Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Rodale Institute

Kutztown, PA, US

SUMMARY: A full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate position is available at Rodale Institute to study the impacts of conventional/organic agricultural practices on soil health and water quality on a six-year grant-funded collaborative project with partner Stroud Water Research Center. The primary goal of this project is to educate the over 15 million people, who rely on the Delaware River Watershed (DRW) for clean drinking water, about the linkages between agriculture, soil health, and water quality while evaluating the potential for innovative farm management techniques to improve soil health and help provide clean fresh water in DRW for humans and wildlife. Agricultural management practices such as reduced tillage and cover crop usage that utilize water efficiently will be identified and communication programs developed to help facilitate change from farming practices that erode soil and water quality to regenerative practices that enhance soil health and protect and conserve fresh water.

The Post-Doctoral Research Associate will manage field and laboratory activities related to soil health analyses at Rodale Institute’s 38-year-old flagship Farming Systems Trial (FST) in Kutztown, PA and at collaborative research sites at Stroud Water Research Center, Avondale, PA. The Post-Doc Research Associate will conduct rigorous original science to establish the linkages between farming practices with soil health, water quantity and quality, environmental impacts, and agricultural productivity in the DRW. The Post-Doctoral Research Associate will publish high quality, peer-reviewed research and present research results at national and international scientific and farmer conferences. This position is critical to the success of the project and will ensure that appropriate amounts of data are collected at each site and processed in a timely manner as well as maintaining a strong collaboration between the two institutions.

• Participate in experimental designing; data collection, processing, and analysis; and management of technical staff/teams;
• Work with the Research teams to produce peer-reviewed publications and develop grant proposals for additional funding for research, education, and outreach activities for the project;
• Project management and coordination of field operations with contract farmers and Rodale Institute Farm Operations Department to facilitate timely data collection and field activities;
• Work with Research and Communications Departments to create outreach and education publications, including bulletins, fact sheets, and newspaper and web articles including a robust Train-the-Trainer program and Citizen Science activities;
• Give workshops and presentations at Rodale Institute, nationally and internationally.

• Doctorate in Plant and/or Soil Science with specialization in Agronomy, Crop Science, or related field.
• Minimum of two years in field and laboratory research experience and familiarity with field row crop production.
• Strong background in statistical analysis of field trial results and evidence of publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
• Proven ability to work collaboratively in a team environment with individuals of diverse backgrounds and multiple disciplines.
• Applicants with approved work permits in the USA will be given priority.

• Experience with organic farming and soil health and/or organic production/research.
• Evidence of attention to detail and ability to develop and maintain high quality records and other documentation is desirable.
• Excellent organizational skills with demonstrated written and oral skills for communicating technical information to farmers and extension personnel.
• Self-starter with the ability to prioritize multiple activities.

TRAVEL: This position will require extensive travel.

POSITION TYPE: Full Time: 40 + hours/week

Application deadline is February 28, 2018 in anticipation of starting the position in late spring 2018. To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae or resume, and the names and addresses of three professional references to Elaine Macbeth, Director of Finance and Human Resources, at [email protected].

Project partner Stroud Water Research Center, located in Avondale, PA, is also hiring a Postdoctoral Associate in conjunction with this project. To learn more about that job description, please visit

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. The mission of the Rodale Institute is to improve the health and well-being of people and the planet through organic leadership. For over seventy years, the Rodale Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.

The Research Department’s mission is to provide scientifically valid research data to demonstrate the benefits of transitioning to organic management systems and identify and provide tools and practices to reduce pest issues, soil erosion, fossil fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions; increase nutrient and water use efficiencies; and improve soil and water quality, pollinator activity and food security. Primary research program areas include: 1) Helping to Grow Organic Agriculture; 2) Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change; and 3) Improving Human Health and Nutrition. Learn more at