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Community-Based Food Systems Research Scholar

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Job Details

Posting Number:


Internal Recruitment :


Working Title:

Community-Based Food Systems Research Scholar

Anticipated Hiring Range:

Commensurate with Experience ($68,000 to $75,000)

Work Schedule:

Monday - Friday / 8am - 5pm (with flexibility)

Job Location:

Raleigh, NC

Department :

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

About the Department:

Through existing on-the-ground relationships, three partners – North Carolina (NC) Cooperative Extension, Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), and P1tLab – aim to improve the health, economy, and sustainability of NC communities by supporting place-based local food system development. Extension and CEFS are multi-organization partnerships out of NC State University (NCSU), NC A&T State University, and NC Department of Agriculture. These programs compliment each other in research, outreach, and engagement around agriculture, food systems, health and nutrition, and youth development. Extension’s mission is to transform science into everyday solutions through county-based educators. CEFS’ mission is to develop and promote just and equitable food and farming systems that conserve natural resources, strengthen communities, improve health outcomes, and provide economic opportunities in NC. P1tLab, also an NCSU initiative, aims to co-create socio-entrepreneurial solutions addressing needs identified by marginalized communities through microentrepreneurial mentorship, frugal information technologies, and reciprocal partnerships with county government and industry.

CEFS Committee on Racial Equity (CORE) has a model that is working to establish racial equity principles, guidelines, and actions across CEFS initiatives, and is building a community of practice across food systems practitioners with trainings and analysis building tools. CEFS CORE is a long-term commitment to work internally and collaboratively with community and grassroots groups to address root causes of food system inequities and build collective solutions through the lens of structural racism as an entry point.

Through this work, CORE will continue to catalyze leaders in institutions and organizations to articulate and take action steps that move their respective organizations, and our collective systems work, towards narrative change and power shifts that are necessary to create substantial and sustainable food systems change grounded in equity.

Essential Job Duties:

The primary purpose of the Community-Based Food Food Systems Research Scholar position is to lead the community engagement, community-based research and assessment, and evaluation for community-based food system projects at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, including 1) the Southeastern Community Food System Planning project and 2) the CEFS Committee on Racial Equity (CORE) in the Food System.

The Southeastern Food System project brings together community members and leaders in Bladen, Columbus, and Robeson counties to create a community-led strategic plan for place-based community food system development that will aim to increase equitable access to healthy foods and to improve the health, economy, and sustainability of residents and businesses. CORE work will include statewide community engagement of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voices and coordination of a BIPOC caucus to create the BIPOC Food Agenda and elevate the leadership and actionable work of BIPOC voices across food systems in NC. Research and engagement outcomes will include stories of community resilience; a shared vision, values, and language of what the collective group is working towards; recommendations for implementation strategies; as well as explicit measures for food security, health impacts, racial equity, environmental sustainability, economic viability, and accountability to those most negatively impacted by systemic inequities of the food system.

Primary job duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Community Engagement:
    • Lead facilitation, trust-building, and goal-setting for Community Leads outreach, meetings, and gather feedback; travel for periodic in-person community work as necessary.
    • Lead the formation and facilitation of a new BIPOC Caucus to create the BIPOC Food Agenda/Campaign for NC.
    • Lead the formation and facilitation of a community-led Advisory Committee.
    • Direct creation of and lead logistics of community engagement activities, events, and strategic plan community mobilization teams.
  • Community-based Research, Assessment, and Evaluation:
    • Design and conduct community-based participatory research for community food system development in project area.
    • Design research projects with area food hubs and supply chain businesses and engage supply chain interns in research process.
    • Collaborate with assessment team, graduate student, and community leads for mapping local food assets and needs of study area.
    • Lead data collection, project impact measures, IRB process and evaluation of strategic planning project deliverables and career ladder opportunities.
    • Create project reports for communities and funders.
  • Project Management:
    • Lead organization of Project Management Team communications, meetings, milestones, and reports.
    • Lead contractor management and honorarium paperwork.
    • Lead aggregation of project resources.
    • Lead coordination of project outreach and communications.

Other Responsibilities:

Perform additional duties as assigned.

Minimum Education and Experience:

  • PhD or Master’s degree with at least 5 years of formal post-degree professional experience with concentrations in the areas of community-based food systems, sustainable agriculture, rural or community development, education, public health or nutrition, or related field.
  • Demonstrated experience in community-based participatory research.

Other Required Qualifications:

  • Excellent organizing, people, decision-making, project management, and time management skills, including the ability to work well in remote and in-person settings.
  • Must be capable of doing all the described activities independently, as well as work with a team under direction of the NC 10% Campaign State Coordinator and other members of the project management team.
  • Highly independent and pro-active individual with excellent communication skills (written, oral, presentation, etc.).
  • Experience with organizing teams.
  • Demonstrated success supporting pursuit of goals and outcomes, both independently and part of a team.
  • Ability to analyze impacts of programs and processes.
  • Desire to learn and develop a network and skill sets in community-based food systems.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledgeable of community-based food systems and food supply chains generally, as well as the impacts of racial inequities and strategies for building Racial Equity in Food Systems.
  • Experience working in food access and rural agriculture systems.
  • Experience with IRB and quantitative and qualitative research.

Required License(s) or Certification(s):

  • Valid NC driver’s license or the ability to obtain within 60 days of start.

Valid NC Driver's License required:


Commercial Driver's License required:


Job Open Date:


Anticipated Close Date:

Open until filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please submit a CV, cover letter, and the contact information for at least three (3) orifessuibak references.

Position Number:


Position Type:

EHRA Non-Faculty

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



12 Month Recurring

Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather:

Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather

Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events:

Mandatory - Medical Emergencies

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


Department ID:

111502 - Center for Environmental Farming Systems


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.


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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).

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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.

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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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