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Parsons Corporation Research Scientist I (VCS) in Baltimore, Maryland

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Job Description:

Research Scientist I (VCS)

Parsons is seeking a Research Scientist I to join our team. In this role you will support the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Entomology Branch Walter Reed in the Vector Control and Surveillance Department (VCS). The VCS is responsible for developing and testing tools to help protect service members from vector-borne diseases, characterize disease risks, and evaluate vector control measures efficacy. The VCS research is targeted towards protecting the health of the warfighter against vector-borne diseases and enhancing their readiness by providing military units with tools to help improve their ability to perform health risk assessment, conduct arthropod vector surveillance and control, and prevent disease transmission.

VCS efforts focus on long lasting repellents, improved insecticide-treated materials to include uniforms and bed nets, lightweight and portable traps, and vector control strategies that protect Troop living and working areas when treating the surrounding area is impossible. The VCS also participates in the validation and optimization of diagnostic tools and supports both pre-clinical and clinical studies whose data shall be included in submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for device clearance/approval. VCS efforts are guided by the Integrated Pest Management principles with the highest concern towards both the safety of the warfighter and the environment.


  • Run bioassays to determine insect/tick susceptibility to insecticides and repellents

  • Assist with field collections of insects/ticks, and identification of collected specimens

  • Rear field collected insects/ticks and an established colony of Aedes albopictus as needed

  • Process insect/tick samples for molecular identification of pathogens

  • Evaluate different technologies for use in processing arthropod, veterinary and human specimens and develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for each.

  • Perform test and evaluation of new products to detect pathogens, insecticide resistance, and/or molecular changes to the arthropods.

  • Perform field test and evaluations of rapid detection devices and/or protocols for processing such samples.

  • Develop primers and probes for real-time PCR detection of pathogens, insecticide resistance, or other molecular changes.

  • Develop primers for isothermal amplification.

  • Sequence vector species or pathogens of interest

  • Maintain a technology watch for new technologies for the detection of pathogens and other assays of interest. Engage companies with new technology to determine if technologies shall fit the DOD entomologist’s requirements.

  • Culture dengue, Zika, leishmania, Borrelia burgdorferi, and other BSL 2 and 3 pathogens

  • Infect or inject cultured material into the corresponding vector

  • Prepare scientific manuscripts and deliver oral presentations

Required Skills and Experience:

  • PhD in entomology with 4+ years of experience.

  • Experience in insect rearing and handling live insects.

  • Experience identifying field collected mosquitoes and ticks to the genus and species level using morphological keys preferred.

  • Experience with molecular methods (e.g. DNA/RNA extraction, PCR).

  • Experience with Integrated Pest Management.

  • Ability to work in laboratory and field environments.

  • Strong scientific communication skills.

-US Citizenship required

Minimum Clearance Required to Start:

Not Applicable/None

This position is part of our Federal Solutions team.

Our Federal Solutions segment delivers resources to our US government customers that ensure the success of missions around the globe. Our diverse, intelligent employees drive the state of the art as they provide services and solutions in the areas of defense, security, intelligence, infrastructure, and environmental. We promote a culture of excellence and close-knit teams that take pride in delivering, protecting, and sustaining our nation's most critical assets, from Earth to cyberspace. Throughout the company, our people are anticipating what’s next to deliver the solutions our customers need now.

We value our employees and want our employees to take care of their overall wellbeing, which is why we offer best-in-class benefits such as medical, dental, vision, paid time off, 401(k), life insurance, flexible work schedules, and holidays to fit your busy lifestyle!

The position may require a COVID vaccination or an approved accommodation/exemption for a disability/medical condition or religious belief as required by customer requirements and some cases federal, state, provincial or local mandates.

Parsons is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workplace. Diversity is ingrained in who we are, how we do business, and is one of our company’s core values. Parsons equally employs representation at all job levels for minority, female, disabled, protected veteran and LGBTQ+.

We truly invest and care about our employee’s wellbeing and provide endless growth opportunities as the sky is the limit, so aim for the stars! Imagine next and join the Parsons quest—APPLY TODAY!About Us

Parsons is a digitally enabled solutions provider focused on the defense, security, and infrastructure markets. With nearly 75 years of experience, Parsons is uniquely qualified to deliver cyber/converged security, technology-based intellectual property, and other innovative services to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as to private industrial customers worldwide.

Parsons is an equal opportunity, drug-free employer committed to diversity in the workplace. Minority/Female/Disabled/Protected Veteran/LGBTQ+.

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