Research Associate

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: New York City, NEW YORK
Deadline: 14 Apr 2023
Position ID:Cornell -School of Integrative Plant Science – Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics -RESASSOC [#24531, WDR-00036031]
Position Title: 
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map ]
Subject Area: Genetics / Cassava
Salary Range:$65,000 - $72,000
Appl Deadline:2023/04/14 11:59PM (posted 2023/03/14, listed until 2023/04/14)
Position Description:  Apply    

School of Integrative Plant Science
Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics
Research Associate
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose- driven science and home to Cornell University’s second largest population of students, faculty, and staff. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world- renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources: and social, physical, and economic well-being. CALS is fundamentally invested in improving the lives of people, their environments, and their communities both in New York state and around the world.
The CALS School of Integrative of Plant Science (SIPS) encompasses five field s: Horticulture, Plant Biology, Plant Breeding & Genetics, Plant Pathology and Plant- Microbe Biology, and Soil and Crop Sciences. Combined there are 10 0 + faculty, ~200 undergraduate majors, 200 + graduate students in six fields, and 600 + other employees located in Ithaca, Geneva, and other satellite locations across New York State. The school offers the multidisciplinary undergraduate major in the Plant Sciences and is also home to the Agricultural Sciences major. School faculty also contribute to the Bio logy, Global Development, and Viticulture & Enology majors.
The Jannink lab works with several crop species (wheat, oat, barley, cassava, and the brown alga sugar kelp) to develop genomic prediction methods and integrate them optimally in to breeding schemes. We work together to discover, build on, and share new ideas and tools from across computational disciplines that lead to successful applied breeding outcomes.
Position Function
The position is in the lab of Jean-Luc Jannink, in the Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell, within the NextGen Cassava project ( Cassava is a critical food security crop in sub-Saharan Africa for which genomic resources are now being rapidly developed. The NextGen Cassava project leverages those resources in a large, multinational effort to empower farmers through innovative, sustainable cassava breeding. NextGen Cassava researchers at Cornell work with primary collaborators in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and a wider network of collaborators at other research institutions. The Research Associate will join this team to implement quantitative genetic and genomic analyses and interact with collaborators across four continents.
The position requires an experienced scientist who will organize independently to support collaborator breeding programs with genotypic and multi-environment trial analysis in a genomic mate selection pipeline presenting the best clones to select and cross. The scientist with iteratively improve the pipeline and integrate it into the breeding management database, Cassavabase.
The scientist will develop innovative independent research translating cassava genomic innovations to breeding practice. Innovations include the development of a practical haplotype graph (PHG) for DNA marker imputation, and the identification of potentially deleterious alleles. The scientist will develop methods leveraging these innovations to improve cassava association genetics and test methods on breeding program data. The scientist will propose possible directions to the PI, prioritize, complete comprehensive literature reviews, implement and test. The scientist will publish methods and results, train graduate students and postdocs in the lab, and contribute to grant writing supporting international breeding modernization. Pipelines integrated into Cassavabase will be documented and included in training given to breeding program partners.
The NextGen Cassava operates in effect as a breeding company, with the scientist joining its "Research Division". The candidate will adopt effective management and leadership providing excellent preparation for a future career in industry or academia.
Travel and providing on-site training to collaborators in sub-Saharan Africa (~6 weeks / year) will be required. Qualified candidates must be able to meet all documentation requirements for international travel and the destination country’s entry, stay, and departure requirements. These requirements include but are not limited to a valid passport, visa and health documents. Country-specific information can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s Travel website ( ) or the destination country’s official immigration website.
Term is one year renewable to two years contingent on performance.
Anticipated Division of Time
  • 25% NextGen Cassava breeding program data analysis and decision support
  • 50% Research and development of methods leveraging novel genomic innovations to accelerate gain from selection in cassava and other clonally propagated crops, writing and publishing.
  • 25% Formal and informal training of lab members and collaborators in statistical genetics and genomics. Annual report preparation.

PhD in plant or animal breeding with emphasis on quantitative methods, or quantitative or population genetics is required. Proficiency in R. Demonstrated communication skills, both written and verbal. Three or more years of quantitative genetics or genomics research beyond the PhD.
Preferred qualifications
Management and leadership soft skills. Experience in plant breeding practice, knowledge of databases / database programming / software development / version control / reproducible programming skills.
Supervision Exercised
This position may supervise graduate students and, collaboratively with the PI, postdocs.
To Apply
Please apply via Academic Jobs Online ( ). Qualified candidates should submit a short cover letter, curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion via the website.
CALS hiring range for this title is $65,000 - $72,000.
Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Life. Changing.
Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.
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. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.
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