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Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Sustainable Agriculture

Kentucky State University
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Mar 6, 2024
TITLE: Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

DEPARTMENT: School of Agriculture, Communities, Environment, and the Sciences

REPORTS TO: Principal Investigator

CLASSIFICATION: Staff-12 months


STANDARD WORK HOURS: 37.5 hours per week

EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full-Time, temporary 



The Postdoctoral Research Associate will serve as a lead support person to assist the PI, staff, and students to perform research in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences (CACS).

He/she will be a key member of the student run farm for Sustainable production and food systems at the Kentucky State University Demonstration Farm and will be involved in establishing a student run farm to supply produce to KSU Dinning and student run café. The chosen candidate will establish demonstration and teaching gardens showcasing organic vegetable production like backyards and school gardens. The candidate will assist assists in implementing the student-run farm and demonstration gardens into existing course work and programming for experiential learning opportunities. He/she will assist in developing relationships between producers and KSU Dinning Services to promote local foods on campus. This candidate will assist in exploring community interest in urban agriculture in low-income neighborhoods in food deserts in Frankfort, KY. The candidate will work with research team and students to support design and delivery workshops, lead preparation of annual reports for the funding agency and advisory board. The candidate will supervise undergraduate and graduate students as appropriate, present results at state and national conferences. Co/lead author academic papers for relevant peer-reviewed journals.

  • Assist the PI and other supporting staff in designing farming activities, mentor, supervise and lead undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Assist the PI and implement Capacity Building Grant, Evans Allen research projects, and externally funded projects.
  • The candidate will conduct collaborative and independent research to help optimize production dynamics and profitability of sustainable agriculture and food systems.
  • The candidate will help manage laboratory and farm spaces in a professional manner.
  • Other duties include building raised beds, selecting, and assisting in transplanting and monitoring of the production on the farm, mentoring participants, and harvest.
  • To record and maintain data in proper spreadsheet layout.
  • Submit peer reviewed manuscripts, give professional presentations, interact with farmers and potential farmers.
  • Help develop proposals for external funding of research.
  • Track applications and correspondence of potential graduate students and student progress.
  • Review manuscripts and theses for proper format
  • To assist faculty and staff and students in using research equipment.
  • Other related duties as required.
  • Practical experience in research methodology in the area of sustainable food production.
  • Experience vegetable production and training students on the topic.
  • Applicant should have the ability to work independently and as part of a team with excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Analytical ability to include computer skills, statistics and analysis of databases.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills along with problem-solving expertise
  • Ability to maintain concise and accurate records.
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision, but cooperatively with others.
  • Must be able to manage multiple projects/priorities.
  • Good organizational skills
  • Exhibit professional and personable demeanor.
  • Experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience serving as Co-PI on funded research projects.
  • Ability to perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
  • Demonstrated expertise in agricultural and food systems, with the ability to work effectively across disciplines.
  • Must be currently eligible to work in the U.S. (will require travel and some fieldwork (interviews, site visits, meetings, conferences, and/or in-person workshops) within the continental US.
  • May assist in supervision of students and staff as requested.
  • Occasionally requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling of objects over 50 pounds.
  • Work environment involves some exposure to inclement weather, hot or cold conditions, hazards or physical risks, which require some basic safety precautions.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Minimum of a Ph.D. in Sustainable Agriculture and food systems or a closely related field and a master’s degree in Horticulture, Agriculture Education, Agribusiness, or a closely related field.
  • Demonstrated strong community-engaged and qualitative and quantitative research skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Prior practical or research experience with food safety management and/or organic agriculture.
Licensing and Certifications: NA

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.


I have received, reviewed and fully understand the job description for ____________________. I further understand that I am responsible for the satisfactory execution of the essential functions described therein, under any and all conditions as described. 

Employee Name __________________________________________ Date _____________________
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Employee Signature _________________________________________________

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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