Assistant or Associate Professor in Controlled Environment Hort and Urban Agriculture

Hiring Organization: University of Delaware Plant and Soil Sciences Department
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Newark, DE
Application Deadline: September 1, 2019

Job description:

The University of Delaware’s (UD) Plant and Soil Sciences Department (PLSC) seeks applications for an Assistant/Associate Professor of Controlled Environment Horticulture/Urban Agriculture starting in 2020. This is a 9-month, tenure-track faculty position with a 55% research, 40% teaching, and 5% service responsibility. This position will serve as the primary academic advisor for students in a new Sustainable Food Systems major being offered in PLSC.


The candidate will be expected to develop an internationally recognized, extramurally funded research program that integrates basic and applied horticulture with crops grown in urban agriculture settings such as greenhouses, vertical and rooftop farms, high tunnels, and other controlled environments utilizing hydroponic and other soil-less technologies. While the position requires a focus on plant production in controlled environments, the best candidates will also contribute to our understanding of technological, energy-budget, and life-cycle analysis issues in this emerging field. Examples of potential funding sources include: USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Organic Agriculture Program, Horticulture Programs, and Sustainable Agriculture Program; NSF Innovations at the nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems, NASA Controlled Environment Agriculture program and Specialty Crop Block grants. Grant support from commercial sources and would also be possible.

The candidate should have prior teaching experience and a passion for working with students and communities. Specific responsibilities will include teaching three courses per academic year in support of PLSC majors in Sustainable Food Systems and Plant Science, including Greenhouse Management and Controlled Environment Systems, Hydroponics, and the senior Capstone course for the Sustainable Food Systems major. The candidate will be encouraged to develop proficiency-based course modules to be offered through UD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies. The incumbent is expected to participate in undergraduate and graduate student recruitment and mentoring.

Additional Institutional information:

The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences ( is one of four departments in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), with 27 full-time faculty focused in the areas of agriculture, plant biology, and landscape horticulture/architecture that are located in Newark, DE or the Carvel Research and Education Center near Georgetown, DE. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources includes a 350-acre agricultural experiment station and teaching farm, Fischer Greenhouse Laboratory and growth chamber facility, the Fresh2U certified organic vegetable enterprise (with 4 high-tunnels). The primary research and teaching laboratory building (Worrilow Hall) is currently undergoing a $35 million renovation and will reopen in late 2020, providing state-of-the-art labs and core facilities, just as the successful candidate is on-boarded. Department faculty are world-renowned and include two National Academy of Science Fellows, three endowed professors, and several members who have received high honors from professional societies. The department is highly collaborative across college and institutional lines and is integrated with Cooperative Extension personnel, as well as with faculty and staff in other departments and colleges.. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies UD as a “highest research activity” institution, a designation achieved by only 3% of U.S. academic institutions.

University of Delaware’s attractive main campus is in Newark, DE, which is within two hours of New York and Washington, D.C., and within one hour of Philadelphia and Baltimore. The University is a Land Grant, Sea Grant, Space Grant, and Carnegie Engaged University. The University of Delaware is a well-endowed, state-assisted institution with selective admissions and a student body of more than 19,000 undergraduate and 4000 graduate students. 


University of Delaware salaries and fringe benefit packages are highly competitive. A start-up package is available.


Candidate must have a Ph.D. in Horticulture, Plant Science, Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences, Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, or related fields. Experience in hydroponics or other controlled environment growing systems is required.

Applying to the Position

Review of applications will begin on September 1, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled. Nominations and expressions of interest will be held in confidence and references will be contacted only with the candidate’s permission.  Applicants should upload a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references at The letter of application and CV will be shared with the search committee. For information contact Amy L. Shober, Ph.D., Search Committee Chair, at; 1.302.831.2146. To see the full job posting, please click here