Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Agricultural Microbiomes: USA

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in agricultural microbiomes. Understanding and harnessing beneficial microbiomes to improve crop production and enhance stress resilience is an urgent priority for advancing sustainable management of agricultural systems in the face of increased population demand and more extreme climate conditions. We anticipate the need for applied microbiome expertise and seek an individual enthusiastic about extending microbiome information into real-world systems.

The position includes 20% research and 80% extension. In this context, the successful candidate is expected to develop an applied research program that flows seamlessly into a translational research program within their extension appointment. Possible focal areas for this research and extension program include, but are not limited to, plant symbionts, plant-microbe-soil interactions, nutrient acquisition and cycling, pre- and post-harvest microbial systems, commercial treatments with beneficial microbes, and other microbiome topics that enhance sustainable agriculture, particularly for high-value crops in the North Carolina agricultural industry. To this end, expertise in any area relevant to beneficial agricultural microbiomes is welcome, such as genetics and genomics, breeding, ecology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and so on. A well-qualified individual would be able to contribute to multiple areas of relevance to North Carolina.

In addition to translational research that can be used in extension efforts, the extension component of the position may include a combination of microbial product efficacy studies, provision of information and training to extension agents, dissemination of best practices, identification of stakeholder needs, and other efforts relevant to growers, processors, and the agricultural biotech industry in the region. Good communication skills will be essential to convey information to diverse audiences with differing levels of expertise. The position will have a mentoring committee that includes both research and extension faculty to help facilitate their success.

NCSU provides a highly collaborative and supportive environment, and the position will have many opportunities to collaborate with others working in crop and microbiome research in the department as well as with research and extension faculty in the Departments of Crop and Soil Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Horticultural Science, and Biological and Agricultural Engineering, among others. This position is also part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities, which includes faculty from three colleges.

Applicant requirements

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in microbiology, plant biology, ecology, crop science, soil science, or a related discipline, and a commitment to excellence in research, extension, and engagement with constituencies outside the university. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the potential to build a strong, integrated research and extension program relevant to the agricultural needs of North Carolina. Inclusiveness and diversity are critical to the success of the university and in engagement outside the university. Therefore, the selected candidate will be expected to foster an environment that is welcoming of all groups.


To apply for this position, visit this link and provide: (1) cover letter; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) research statement detailing research program, including translational research; (4) extension statement incorporating your vision for engaging with constituents throughout North Carolina; (5) statement on how you will contribute to a diverse and inclusive environment; (6) contact information for three references. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Dr. Christine Hawkes, Search Chair, Review of applications will begin July 8, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

NCSU is an AA/EEO employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status or disability. NCSU welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation or genetic information. In its commitment to diversity and equity, NCSU seeks applications from women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. ADA Accommodations: please call 919-515-3148

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