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Junior Specialist in the Falk Lab

Recruitment Period

Open date: August 29th, 2019
Last review date: Thursday, Sep 12, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Thursday, Sep 26, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
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.


We are seeking a motivated Junior Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California Davis.
POSITION DESCRIPTION for Junior Specialist in the Falk Lab

The position of Specialist has a narrow focus in a specialized area and provides technical or specialized expertise (e.g., with instrumentation and research equipment or with social science research methods) in the planning and execution of a research project. The Specialist stays apprised of emerging issues and problems and maintains technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. Within this defined area and when appropriate, the Specialist is expected to provide leadership, facilitate teamwork and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to supply input into the planning of research and educational programs. Normally, Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception and/or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding. The Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion using three basic criteria outlined below.

The incumbent of this position will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:
• Assisting in research on viruses affecting cucurbit seed and fruit production. Independently run molecular diagnostic assays of plant and seed samples for the identification of cucurbit-infecting tobamoviruses. Maintain infected and uninfected systemic host plants in the UC Davis Contained Research Facility, a Biosafety 3P – shower out facility.
• Assist with research reports for publications in peer reviewed journals by organizing all the data collected regarding the viral effects from the biological assays. The data should then be analyzed by professional programs and methods that are instructed by the PI. The incumbent will work with the PI to compile their findings in a professional manner suited to the targeted journal’s preference including photos, charts and data. He/she will then present work progress in lab meetings and other venues as opportunity arises.
• Assist with greenhouse trials on tomatoes involving Candidatus Liberibacter solanearum (experimental design, study set up), sample collection, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and contribution to resulting reports to funding agencies.
• Project development will involve active engagement of literature including use of literature for hypothesis development, development and optimization of protocols and analytical methods. Some literature will be provided (books, articles), but it is expected that the incumbent will conduct literature searches to identify additional materials.
• The incumbent will have opportunities to develop presentation abilities in laboratory meetings and the UC Davis plant pathology department retreat and other local (on-campus) events, as well as opportunities to present at statewide or national conferences.

• May maintain liaison and respond to the needs of various industry organizations, state and federal agencies, and other external groups on issues related to area of expertise. B. Participate in activities of committees within the department, college, campus and other University entities, as appropriate.
• As a full-time lab member, this position includes responsibility for maintaining safety standards and meeting regulatory requirements, and general laboratory maintenance. The incumbent will also mentor undergraduate students and technicians.

This position requires a Baccalaureate or similar degree in Plant Pathology, or related discipline. Note: The junior specialist rank is an entry level position, accordingly it is inappropriate to hire applicants with advanced degrees in this field, or those with bachelor’s degrees and three years’ relevant work experience. (See APM-UCD 330)

Preferred qualifications
• Experience with nucleic acid extraction, PCR, agarose gel electrophoresis.
•Experience with planting and maintaining tomatoes under greenhouse
•Experience inoculating plants with mechanically transmissible viruses.
•Experience with inoculating tomatoes with Candidatus Liberibacter solanearum.
•Experience with computer programs for the analysis of nucleic acid sequences (e.g. Mega 7, Snapgene, Geneious, etc.)
•Ability to care for plants and attention to detail with regards to record keeping

UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco free-campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis -- indoors and outdoors including parking lots and residential spaces.

Hours: 40 hours per week
Location: UC Davis campus

2019 Forbes Award: Best Employers for Diversity 2019 Forbes Award: America

Job location

Davis, CA


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

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

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

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