Cornell University

Assistant or Associate Professor of Plant Synthetic Biology

School of Integrative Plant Science
Plant Biology Section
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)

Position: Assistant/Associate Professor; Plant Biology; tenure track, academic year appointment (9-month)
Start Date: July 1, 2020 or as negotiated
Location: School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Biology Section, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Position description: The School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) at Cornell University invites applications for a tenure track position at the Assistant or Associate Professor level in Plant Synthetic Biology. Plant synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology. Plant synthetic biology will play an important role in the future of agriculture for traditional crop improvement, in enabling synthesis of novel products of nutritional, pharmaceutical or other values, as well as in fundamental understanding of plant biological processes. The new faculty member will be expected to develop a strong, internationally recognized program in plant synthetic biology. Examples of relevant research topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. the engineering of genetic circuits to program predictable plant behavior and traits,
  2. the generation of novel traits to improve crop plant productivity,
  3. transforming plants, cyanobacteria, or algae into platforms that synthesize chemicals and complex biomolecules by reconfiguring existing biosynthetic pathways or incorporating newly designed pathways from other organisms,
  4. engineering and introducing in planta biosensors for rapid detection and high-throughput phenotyping of biotic (e.g. viruses, bacteria, fungi, natural products) and abiotic (e.g. temperature, chemicals, toxins) factors from the sub-cellular to whole-organism scale.

See for full details.

Qualifications: Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Chemical Engineering, Biomolecular Engineering, or related disciplines. The candidate should welcome the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural setting and create a collegial professional environment. Well-qualified applicants are expected to have a demonstrated record of publication excellence. Preferred qualifications include postdoctoral experience, ability to work with a team and ability to communicate effectively with students, colleagues, and external stakeholders.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is competitive and commensurate with background and experience. An attractive fringe benefits package is provided.

Application procedure: Submit as a single PDF file to Academic Jobs Online ( a letter summarizing your background and qualifications, a statement of research accomplishments and interests (3 pages maximum), a statement describing your teaching experiences, philosophy and interests (1 page maximum), a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion, a detailed curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of three or four references. Inquiries may be sent to the Search Chair Assoc. Prof. Adrienne Roeder ( or Search Coordinator Karin Jantz ( Initial screening of applications will begin on October 21, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.

SIPS and CALS at Cornell embrace diversity, and seek candidates who will create a climate that attracts students of all races, nationalities, and genders. Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.

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Last updated: 2019-11-24