The Department of Horticultural Science is seeking a highly motivated candidate for an Assistant Professor position that will lead an applied molecular breeding program for vegetable crops. The mission of this position will align with ongoing efforts within the NCSU plant breeding consortium (PBC), to continue expanding research capacity in the area of application of advanced breeding strategies. The PBC involves over 65 faculty from over seven departments within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Natural Resources. The successful candidate will develop cross-disciplinary collaborations with the Plant Sciences Initiative, the Plants for Human Health Institute initiatives/programs as well as with other faculty within the university and external to the university. Ongoing initiatives among these groups include advancing capacity for use of high-throughput phenomic data and integration of artificial intelligence (AI). External collaborators are envisioned through one-on-one partnerships or through large multi-state and interdisciplinary funded grants.
NC State University has historical strengths in agriculture, engineering, and the life sciences and has recently launched the Plant Science Initiative (PSI; cals.ncsu.edu/psi). The PSI seeks to bring the brightest minds in academia, government, and industry together to drive innovation that increases yields, creates new varieties, extends growing seasons, enhances agricultural and environmental sustainability and produces new and improved technology.
NC State University is uniquely situated with over 100 Ag biotech ventures of all sizes and USA headquarters for many of the world’s largest plant science companies nearby. Agriculture is the largest industry in NC and contributes over $90B annually.
Essential Job Duties: The appointee is expected to develop an externally funded, nationally recognized research program focused on the applied molecular genetic/phenomic/gene editing improvement of vegetable crops relevant to the NC-agro ecoregion and beyond. Bringing genome/phenome-enabled trait development and breeding strategies to bear, the successful candidate is expected to work on vegetable crop improvement to enhance crop adaptation to present and future climatic conditions, tolerance to evolving biotic stresses, suitability to niche markets (e.g. controlled environment systems), and marketable qualities. Area of research could also include characterization and improved targeted biochemical determinants of culinary and health (e.g. bioactive) related quality. Crops of interest can include cucurbits (cucumber, melon, watermelon) or brassicaceae crops (e.g. broccoli, cabbage) as well as other vegetable crops that are gaining interest in NC (e.g. carrot). The position would not include sweetpotato, potato or tomato crops, currently led by faculty in the department. Eligible candidates must have a strong background in applied molecular breeding including implementation of modern breeding (genomic and phenomic selection) strategies aimed at developing new horticultural cultivars.
Teaching responsibilities will include 3-4 credits per year. Course(s) this individual will be expected to teach may include, but is not limited to, plant breeding methods, quantitative genetic lab, or other innovative classes, according to the member’s expertise, student demand, and priorities of the department. Training and mentoring students (MS and PhD) and post-doc scholars is also expected.
Additionally, the incumbent will commit to quality efforts in providing service to professional societies and other organizations outside of the University as appropriate to their disciplinary area, and to the programs and governance of the University, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Departments as requested or desired.