively communicate with the lab production manager on throughput, quality, and resource status and needs

  • Other areas of responsibility: QA/QC, equipment maintenance, SOP writing, troubleshooting, contractor training as needed


  • Ability to identify and prevent, (defect reduction) process/equipment issues.

  • Understanding of experimental designs to run specific experiments prepared by leadership and quality team.

  • Ability to manage and prioritize workload in efficient manner to complete daily tasks


  • Make daily decisions associated with workload priorities.

  • Decide how to organize and manage daily production related tasks and activities


The following are required:

  • Two-year technical diploma/degree in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Plant Genetics or related discipline

  • Demonstrated critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential

  • Strong interpersonal and written communication skills are imperative

  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment is required

  • Open to change with strong ability towards process improvements

The following are preferred:

  • PCR experience

  • High throughput production experience

  • Computer skills and familiarity with statistical methods will be advantageous

  • Robotics/automation experience

Primary Location: NA-United States-Iowa-Johnston

Organization: Pioneer

Schedule: Full-time

Education Level: Technical Diploma (±12 years)

Employee Status: Regular

Job Type: Entry Level

DuPont is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or any other protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to search or apply for a position, please visit our Accessibility Page for Contact Information. For US Applicants: See the “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster.