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Assistant Professor (Agricultural Biotechnology)

University of Hawai'i at Manoa - Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering
Honolulu, Hawaii
Competitive and Commensurate with Experience
Start date
Oct 30, 2023

Title: Assistant Professor - Agricultural Biotechnology

Hiring Unit: College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering

Location: Manoa Campus

Monthly Type: 9-Month

Tenure Track: Tenure -Track

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Temporary/Permanent: Permanent (40% Instruction, 60% Research)


The Departments of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (MBBE) and Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences (TPSS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) invite applicants for a tenure track position in Agricultural Biotechnology with a focus on Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Crops at the Assistant Professor level to begin no later than August 2024.

Qualified candidates shall have a PhD in Plant Breeding/Molecular Genetics or a related field, and will apply modern interdisciplinary and technological approaches to improve the performance of fruit crops of agricultural or cultural importance in Hawai‘i. Candidates with multi/interdisciplinary research experience (e.g., crop bioengineering) are encouraged to apply.

The department is interested in candidates who apply a systems approach to understand tropical fruit crop performance in the context of Hawai‘i and the broader tropics. The department seeks candidates whose research is centered on plant improvement, particularly on increasing resilience to environmental stresses brought on by climate change. This position will strengthen UH efforts in genomics and biotechnology-enabled crop improvement and management with a focus on increasing the climate resiliency of Hawaiian fruit crops. The incumbent will investigate modern genomic and biotechnological approaches to accelerate crop breeding and improve tropical fruit production, with a focus on stressors resulting from climate change, and lead a nationally recognized, interdisciplinary, and extramurally funded research program focused on solving limitations in tropical fruit crop systems. In collaboration with Extension Agents and growers, the successful candidate will identify solvable real-world problems that limit crop production in Hawai‘i and the greater tropics. The knowledge and technologies generated by the position are expected to contribute to improved fruit crop performance, such as adaptation to environmental stressors or pathogens, and/or to societal needs, such as productivity, value, wellness, or sustainability. This position is expected to take full advantage of enabling resources (e.g., plant transformation, High-Performance Computing Center, CRISPR technology, and the vast network of extension agents) available within the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and UH.

The successful candidate will teach classes at the undergraduate and graduate level. Potential course assignments currently include an upper-level undergraduate course on Tropical Fruit Production Systems and a graduate course in Molecular Biology and Genetics. Qualified candidates should possess a promising record of scholarship, a strong research portfolio, and be able to guide and support student research. The department is particularly interested in candidates who have experience working with students from diverse backgrounds, minimizing contemporary barriers to success, and increasing equity and completion rates among different demographics.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) is an indigenous-serving institution with a commitment to becoming a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning. The instructional and research activities will be guided by, and incorporate, core Hawaiian values (e.g. mālama ʻāina). The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is classified as an “R1” institution; part of a 10 campus state-wide system that has 48,373 students enrolled (Fall 2022), and it is a uniquely structured Minority Serving Institute (MSI) and Land Grant University (LGU) within the US Western-Pacific region. UH is one of a few MSI-LGUs offering Associate, Baccalaureate, Masters, and Ph.D. STEM degrees, as well as post-graduate certificates.


Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Develops/updates, and teaches a modern undergraduate course that covers current technologies applicable to Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Production Systems and a graduate course in Molecular Biology and Genetics.
  2. Develops new undergraduate and/or graduate courses in their area of expertise.
  3. Actively participates in undergraduate and graduate advising and student recruitment.
  4. Establishes and sustains an independent and externally funded research program in the genetic improvement and production of tropical fruit crops.
  5. Disseminates research findings.
  6. Works collaboratively with colleagues in the department, college, and UH system, and with scientists at other institutions. 
  7. Provides service to the department, university, and community.


Minimum Qualifications

  1. A doctorate in plant biology with an emphasis on biotechnology and/or plant genetics from a college or university of recognized standing.
  2. The ability to effectively teach and mentor a diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students.
  3. Demonstrated scholarly achievement.
  4. Demonstrated collaborations in interdisciplinary research projects.
  5. Ability to engage successfully in a multicultural and multi-ethnic environment.

Desirable Qualifications

  1. Post-doctoral research experience moving towards independence.
  2. Previous teaching and mentoring experience in the university classroom or laboratory setting.
  3. Strong record of research productivity as evidenced by publications in top peer-reviewed journals.
  4. Experience in multi/interdisciplinary research collaboration.
  5. Demonstrated knowledge of effective strategies for working with diverse faculty, staff, students and/or community members.
  6. Demonstrated ability to support and promote the university’s mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Submit the following online through NeoGov:

1) Cover letter indicating how you satisfy the minimum and some, if not all, desirable qualifications;
2) Curriculum vitae;
3) Statement of teaching philosophy and research interests;
4) Statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion in research, the classroom, and/or services;
5) Names of three (3) professional references (contact information including e-mail address); and
6) Official transcripts or original documentation from the institution confirming the degree (copies acceptable; however
official transcripts sent directly from the degree-granting institution is required upon hire).

The application will be considered incomplete if any of the required documents are not included or are unreadable. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


For further information, contact Dr. Gernot Presting:


CTAHR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

We believe that inclusiveness and excellence are interdependent. Our local and global communities are best served by ensuring all populations are represented equitably throughout CTAHR. We strive to cultivate an environment that supports equitable opportunities for every member of CTAHR to achieve individual and common goals. We will advance diversity, equity, and inclusion by: (1) promoting the recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty, and staff, especially from groups that have been underrepresented or marginalized; (2) creating equal opportunities for all members of CTAHR to participate in decision-making processes and scholarly and professional development; and (3) fostering an inclusive culture where every CTAHR member feels respected and valued.


The University of Hawai'i is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, disability, genetic Information, marital status, breastfeeding, income assignment for child support, arrest and court record (except as permissible under State law), sexual orientation, domestic or sexual violence victim status, national guard absence, or status as a covered veteran. For more information or inquiries regarding these policies, please refer to the following link:

Employment is contingent on satisfying employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986; reference checks of previous employers; and for certain positions, criminal history record checks.

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, annual campus crime statistics for the University of Hawai'i may be viewed at:, or a paper copy may be obtained upon request from the respective UH Campus Security or Administrative Services Office.

Accommodation Request: The University of Hawai'i complies with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the EEO coordinator directly. Determination of requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. For further information, please refer to the following link:





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