Join the Lab

Graduate students

We welcome creative, motivated and committed individuals to pursue M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology at the NCSU Vegetable Pathology lab.  Please note that we typically only accept students for a M.Sc. program if they have research experience through internships or similar activities that have provided the student with a clear understanding of what scientific research is about.  We also typically only accept students for a Ph.D. program if they have a M.Sc. degree or equivalent research experience demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Before contacting us, please check the University’s requirements to apply for graduate school as well as the departmental requirements. If you have questions you can contact the director of our graduate program, which you can find here. You will first need to be accepted into the University, and then into the department before you can join a particular lab. The department’s application deadline for fall semester is January 15th, we typically do not host new students for the spring semester.

If you are accepted for a graduate degree and decide to join the Vegetable Pathology lab, projects will be collaborative, cross-disciplinary and translational, providing science-based management strategies for vegetable diseases.  Individuals interested in our lab should contact Lina Quesada in advance of this deadline to discuss expectations for graduate school and funding availability.  Please provide a description of your research interests and experience, a copy of your CV, GRE scores (if available), TOEFL scores (if available), and undergraduate GPA.

I strongly encourage prospective and current students to pursue fellowships to fund their graduate degree.  Fellowships are prestigious awards, helpful forms of support and great opportunities to get grant writing experience, plan your research projects and travel, since most fellowships provide funding for attendance to conferences and workshops.  Fellowships are especially helpful for hosting international students, since NCSU has an out of state tuition policy.

Fellowships for graduate students

Southern SARE graduate student grants,   NSF GRFP,   EPA STAR Fellowship,   NSF DDIG,   Garden Club of America,   NIFA pre doctoral fellowships,   Ford Foundation pre doctoral fellowship,   Ford Foundation dissertation fellowship,   American Phytopatological Society fellowships,   Mycological Society of America fellowships,   American Society for Microbiology fellowships, Fulbright for international students

Also see a great list of fellowships compiled by Dr. Hannah Burrack at NCSU for her fellowship and grant writing class ENT 791.


Individuals interested in postdoctoral work in our lab should either apply to advertised positions in this website or contact Lina Quesada via email with a copy of their CV and a brief statement of research interests. I strongly encourage postdoctoral researchers to seek their own funding since it provides grant writing experience as well as your own funding to start your independent research program, which will make you more attractive for the job market. Contact us if you would like to discus the possibility of writing a grant proposal to fund postdoctoral work hosted in our lab.

Fellowships for postdocs

NIFA post doctoral fellowships,   Ford Foundation post doctoral fellowship,   NSF minority postdoctoral research fellowship,   NSF postdoctoral fellowships in biology,   American Phytopatological Society fellowships,   Mycological Society of America fellowships, American Society for Microbiology fellowships, Life Sciences Research Foundation

Undergraduate students

Hard working undergraduates interested in gaining experience in plant pathology can contact Lina Quesada via email to discuss opportunities. There are several ways to become involved: 1) By becoming a research aide in the lab or 2) by conducting undergraduate research through a class or internship such as the Kelman Scholars or the GTI program, which is also available for international students. During the academic year, activities will include mostly laboratory and computational tasks. During summer months, work will also include assisting with field data collection at research sites in North Carolina. Please see descriptions of our projects and publications for more details.

Fellowships for undergraduate students

American Phytopatological Society fellowships,   Mycological Society of America fellowships,   American Society for Microbiology fellowships

Professional development resources for grad students, postdocs and undergrads

Spencer Hall’s compilation of graduate student and postdoc resources

Hank Howe’s advice to prospective graduate students

Marissa Baskett’s useful links for all career stages

Making the right moves: a practical guide to scientific management for postdocs and new faculty

Step by Step: Your Career from Undergrad to Postdoc

Career Trends: Building Relationships

Career Trends: The Informed Job Search

PhD Comics