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Assistant Professor of Horticultural Crop Breeding for Nutrition

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY, USA
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Department of Horticulture (https://horticulture.ca.uky.edu) seeks to fill a 12-month, Regular Title Series, tenure eligible, Assistant Professor position. This position will involve all aspects of the land-grant mission and has an expected distribution of effort (DOE) of 80% Research, 15% teaching, and 5% service, a DOE that is subject to annual adjustment upon mutual agreement. The successful candidate will develop a high-quality research program in horticultural plant science with an emphasis on using pioneering approaches in the breeding of horticultural crops for the Enhancement of Culinary, Post Harvest, Nutritional Quality and Flavor. The anticipated start date is July 2024, or as negotiated.

The successful candidate will develop a nationally competitive and collaborative research program in horticultural crop breeding. The candidate needs to have an emphasis on horticultural food or specialty crops. This position has been designed to work at the intersections between traditional plant breeding, modern genomic assisted breeded and horticultural innovation. With the inherent human health benefits of horticulture, we seek a candidate that envisions supporting the health of Kentuckians and beyond through leading edge research that supports the production of nutritious foods and strengthens horticultural economic viability.

Successful candidates will exhibit a strong desire and commitment to quality teaching and student mentorship. Currently, the teaching component will involve being the lead instructor of a single course and making contributions to at least one additional course each year. Other responsibilities would include mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. The Department’s Horticultural Science undergraduate program trains the next generation of plant scientists and specialty crop producers. Departmental faculty are also involved in two nationally recognized interdisciplinary undergraduate programs: Sustainable Agriculture and Community Food Systems and Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology. The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky is part of the campus with a mission to showcase Kentucky landscapes and serve as a resource center for environmental and horticultural education, research, and conservation.

Qualifications: A PhD in Horticulture, Plant Science, or Biology with demonstrable skills related to phenotyping, genotyping and accelerated breeding. An interest in the nutritional value of crops as well as economic viability are important as we seek to identify a candidate that is interested in creating germplasm opportunities for horticultural crops that are important to Kentucky and the United States. In addition to plant breeding, biostatistics, data science, or closely related field are useful skillsets. The individual should demonstrate the ability to function as a team leader as well as within a team and to communicate effectively.

Location: University of Kentucky, Lexington Campus, Lexington, Kentucky with travel as needed.

Salary and Fringe Benefits: Salary is open and competitive. The faculty member is eligible for a generous benefits package with diverse rewards, focusing on employee total well-being. Benefit options include health, dental, and vision insurance. Employees receive term life insurance equal to their annual salary and may purchase additional amounts at favorable group rates. In the University retirement plan, the individual contribution of 5% of salary is matched by a 10% contribution by the university, with a 3-year vesting period. The university offers a variety of wellness and well-being programs. Additional information and updates to benefits can be found at: https://hr.uky.edu/insurance-and-retirement/health-insurance-and-benefits.

Application: Screening of applications will begin on February 1, 2024, and continue until the position is filled. Please use the University of Kentucky’s electronic application process to apply. The application should include a letter of interest that outlines the candidate’s approach to the position’s qualifications, responsibilities, and vision for innovative and impactful extension and instructional program that address existing and emerging issues for a diverse and inclusive community, followed by a career curriculum vita, and conclude with the name, address, email, and phone number for three references.