Utah State University

Assistant Professor - Small Grains Plant Breeding & Genetics

City Logan Campus
Posted Date 3 months ago(9/11/2020 1:13 PM)
Requisition ID
# of Openings
Job Locations
Category (Portal Searching)
Position Type
Benefited Full-Time
Job Classification
College of Agriculture & Applied Sc
Plants Soils & Climate
Advertised Salary
Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits


The Department of Plants, Soils, and Climate (PSC) in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Utah State University (USU) invites applicants for a tenure-track, reduced FTE fiscal-year (11-month) faculty position in small grains plant breeding at the rank of Assistant Professor.

We seek a colleague who will lead a research program using traditional and molecular plant breeding techniques to develop and release genetically improved lines and cultivars of wheat and barley adapted to irrigated and dryland small grain growing regions of Utah and surrounding states. The successful candidate is expected to develop an extramurally funded, nationally recognized research program in plant breeding and genetics.

The incumbent will also be expected to contribute to teaching in PSC with an undergraduate class in plant breeding and an additional undergraduate or graduate class in their area of expertise. Course assignments may change based on program needs.

Reviews of applications will begin November 1, 2020 but will be accepted and fully considered after that date until the position is filled.

This position has an anticipated start date of March 1, 2021.


The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Develop a nationally recognized research program in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Participate in cultivar development for regional needs in small grains, particularly wheat.
  • Continue advances made in disease resistance breeding that has been consistent in USU small grains program.
  • Teach classes in plant breeding/genetics and areas of expertise at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  • Publish research in peer-reviewed journals and other appropriate places.
  • Mentor students.
  • Collaborate with a diverse group of faculty and staff at USU and USU Extension, government agencies (such as Utah Department of Agriculture and Food and USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory)
  • Participate in outreach and respond to needs of the regional small grains industry (e.g. growers, commodity organizations, public and private seed industry personnel, millers, bakers, animal producers.)


Minimum Qualifications:

  1. An earned Ph.D. (by date of hire) in plant breeding, plant genetics, or closely related field.
  2. Experience working in cultivar improvement/development.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Experience in breeding or genetics of cereal crops.
  2. Experience in traditional and molecular plant breeding techniques.
  3. Demonstrated teaching experience in plant breeding or genetics.
  4. Evidence of successful grant acquisition.
  5. Evidence of a strong publication record.
  6. Evidence of strong communication skills.
  7. Experience in working in multi-disciplinary teams.
  8. Demonstrated ability to work with various stakeholder groups.

Required Documents

Along with the online application, please attach:

1) Resume/CV to be uploaded in the Candidate Profile

2) Contact information for 3 Professional References 

3) Cover Letter to be typed/pasted in a text box at the end of the application

4) Statement of interest for the position including research and teaching philosophy to be typed/pasted in a text box under Teaching Philosophy


**Document size may not exceed 10 MB.**

Advertised Salary

Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits


Employees typically work indoors and are protected from weather and/or contaminants, but not, necessarily, occasional temperature changes.  

College/Department Highlights

Overview of Small Grains in Utah:

Wheat is the second most widely-grown crop in Utah behind alfalfa. Approximately 90% of Utah wheat acreage is winter wheat. Utah is the second driest state in the U.S. so most cropland is irrigated but some regions of the state receive sufficient moisture to support dryland production in a wheat-fallow system. In fact, nearly 70% of Utah wheat acreage is dryland. Hard red wheat is primarily grown on dryland while soft white is dominant under irrigation. Utah is a leader in organic grain production, with approximately 33,000 acres of certified dryland organic wheat each year. Barley is the fourth ranked crop in Utah, at nearly 20,000 acres. Barley is mostly spring planted and is used as animal feed.



Utah State University was founded in 1888 and is Utah’s land-grant university. USU is a Carnegie RU/H (Research University/High Research Activity) institution with approximately 27,800 students (24,660 undergraduates and 3,140 graduate students) on the Logan main campus. The Plants, Soils, and Climate Department conducts research and academic programs that include soil science, plant and crop science, and climate science. The diversity of disciplines in the department and other units at the university provide numerous collaborative opportunities in agronomy, soils, pathology, entomology, climate, plant physiology, molecular genetics, ecology, bioinformatics, etc. as well as with USU Extension faculty around the state. The department is supported by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, USU Extension, and the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. Facilities include research and teaching greenhouses, university research farms throughout the state, the Utah Climate Center, and laboratories in the recently constructed Agricultural Sciences Building (built in 2012). Utah State University Extension serves 28 counties and is strongly invested in the land grant mission. The university is located in Logan, Utah, and offers the amenities of a small college town while being only 90 minutes north of Salt Lake City, a dynamic metropolitan area. The campus is minutes away from unmatched outdoor recreation opportunities and within a day’s drive of several spectacular national parks.

University Highlights

Utah State University (USU) was founded in 1888 and is honored to be Utah’s land-grant and space-grant university. USU is a Carnegie RU/H (Research University/High Research Activity) institution with approximately 27,800 students (24,660 undergraduates and 3,140 graduate students) on the Logan main campus. Utah State’s statewide system features eight campuses and 23 education centers and serves all counties in the state with Extension programs. USU offers 165 undergraduate majors, 138 graduate programs, and a variety of innovative stackable associate and certificate credentials. Washington Monthly ranked USU 14th in their national university rankings in 2019 and the 5th best public national university in the nation in 2018. As one of the two premier research institutions in Utah, USU is proud to provide a high-quality education at an affordable price. Additional information about Utah State University can be found here.


A core characteristic of USU is engagement with communities and people in economic development, improvements to quality of life, and human capital. Through the practical application of knowledge, the University and its faculty engage and share expertise with the state, nation, and world, preserving the historical land-grant tradition of partnering with communities to address critical societal issues in the interest of the public good.


The USU main campus is located in beautiful Logan, Utah; a city of about 50,000 situated in a picturesque mountain valley about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Outstanding recreational opportunities abound in the nearby mountains and proximate region.


Notice of Non-discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:


Executive Director of the Office of Equity Alison Adams-Perlac, alison.adams-perlac@usu.edu, Old Main Rm. 161, 435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator Hilary Renshaw, titleix@usu.edu, Old Main Rm. 161, 435-797-1266.

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visithttps://equity.usu.edu/, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 800-421-3481, OCR@ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education, Denver Regional Office, 303-844-5695, OCR.Denver@ed.gov


USU is sensitive to the needs of dual career couples and provides a Dual Career Assistance program to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment.


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