Assistant Professor - Vegetable Molecular Breeding

NCSU - Horticultural Science   Raleigh, NC   Full-time     Education
Posted on November 1, 2023
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The Department of Horticultural Science is seeking a highly motivated candidate for an Assistant Professor position that will lead an applied molecular breeding program for vegetable crops. The mission of this position will align with ongoing efforts within the NCSU plant breeding consortium (PBC), to continue expanding research capacity in the area of application of advanced breeding strategies. The PBC involves over 65 faculty from over seven departments within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Natural Resources. The successful candidate will develop cross-disciplinary collaborations with the Plants for Human Health Institute initiatives/programs the Plant Sciences Initiative, as well as with other faculty within the
university and external to the university. In addition as part of the PBC he/she will directly interact with the Plant Science Initiative that was recently launched at NCSU. The PSI seeks to bring the brightest minds in academia, government, and industry together to drive innovation that increases yields, creates new varieties, extends growing seasons, enhances agricultural and environmental sustainability and produces new and improved technology. Ongoing initiatives among these groups include advancing capacity for use of high-throughput phenomic data and integration of artificial intelligence (AI). External collaborators are envisioned through one-on-one partnerships or through large multi-state and interdisciplinary funded grants. NC State University has historical strengths in agriculture, engineering, and the life sciences and is uniquely situated with over 100 Ag biotech ventures of all sizes and USA headquarters for many of the world’s largest plant  science companies nearby. Agriculture is the largest industry in NC and contributes over $90B annually.

Essential Job Duties: The appointee is expected to develop an externally funded, nationally recognized research program focused on the applied molecular genetic/phenomic/gene editing improvement of vegetable crops relevant to the NC-agro ecoregion and beyond. Bringing genome/phenome-enabled trait development and breeding strategies to bear, the successful
candidate is expected to work on vegetable crop improvement to enhance crop adaptation to present and future climatic conditions, tolerance to evolving biotic stresses, suitability to niche markets (e.g. controlled environment systems), and marketable qualities. Area of research could also include characterization and improved targeted biochemical determinants of culinary and health (e.g. bioactive) related quality. Crops of interest can include cucurbits (cucumber, melon, watermelon) or brassicaceae crops (e.g. broccoli, cabbage) as well as other vegetable crops that are gaining interest in NC (e.g. carrot). The position would not include sweetpotato, potato or tomato crops, currently led by faculty in the department. Eligible candidates must have a strong background in applied molecular breeding including implementation of modern breeding (genomic and phenomic selection) strategies aimed at developing new horticultural cultivars.
Teaching responsibilities will include 3-4 credits per year. Course(s) this individual will be expected to teach may include, but is not limited to, plant breeding methods, quantitative genetic lab, or other innovative classes, according to the member’s expertise, student demand, and priorities of the department. Training and mentoring students (MS and PhD) and post-doc scholars is also
expected.  Additionally, the incumbent will commit to quality efforts in providing service to professional societies and other organizations outside of the University as appropriate to their disciplinary area, and to the programs and governance of the University, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Departments as requested or desired.

Minimum Education and Experience:
● PhD in plant breeding, genetics or a related field of study

Other Required Qualifications:
● Strong background in quantitative genetics theory and application of genomic and/or phenomic selection;
● Excellent experience in plant breeding methods, conventional breeding;
● Excellent skills in managing large scale datasets;
● Excellent interpersonal, collaboration, and communication skills
● Experience or demonstrated potential in teaching plant breeding, genetics or other related classes (even as support to other major teaching faculty)

Preferred Qualifications:
● Excellent leadership abilities (as demonstrated, or with foreseeable potential to coordinate large collaborative studies and/ or projects)
● A successful record of publications (as demonstrated by first, and/or corresponding authorships)
● Capacity to secure external funds
● At least two years’ postdoctoral or equivalent experience
● NC State University is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their experience, research, teaching, extension, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

This position reports to the Department Head of Horticultural Science.

Application Deadline: December 7, or until an acceptable candidate is identified.
Position Available: March 01, 2024

Application: to see the full content of the announcement and apply on-line see got to (position number 00109661). Please include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of research accomplishments and interest, teaching philosophy, and the names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three professional references. Applicants are encouraged to include teaching evaluations if available and in the cover letter or in a separate statement indicating how their program could contribute to enhancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at NCSU.

For questions, contact: Massimo Iorizzo (phone: 704-250-5469, email: ) and Helen Kraus (Phone: 919-515-1208, email:, Co-Chairs, Search Committee
N.C. State is diverse because it is a community of individuals from varied backgrounds and demographic categories; it encourages, accepts, and values a diversity of people and ideas; it seeks to promote an environment where equity, respect, and understanding represent the norm in the campus climate; and it seeks to prepare entrepreneurs who are effective citizens of a global community. As such, you are expected to contribute to an environment that is welcoming of all groups