Virginia Tech is looking for an Assistant Professor - Tree Fruits/Specialty Crop Pathology
Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is seeking applicants for a tenure track position in Tree Fruits/Specialty Crop Pathology (Job No. 511904) as part of its SmartFarm Innovation Network faculty cluster hire. The cluster hire of 13 new faculty positions will be filled over multiple years within several academic units and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers. Collaborations of cluster hires and existing faculty will enhance interdisciplinary flagship programs at the nexus of digital, biological, social, and physical sciences and engineering with application to agriculture, food, and natural resources. This ambitious vision will create a statewide network of interconnected faculty, partners, and resources for scientific discovery and developing and deploying new technologies. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources and expand Virginia Tech’s global influence in this rapidly evolving domain.
The Tree Fruits/Specialty Crop Pathology position will be located at the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center (www.arec.vaes.vt.edu/arec/alson-h-smith.html) near Winchester, Virginia. This is a tenure-track Assistant Professor position with equal appointments in research and extension and a tenure home in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The position is negotiable as either an academic-year (9-month) or a calendar-year (12-month) appointment. The successful candidate will develop a nationally-recognized, externally-funded research and extension program principally focused on managing diseases of apples, peaches and other fruits relevant to Virginia producers, with latitude to pursue other horticultural specialty crop disease research as needs and funding arise. As a contributor to the SmartFarm Innovation Network, the individual will pursue opportunities to contribute knowledge and skills to collaborative research projects addressing relevant aspects of this initiative. Examples might include, but are not limited to: proximal and remote sensing of pathogens and plant bioindicators; development and validation of predictive disease development models; application of contemporary genetics to crop protection (synthetic biology, RNAi-based fungicides, resistance monitoring and management); autonomous or semiautonomous plant management vehicles; DNA-informed germplasm improvement; and the development of post-harvest technologies to suppress microbial decay. The individual will be expected to secure extramural funding, publish in peer-reviewed journals, recruit and mentor graduate students, actively participate in professional societies as well as departmental affairs. The incumbent will work with Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents and other Extension Specialists to deliver research-based educational programs via contemporary training and teaching materials that will serve relevant fruit industries of Virginia, the region, and nationally. Opportunities for international engagement exist and are encouraged.
In addition to the online application, required application materials include: 1) cover letter summarizing qualifications, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) statement of current research interests (1-page limit), 4) statement of extension education and graduate mentoring philosophy (1-page limit), and 5) full contact information for four professional references. All inquiries concerning this position should be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Chris Bergh, firstname.lastname@example.org (540-232-6046). Review of applications will begin on January 3, 2020 and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected.
Ph.D. in Plant Pathology or a closely related discipline at the time of hire; Demonstrated experience in planning and implementing plant disease management research; Record of peer-reviewed publications; Demonstrated ability to communicate research-based Extension information effectively (oral and written) to agricultural producers and other stakeholders.
Demonstrated familiarity with tree fruit protection and production; Two or more years of post-doctoral training/experience in relevant field; Evidence of successful grantsmanship; Demonstrated ability to be an effective supervisor or team leader.