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Assistant/Associate Professor

Job description

Employee Type:



Assistant Professor

Working Title:

Assistant/Associate Professor

Position Number:



College of Agricultural Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Department Link:

Department of Horticulture

College of Agricultural Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Work Location:


Zip Code:


Summary of Duties:

The incumbent will establish a program of research in potato developmental and postharvest physiology in collaboration with the WSU potato management research and extension team and the industry. Developing a research program that incorporates creative and innovative state-of-the-art approaches to defining, understanding, and manipulating crop growth and development to enhance the productivity and quality of potato is expected. The person in this position will establish an internationally recognized research program in potato physiology as it relates to in-season and postharvest management. Possible areas of study include basic processes and mechanisms regulating tuber dormancy, tuberization, flowering, photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, nutrient acquisition, nutrient assimilation/use efficiency, source/sink relationships, plant water relations and use efficiency, and biotic/abiotic stress tolerance.

Additional Duties
Additional responsibilities include leading the postharvest phenotyping effort and assisting in the field selection of new varieties in ID, OR, and WA annually for the Northwest Potato Variety Development Program. Relevant skills include in depth knowledge of plant physiology and metabolism, potato growth and development, and postharvest physiology and storage systems. Understanding how abiotic and biotic stresses interact with management inputs to affect postharvest physiology and storability is of vital importance to the potato industry.

The incumbent will collaborate with departmental research and extension faculty in potato agronomy and management systems. On a broader scale, opportunities exist to collaborate with faculty in the departments of plant pathology, entomology, food science, and biosystems engineering at WSU and with university researchers and USDA ARS scientists aligned with the Pacific Northwest Potato Research Consortium to investigate fundamental aspects of potato biology, including interactions with other organisms that affect yield and quality. The incumbent will establish rapport with industry and communicate program results to stakeholders. Access to potato genotypes with varying degrees of resistance to biotic and abiotic stress from the Northwest Potato Variety Development program offers unique opportunities for fundamental research to determine the basis of tolerance/susceptibility to stress.

The successful candidate will be required to seek and secure extramural research funding, contribute scholarly literature, teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and effectively communicate research results to stakeholder groups. Teaching responsibilities include the mentoring and supervision of graduate students, guest lecture modules and a course in the areas of horticultural crop physiology and postharvest systems.

This position complements other Departmental and inter-Departmental programs, and USDA statewide and regional initiatives on potato, such as agronomy, breeding and genetics, variety development, disease resistance, postharvest biology/technology, nutritional enhancement, integrated pest management, and phenomics. The successful applicant will conduct an approved program of research consistent with the mission of the WSU Agricultural Research Center.

Additional Information:

View the Benefits overview for information regarding competitive benefits available.

Tenure Track:



Full Time

Appointment Status:


Position Term in Months:


Monthly Salary:

Commensurate with Qualifications and Experience.

Required Qualifications:

Earned Ph.D. in Horticulture or a closely-related discipline at time of hire

Evidence of ability to lead and manage a research program focused on potato physiology

Demonstrated record of scholarly accomplishments in basic and applied plant physiology commensurate with career level

Preferred Qualifications:

Demonstrated ability to communicate (oral, written, electronic) effectively with technical and nontechnical audiences

Demonstrated ability to conduct original research in potato physiology and management and experience in field-level research

Ability or capacity to teach/mentor undergraduate and graduate students

Demonstrated record of or capacity to acquire and/or manage extramural competitive grant support

Knowledge of potato production and postharvest management systems

Extensive knowledge of state-of-the-art techniques applicable to plant biology/physiology research

Ability to work effectively with interdisciplinary teams composed of multiple institutions, stakeholders and commodity groups.

Background Check:


Type of Recruitment:

Open Recruitment

Posting Open Date:


Screening Begin Date:


Open Until Filled (overrides close field) :


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Screening of applicants will begin on March 9, 2020 and will continue until the position has been filled

Applicants must attach the following documents to their online application:

1) a cover letter of application addressing, in distinct sections, all the required and preferred qualifications for the position (including your areas of expertise and research interests)

2) a statement of vision and goals for the position that describes how your program would serve the needs of the Pacific Northwest potato industry (Upload as “Other”)

3) a current curriculum vitae

4) electronic copies of graduate program academic transcripts (Upload as “Other 2” Please note, if you have multiple transcripts they must be combined into one PDF)

5) names and contact information for four professional references. Reference letters will be requested for the finalists.

For questions about the position contact: Dr. Mark J. Pavek, Chair, Search Committee: 509-335-6861, [email protected]

EEO Statement :

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU is committed to excellence through diversity and faculty-friendly policy action, including partner accommodation and NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation programs (http://www.advance.wsu.edu/).

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521(v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or [email protected]

Posting Number:





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Job No:
Posted: 11/10/2020
Application Due: 2/8/2021
Work Type: