Postdoctoral Scholar

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
Job Number:
Work Unit:
College of Agricultural Sciences
Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education


The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development(NERCRD) seeks applications for a one-year research position with possibility of renewal subject to funding. The associate will be responsible for coordinating and conducting research and project management on two multi-state, federally funded research projects. The associate will be the outward face of the project and the Center presenting research through presentations and reports to project partners, funders, policy makers and academic conferences. Additionally, they are responsible for convening project stakeholders, coordinating and leading peer reviewed publications from multi-state project data. The associate is also a core member of the National Coordinator Team for the AMSTA Technical Assistance program, and is responsible for the planning, implementation and coordinating of program delivery, including program planning, hiring and management and evaluation of the national mentor team, while also serving as main operator and public interface to the TA program and LFPP and FMPP applicants from around the U.S. The associate may also represent the Center’s and Penn State’s broader food systems development research as a member of the Western Pennsylvania Research Collaborative, lead by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, attending monthly meetings around the state. Additionally, the associate may also serve as a member and collaborator on the Penn State Southwestern Pennsylvania Foodshed Project, led by Penn State Extension. The associate may also work on other research priorities as determined by the Center’s emerging needs and priorities. The associate works closely with the Director of the Center, Associate Director of Extension on research and program planning, and with support from the the Marketing Communications Specialist on project delivery. Excellent communication, meeting facilitation and project management skills are required, as well as the ability to work independently and remotely with stakeholders. Regular travel is expected, approximately once or twice a month. Qualifications: The associate‘s experience will reflect a diverse research portfolio including quantitative and qualitative analysis, including experience with interviews and focus groups, and presenting results for academic, policy and applied audiences. Experience with geo-spatial analysis and social network analysis (SNA) is preferred. Applicants are required to have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate in an appropriate field and be able to provide evidence that all requirements have been met for completion of the Ph.D. prior to the effective date of hire. A Ph.D. in agriculture, food systems, rural sociology, agricultural economics, development, or related field is required. At least 10 years of experience working across food systems sectors is strongly preferred. The candidate needs to be able to both work well independently, serve on teams, and have excellent facilitation and management skills. There is a strong expectation that research will contribute both to the science base as well as to informing U.S. rural economic development policy. An important part of the research portfolio will include examining the kind of factors which give rise to agriculture and food systems economic development over time, including value chain development and appropriate technologies which facilitate place-based economic growth. This position requires that the selected candidate operate a motor vehicle as part of the job duties. A valid driver’s license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. Screening of applications will begin on January 5, 2019 and the position will remain open until filled.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088