The School of Food & Agriculture at the University of Maine seeks an innovative Assistant or Associate Professor of Potato Breeding and Genetics. This 75% research, 25% teaching, academic-year, tenure-track position will be located at the Orono campus. The potato breeder will lead the University’s potato breeding, genetics, and variety development program. The program effectively combines classical plant breeding and modern molecular genetics approaches to help meet pest management, production, and marketing needs of the Maine and North American potato industries through the development and release of improved new potato germplasm and varieties.

The successful candidate is expected to conduct multidisciplinary research with scientists, staff, and collaborators  focused on  potato cultivar development for improved pest, stress, and disease resistance as well as value added traits such as nutritive value. Additional collaborations with industry leaders, growers, and organizations such as the Maine Potato Board and Maine Department of Agriculture will support cultivation of a vigorous, extramurally funded research program that provides educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, advances the field of potato breeding and genetics, and will lead to improved new potato varieties and germplasm for the Maine and North American potato industries. 

Teaching responsibilities may include genetic principles for sustainable food crop production and/or adaptation to climate change; applied plant breeding; an advanced graduate-level class in quantitative genetics and/or genomic tools for plant improvement; or a graduate-level applied statistics class. The successful candidate will be expected to advise graduate students, mentor undergraduate student research projects, and contribute to appropriate graduate degree programs in the biological, agricultural, and environmental sciences. 

Facilities available for research and teaching include greenhouse and laboratory facilities at the Orono campus. The University’s Aroostook Research Farm in Presque Isle specializes in potato research; the field portions of the breeding program are expected to be based at this facility. Aroostook Research Farm is close to most of Maine’s commercial potato acreage and is located 160 miles from the Orono campus. It has greenhouses, laboratories, office space, field equipment, 425 acres of land, as well as research- and commercial-scale potato storages. About the University:

The University of Maine is a community of more than 11,900 undergraduate and graduate students, and 2,500 employees located on the Orono campus, the regional campus in Machias, and throughout the state. UMaine is a land, sea and space grant university, and maintains a leadership role as the University of Maine System’s flagship institution. UMaine is the state’s public research university and a Carnegie R1 top-tier research institution, dedicated to providing excellent teaching, research and service for Maine, the nation and the world.

The University of Maine offers a wide range of benefits for employees including, but not limited to, tuition benefits (employee and dependent), comprehensive insurance coverage including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and short and long term disability as well as retirement plan options. As a former NSF ADVANCE institution, the University of Maine is committed to diversity in our workforce and to dual-career couples.

UMaine is located in beautiful Central Maine. Many employees report that a primary reason for choosing to come to UMaine is quality of life. Numerous cultural activities, excellent public schools, safe neighborhoods, high quality medical care, little traffic, and a reasonable cost of living make the greater Bangor area a wonderful place to live.

Employees in the University of Maine System are required to comply with UMS COVID protocols which currently include, but are not limited to, being vaccinated, obtaining a qualified vaccination exemption, and/or participating in regular COVID testing.


  • A PhD in plant breeding, genetics, or a closely related field
  • Willingness to lead a multidisciplinary  applied plant breeding research program focused on cultivar development, release, and adoption
  • Willingness to work closely with stakeholders to achieve cultivar adoption
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • A strong record of scholarly achievements
  • The ability and desire to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Willingness to work in both field and laboratory settings
  • Excellent teaching skills
  • Commitment to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the discipline and institution


  • Background or experience in plant breeding and genetics
  • Experience in potato breeding and genetics
  • Experience and demonstrated interest in the use or application of genomic selection tools for improving potato and/or other crops
  • Ability to contribute to outreach and service activities

Other Information:

Materials must be submitted via “Apply For Position” below. You will need to create a profile and application; upload:

1.) a cover letter which describes your experience, interests, and suitability for the position
2.) a resume/curriculum vitae
3.) contact information for three professional references
4.) academic transcripts 

You will also need to submit the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status forms. Incomplete application materials cannot be considered. Materials received after the initial review date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University.

Search Timeline is as follows:
Review of applications to begin: September 12, 2022
Screening interviews to begin no earlier than: September 19, 2022
On-site interviews to begin no earlier than: October 3, 2022
Tentative start date: January 1, 2023 or negotiable

For questions about the search, please contact search committee chair Jay Hao at or 207.581.2564.

Appropriate background checks are required.

The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Amie Parker, Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME  04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).Length: Academic Year (Sept-May) Required Documents: Copies of Transcripts, Cover Letter, References, Resume/CV

Apply now

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