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Assistant Professor - Plant Ecophysiology

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Job Details

Position OverviewThe University of Kansas seeks an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to begin 8/18/2023. This position is a full-time, academic-year appointment.

We seek applicants who study plant physiological responses to environmental conditions. Applicants who leverage any of a diversity of tools (e.g., -omics, stable isotopes, physiological measurements) are encouraged to apply. We especially encourage applications from researchers engaged in plant physiological research in unmanaged or managed systems in the context of global change. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at KU has close ties with the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research and the Biodiversity Institute, a feature that promotes the interdisciplinary research necessary to address this century’s environmental challenges. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an internationally-recognized and externally funded research program in Plant Ecophysiology and to contribute to excellence in teaching, mentoring, and service.

The University of Kansas is working to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive working and learning environment. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at KU has committed actively to this goal by cultivating a work environment in which diverse cultures, identities, and ethnicities are appreciated and honored (see for more information). We welcome, in particular, applicants representing demographics that have been historically excluded from or underrepresented in STEM disciplines and the academy. The successful candidate for the position must be eligible to work in the U.S. prior to the start of the position.

Founded in 1865, the University of Kansas is the state’s flagship university, an R-1 institution and one of just 66 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). Our university consistently earns high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university (engaging in $275M of externally funded research annually). KU has 21 programs ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s “top 25” among public universities, including #1 rankings for graduate programs in public administration and special education. KU has 65 ranked graduate programs and is ranked 24th in best value among public institutions in 2022. KU offers 5,000 courses, 400 degree and certificate programs, and more than 200 fields of study. The University values global engagement with more than 150 programs of international study and cooperative research and offers more than 130 study abroad programs. The University of Kansas is located in the city of Lawrence, a thriving community 40 minutes from the Kansas City metropolitan area and 30 minutes from the state capital, Topeka. Lawrence, a progressive college town of 95,000, boasts a lively downtown with many music venues, award-winning restaurants, and a nationally celebrated independent bookstore among its many independently owned small businesses.
Job Description40% Research
The successful applicant will serve as a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where they will develop a productive research program as evidenced by regular publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at professional conferences. The individual will develop national and international recognition for their research program, and demonstrate a capacity for obtaining extramural funding.

40% Teaching/Advising
  • Teach two courses per academic year. Courses taught will include those that contribute to the undergraduate biology curriculum and advanced courses in the successful applicant’s research specialty at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Participate in mentoring masters and doctoral students in thesis and dissertation research.
  • Conduct course evaluation with student input as directed by the University.
  • Hold regular office hours for students of courses taught.
  • Adhere to program, College, and University Policies.
20% Service
  • Serve on committees at the Departmental, College, and University levels and perform other related duties as opportunities arise.
  • Participate in professional service that may include reviewing scholarly articles and grant proposals, serving on advisory panels, activity in national organizations and scientific societies, and organizing meetings or workshops.

Faculty Code
Faculty members are expected to carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, currently viewable at:

Required QualificationsThe following required qualifications will be assessed through application materials.
  • Doctoral degree in plant ecophysiology or related field from an accredited college or university by the time of appointment
  • Record of scholarly achievement in Plant Ecophysiology or related field, demonstrated by dissertation research, refereed publications, and/or externally funded research grants, as well as by statements of research interests
  • Demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring excellence as evidenced by teaching philosophy statement and reference letters
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion as evidenced by candidate statement, CV, and/or reference letters
  • Excellent communication skills as demonstrated in application materials and interviews
Additional Candidate InstructionsFor more information and to apply, go to A complete online application includes the following materials: (1) cover letter; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) research agenda; (4) teaching philosophy statement; and (5) names, email addresses, and full contact information for at least three professional references.

At the time of application, applicants will be presented with the following prompt: Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds and explain how those experiences reflect your commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Applicants are also encouraged to include how they have contributed to building a culture of inclusivity through DEI initiatives within the required application materials listed above.

Application review will begin on 1 November 2022 and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants is obtained.
Contact Information to ApplicantsProf. Sharon Billings
University Distinguished Professor/Senior Scientist
[email protected] Advertised Salary Rangecommensurate with experience Application Review Begins01-Nov-2022 Anticipated Start Date18-Aug-2023


Working at the University of Kansas 

Join the University of Kansas, and you’ll become part of a Jayhawk family that spans the globe. Wear your KU shirt in London, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Nairobi or anywhere else, and you will likely hear a resounding “Rock Chalk!” from a stranger. Of course, the appropriate response is an enthusiastic “Jayhawk!” Because, after all, they’re not really strangers, they’re family.

The Jayhawk community is united by more than 150 years of tradition and by our commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge, transforming the academic experience, and creating solutions through innovative research. KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.  

The University of Kansas is the state’s flagship university and one of just 66 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). We consistently earn high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university.

KU faculty and staff embrace our role as the state’s flagship university, AAU member and R1 institution that serves the state, nation and world. We celebrate the energy and compassion that infuse the Jayhawk spirit; and, we remain true to KU’s historic values: the elevating force of education, the transformative power of research and the healing power of service.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 

The University of Kansas is committed to a learning and workplace environment that is representative of our nation and global society, accepts and values everyone, appreciates our common humanity and understands that our multiple differences are the cornerstone of academic preparation, professional excellence and distinction. KU must be a place where all people feel they belong and have access to resources and support that help them attain their educational and professional goals.

We recognize there are inequalities and privileges generated by historical and persistent intersecting differences by race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religion, regional background, veteran status, citizenship status and nationality. And we hold ourselves accountable for policies, processes and programs that appreciate these and other differences and create more fair, safe and just learning, working and living environments for KU students, faculty and staff.


KU offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate study programs, and we fulfill our mission through academic and research programs of international distinction, coupled with outstanding libraries, teaching museums and information technology. These resources enrich the academic experience for students from all 50 states and 112 countries, and provide enrichment resources for KU faculty and staff.


The university attains high levels of research productivity and recognizes that faculty are part of a network of scholars and academicians that shape a discipline as well as teach it. KU staff are integral to our research success, participating in and supporting discoveries that expand knowledge and improve lives.


The university and our employees serve society through research, teaching and the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. KU's academic programs, arts facilities and public programs provide cultural enrichment opportunities for the larger community. And, KU offers educational, research and service programs throughout the state. KU employees are encouraged to participate in and serve the campus and surrounding communities in a way that is meaningful to them.

International Dimension 

KU offers more than 100 programs of international study and cooperative research for KU students and faculty at sites around the world. The university offers teaching and research that draw upon and contribute to the most advanced developments throughout the United States and abroad. At the same time, KU's extensive international ties support economic development in Kansas.


The University of Kansas, our students and employees are committed to excellence. We foster a multicultural, inclusive environment in which the dignity and rights of individuals are respected. Intellectual diversity, integrity and disciplined inquiry in the search for knowledge are of paramount importance.

Our City and State 

KU sits atop Mt. Oread in the center of Lawrence, a town full of natural beauty and culture. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named Lawrence one of the best college towns in the United States. Lawrence is home to more than 100,000 people, and has a charming, Midwestern friendliness that welcomes visitors and celebrates diversity. In addition to KU, Lawrence is home to Haskell Indian Nations University, the premiere tribal university in the United States.

Lawrence’s historic and thriving downtown features restaurants, nightlife and local shops offering unique finds that you won’t find anywhere else. The town has more than 50 parks, an encompassing mixed-use trail, and quick access to biking/hiking trails along the Kansas River and around Clinton Lake. A five-minute drive from Lawrence, Clinton Lake offers fishing, boating, beaches, camping and other outdoor activities.

Located just 40 minutes west of Kansas City, Lawrence offers the appeal of a mid-size, suburban town with quick access to the amenities of a large city, including an international airport. The Kansas City metro area is home to world-class museums and cultural activities, Jazz clubs and other nightlife venues, expansive shopping options, and exciting professional sports with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC.

Kansas is in the center of the country, making it convenient and cost effective to fly or drive to destinations throughout the United States. Far from flat, the Flint Hills, just 90 minutes from Lawrence, offer panoramic vistas that showcase the breathtaking beauty of America.

Making KU Your Home 

Something about Lawrence is magnetic. Long-time residents are never surprised when a KU student or employee from out of state decides to make Lawrence their permanent home. And, even those who do leave often find themselves returning to “the nest” at some point in the future. In fact, Lawrence has been named by several publications as one of the best places to retire.

At the University of Kansas, you’ll join a global Jayhawk family and find a place to call home.

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