Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 8115


  Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 17 $2741 $2859 $2971 $3103 $3235 $3382 $3540 $3710 $3887 $4072


The BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH TECHNICIAN 3 independently conducts agriculture, forestry, or food science research consistent with research project plans. Work performed includes establishing test procedures, conducting experiments, collecting data, analyzing and reporting results, and/or coordinating facility services for a large number of researchers.


This is the third level of a three-level series. This class is distinguished from the lower level by requiring increased technical knowledge of the research projects or facility services and an ability to adapt equipment, facilities, and procedures to meet specific research project needs. The employee independently conducts and reports research trials and has responsibility for instructing students in technical research procedures.


  1. Research Experiments. Typical tasks: conducts appropriate technical operations consistent with research project plans and objectives or facility services; assists research project leaders in planning technical functions of research projects; lays out and establishes test procedures; carries out experiments; obtains samples; collects and summarizes data; conducts initial statistical analysis of results; reports results (written and verbally) to the research project leader; programs the computer, inputs data, and adapts programs as needed; may (under the guidance of and in cooperation with a project leader) prepare and present research materials and/or findings at professional meetings or to professional journals.
  2. Research Project Operations. Typical tasks: manages project operations or facility services as the research is being conducted; provides technical expertise in the proper physical care and maintenance of research plants, animals or poultry, materials, or the support service organizations (e.g., greenhouses); observes and makes suggestions for improvement in facilities, equipment, or procedures to support the technical aspect of research; oversees the feeding, health care, and breeding of animals; operates a feed mill producing and distributing various types of experimental feed to animal research units; obtains, treats, stores, and processes a variety of wood samples used for pulping research; collects data on trees, streams, soil, vegetation, insect, and meteorological conditions for food ecology research; determines plot size, layout, and location on the farm (keeping in mind soil conditions and necessary crop rotation) and prepares a map identifying all project locations; oversees, coordinates, and schedules the cultivating, soil preparation, planting, fertilizing, pesticide spraying, irrigating, harvesting, threshing, and cleaning of various experimental crops or other crops grown to be used in livestock research; assists researchers in designing the experimental plot or animal treatments to be used during the research trials; propagates, grows, and maintains plants, small fruits, and tree seedlings in greenhouses, growth chambers, and fields; makes crosses and self-pollinations in vegetable breeding program; collects insect specimens; initiates insect cultures and maintains cultures in greenhouses and growth chambers; makes taxonomic identification of insects; performs laboratory tests on insects; coordinates services of a major greenhouse, including the care and maintenance of plants, pesticide application, and the control and maintenance of heating-venting-cooling systems; sells by-products after experiments are completed.
  3. Equipment and Facility Management. Typical tasks: operates and maintains research equipment and facilities; prepares equipment specifications and obtains vendor bids for purchases; adapts, improves, designs, and/or fabricates specialized equipment to meet research needs; maintains buildings, grounds, fences, roads, and other research facilities; repairs greenhouse heating-venting-cooling controls and equipment; manages land and animals not currently involved in research projects; repairs specialized laboratory and remote sensing equipment.
  4. Laboratory Work. Typical tasks: assists in planning details of experimental outlines and procedures; prepares scientific experiments by preparing samples and applying chemicals; performs tests; operates various laboratory equipment (i.e. gas chromatography, high pressure liquid chromatograph, spectrophotometer, and titralizers); performs analysis of data (i.e., technical summarization, statistical calculations); provides a written report of results.
  5. Student Assistance. Typical tasks: assists instructors in teaching students technical research management techniques; provides directions to students on field and laboratory procedures as students perform research or demonstrates procedures during laboratory classes.
  6. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: directs lower-level technicians who assist in project support; leads and assigns work of five to ten seasonal or student workers, who harvest corps and collect data; instructs and trains subordinates in research techniques and data collection procedures; prepares orders for procurement of raw materials, supplies, and minor equipment; receives orders; keeps records; stores various supplies inventory; prepares orders for procurement; manages storage; attends conferences and prepares presentations; answers correspondence; acts as a public advisor in identifying causes of various plant, animal, or product problems and offering advice; assists research project leader in preparation of grant proposals.


Employees in this class have regular weekly in-person or telephone contact with research project leaders to receive new project objectives and discuss progress and results of the project. There is weekly in-person or telephone contact with the public to answer questions regarding specific research results; inspect seed, field, or equipment; and provide tours of the facility. Employees have occasional in-person or telephone contact with professional associations and industry representatives to provide information on new and continuing research; with vendors to evaluate research equipment capabilities, to purchase supplies, and to arrange sale of research by-products; with students to assist in teaching; and with service and equipment repair persons to secure equipment repair.


Employees in this class receive general supervision from a research project leader or facility manager for direction as to research goals and objectives or facility services to be provided. The research project leader(s) review work on a weekly basis to ensure that the operation of the experiment is in accordance with project guidelines or facility services provided according to regulations. Work is also evaluated for overall effectiveness and economical use of resources at the end of the project. State and Federal laws and regulations governing pesticide use, and animal research and welfare are used as guidelines by employees in this class. Also, technical brochures and handbooks are used to ensure conformance to industry standards.


A Bachelor's degree in (specific area of biological science) and two years of experience related to the area of assignment at a Biological Science Research Technician 2 level.

Three additional years of experience related to the area of assignment at the Biological Science Research Technician 2 level may be substituted for the Bachelor's degree.