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Assistant Professor Soilless Plant Culture

Kentucky State University
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Aug 23, 2023
TITLE: Assistant Professor of Soilless Plant Culture, 12 Month Faculty

DEPARTMENT: School of Agriculture, Communities, and the Sciences

REPORTS TO: Chair, School of Agriculture, Community and the Sciences





This is a tenure-track, research, teaching, and extension position with Kentucky State University’s 1890 Land-Grant Program. The faculty member is expected to conduct research in soilless culture and provide statewide extension support to train extension professionals about soilless plant culture with a particular focus on limited-resource and small farms, and low-income communities.

The faculty member is expected to create research projects under the 1890 Research Capacity Funds and obtain competitive grant funding. The research and extension focus should be on soilless plant production for use for food, fiber, medicinal, and/or ornamental purposes using both indoor facilities and outdoor facilities. Therefore, research and outreach activities should cover situations for both farms with limited financial abilities and with well-funded farms. This research will investigate plant nutrient uptake, precision nutrient application, hydroponics and irrigation/fertigation systems, etc. Another research goal will be to develop plant nutrients from naturally occurring substances such as manures, composts, other organic ingredients, minerals, etc. The faculty member is expected to publish in peer-reviewed journals, present research results in professional conferences, participate in professional/trade/governmental meetings, serve on departmental, college, and university committees, and other related duties as assigned.

The faculty member is expected to teach courses that are potentially undergraduate, graduate, online and in-class. The courses will be selected by departmental committees and/or the Chair and/or the Dean of the College, and will reflect the qualifications of the faculty member and the needs of the College.

  • Develop a research program related to soilless plant culture involving vegetables, small fruits, ornamentals, and other food/fiber/medicinal plants.
  • Establish and maintain a competitive research program on topics such as evaluation of alternative nutrient sources and substrates, water quality, and organic sources of nutrients for hydroponic production.
  • Conduct research in alternative designs for soilless plant culture including engineering aspects of such designs.
  • Conduct research in the facilities associated with soilless plant culture, such as indoor/closed facilities vs. high tunnels vs. greenhouses vs. outdoor protected
  • Conduct and publish research in the area of specialty. Deliver research presentations in professional conferences.
  • Develop an Extension program related to agriculture and community development by using hydroponics as a vehicle for establishment of profitable agricultural businesses among low-income rural and urban populations.
  • Pursue external funding to support nutrition and food safety education.
  • Build cooperative working relationships with other research scientists, extension specialists, area educators, teaching faculty, staff; youth program educators; university administrators, federal partners, other universities, and other potential organizations with expertise that can support program efforts.
  • Develop relationships, serve as a liaison to, and/or collaborate with, appropriate governmental and non-governmental organizations including community-based organizations that serve farms, military veterans, socially-disadvantaged populations, and consumers.
  • Maintain involvement with professional agriculture, horticulture, and hydroponics organizations, with active participation on committees and boards at local, regional and national levels.
  • Represent Kentucky State University as an 1890 Land Grant Institution to the public, including federal and non-federal agencies, and research, agriculture and industry interests
  • Relevant extension and/or research experience beyond the Ph.D. degree.
  • Evidence of the ability to collaborate in research, teaching, and outreach activities.
  • Evidence of interdisciplinary collaborations with diverse audiences including faculty, stakeholders, and other clientele within and external to the university.
  • Involvement with recognized professional associations or organizations.
  • Ability to transfer information through scholarly publications, patents and presentations at scientific meetings and through technology transfer to agriculture and industry groups
  • This position does not have supervisory responsibility.
  • The position will conduct other duties as required.
  • Ph.D. in a related field by the time of appointment. Evidence of peer reviewed journal publications. Demonstrated skills in securing grants or strong potential to secure extramural funding in soilless plant culture. Experience and interest in mentoring and teaching students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Licensing and Certifications: NA

  • Work in both indoor office work environment and outdoor field/farm environment.
  • Moderate physical effort required to move supplies and material in a farm, greenhouse, laboratory work.
  • Moderate physical risk that is associated with normal farm, greenhouse, and laboratory work.
Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the United States. At this time, Kentucky State University is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa

Internal candidates are encouraged to apply.

KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The functions, qualifications, knowledge/skills, and physical requirements listed in this job description represent the essential duties of the job, which the incumbent must be able to perform either with or without reasonable accommodation. The Job Functions listed do not necessarily include all activities that the individual may perform.

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