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Jr. Specialist - Postharvest Center

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $51,300 at Step 1

Application Window

Open date: April 30, 2024

Most recent review date: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 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, Apr 30, 2025 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 UC Postharvest Research and Extension Center is currently seeking a Junior Specialist with expertise in postharvest physiology and technology. The role involves conducting research in laboratory, field, and produce industry facilities, with a focus on studying crop quality, postharvest handling, and food loss. Additionally, the Junior Specialist will work on technologies related to the preservation of horticultural products. They will assist the Center with extension activities and work on research projects with publication goals.

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. Candidates who hold a Masters or Doctoral degree will be disqualified from this search.

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 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.

A. Assist with collection of horticultural products in experimental fields and greenhouses for subsequent quality and disease analyses
a. Analyze disease development in horticultural products after natural or artificial inoculation with fungal pathogens to determine the disease susceptibility of the crop or to assess pre-harvest and postharvest treatments.
B. Perform detailed postharvest quality evaluations including fruit size, color, firmness, and total soluble solids
C. Process samples and prepare samples for freezer storage or for subsequent assays, and assist in maintaining a tissue inventory
a. In addition, Jr. Specialist will assist other lab personnel in the coordination of procedures, sample collection, processing and experiments for different varied projects
D. Keep a detailed electronic laboratory notebook, which should include a description of all daily research activities, such as protocols and results of experiments carried out in the field and lab
E. Summarize fruit quality and disease data, perform basic data analysis (summary tables, statistical analyses between experimental groups), and prepare short reports that will be used for scientific and extension publications
F. The Jr. Specialist will receive co-authorship or acknowledgement in any publication for their technical or intellectual assistance, as appropriate
A. Participate and support training programs to enhance knowledge and skills in postharvest
B. Support the organization of outreach events and seminars on topics related to postharvest research and extension developed by the UC Postharvest Center (such as workshops in fruit ripening or fresh cut technologies)
C. Participate in scientific discussions with peers to enhance confidence during lab meetings and other academic or industry scenarios
D. Assist the Center on maintaining the communication with industry and academic collaborators via email and/or digital platforms (e.g., LinkedIn and YouTube)
A. The candidate will participate in activities of committees with the Department of Plant Sciences and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UCD, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), UCD campus, and other university entities as appropriate


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

A. Bachelor's degree in Plant Pathology, Microbiology, Plant Sciences, Biotechnology or closely related fields at time of appointment
B. Experience in postharvest physiology, postharvest microbiology, postharvest engineering or applied horticulture
C. Demonstrated interest in education and extension of agricultural sciences
D. Knowledge of standard software (R, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, graphic programs
E. Applicants must be able to communicate in English, both written and oral

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

F. Willing to maintain a flexible schedule and able to regularly lift 40 lbs weight
G. Ability to organize and process data, Excel or R programming experience
H. Knowledge of established laboratory safety procedures and handling of hazardous materials and waste, heat illness prevention, and greenhouse safety including EH & S requirements
I. Familiarity with experimental design

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

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Job location

Davis, CA