Research Associates (Two positions) Management and Climate Impacts on Northern Hardwood Forests

Hiring Organization: Department of Forestry
Employment type: Full-Time
Application Due Date: December 8, 2023

The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University is seeking two outstanding Research Associates (Postdoctoral Researchers) to lead or co-lead a multidisciplinary USDA Forest Service funded project. The goal of the research is to understand the impacts of management alternatives (forest and deer) and potential changes in climate on the sustainability and resilience of multiple forest values (wood, wildlife, carbon) across the northern hardwood forest biome now and into the future. Interrelationships/ data summaries will be developed from long-term field experiment and inventory data from the US and Canada, then used to calibrate existing and novel modeling tools to develop projections.

The successful applicants are expected to co-lead the integration/development of projection tools and data summaries and lead authorship on key papers addressing project goals. Related duties include working closely with multidisciplinary (statistics, forest and wildlife ecology, silviculture, resource economics) co-PIs and resource managers, data management and co-supervising communications and technical personnel committed to the project. The position provides opportunities for project-wide leadership, participation/presentation at professional conferences and research-management workshops, supervision and interaction including travel to co-PI institutions. Please see the project website for additional details on the goals of the project and project co-PIs. The position will begin as a one‐year appointment with extensions possible for up to three years (given current project funding).

Required qualifications

The successful candidate will have an earned PhD in Biology, Ecology, Natural Resources or a closely related field; expertise in managing/analyzing large and complex datasets; modeling experience; familiarity with R and/or other programming languages; strong skills in written and verbal communication; and experience in managing personnel and projects.  

Preferred qualifications

Documented ability to bring projects to completion (publication record), evidence of effective independent and collaborative work, project management experience, and a strong interest in finding research solutions to management problems.


The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. 

To Apply

Submit your application online at to position number 908539.  Upload the following required documents: 1) a letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position and research interests, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) a writing sample (preferably a journal article or dissertation chapter) and 4) a list of three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline

Review of applications will begin on November 27, 2023.  Position will be open until filled. Desired start date is March 1-May 1, 2024. Questions about the position or the research project should be directed to Dr. Mike Walters at and/or Dr. Christel Kern at

MSU is an equal opportunity employer and the MSU Department of Forestry is committed to promoting diversity in research. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.