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Junior Specialist/Gilchrist lab

Recruitment Period

Open date: June 5th, 2020

Last review date: Monday, Jun 22, 2020 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: Wednesday, Jul 15, 2020 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.


Pl David Gilchrist, Professor Emeritus, at the University of California, Davis, Department of Plant Pathology seeks to fill a 100% time, step 1 Junior Specialist.
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 will assist the Pl and senior members of the lab in molecular, genetic and field research involving grape plants expressing transgenes selected to suppress the symptoms of Pierce's Disease, caused by Xylella fastidiosa. This position will involve research on the molecular biology of grapevine responses to the bacterial pathogen, analysis of the translation of the transgenes as well as studies of the behavior of the bacteria in the presence of the transgenes. The incumbent will be responsible for performing transcriptional analysis of grapevine responses to bacterial pathogens of grape, specifically X. fastidiosa. The incumbent will be responsible for (i) sampling of grape tissue from vineyards and greenhouse, (ii) extraction, quality evaluation and handling of nucleic acids and proteins from the sampled tissue, and (iii) sampling of transgenic grape tissue for quantitative evaluation of the amount and movement of the bacteria by PCR. The project is fully funded by the American Vineyard foundation and the GWSS/PD Board. Incumbent will be responsible for executing experimental plans developed in partnership with the Pl and a senior Research Scientist from the objectives of the proposal approved by the GWSS/PD Board. The incumbent will be expected to analyze and interpret data she/he collects and then, through critical thinking, propose next steps (experiments) to be discussed with the Pl.
The incumbent will contribute significantly to the advancement of the projects, and creatively contribute proposals of experimental steps that result from research findings. This is an inherently creative process that requires good to excellent knowledge of the field and appropriate research literature. The Junior Specialist will be actively involved in innovative research that requires the incumbent to be informed on current findings in the field and will be expected to perform reviews of the literature required for project in question. The incumbent will contribute figures I tables to other manuscripts in the lab and will be included as a co-author on those papers.
The junior specialist will attend symposium of the Pierce's Disease Program to present her/his research in either poster or presentation formats. The junior specialist will be expected to provide rnentorship to undergraduate students, training them in microbiology and molecular biology laboratory techniques and experimental skills indicated under Basic Qualification expected.
The candidate will engage, as needed or as opportunity arises, in public outreach activities that include presenting scientific research result to the general public and providing relevant advice to individuals and public agencies.

This position requires a Baccalaureate or similar degree in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or Plant Pathology. 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)

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

2020 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)