Junior Specialist

The Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Davis invites applications for one Junior Specialist in molecular biology, genetics and plant biology. 

Position Description

The Jr. Specialist will participate in publishable research on the regulation and specificity of protein degradation by the ubiquitin system.The research primarily utilizes Arabidopsis thaliana but some work could also use other species. The position will involve nucleic acid isolation, PCR, DNA and protein gel electrophoresis, gene cloning, genetic analysis, protein isolation and quantitation, general laboratory maintenance such as cleaning of glassware, operation of dishwasher, putting dishes away, autoclaving materials, ordering supplies, preparation of solutions and media and lab safety procedures, as well as plant care, and plant transformation. General training in molecular biology is essential and skills or experience in any of the following will be considered in selecting the employee: molecular biology, protein isolation, DNA-protein interaction assays, protein isolation and quantitation, enzyme assays, PCR, gene cloning, plant care, plant genetics, and general bacterial growth techniques. The ideal candidate will have the ability to work independently and as part of a team, be willing to learn new methods and have strong interpersonal skills. 

The Jr. Specialist will perform experiments under the supervision of the current graduate student and PI. The Jr. Specialist will be expected to read the literature background, as directed by the PI, to familiarize him/herself with the current state of knowledge in the field. The Jr. Specialist is expected to understand the rationale and hypotheses being tested. The Jr. Specialist will discuss experimental design prior to performing experiments and then perform experiments. If the experiments are standard and once trained, then the Jr. Specialist is expected to work independently. Overall, the Jr. Specialist will be expected to work semi-independently, planning his/her own work schedule and eventually planning his/her own experiments, with oversight by PI. The work will be discussed jointly with PI and graduate student and the Jr. Specialist will be expected to participate in the design of the experiment. The Jr. Specialist will be expected to find in the literature or on the web and read about new experimental protocols that might not be standard in the laboratory and perform them. The Jr. Specialist will participate in campus laboratory journal clubs and research meetings, presenting in both. The Jr. Specialist must be able to give oral presentations. The Jr. Specialist may be able to participate in and present research results, either short oral presentation or a poster presentation, in local scientific meetings such as on campus or in California. The Jr. Specialist will participate in the writing of research results for publication by writing sections of the manuscript. The Jr. Specialist is expected to mentor undergraduate researchers. These students would be either employees hired to perform a specific task, or undergraduate researchers. The Jr. Specialist would be expected to assist with their training. 

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor degree in biology, plant, biology, molecular biology, genetics or a related field, with at least one year experience in related laboratory research. Candidates with experience in methods including PCR, cloning into plasmid vectors, plating of bacteria, plant care, genetic analysis and protein work are preferred. Must be able to keep a complete and detailed laboratory notebook of experimental procedures and data and to maintain computer records where applicable. 


Salary Range

Step I - $37,548 [100% annual] or Step II - $40,044 [100% annual]), commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Position Available/Closing Date

The posting will remain open until August 2nd, 2017 to accommodate department needs. 


Term of Appointment

Short term, five months to one year appointment based on the needs of the research project. Appointments at 100% time preferred. 


To Apply

To apply, please go to the following link: 

Applicants should submit a cover letter, research statement describing their research experience and skills, curriculum vitae. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files. Applicants should also provide contact information for two references. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For more information about the department, please visit the website:



Please direct questions to Professor Judy Callis, jcallis@ucdavis.edu

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy
see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify.

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (http://breathefree.ucdavis.edu/). If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting