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Job ID: 127297

Assistant Professor - Specialty Crop Fruit Breeder
Auburn University

Date Posted Aug. 7, 2019
Title Assistant Professor - Specialty Crop Fruit Breeder
University Auburn University
Auburn, AL, United States
Department Horticulture
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Aug. 16, 2020
  • Assistant Professor
  • Horticulture

The Department of Horticulture of the College of Agriculture at Auburn University is seeking applications for the position of Assistant Professor – Specialty Crop Fruit Breeder. This position will be a nine-month, tenure-track faculty position with a 70% research and 30% teaching appointment. The projected start date is August 16, 2020.

Responsibilities: Research priorities for this position will include creation of breeding systems utilizing both traditional and novel techniques in the field, greenhouse, and laboratory that lead to the development and commercialization of new small fruit cultivars well suited for conventional outdoor cultivation in the diverse Alabama microclimates or also suitable for indoor or protected cultivation. Cultivars will target the high-value fresh market and potentially be suitable for organic production systems. They will have superb nutritional value, organoleptic properties, reliable cropping and resistance to pest/disease. Essential to this position will be development of collaborative relationships with scientists, extension specialists and grower collaborators in Alabama and also partners in the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium ( The individual will be expected to publish regularly in peer-reviewed journals appropriate to the discipline and to compete successfully for external funding to support their program. They will also be expected to mentor undergraduates in short-term research projects suitable for presenting as posters at regional and national scientific meetings. Further, they will train future plant breeders by directly advising M.S. and Ph.D. students. The selected individual will have responsibility in both undergraduate and graduate instruction. In particular, they will develop a new senior level undergraduate course in plant breeding of specialty crops. They will also teach a graduate level course in plant biotechnology. Both courses will be offered annually. Departmental, college, and university committee service is expected.

Qualifications: Minimum qualifications include an earned Ph.D. from an accredited institution in plant breeding/genetics or Ph.D. in horticulture or plant science with relevance to plant breeding/genetics by the position start date. Ideally, the selected individual should have a strong horticultural foundation particularly in temperate fruit crops. Documented evidence of individual and/or collaborative research and/or teaching resulting in peer-reviewed publications is required. The selected individual should be able to demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively with colleagues across disciplines and develop a collaborative research program. The selected individual must possess excellent written and interpersonal communication skills to effectively interact with diverse audiences. The selected individual must meet eligibility requirements to be gainfully employed in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and to continue working legally for the term of employment. Desired qualifications: Knowledge and experience in the development of new commercial fruit cultivars; successful competitive grant-writing experience; experience in developing new and/or teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in plant breeding and biotechnology; and advising students both at the graduate and undergraduate level.

Application: Applicants must apply for the position by visiting the link: and attach the following: 1) a cover letter that addresses the experience pertinent to all of the responsibilities of the position, 2) current curriculum vita, 3) copies of ALL academic transcripts, 4) a two to three page statement of research interests and accomplishments, and 5) a one page statement of teaching philosophy. When prompted during the on-line process, please provide names, phone numbers and email addresses of three professional references. Only complete applications will be considered. To ensure consideration for the position, applicants are encouraged to apply prior to or by end of business on August 30, 2019, but we will accept applications until the position is filled. Questions about the position should be directed to: Dr. Jay Spiers, Search Committee Chair, email:

The University: Auburn University is an R1: Doctoral University and one of the nation’s premier land, sea and space grant institutions with an enrollment of 30,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The University is located in the city of Auburn in east-central Alabama approximately 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, GA and southeast of Birmingham, AL and is about 60 miles northeast of the state capital (Montgomery). Auburn has a highly ranked public school system, a vibrant economy and an excellent quality of life. Auburn University is ranked in the top 50 public universities for its undergraduate programs. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit for more information.

The Department: The Department of Horticulture was established in 1908. It is one of eight academic departments in the College of Agriculture and is comprised of 16 faculty members. The Dept. of Horticulture offers four undergraduate areas of specialization: landscape horticulture, nursery and greenhouse science, fruit and vegetable production and pre-landscape architecture. It is also the headquarters for the new agricultural science degree program. Graduate programs include a Certificate in Public Horticulture, M.Ag., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in horticulture. For more information concerning the department, please visit

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Contact Information

  • Dr. Jay Spiers
    Auburn University
    Auburn, AL


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