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Assistant Specialist - Strawberry Breeding Program

Recruitment Period

Open date: December 11th, 2018
Last review date: January 1st, 2019
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: January 31st, 2019
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The Assistant Specialist is responsible for organizing, managing, and conducting field and laboratory research and development activities in the Strawberry Breeding Program. The specialist will represent the program internally and externally and work with the principal investigator and program staff, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and others to achieve program goals. One of the primary responsibilities of the specialist will be to support cultivar testing, advancement, and commercialization, including the development of cultivar release and plant patent documents and progress reports.

I. Research in Specialized Area (90%)

A. The specialist is responsible for the full range of research and development activities connected with field testing clonally propagated day-neutral breeding material in central and northern California, starting with early stages of selection and culminating with pre-commercial testing of experimental cultivars.

B. The specialist is expected to interact with the team responsible for low- and high-elevation propagation of clonal material, participate in organizing and managing high-elevation propagation of clonal material with private sector nurseries, and participate in harvesting, organizing, and planting clonally propagated plant material for field experiments.
C. The primary research and development activities of the specialist include designing, organizing, and planting field experiments, collecting, curating, and analyzing data, developing and implementing electronic data collection systems, developing and implementing electronic plant, plot, and sample tracking systems, and coordinating and managing research interactions with USDA, UC ANR, UC Davis, and other public sector scientists.
D. In collaboration with the PI and program staff, the specialist will coordinate and manage field research conducted on commercial farms. The specialist will be the point person between the university and these private sector collaborators.
E. The specialist will, in addition, serve as a liaison between the university and private sector partners, including fruit and nursery growers, the California Strawberry Commission, and others.
F. In collaboration with the PI and staff in the Strawberry Breeding Program, the specialist will participate in the development and presentation of results at scientific and outreach meetings including field days, the development of abstracts, posters, and slides for presentations, and assist with the preparation of manuscripts.

G. The specialist will assist with analyzing data and preparing progress reports for funding agencies, collecting and analyzing data for cultivar releases, and preparing cultivar release documents. The latter includes the collection, collation, and analysis of data necessary for meeting plant patent requirements.

II. Professional Competence and Activity (5%)

A. The specialist is expected to contribute to writing report, presenting results in scientific meetings with collaborators, and preparing cultivar release and plant patent documents.
B. Participate actively in appropriate professional/technical societies or groups and other educational and research organizations. Prepare information for presentations and extension meetings and attend seminars and meetings relevant to the research projects

III. University and Public Service (5%)

A. The specialist will engage in outreach activities with stakeholders and private sector partners, including fruit and nursery growers, shippers, packers, farm advisors, farm managers, and California Strawberry Commission staff. This will include day-to-day interactions, in addition to formally organized outreach activities, e.g., field days.
B. The specialist will organize informal and formal meetings for training others, including graduate students, and assist with diverse field experiments as part of the academic program connected with the breeding program.

Required: Master's degree in Plant Breeding, Plant Sciences, Pomology, Horticulture or comparable field. Previous experience in genetics and plant breeding, plant pathogens and horticultural techniques and process required for the proper establishment and maintenance of strawberries. Computer skills to create extensive spreadsheets, graphing and develop presentation material. Applicants must demonstrate ability to organize and process data; must show attention to detail; must be willing to maintain a flexible schedule; and must be able to communicate proficiently in both Spanish and English.

SALARY: Commensurate to experience.

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: 100% appointment for 2 years with potential for extension based on performance and availability of funds.

Job location

Salinas, California


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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