Associate Professor, Synthetic Biology (70058)

Florida, United States
Salary Not Specified
Feb 05, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

This is a 9-month tenure-accruing position that will be 20% teaching (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences) and 80% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station), available in the Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Florida. This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit.

This position is part of an ongoing initiative involving 100 new faculty positions within IFAS and University of Florida dedicated to innovation in agriculture, biotechnology, and other areas. We are expanding and strengthening cross-disciplinary, synergistic research in synthetic biology, particularly relating to our existing strengths in molecular plant breeding, metabolic engineering, and basic plant biology. This expansion complements a broad expansion of research and translational science in artificial intelligence.

At University of Florida, we have an active and growing cross-disciplinary group of faculty working in synthetic biology. These faculty come from IFAS and three other colleges and have joint federally-funded projects. We are collaborating to secure a campus biofoundry facility and to develop undergraduate and graduate courses in synthetic biology and supporting areas.

Research duties will include: Designing and building genes, pathways, and biological systems to improve specialty crops for Florida and beyond, harnessing the power of machine learning and other artificial intelligence approaches; Developing cross-disciplinary approaches to implement technologies that make engineering of plants predictable and efficient; Leading cross-disciplinary synthetic biology proposals and projects within and beyond IFAS, e.g. with the Plant Breeding Graduate Program .

Teaching duties will include: Responsibility for one undergraduate course and one graduate course in synthetic biology principles and practices.

Tenure will accrue in the Horticultural Sciences Department. The faculty member will participate actively in undergraduate education and graduate education by chairing graduate committees, serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis and dissertation research, supervising undergraduate research, and publishing the results with their graduate students. The faculty member will seek contract and grant funding actively to support their program. The faculty member will engage in Extension activities in their program area.

The successful candidate will engage in scholarly activities related to instruction, including teaching undergraduate and/or graduate courses, advising and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, participating in curriculum revision and enhancement, seeking funding for the teaching program, supervising undergraduate and graduate research and creative work, publishing teaching-related scholarship, producing learning tools, and engaging in professional development activities related to teaching and advising. Faculty are encouraged to support and participate in the CALS Honors Program, distance education, and international education.

Because of the IFAS land-grant mission, all faculty are expected to be supportive of and engaged in all three mission areas—Research, Teaching and Extension—regardless of the assignment split specified in the position description.


A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in biochemistry, chemical engineering, or a related discipline is required, together with a strong interest in plant synthetic biology. Candidates must have demonstrated skills in working effectively within and across disciplinary boundaries, team leadership and organization, and obtaining extramural funding. Candidates must be supportive of the mission of the Land-Grant system. Candidates must exemplify IFAS core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement, and accountability.


Previous experience of plant synthetic biology is desirable.

For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by April 30, 2021. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.


Nominations are welcome. Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to: Andrew D. Hanson (see contact information below)

Please refer to Requisition # 70058

Andrew D. Hanson

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Horticultural Sciences Department

PO Box 110690

Gainesville, FL 32611-0690

Telephone (cell, preferred) 352-317-8024

Telephone (office) 352-273-4856

Electronic Mail:

Application Information

Individuals wishing to apply should go online to and submit:

  • One-page cover letter that states applicant’s interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information (including email addresses) for three individuals willing to write letters of recommendation

Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) .

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.


The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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