Skip to main content

Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Sustainable Agriculture

Job Details

TITLE: Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems 

DEPARTMENT: School of Agriculture, Communities, Environment, and the Sciences 

REPORTS TO: Principal Investigator  

CLASSIFICATION: Staff-12 months 


STANDARD WORK HOURS: 37.5 hours per week 

EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full-Time, temporary  





The Postdoctoral Research Associate will serve as a lead support person to assist the PI, staff, and students to perform research in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences (CACS). 


He/she will be a key member of the student run farm for Sustainable production and food systems at the Kentucky State University Demonstration Farm and will be involved in establishing a student run farm to supply produce to KSU Dinning and student run café. The chosen candidate will establish demonstration and teaching gardens showcasing organic vegetable production like backyards and school gardens. The candidate will assist assists in implementing the student-run farm and demonstration gardens into existing course work and programming for experiential learning opportunities. He/she will assist in developing relationships between producers and KSU Dinning Services to promote local foods on campus. This candidate will assist in exploring community interest in urban agriculture in low-income neighborhoods in food deserts in Frankfort, KY. The candidate will work with research team and students to support design and delivery workshops, lead preparation of annual reports for the funding agency and advisory board. The candidate will supervise undergraduate and graduate students as appropriate, present results at state and national conferences. Co/lead author academic papers for relevant peer-reviewed journals. 





  • Assist the PI and other supporting staff in designing farming activities, mentor, supervise and lead undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Assist the PI and implement Capacity Building Grant, Evans Allen research projects, and externally funded projects.
  • The candidate will conduct collaborative and independent research to help optimize production dynamics and profitability of sustainable agriculture and food systems.
  • The candidate will help manage laboratory and farm spaces in a professional manner.
  • Other duties include building raised beds, selecting, and assisting in transplanting and monitoring of the production on the farm, mentoring participants, and harvest.
  • To record and maintain data in proper spreadsheet layout.
  • Submit peer reviewed manuscripts, give professional presentations, interact with farmers and potential farmers.
  • Help develop proposals for external funding of research.
  • Track applications and correspondence of potential graduate students and student progress.
  • Review manuscripts and theses for proper format
  • To assist faculty and staff and students in using research equipment.
  • Other related duties as required.




  • Practical experience in research methodology in the area of sustainable food production.
  • Experience vegetable production and training students on the topic.
  • Applicant should have the ability to work independently and as part of a team with excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Analytical ability to include computer skills, statistics and analysis of databases.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills along with problem-solving expertise
  • Ability to maintain concise and accurate records.
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision, but cooperatively with others.
  • Must be able to manage multiple projects/priorities.
  • Good organizational skills
  • Exhibit professional and personable demeanor.
  • Experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience serving as Co-PI on funded research projects.
  • Ability to perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
  • Demonstrated expertise in agricultural and food systems, with the ability to work effectively across disciplines.
  • Must be currently eligible to work in the U.S. (will require travel and some fieldwork (interviews, site visits, meetings, conferences, and/or in-person workshops) within the continental US.


  • May assist in supervision of students and staff as requested.




  • Occasionally requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling of objects over 50 pounds.
  • Work environment involves some exposure to inclement weather, hot or cold conditions, hazards or physical risks, which require some basic safety precautions.






  • Performs other duties as assigned.




  • Minimum of a Ph.D. in Sustainable Agriculture and food systems or a closely related field and a master’s degree in Horticulture, Agriculture Education, Agribusiness, or a closely related field.
  • Demonstrated strong community-engaged and qualitative and quantitative research skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Prior practical or research experience with food safety management and/or organic agriculture.


    Licensing and Certifications: NA 


    Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the United States. At this time, Kentucky State University is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa. 


    Internal Candidates are Encouraged to Apply. 





    I have received, reviewed and fully understand the job description for ____________________. I further understand that I am responsible for the satisfactory execution of the essential functions described therein, under any and all conditions as described. 


    Employee Name __________________________________________ Date _____________________
                                                                          (printed name) 


    Employee Signature _________________________________________________ 



    KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY is an Equal Opportunity Employer 

    The functions, qualifications, knowledge/skills, and physical requirements listed in this job description represent the essential duties of the job, which the incumbent must be able to perform either with or without reasonable accommodation. The Job Functions listed do not necessarily include all activities that the individual may perform. 


    Our Mission

    Kentucky State University is the state's unique, small, liberal studies institution with the lowest student-faculty ratio in the state system. The University shall serve as a residential institution with a range of traditional collegiate programs appropriate to its unique role.

    Geographic Region
    Kentucky State University's geographic region shall be state-wide for its liberal studies mission, its land grant functions, and its service to state government. In addition, Kentucky State University's primary service area for commuting students shall be for Franklin and contiguous counties.

    Institutional Admission Standards
    Kentucky State University shall admit students to the institution under selective admission standards to which exceed the minimum guidelines established by the Council on Higher Education, with only limited exceptions. Institutional policy for admitting under-prepared students, including the removal of academic deficiencies within a specified time frame. Through this approach, the University seeks to provide broad access and high-quality programs.

    Degree Levels
    Selected associate and baccalaureate degree programs shall be oriented toward liberal studies and selected career opportunities related to state government services. Kentucky State University shall offer selected master's degree programs based on demonstrated need, with priority given to a public administration curriculum to meet the needs of state government.

    Strategic Directions/Program Priorities
    The University shall focus on liberal studies programming. Drawing upon its African-American heritage, the University will promote the values and methods of interdisciplinary and multicultural education in its liberal studies offerings. All students shall participate in common curricula that explore the liberal studies. Drawing upon the multicultural strengths of the University, emphasis shall be placed on preparing minority students for careers in education and in other selected professions including business, computer science, nursing, human services, and public services. These strategic priorities translate into a core of liberal arts baccalaureate degree programs, in addition to degree programs at the associate [A], baccalaureate [B], and master's [M] levels that may include the following: education [B]; business [B]; computer science [A,B]; nursing [A]; home economics [B]; human services [B]; and public administration [B,M].

    Enhancement of Instruction
    The University shall emphasize teaching. Meeting student needs shall be paramount. The University shall focus on the needs of its students, which include, but are not limited to, full-time and part-time residential students, commuting students from its primary service area, and state governmental employees.

    Service and Research Functions
    Kentucky State University, as the 1890 land grant institution in the system, shall carry out its responsibilities under federal law and participate fully in appropriate U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, in accord with the mission of the University.

    Kentucky State University shall be the major repository for the collection of books, records, and artifacts relative to the history and status of African-American citizens of the Commonwealth and elsewhere. The University shall make such materials available for casual and scholarly study.

    Kentucky State University shall focus on meeting the applied research and service needs of state government.

    Collaborative Ventures
    The priority master's degree program offered by Kentucky State University shall be carefully articulated with related doctoral programs offered by the doctoral-granting institutions in the system. The University shall develop and employ telecommunication resources to communicate with other institutions in the fulfillment of its mission. Curriculum development shall emphasize the transfer of credits form other institutions toward degree completion.

    Kentucky State University shall promote cost effectiveness in academic programming and institutional management. Strategic planning resulting in the elimination of duplicative or non-productive programs is essential while the development of carefully selected new programs compatible with the mission is appropriate. Measures of quality and performance shall be the foundation of the University's accountability system which promotes the continuous improvement of programs and services.

    Efficiency and Effectiveness
    Kentucky State University shall promote cost effectiveness in academic programming and institutional management. Strategic planning resulting in the elimination of duplicative or non-productive programs is essential while the development of carefully selected new programs compatible with the mission is appropriate. Measures of quality and performance shall be the foundation of the University's accountability system which promotes the continuous improvement of programs and services.

    Check out Kentucky State University Youtube channel! 

    Company info
    400 E Main St

    Get job alerts

    Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

    Create alert