Assistant Professor of In-silico root/soil research
Pennsylvania State University
Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
Type: Full Time
Years of Experience:
Less than 2
Internal Number: 2656462
Assistant Professor of In-silico root/soil research
The Department of Plant Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) at The Pennsylvania State University invite applications for a tenure track Assistant Professor position with primary responsibilities in research (75%) and teaching (25%).
The successful applicant will conduct research focusing on roots and their interactions with soil using modern approaches of computational biology and data science. Example research themes include: high-throughput data analysis and discovery; AI-guided phenotyping and ideotyping for future crops and agroecosystems; algorithms to explore vast decision spaces of plant and microbial traits interacting with the environment and management; functional structural modeling to reveal biology that eludes empirical research; mechanistic multiscale modeling to reveal emergent properties of the soil/plant/atmosphere continuum in future climates. Computational expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), and expertise in High Performance Computing (HPC) is a plus.
The successful candidate's research will focus on agroecosystems and we are particularly interested in candidates whose research may be applied to enhance agricultural productivity, ecosystem services, and sustainability in the context of climate change. It is also expected that the candidate exploit and catalyze transdisciplinary collaborative opportunities with colleagues in several areas of strength at Penn State, including Information and Computer Sciences, Statistics, Geosciences, Engineering, the Microbiome Center, the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science, and the Center for Root and Rhizosphere Biology.
Teaching responsibilities will include advanced and undergraduate courses in Plant Science. Candidates will be evaluated on their potential for publishing high impact work relevant to global issues, obtaining extramural funding, teaching excellence, and collaboration in research and teaching within and outside the Department of Plant Science and ICDS.
The Department of Plant Science is housed within the College of Agricultural Science and is home to close to 50 faculty members whose efforts are focused on advanced research, teaching and extension/outreach in plant science and has a strong commitment to fostering diversity, equality and inclusive excellence in all activities. The department has considerable strength in root and rhizosphere biology, plant response to stress and climate resilience, plant nutrition, soil fertility and nutrient management and sustainable crop production systems. Our research activity spans the range from basic to applied and we enjoy strong collaborative connections with a variety of colleges (e.g. Eberly College of Science, College of Engineering, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences) and institutes (e.g., the Huck Institutes of Life Sciences and Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment).
The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS), one of five university-wide interdisciplinary institutes, is home for advanced interdisciplinary computation and data-enabled collaborative science at Penn State. ICDS fosters both high-impact computational and data science methodologies as well as their applications to address a broad range of scientific and societal challenges, multifaceted models, and their societal impacts. ICDS supports a vibrant community of scholars, which includes more than 30 co-hired faculty and over 300 affiliated researchers with access to ICDS advanced research computing infrastructure called Roar and a cadre of technical experts, research scientists, and engineers.
Appointment Conditions: This position is a tenure line, 36-week faculty appointment in the Plant Science program with the possibility of supplemental summer appointments in research and/or teaching. This tenure line faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor with a 25% teaching and 75% research appointment. This position is co-funded by the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences. The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.
Penn State is committed to supporting the work-life balance of its faculty members. Penn State is also committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion with an emphasis on structurally contingent identities such as race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, and national origin. We foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission. Therefore, we are seeking candidates whose research, teaching, and service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education.
Responsibilities The successful candidate will: have an active program of research; is expected to develop an externally funded, high-impact research program focusing on roots and their interactions with soil using modern approaches of computational biology and data science, responsible for teaching residential undergraduate and graduate courses; advise master's and doctoral students; and provide service to the Department, College, Institute, University, and professional organizations or other external agencies. As an ICDS co-hire, the successful candidate will engage in computation and data-intensive research, including some of the development and/or application of innovative computational methods, such as big data, complex simulations, and AI/machine learning. Further information on the institute and its co-hires can be found: http://icds.psu.edu.
Required Qualifications Successful candidates must have an earned doctorate in a STEM field related to the job description, with a focus on plant biology or plant production systems, and postdoctoral experience indicating creativity, independence and productivity is preferred.
Candidates must demonstrate
An established record of publication or the promise of such a record of publication
A commitment to a significant program of research that has the potential to secure external funding, commensurate with experience.
Provide evidence of the potential for excellence in teaching and advising, both graduate and undergraduate students, commensurate with experience.
Interest in and ability to contribute to interdisciplinary research collaborations in one or more areas central to the College of Agricultural Sciences strategic plan, including sustainability, advanced agricultural systems, integrated health solutions, entrepreneurship, and environmental resilience, is expected.
Ability to engage professionally with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students across the university is required.
Penn State As a land-grant university, Penn State is responsible for providing a wide array of programs in the professional and technical disciplines, as well as a balanced offering of undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences. Penn State shares with other major research universities the traditional responsibilities to discover, develop, preserve, and disseminate knowledge. Penn State libraries was also recently ranked 2nd among public university libraries in the USA in the 2015-2016 Association of Research Libraries Library Investment Index. The University Park campus is located within State College, PA, which was recently ranked as one of the top college towns in the country by the American Institute for Economic Research. Located in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains, in Centre County, Pennsylvania, employment at Penn State offers incredible opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the central Pennsylvania outdoors combined with the culture, sports, and entertainment a large university community can bring, and is within drivable distance from Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York City.
Application Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2022. In addition to a letter of application, candidates must provide a curriculum vita, copies of graduate transcripts, PDFs of published papers, a statement of pedagogical approach to teaching, a diversity statement that describes any activities regarding contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, a statement of research and future goals and names and contact information for at least 3 references.
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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.