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Junior Specialist/Gilchrist lab

Application Window

Open date: August 24th, 2021

Last review date: Friday, Oct 15, 2021 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: Friday, Oct 29, 2021 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.

Position description

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.

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


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

    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)

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

    Experience in Nucleic acids: extraction, PCR, qPCR, plasmid isolation, and cloning techniques
    Experience in protein biochemistry protocols: protein extraction, SDS-PAGE, and Western Blotting
    Experience in protein expression methods in E. coli, plants and yeast
    Experience in microbiology sterile techniques: bacterial Isolation and inoculation techniques

Preferred qualifications

    Experience with grape vines and vineyard sampling

Application Requirements

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)
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Campus Information

UC Davis is a smoke and tobacco-free campus (

We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals’ with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at:

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) is committed to inclusive excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. UC Davis celebrates the multi-cultural diversity of its community by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment demonstrated through a variety of resources and programs available to academics, staff, and students. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values of UC Davis that are embedded within our Principles of Community and are tied with how to best serve our student population. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can best be fully realized by members of our academic community who share our commitment to these values, which are included in our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision, our strategic plan: “To Boldly Go,” our Principles of Community, the Office of Academic Affairs’ Mission Statement, and the UC Board of Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. UC Davis is making important progress towards our goal of achieving federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers a plethora of resources on their website, and the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) has outlined similar goals in their Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan.” There are a plethora of links available on the About Us webpage where you can learn more about our Administration, Diversity and Inclusion, Rankings, Locations, Native American Land Acknowledgement, Sustainability, Visiting UC Davis, UC Davis Health, and Campus Safety.

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As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees must (a) provide proof of receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment and provide proof of Full Vaccination no later than eight weeks after their first date of employment; or (b) if applicable, submit a request for Exception or Deferral no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Davis, CA