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Project Scientist - Dept of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis

Recruitment Period

Open date: October 12th, 2018
Last review date: October 22nd, 2018
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: December 1st, 2018
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.


Project Scientist


Foodborne illness remains a public health problem in the United States despite substantial efforts to ensure the integrity and wholesomeness of the food supply by the food industry and multiple governmental agencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are approximately 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States each year, resulting in over 125,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. In the 1970s outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with produce were rare and accounted for less than 1% of the total reported cases. However, by the 1990s the frequency of cases associated with produce increased to 12% and by 2003 that number increased to 30%. The source of pathogens that contaminate produce is often unclear; however, it is known that they are often able to grow/persist in soils for extended periods of time. But, as is the case for plant pathogenic bacteria, some soils do not allow pathogens to persist and it is believed that the inhibition is due to resident bacteria that either outcompete or produce antimicrobial substances that eliminate them.

The Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in his/her academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency. Appointees with Project (e.g., Scientist) titles may engage in University and public service. They do not have teaching responsibilities. Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program (i.e., Professor, Professional Researcher, Specialist in Cooperative Extension, etc), he/she is not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. He/she will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal Investigator status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.
Project Scientist will make significant and creative contributions to the project to identify and characterize the microbial populations in soils that inhibit/suppress the growth of human pathogens. The Project Scientist will coordinate with biological science technicians, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists at the Western Regional Research Center located in Albany CA. Dr. McGarvey will supply office and laboratory space to the Project Scientist to accommodate this research project. He/she will be responsible, with supervision from Principal Investigator Daniel Karp, for the experimental design, protocol development, resource management, data collection, and result interpretation. In summary, he/she will coordinate all the activities related to this research topic and drive the project towards its completion.
Research activity (60%)
This position requires creative contributions to and collaborative development of an active research program investigating topics relevant to the research area of soil microbial biology. The candidate will help to determine research goals in consultation with the Principal Investigator. Project Scientist will be responsible for identifying soils that inhibit the growth/persistence of human pathogenic bacteria. Once identified the Project Scientist will be responsible for identifying the bacterial populations within the soils that are responsible for pathogen growth inhibition. He/she will be responsible to complete the following objectives:
Objective 1: Identify soils that inhibit the growth/persistence of human pathogenic bacteria (i.e. E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, etc.)
Objective 2: Identify the bacterial populations within the soils that are responsible for human pathogen inhibition.
Publication (25 %)
Project Scientist will take the responsibility to collect data, annotate results and write publications for peer-reviewed journals in collaboration with the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or other members of the research team.
Grant Acquisition (5 %)
Project Scientist will be responsible for prepare the grant annual reports as required by the granting agencies. In consultation with the PI will also interact with the funding agencies and prepare modifications of budgets and other grant components as needed. In addition, he/she will assist in writing new grant proposals to extend and/or expand this project and, when appropriate will participate as Co-PI, if exceptions for Co-PI status are approved).
Project Scientist will participate in professional societies and will attend meetings with commodity groups appropriate to his/her specific field. He/she will serve as a reviewer of research proposals and scientific publications within his/her field. He/she will coordinate and/or give presentations to commodity groups, laboratory meetings or invited lectures. He/she will also present his/her research results and give oral presentations to professional interest groups.
Project Scientist will engage in public outreach activities that include presenting scientific research results to the commodity groups and providing relevant advice to individuals and public agencies.

The Candidate should have a Ph.D. in microbiology, microbial ecology or related field. Experience in conducting research projects involving pathogenic bacteria. The Candidate should have a broad range of skills in techniques/instrumentation used in microbiological research, good interpersonal and organization skills, and strong communication (oral and written) skills. Renewal of the contract will be contingent upon the availability of adequate funding and performance.

• A PhD Degree in Microbiology, Microbial Ecology or appropriate related field.
• Experience in research projects involving pathogenic bacteria (i.e. E. coli, Salmonella etc.)
• Aptitude in communicating and extending technical information.
• Interpersonal skills to interact with diverse groups of individuals to facilitate collaborative research, provide information, resolve problems, and increase cooperation among individuals.
• Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate via writing and orally.

• Experience in creating bacterial libraries from environmental samples.
• Experience in high throughput screening assays.
• Expertise in next generation sequencing methods such as PacBio and/or Illumina.
• Experience in writing both proposals and research publications.
• Evidence of collaborative, interpersonal- and communication- skills.

SALARY RANGE: Salary dependent upon candidate’s qualifications/experience

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: 100% for one year with the possibility of extension dependent upon progress and funding.

POSITION AVAILABLE/CLOSING DATE: For full consideration, apply by October 22, 2018. Applications received after this date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

TO APPLY: To apply, please go to the following link: Candidates need to submit the following:

  1. statement of research interests,
  2. curriculum vitae including publication list,
  3. copies of your three most important publications, and
  4. copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts (if within 5 years of either degree).

For technical or administrative questions regarding the application process, please contact:

The search committee will begin reviewing applications after October 22, 2018.
This position will remain open until filled.

OTHER QUESTIONS: Please direct questions to Daniel Karp via email to:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. 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 UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (
If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

Job location

Davis, CA


Document requirements
  • Statement of Research Interests

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated Curriculum Vitae, including publication list.

  • Most Significant Pub #1

  • Most Significant Pub #2

  • Most Significant Pub #3

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
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