Faculty Cluster Hire in Integrative Precision Agriculture (Open Rank)

POSITION TITLE AND DESCRIPTION: Assistant, Associate or Full Professor in Integrative Precision Agriculture with an academic-year appointment. This is a university-wide search; successful candidates will select an appropriate home department and college during the interview and appointment process.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES: Building on one of its key research strengths, the University of Georgia is conducting a cluster hire to fill five tenure-track or tenured faculty positions in the area of Integrative Precision Agriculture, of which up to three are being recruited for a target start date of August 2021. Outstanding candidates who can contribute significantly to the application of digital agriculture technologies, data analytics, or models with a focus on the rhizosphere (soil, microbiome, and roots) and/or on sustainable intensification of cropping or plantation forestry systems relevant to the southeastern U.S. are especially encouraged to apply.

Illustrative examples of the type of expertise sought include, but are not limited to:
• Sensor Development and Distributed Sensing – e.g., novel soil- or plant-embedded sensors and biodegradable sensor networks for distributed in-situ measurements of agricultural and environmental variables.
• Systems Modeling – e.g., predicting root and shoot growth, nutrient and water uptake, host-microbiome interactions, and pest/pathogen spread at field and landscape scales to fine-tune site-specific crop management, optimize yield potential, and minimize environmental impacts.
• AI-Enabled Decision Analysis and Data Analytics – e.g., leveraging data from high-resolution images and sensor networks to improve soil, crop, and plant health management decisions at field and landscape scales.
• Automation and Actuation – e.g., robotics and imaging technologies for phenomics and precision crop management; smart machinery for belowground seed placement and precision pest management; and accurate detection of biotic and abiotic plant stressors.

The new faculty members are expected to develop a vigorous, high-impact, externally funded research program; work closely with other members of the cluster hire and existing faculty specializing in precision agriculture; actively participate in the mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral scientists; effectively support our teaching mission at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and contribute to a diverse and inclusive environment within the university. Specific teaching assignments will be negotiated with the hiring department, but are expected to be commensurate with a 0.25 FTE instructional appointment.

Specific responsibilities include (but are not limited to): (1) obtain extramural funds to support research and teaching programs, (2) establish a strong record of scholarly activity, and (3) direct PhD and MS degree students and postdoctoral associates.

The incumbents are expected to work collaboratively with each other and with existing precision agriculture faculty at the University of Georgia, including faculty in cross-cutting units such as the Phenomics and Plant Robotics Center (https://pprc.uga.edu/), the Precision Agriculture team (https://research.uga.edu/news/farming-for-the-future-uga-leads-the-way-in-precision-agriculture/), and the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (https://www.ai.uga.edu/), among others.

QUALIFICATIONS: All candidates must have a Ph.D. in an agricultural science, engineering, computer science or related discipline. All candidates must also have a documented research background, as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications, in the application of technologies, data analytics, or models to problems in agriculture or biology. Two years of postdoctoral experience preferred.

To be considered at the rank of Associate Professor, candidates must have at least 5 full years in rank at the Assistant Professor level. To be considered at the rank of Professor, candidates must have at least 5 full years in rank at the Associate Professor level. Specific criteria for the Associate Professor and Professor levels in potential home departments are summarized at https://provost.uga.edu/policies/appointment-promotion-and-tenure/promotion-tenure-criteria/

To be eligible for tenure upon appointment, candidates must be appointed as an associate or full professor, have been tenured at a prior institution, and bring a demonstrably national reputation to the institution. Candidates must be approved for tenure upon appointment before hire.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE: 1 August 2021. Review of applications will begin on 15 February 2021; however, applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

SALARY: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Inquiries about the positions should be directed to the co-chairs of the search committee, Dr. Jaime Andres Camelio (jcamelio@uga.edu) in the College of Engineering or Dr. Harald Scherm (scherm@uga.edu) in the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. All application materials must be submitted via the university's job portal at https://www.ugajobsearch.com/postings/179607 Materials to be uploaded include i) cover letter addressing the candidate's experience relative to the responsibilities of the position; ii) curriculum vitae; iii) graduate-level academic transcripts; iv) statement of research interests, including a discussion of how the candidate's research would complement existing precision agriculture efforts at UGA; v) description of teaching experience and interests; and vi) names and contact information of four professional references. Selected applicants will be required to submit a background investigation demonstrating eligibility for employment with the University of Georgia.

The University of Georgia (UGA), a land-grant and sea-grant university with statewide commitments and responsibilities is the state's oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education (http://www.uga.edu/). UGA is currently ranked among the top 20 public universities in U.S. News & World Report. The University's main campus is located in Athens, approximately 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campuses in Atlanta, Griffin, Gwinnett, and Tifton. UGA was founded in 1785 by the Georgia General Assembly as the first state-chartered University in the country. UGA employs approximately 1,800 full-time instructional faculty and more than 7,600 full-time staff. The University's enrollment exceeds 36,000 students including over 27,500 undergraduates and over 8,500 graduate and professional students. Academic programs reside in 17 schools and colleges, as well as a medical partnership with Augusta University housed on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens.