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Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist: Food Systems Communication

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Job Details

Posting Number:


Internal Recruitment :


Working Title:

Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist: Food Systems Communication

Anticipated Hiring Range:

Commensurate with Experience

Work Schedule:

Monday-Friday (40 hours per week, with flexibility)

Job Location:

Raleigh, NC

Department :

Agricultural and Human Sciences

About the Department:

The Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences educates students in agriculture and youth, family, and community sciences to find solutions to problems and extends knowledge to create healthy communities for youth and families. We do this through academic programs in agricultural and extension education and youth, family, and community sciences that are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Essential Job Duties:

As the percentage of the population with a direct connection to food production and agriculture diminishes, and as more students become interested in communicating knowledge about their expertise area, there is an increased need for agriculturists to communicate with the public about agricultural innovations, benefits, and risks associated with new technologies. Further, the urbanization of North Carolina around the three main population centers exacerbates the need for CALS graduates to be ready to engage the public in understanding agricultural, life sciences, and food system challenges and tradeoffs.

Scholars in this area conduct research on message development, message transmission, perception change, risk understanding, and the public understanding of science. The position will contribute to the growing undergraduate agricultural sciences major with a specific focus on developing and teaching courses in agricultural communication. This position will also provide mentorship and advising to students in the agricultural and human sciences graduate program.

This is a 12-month tenure track position in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at NC State University. The position will be part of a dynamic team of specialists within the department and across the college working in the area of agricultural, life sciences, and food system communications. This position carries a 45% effort in Teaching and 55% effort in Extension. Essential job duties include:

  • Provide programmatic expertise for NC State extension and instructional expertise in agricultural communication and including message development, evaluation (employing quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques), and translational research.
  • Train students both formally and informally through a robust extension program in the science of applied communication.
  • Use new and emerging communication technologies in training Extension Agents and County Extension Directors to provide them with the tools needed to communicate the science of agriculture, life sciences, and food systems to their communities.
  • Collaborate with the Plant Sciences Initiative (PSI) and Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI), as they seek to share their research findings with a broad audience.
  • Work with an interdisciplinary department team to develop a doctoral program in Agricultural and Human Sciences. This could include teaching communication methods and media; social perspectives on agriculture, food, and natural resources; risk and crisis communication; or developing new courses as needed by the graduate program.
  • Supervise student research and mentor graduate students as needed.
  • Work/partner with internal CALS Departments and colleges across the university such as the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and Food, Animal Science, the Prestage Department of Poultry Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Science, College of Natural Resources, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as external partners and funders (other local universities, non-profit organizations, and/or public health and/or NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences) on projects.
  • Conduct scholarly activity related to teaching and applied research in the area(s) of specific expertise.
  • Secure external funding for an extension, scholarship, and development activities.
  • Serve on departmental, college, and university committees, as appropriate.
  • Provide service to appropriate professional organizations.

NC State is diverse because it is a community of individuals from varied backgrounds and demographic categories; it encourages, accepts, and values a diversity of people and ideas; it seeks to promote an environment where equity, respect, and understanding represent the norm in the campus climate; and, it seeks to prepare entrepreneurs who are effective citizens of a global community.

NC State University is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their experience, research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

Minimum Education and Experience:

  • Doctorate in communication or related social science field; or Doctorate in agriculture, life sciences, or related field with substantial professional communication experience and/or published communication research.
  • Ph.D. candidates who are very close to completion of their Ph.D. will be considered at the Instructor rank consistent with appointment terms as specified in the Academic Tenure Policy.

Other Required Qualifications:

  • Experience working in the discipline of agricultural, life sciences, and/or food systems communication.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills for graduate students and lay and professional audiences.
  • Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills, team building, problem-solving ability, networking skills, and ability to work with diverse groups.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 3 years of successful professional experience and demonstration of an understanding of the land grant university mission.
  • Demonstrated grant writing skills, and familiarity with electronic media and distance education.

Required License(s) or Certification(s):

  • A valid driver’s license is required for travel. NC driver’s license is required within 60 days of hire and must be maintained.

Valid NC Driver's License required:


Commercial Driver's License required:


Job Open Date:


Anticipated Close Date:

Open Until Filled

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Applicant required documents: Cover Letter, CV, Contact Information for Professional References

Documents required of finalist candidates: Teaching Philosophy, Diversity Statement, Letters of Support.

Position Number:


Position Type:

Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week):



12 Month Recurring

Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather:

Mandatory - Adverse Weather

Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events:

Mandatory - Medical Emergencies

Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies?:


Department ID:

111401 - Agricultural and Human Sciences


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or [email protected] Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.


NC State: Think and Do

NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we're a pre-eminent research enterprise with 12 colleges excelling in all major academic fields.

NC State studentsOur 34,000 high-performing students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures that they leave here ready to lead the workforce. NC State's 13:1 student-faculty ratio is one of the reasons why we're the best college for your money in North Carolina (Money) and the No. 5 best value among public universities nationally (U.S. News & World Report).

Overcoming Challenges, Improving Lives

NC State is one of only two universities in the nation leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers — one developing wearable, self-powered health monitors, and the other researching smart-grid technology. We’re also leading interdisciplinary efforts to curb nuclear proliferation, help farmers confront climate change and build a new American manufacturing sector.

Our research doesn't just get published in a journal or sit on a shelf; it makes an impact. NC State is No. 6 nationwide in commercialization agreements based on university research, and we're No. 2 among universities without a medical school. Our Cooperative Extension Service provides research-based information to citizens in all 100 North Carolina counties. In addition, our industrial extension unit — Industry Expansion Solutions — has created an economic benefit for the state's manufacturers averaging $149 million per year since 2005.

Bright Minds Creating a Bold Future

NC State’s 9,000 faculty and staff are world leaders in their fields, bridging the divides between academic disciplines and training high-caliber students to meet tomorrow’s challenges. NC State students won two Goldwater scholarships, five Fulbright scholarships, one Churchill scholarship and a record-breaking 25 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, 25 faculty are members of the National Academies.

NC State bldg in darkOur Centennial Campus, an award-winning public-private research campus, is home to more than 70 partner organizations working alongside more than 70 NC State research and academic units. Centennial is also the location of the innovative Hunt Library, which Time magazine has dubbed “the library of the future.”

In Raleigh and Around the World

It all happens in one of the best cities in America. A top spot for job-seekers and tech professionals, Raleigh is nationally recognized as a leading urban center:

NC State building oldWith Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh anchors the Research Triangle, a national hotspot for high-tech enterprise. The top companies in the region — including IBM, Cisco Systems, SAS Institute, Biogen Idec and GlaxoSmithKline — are among the country’s best employers. They also lead the way in hiring new NC State graduates.

More than 130 years after its creation, NC State continues to make its founding purpose a reality. Every day, our career-ready graduates and world-leading faculty make the fruits of learning and discovery available to people across the state, throughout the nation and around the world.

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