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Assistant Professor – Vegetable molecular breeding for sustainable production (Department of ...

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Job Details

Posting Number:


Internal Recruitment :


Working Title:

Assistant Professor – Vegetable molecular breeding for sustainable production (Department of Horticultural Science)

Anticipated Hiring Range:

Commensurate with Experience

Work Schedule:

Monday - Friday / 40 hours/week

Job Location:

Raleigh, NC

Department :

Horticultural Science

About the Department:

The Department of Horticultural Science is composed of 34 faculty. We deliver research, artistic design, innovative teaching, extension, and outreach associated with the production and utilization, ecology, breeding and basic biology of fruit, vegetable, flower, ornamental, and functional horticultural plants. Through constant evaluation and adjustment, we lead with partners to create a horticultural science hub that optimizes the role of plants in addressing local to global grand challenges. The department has robust certificate, associates, undergraduate, and graduate training programs, and an extension network that touches the 100 counties in NC.

North Carolina State University is the largest university in NC with over 25,000 undergraduate students and 10,000 graduate students and has been listed as the “best large employer” in North Carolina. NC State has historical strengths in agriculture, engineering, and the life sciences and has recently launched the Plant Science Initiative (PSI; 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.

NC State 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. NC ranks 8th in the nation for total fruit and vegetable production, with a total value of $500m in vegetable production, and the third most diverse state with specialty crops. NC has a thriving vegetable industry and NC ranks in the top 10 nationally in production of fresh market cucumbers (#3), bell peppers (#5), cantaloupes & watermelons (#6), pumpkins & squash (#7) and cabbage & tomatoes (#8).

Essential Job Duties:

The Department of Horticulture Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University is pleased to announce recruitment for a tenure-track Assistant Professor with formal appointments in research (80%) and teaching (20%). This position reports to the Department Head of Horticultural Science.

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 sweet potato, 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.

The mission of this position will align with ongoing efforts within the NCSU plant breeding consortium (PBC), seeking opportunities to expand 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 Plant Sciences Initiative, the Plants for Human Health Institute initiatives/programs as well as with other faculty within the university and external to the university. 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.

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.

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.

Other Responsibilities:

Other duties as assigned and determined by the department head.

Minimum Education and Experience:

  • PhD in plant breeding, genetics or a related field of study.
  • Strong background in quantitative genetics theory and application of genomic and/or phenomic selection;
  • Excellent experience in plant breeding methods, conventional breeding;
  • Experience or demonstrated potential in teaching plant breeding, genetics or other related classes (even as support to other major teaching faculty)

Other Required Qualifications:

  • Excellent skills in managing large scale datasets;
  • Excellent interpersonal, collaboration, and communication skills;

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.

Required License(s) or Certification(s):

  • A valid driver’s license is required for travel.
  • Valid NC Driver’s License or the ability to obtain one within 60 days of hire.

Valid NC Driver's License required:


Commercial Driver's License required:


Job Open Date:


Anticipated Close Date:

Open Until Filled

Special Instructions to Applicants:

In addition to your application, please submit the following documents: 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

Position Number:


Position Type:

Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week):



12 Month Recurring

Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather:

Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather

Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events:

Mandatory - Medical Emergencies

Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies?:


Department ID:

111501 - Horticultural Science


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process are welcome to contact 919-515-3148 to speak with a representative at the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or [email protected].

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.


NC State: Think and Do

NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we're a pre-eminent research enterprise with 12 colleges excelling in all major academic fields.

NC State studentsOur 34,000 high-performing students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures that they leave here ready to lead the workforce. NC State's 13:1 student-faculty ratio is one of the reasons why we're the best college for your money in North Carolina (Money) and the No. 5 best value among public universities nationally (U.S. News & World Report).

Overcoming Challenges, Improving Lives

NC State is one of only two universities in the nation leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers — one developing wearable, self-powered health monitors, and the other researching smart-grid technology. We’re also leading interdisciplinary efforts to curb nuclear proliferation, help farmers confront climate change and build a new American manufacturing sector.

Our research doesn't just get published in a journal or sit on a shelf; it makes an impact. NC State is No. 6 nationwide in commercialization agreements based on university research, and we're No. 2 among universities without a medical school. Our Cooperative Extension Service provides research-based information to citizens in all 100 North Carolina counties. In addition, our industrial extension unit — Industry Expansion Solutions — has created an economic benefit for the state's manufacturers averaging $149 million per year since 2005.

Bright Minds Creating a Bold Future

NC State’s 9,000 faculty and staff are world leaders in their fields, bridging the divides between academic disciplines and training high-caliber students to meet tomorrow’s challenges. NC State students won two Goldwater scholarships, five Fulbright scholarships, one Churchill scholarship and a record-breaking 25 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, 25 faculty are members of the National Academies.

NC State bldg in darkOur Centennial Campus, an award-winning public-private research campus, is home to more than 70 partner organizations working alongside more than 70 NC State research and academic units. Centennial is also the location of the innovative Hunt Library, which Time magazine has dubbed “the library of the future.”

In Raleigh and Around the World

It all happens in one of the best cities in America. A top spot for job-seekers and tech professionals, Raleigh is nationally recognized as a leading urban center:

NC State building oldWith Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh anchors the Research Triangle, a national hotspot for high-tech enterprise. The top companies in the region — including IBM, Cisco Systems, SAS Institute, Biogen Idec and GlaxoSmithKline — are among the country’s best employers. They also lead the way in hiring new NC State graduates.

More than 130 years after its creation, NC State continues to make its founding purpose a reality. Every day, our career-ready graduates and world-leading faculty make the fruits of learning and discovery available to people across the state, throughout the nation and around the world.

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