Assistant Professor of Grape Breeding
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA

Closing Date:

January 15, 2021

Job Address:

595 Hilgard Drive
Davis, CA 95616

Job Description:

As part of UC Davis’ commitment to hire leading research faculty with an outstanding commitment to teaching, research and service that will promote the success of historically underrepresented and marginalized student communities and address the needs of our increasingly diverse state and student population, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, at the University of California announces an Assistant Professor faculty position (9-month in the Department of Viticulture and Enology). Applications are encouraged from candidates with a strong background relevant to solving current problems related to grape breeding and grape genetics.

As one of the country’s leading R1 institutions, UC Davis seeks candidates with exceptional or potential for exceptional record of research and teaching, and inclusive excellence in their field. In addition, the successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the barriers preventing full participation of members from historically underrepresented and marginalized student communities in higher education, such as (but not limited to) women, underrepresented minorities, individuals self-identifying as LGBTQIA+, veterans, individuals with disabilities, economically disadvantaged groups, first-generation, undocumented students, or students with any intersections in between. Successful candidates will help advance UC Davis’ strategic goal of improving access and building an inclusive community for all marginalized populations. The successful candidate also will have an accomplished track record (calibrated to career stage) of teaching, research, or service activities addressing the needs of underrepresented minorities, and a clearly articulated vision of how their work at UC Davis will continue to contribute to the University’s mission of serving the needs of our diverse state and student population. Applicants’ track record of engagement and activity related to diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusion as well as their plans for future engagement will be a significant part of the overall evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications for a faculty appointment.

This is an academic year (9-month), Assistant Professor tenure-track position with teaching, research, outreach/engagement and service responsibilities and includes the expectation that the appointee will conduct mission-oriented research and outreach/engagement of relevance to the California Agricultural Experiment Station (


The primary research mission of the Department of Viticulture and Enology is to produce the knowledge and innovations that will advance the understanding of wine and grape quality and the sustainability of production. To advance that mission, the Department seeks a faculty member who has strong research expertise in the area of plant genetics and breeding. The appointee is expected to develop an extramurally funded, nationally recognized research program in genetics and plant breeding with a focus on the development and release of genetically improved grape scion and rootstock cultivars. Breeding traits will include improved adaptation to present and future climatic conditions and superior tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, along with attention to grape quality attributes and adaptation to current cultural practices. It is expected that this position will combine traditional breeding approaches, genomic technologies (e.g., marker-assisted and genomic selection, genome-wide association, and gene editing), and advanced high-throughput phenotyping methods. The successful candidate will coordinate with existing departmental colleagues who have expertise in grape genomics, grape physiology, microbiology, chemistry, and viticulture. The appointee will be responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in viticulture. Depending on the academic background of the candidate, we would expect the candidate to teach courses such as VEN002 (Introduction to Viticulture), VEN101A-C (Viticulture practices), VEN 110 (Grapevine Physiology), and VEN 115 (Grape Production). Participation in and development of outreach/engagement programs, and performance of departmental, university, and professional service is expected. This position is expected to collaborate with extension educators and partners in allied industries.


Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Genetics, Plant Breeding, Plant Biology, Horticulture, or related fields. No previous experience in grape breeding or viticulture is specifically necessary, as long as the candidate’s experience is relevant to solving current problems related to grape breeding. Post-doctoral experience is preferred. Evidence of research excellence is expected. The candidate should have the ability to develop and instruct undergraduate and graduate courses and the ability to develop and conduct extramurally funded research in grape genetics and breeding.

Physical Requirements: 

Must be able to hike uneven terrain in vineyards, work in all weather conditions year-round, lift and carry up to 50 lbs. Must be able to stand, bend and twist frequently Must have the ability to work any schedule (including early daytime, late nights and weekends). Significant (not every) Saturday work is required as labor management and farming demands. 

The physical requirements listed are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential duties and key responsibilities of this position. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties and key responsibilities.


Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To Apply:

Application materials must be submitted via the following website:

The position will remain open until filled. To ensure consideration, applications should be received by January 15, 2021.

Required application materials include: 1) curriculum vitae including publication list, 2) up to three publications, 3) transcripts if the applicant is within five years of Ph.D. degree, 4) statement of research accomplishments and of future research plans relevant to grape breeding, 5) statement of teaching accomplishments and philosophy, 6) Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and 7) the names, addresses, including e-mail, of four professional references. Additional inquiries should be directed to:

Professor Dario Cantu
Chair, Search Committee
Department of Viticulture and Enology
University of California – Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone 530-752-2929

UC Davis is an affirmative action/equal employment opportunity employer and is dedicated to recruiting a diverse faculty community. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply, including women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.