Berry Crops Physiology and Management

Hiring Organization: MSU Dept of Horticulture
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: East Lansing, MI
Application Deadline: August 29, 2021

Position Summary

The Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU) is seeking candidates for an Assistant Professor (12-month tenure system, 50% research, 35% extension, 15% teaching) position to lead an internationally recognized, innovative and extramurally-funded research program in berry crops physiology and production. This position is part of a well-established plant science research and extension team that includes horticulturists, physiologists, molecular biologists, geneticists, plant pathologists, entomologists, and agricultural engineers, as well as a network of extension educators across the state.

The successful candidate will develop a research and extension program related to berry production systems and associated horticultural technologies that optimize fruit quality, yields, plant performance and labor efficiencies. Potential areas of research pertinent to this position include, but are not limited to: modern production techniques; substrate and/or protected culture systems; precision in nutrient delivery and nutrient uptake, transport, and utilization; root-rhizosphere biology, including chemical, biochemical, and/or microbial interactions; and/or soil health and replant issues in perennial crop production systems. Michigan is a leading producer of diverse fruit crops that are valued at over $460 million annually, including a $120 million blueberry industry that provides potential research and extension support through the Michigan Blueberry Commission.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop research and outreach collaborations with MSU colleagues, as well as with extramural peer and interdisciplinary scientists; procure competitive external (e.g., USDA) and intramural (e.g., Project GREEEN) grant funding; publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals; develop leadership activities in regional, national, and international professional scientific associations; and mentor graduate and undergraduate students. Instructional responsibilities include a total of 3 credits in relevant areas of their expertise. Extension activities involve service as a core resource for the MSU Extension educator team and development of pertinent outreach tools and activities to disseminate critical new information to the berry industries in Michigan and nationally/internationally. Benefits include a salary commensurate with the candidate’s experience, a competitive start-up package, and attractive health, dental and retirement plans.

MSU is a global leader in basic and applied plant science research, with over 150 faculty members engaged in research ranging from sustainable agriculture and ecology to breeding, genomics and biochemistry. State-of-the-art laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field-based facilities are available for plant growth research, including biochemical, imaging, and gene expression analyses, bioinformatics support, and plant transformation. Plant science faculty, staff, and graduate students represent an inclusive, diverse community committed to the advancement of science and the recruitment and retention of persons from richly varied backgrounds and perspectives to maintain and enhance the excellence of the University.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Horticulture, Plant biology/physiology

Minimum Requirements

  • Ph.D. in horticulture, plant biology/physiology, soil microbiology/biochemistry, agronomy, forestry, or other plant science-related fields

  • Demonstrated capacity to conduct and publish independent, original, innovative research

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills appropriate for both scientific peers and agricultural stakeholder constituencies

Desired Qualifications

  • Postdoctoral research experience

  • Experience in competitive grant proposal writing and administration

  • Experience in berry crop production/management systems

  • Experience in teaching and/or extension programming

  • Ability to work collaboratively, both as a team member and as a leader

Required Application Materials

Qualified applicants should submit the following materials:  

1) a letter of application, summarizing research accomplishments and future interests
2) a current resume
3) a statement of teaching/outreach philosophy
4) a summary of experience or philosophy fostering diversity and inclusion in classroom, research, and/or extension endeavors, and an explanation of how you will contribute to MSU’s goals of inclusive excellence
5) contact information for at least three references who will be contacted directly by the search committee as needed. 

Special Instructions

Questions about the position or the search and interview timetable can be directed to Dr. Patrick Edger, Search Committee Chair (  Questions on submitting applications through can be directed to Review of applications will begin July 15, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

Review of Applications Begins On