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Junior Specialist

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $4,275 per month, at step 1.

Application Window

Open date: September 20, 2023

Most recent review date: Tuesday, Oct 3, 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: Thursday, Nov 30, 2023 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 Pires Laboratory at the University of California, Davis invites applications for a full-time Junior Specialist position. As a Junior Specialist, the successful applicant will be involved in interdisciplinary research projects studies focusing on questions in microbiology, food safety, veterinary epidemiology, animal health and laboratory methods under the direction of the Principal Investigator Alda Pires.


General responsibilities include: Coordination and planning of research projects, lab management which includes field and laboratory work, report manuscript and grant writing. Research activities include collaborate/assist the PI and/or Graduate Assistant Researcher and/or Post-doctoral researcher with study design, implement and conduct research on food safety, agricultural environments, including fresh produce and tree nuts farms, livestock farms and related supporting industry. Coordinate with collaborative stakeholders (e.g., researchers, farmers, ranchers and other industry and governmental partners) the implementation of field work, sampling of biological samples and summarize research findings. Perform laboratory activities including organization, development of microbiological and molecular protocols, and protocol troubleshooting. Laboratory testing such as traditional microbiological culture and PCR testing. Process environmental and animal samples (e.g., fecal samples, manure, soil, water, plant tissues, air, soil amendments, etc.) from field projects, detection of foodborne pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter) and indicator bacteria using standard microbiological and molecular procedures. Purchase project supplies and equipment, troubleshooting data collection and protocols, managing and submitting receipts, and overall logistical support for experiments. Communicate with stakeholders and participating clientele/farmers. Create and maintain databases of data from research projects. Conduct statistical analyses and summarize the findings in progress reports, manuscripts and grants. Participate in writing and publication of manuscripts in collaboration with PI and other lab members. Coordinate with IACUC and other agencies for project regulatory approval, managing regulatory requirements and communicating project protocols to team members and regulatory agents.

Summarize and present findings in internal lab meetings and stakeholder meetings.

Mentor undergraduate students working in the laboratory.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• A Bachelor's degree in Animal Science, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or a related field.
• Laboratory experience (microbiology and molecular techniques)
• Valid Driver’s License

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

• Evidence of prior research experience in specialized areas (microbiology and molecular techniques)
• Evidence of professional competence and activity.
• Evidence of university and/or public service.
• Evidence of strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
• Evidence of excellence in communication skills with proficiency in both written and verbal English.
• Evidence of ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusivity, within the department, the university, and across the broader academic community.
• Evidence to conduct library and database searches and synthesize acquired knowledge effectively in writing and apply it to research processes.
• Experience in MS Office (Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint) or other appropriate statistical software programs (e.g., SAS, R, STATA) to organize, summarize and analyze data
• Evidence of prior experience with field work (field sampling, animal husbandry)

Application Requirements

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

  • 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.

  • Letter of Intent

Reference requirements
  • 3-8 required (contact information only)
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About UC Davis

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.

The university is consistently ranked among the top institutions in the world for campus sustainability practices by the UI Green Metric World University Rankings. UC Davis is focused on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and repeatedly shown its commitment to preserving a healthy and sustainable environment for generations to come.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

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Job location

Davis, CA