Assistant Professor - Computational Economics

Virginia Tech
Virginia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Oct 21, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Business & Management, Economics, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Agriculture & Animal Sciences, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Geology & Earth Sciences, Other Science & Technology
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Description

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor with a specialization in computational economic analysis. The ideal candidate will be expected to work with multidisciplinary teams including computer/data scientists and machine learning experts. The position includes a 9-month, academic-year appointment with expectations for funding summer activities through external grants, teaching, or other mechanisms. The department values diversity and strives to maintain and promote an inclusive learning environment that embraces all students, faculty, and staff. Recognizing the critical importance of diverse teams, the department is working to diversify its faculty by actively recruiting from groups that historically have been marginalized. Virginia Tech is a public land‐grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach within the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), the University is dedicated to serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence - InclusiveVT. We seek candidates who adopt and practice efforts to increase access and inclusion to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all.

Research Appointment: The successful candidate will develop an internationally recognized, externally funded research program that utilizes modern computational economic modeling to address emerging issues in domestic and global food and resource markets. Integration of modern data science / machine learning and other approaches to help inform large-scale economic modeling is desirable. Research applications should contribute to a broad range of fields represented within the department, such as international trade and development, environmental and natural resource economics, food and health, and agribusiness. Specific examples could include but are not limited to: the impacts of climate change, carbon emissions and border tax adjustments, global trade, land use, and shifting comparative advantage, remote sensing and geo-spatial analyses to inform environmental, productivity, and economic development outcomes and policy, clean energy and alternative energy sources, water use, or food security issues and their interactions with agricultural production and resource availability.

The position is part of a cluster hire of new faculty positions to be filled over multiple years within several academic units and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Collaborations of cluster hires and existing faculty will enhance interdisciplinary flagship programs at the nexus of digital, biological, social, and physical sciences and engineering with applications to agriculture, food, and natural resources. This ambitious vision will create a state and nation-wide network of interconnected faculty, partners, and resources for scientific discovery and developing and deploying new technologies. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources and expand Virginia Tech’s global influence in this rapidly evolving domain. Opportunities for international engagement exist and are encouraged.

The successful candidate will have opportunities to contribute to the new Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture (CAIA), the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, and the CALS Center for Agricultural Trade to address emerging policy issues. The successful candidate may also forge research ties with other units on campus, such as the College of Engineering, College of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Global Change Center, the interdisciplinary graduate education program (IGEP) in remote sensing, the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE), and VT's Advanced Research Computing (ARC) center.

Teaching Appointment: Teaching will be at the graduate and/or undergraduate levels. The position will also contribute to the Department’s emerging professional Master's program in Agribusiness Analytics, potentially via online or hybrid instruction. The general teaching mandate will be to improve computational and data analytical/machine learning literacy among AAEC students and stakeholder clientele at the industry, state, federal and continuing education/professional levels.

The individual will also participate in the recruitment and advising/mentoring of graduate students, including chairing Master's theses and PhD dissertations.

Department, College, University and Community: The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics is a growing unit with about 200 undergraduate majors, 40 graduate students and 30 faculty members. The Department is administratively located in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences which has about 3,200 undergraduate students and 600 graduate students in 10 academic units. The Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension, also administratively located within the college, deliver research-based information to the Commonwealth of Virginia through county/city extension offices, 4-H educational centers, and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers ( Virginia Tech is located in Blacksburg, VA with a full-time student population of 33,000+ students. The Blacksburg campus is in a growth phase associated with significant public and private investments in computer and data science research and education. These investments include the construction of a Data & Decision Science Building that is part of a larger investment in developing a Global Business and Analytics Complex in Blacksburg. In addition to the Blacksburg campus, VT operates a rapidly growing campus in the Washington, D.C. (National Capitol Region) located in close proximity to multiple public agencies, research institutes, and private sector companies with an interest in data analytics (

Application Procedure: To apply please submit your application, curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and a statement of teaching philosophy. In addition, we request a one-page statement describing candidates’ commitments to promoting diversity and working in a multicultural environment. Applicants should provide a list of three references and their contact information in their application.

Review of applications will begin December 20, 2021, and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected. The search committee may conduct screening interviews at the virtual ASSA meetings January 7-9, 2022 and during subsequent weeks via Skype or Zoom.

Please direct questions about this position to Dr. Jason Grant, search committee chair.

Required Qualifications

PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics, Economics, Computer Science, Operations Research, Management Science, Statistics, Engineering, or a closely related discipline that operates broadly within the realm of computational economics, optimization, data science, and machine learning by appointment start date; Coursework or experience in quantitative economic analyses, data science and machine learning; Record of peer-reviewed publications or advanced working papers related to the position; Position requires occasional travel to attend conferences and meetings; Completion of criminal background check required.

Preferred Qualifications

Proficiency in GAMS, Python, Matlab, GEMPACK, and/or R; Experience in procuring grants or other external funding for programmatic support; Record of peer-reviewed publications; Spatially explicit research experience involving regional or global economic and natural resource modeling, remote sensing and/or advanced GIS methods.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date


Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check as well as documentation of COVID-19 vaccination or receive approval from the university for a vaccination exemption due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges , a school of medicine , a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School , and Honors College . The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers . A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Jason Grant at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Advertised: October 21, 2021
Applications close:

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