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Jr. Specialist - Tian Lab

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $51,300 at Step 1 or $54,600 at Step 2.

Application Window

Open date: August 16, 2023

Most recent review date: Wednesday, Aug 30, 2023 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: Sunday, Mar 31, 2024 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

The Tian Lab in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis seeks to fill a full-time position at the Junior Specialist level starting Summer/Fall 2023. This position is for one year, with the possibility of renewal pending funding availability. The successful candidate will be responsible for the molecular, biochemical, and physiological characterization of CRISPR/Cas9-edited wheat plants. They will also analyze the expression of candidate genes involved in biochemical and physiological processes in tissues of tree crops collected from field experiments.

The successful candidate will have completed an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Plant Sciences, Plant Biology, Genetics, or a related field, along with demonstrated experience working with plants within laboratory, growth chamber, greenhouse, and field settings. They will collaborate closely with the Principle Investigator, actively participating in experimental work, analyzing data, engaging in research discussions, and contributing to the preparation of research results for publication in scholarly journals and presentations at conferences. The Junior Specialist will also provide essential support for student training, maintaining laboratory organization, and ensuring laboratory safety.

Per UCD-APM 330, it is inappropriate to appoint an individual with a Master's or Doctoral degree in the relevant discipline or a baccalaureate degree plus three or more years of experience as a Junior Specialist.



A. Collaborate closely with lab members to plan and execute experiments aimed at enhancing wheat nutritional traits and understanding tree crops’ environmental responses. The Jr. Specialist will be responsible for the following research activities:

  1. Performing molecular, biochemical, and physiological characterizations of wheat plants obtained through CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.
  2. Assessing changes in the expression of candidate genes in tree crops exposed to different environmental conditions and treatments.

B. Help ensure the smooth operation of the lab by managing chemical inventory, maintaining instrument, coordinating waste pickups. The appointee will assume the responsibilities of a lab safety officer duties, overseeing the safety training requirements of all lab members, enforcing safety guidelines, and preparing for safety inspections.


A. Maintain a lab notebook for all research activities.
B. Conduct literature reviews and data analysis independently.
C. Contribute to the writing and preparation of manuscripts for publication.
D. Assist in preparing posters and oral presentations for conferences.


A. Train and mentor undergraduate students on performing research protocols and data analysis.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

A. Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Plant Sciences, Plant Biology, Genetics, or a related field.
B. Experience in molecular biology techniques, including DNA and RNA extractions from plant tissues.
C. Experience in organizing experiments and collecting data in a research environment.
D. Proficiency in word processing, Excel, and PowerPoint.
E. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
F. A valid driver's license is required, as occasional travel within California may be necessary for fieldwork and collaboration.

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

G. Proficiency in qRT-PCR and a strong background in plant growth and development.
H. Previous lab experience in biochemistry, plant sciences, gene editing, and plant genotyping and phenotyping.
I. Skills in statistical analysis are strongly preferred for data analysis and interpretation.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • 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 required (contact information only)
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About UC Davis

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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:

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Job location

Davis, CA 95616