Job opportunity: Assistant/Associate Professor – Tree Physiology

United States, East Lansing

The Department of Horticulture ( in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU) is seeking candidates for an Assistant/Associate Professor (12-month tenure system, 80% research, 20% teaching) position to lead an internationally recognized, innovative and competitively funded research program in tree physiology that will advance sustainable fruit production in the Great Lakes region.  Potential areas of research pertinent to this position include, but are not limited to: reproductive, developmental and/or stress physiology; plant nutrient acquisition, root biology, orchard floor management and/or rhizosphere/soil health; functional-structural plant modeling; and development/adaptation of plant bioregulators, canopy training systems and/or orchard technologies to optimize fruit quality, yields, tree performance and labor efficiencies. The successful candidate will join a well-established fruit research and extension team that includes horticulturists, physiologists, molecular biologists, geneticists, plant pathologists, entomologists, and agricultural engineers, as well as a network of extension educators across the state. MSU operates four field facilities for tree fruit research in key growing areas as well as on campus. Michigan is a leading producer of apples, cherries, and other tree fruits that are valued at over $350 million annually, and the tree fruit industries provide more than $1 million annually in competitive funding and directed support of research and extension pertinent to tree fruit production in the state.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop research and outreach collaborations within the MSU fruit team as well as with extramural peer and interdisciplinary scientists; procure competitive external grant funding; publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals; develop leadership activities in regional, national, and international professional scientific associations; and mentor graduate and undergraduate students. Instructional responsibilities include teaching an undergraduate course in pomology (HRT 332) and contributing to a graduate course in her/his area of expertise. Outreach activities involve service as a core resource for the MSU Fruit Extension educator team and its development of pertinent outreach tools and activities to disseminate critical new information to the fruit production industries in Michigan and beyond. Benefits include a salary commensurate with the candidate’s experience, a competitive start-up package, and attractive health, dental and retirement plans.

Qualified applicants should submit the following materials via the Apply through website button underneath (select Faculty/Academic Staff and apply to posting #2349): a letter of application, a summary of research accomplishments and future research interests, a statement of teaching philosophy, a current resume, and contact information for at least three references who will be contacted directly by the search committee as needed. Questions about the position or the search and interview timetable can be directed to Dr. Gregory Lang, Search Committee Chair ( Questions on submitting applications can be directed to Review of applications will begin December 15, and continue until the position is filled.



  • Ph.D. in plant physiology/biology, horticulture, forestry, or other plant science-related fields
  • Demonstrated capacity to conduct and publish independent, original, innovative research
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills appropriate for both scientific peers as well as agricultural stakeholder constituencies


  • Postdoctoral experience in plant physiology/biology
  • Ability to work collaboratively, both as a team member and a leader
  • Experience in competitive grant proposal writing and administration
  • Knowledge of temperate fruit or forest tree physiology
  • Experience in fruit production/orchard management systems
  • Experience in teaching undergraduate and/or graduate courses


MSU is a global leader in basic and applied plant science research, with over 150 faculty members engaged in research ranging from sustainable agriculture and ecology to breeding, genomics and biochemistry. State-of-the-art laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field-based facilities are available for plant growth research, including biochemical, imaging, and gene expression analyses, bioinformatics support, and plant transformation. Plant science faculty, staff, and graduate students represent an inclusive, diverse community committed to the advancement of science and the recruitment and retention of persons from richly varied backgrounds and perspectives to maintain and enhance the excellence of the University.