Utah State University

Assistant Professor – Small Grains Breeding and Genetics

City Logan Campus
Posted Date 6 months ago(2/3/2024 7:05 PM)
Requisition ID
# of Openings
Job Locations
Category (Portal Searching)
Position Type
Benefited Full-Time
Job Classification
Percent of Time or Hours per Week
100% Time
College of Agriculture & Applied Sc
Plants Soils & Climate
Advertised Salary
Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits
Telework Eligible


The Department of Plants, Soils, and Climate (PSC) in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Utah State University (USU) invites applicants for an academic year (9-month) tenure-track faculty position in small grains plant breeding and genetics at a rank of Assistant Professor. The appointment is 70% research, 25% teaching, and 5% service.


We seek a colleague who will lead a research program using current technology in plant genetics and breeding towards dwarf bunt resistance and other biotic and abiotic stress resistances related to climate resilience, who will develop genetically improved lines of wheat and barley adapted to dryland and irrigated small grain-growing regions of Utah and surrounding states including Idaho and other Pacific Northwest states. The successful candidate is expected to develop an extramurally funded, nationally recognized research program in plant breeding and genetics and 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 curriculum needs. This position includes a research technician and excellent breeding laboratory and field research equipment. 


This position has an anticipated start date of July 1, 2024.

  • Application reviews will begin on March 18, 2024, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


  • Develop a nationally recognized research program in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Lead and conduct research on dwarf bunt genetics, including variety testing and maintenance of the existing dwarf bunt nursery at USU.
  • Cooperate in cultivar development for regional needs in small grains, particularly wheat and barley.
  • Teach a class in plant breeding/plant genetics and in another area of expertise at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  • Publish research in peer-refereed journals and participate in relevant professional organizations
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Collaborate with a diverse group of faculty and staff at USU, USU Extension, and government agencies such as Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, NRCS, and USDA-ARS.
  • Participate in outreach to the regional small grains industry (e.g. growers, commodity organizations, public and private seed industry personnel, millers, bakers, animal producers.)


Minimum Qualifications:

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

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in breeding and genetics of cereal crops.
  • Experience in both traditional and molecular plant breeding techniques.
  • Demonstrated teaching experience in plant breeding or genetics.
  • Evidence of successful grant acquisition.
  • Evidence of a strong publication record.
  • Evidence of strong communication skills.
  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with relevant stakeholder groups.

Required Documents

Along with the online application, please attach:

  1. Resume/CV to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Resume/CV"
  2. Name and contact information for 3 professional references to be entered into Candidate Profile
  3. Teaching philosophy to be typed/pasted at the end of your application
  4. Cover letter to be typed/pasted at the end of your application

**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 winter is dominant under irrigation. Utah is a leader in organic grain production, with approximately 33,000 acres of certified dryland organic wheat produced 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 and the University of Idaho (UI) are FASE land-grant institutions with a long history of collaborative work on cultivar development for dwarf bunt resistance, and have jointly released over 20 resistant cultivars, some of which have been used in breeding programs worldwide. USU operates a unique internationally recognized dwarf bunt disease screening nursery in collaboration with UI. This nursery has a capacity of 6000 lines per year and has been used to screen breeding lines from the Intermountain West and abroad. Data from the dwarf bunt nursery has resulted in multiple publications on dwarf bunt resistance in prestigious journals. In 2022, the UI and USU programs obtained an award of $800,000 from USDA-NIFA AFRI to study genomics-assisted cultivar development for dwarf bunt resistance.


Dept/College Highlights:

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. Faculty in the Plants, Soils, and Climate Department conduct research in the areas of soil science, horticulture 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, weed science, plant pathology, entomology, water use, climate, plant physiology, molecular genetics, ecology, bioinformatics 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 Agricultural Sciences Building, opened in 2012. Utah State University Extension serves Utah’s 29 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

Founded in 1888, Utah State University is Utah’s premier land-grant, public service university, with a strong commitment to excellence, access, and inclusion, empowering people to lead successful lives of involvement, innovation, and impact. Utah State provides high-quality education to 27,500-plus students locations throughout the state, including at three residential campuses, eight statewide campuses, and 23 education centers. USU Online educates students from all 50 states and 55 countries. For over 25 years, USU Extension has served and engaged Utahns in all of Utah’s counties. As an R1 research institution, Utah State is dedicated to advancing knowledge through research and scholarly activities, providing a high-quality undergraduate and graduate education at an affordable price.


Utah State is committed to cultivating a community of inclusive excellence where all perspectives, values, cultures, and identities are acknowledged, welcomed, and valued. We seek to recruit, hire, and retain people from all walks of life who will champion excellence in education, research, discovery, outreach, and service. We believe that promoting a strong sense of community and belonging empowers and engages all members of USU to thrive and be successful. Forbes recognized our commitment to employees when they named Utah State the best employer in Utah in 2023. Learn more about USU. 


The university provides a Dual Career Assistance Program to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment. Additionally, USU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability, contact the university’s ADA Coordinator in the Office of Human Resources at (435) 797-0122 or hr@usu.edu. 


About the Region

U.S. News and World Report ranked Utah first for its strong economy, fiscal stability, education, and health care. Outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities abound throughout the state, including five national parks, 43 state parks and recreation areas, and 15 alpine ski resorts. The home of USU’s main campus, Logan, is a city of 54,000-plus people in a picturesque mountain valley 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. The Logan metro area claimed the top spot in the Milken Institute’s 2022 ranking for best-performing small cities in the nation. 


*updated 04/2024

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 Matthew Pinner, discrimination@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 401, 435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator Cody Carmichael, titleix@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 404, 435-797-1266

Mailing address: 5100 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322

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

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

*updated 09/2023


Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
Share on your newsfeed