Assistant / Associate Professor of Agronomy in Digital Agriculture (2 positions)

West Lafayette, Indiana
Based on experience
December 19 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

Assistant / Associate Professor of Agronomy in Digital Agriculture (2 positions)

The Department of Agronomy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana is seeking applications for Assistant/Associate Professors of Agronomy emphasizing the use of the emerging tools in digital agriculture.  Two positions are available: Position 1 will focus on improving yield potential and agronomic performance of crop plants; Position 2 will focus on interactions of crops with the environment.  Both positions are expected to use data-intensive analytics and modeling to advance our understanding of crop performance. Our ideal candidates will straddle the empirical world and the modeling world; collecting data from experiments, and using these data to inform models, or vice versa.  The Purdue University College of Agriculture and the Department of Agronomy are using the digital revolution to improve the efficiency and sustainability of crop production.  We are building on existing strengths in soil and plant and crop sciences, and leveraging state-of-the-art assets in statistics, engineering, and computer sciences to create knowledge from disparate data in order to improve management decisions in agriculture.  Our goal is to be at the forefront of digital agriculture by expanding our capabilities in supporting field crop production systems typical of Indiana, the Midwest, and worldwide.

Responsibilities: These are tenure-track, academic-year, faculty positions.  The successful candidates are working at the interface of data science, empirical and/or mechanistic modeling and plant agriculture. Candidates must have a strong command of data synthesis/analytics and modeling, and a contextual understanding of agronomy that enables analysis of complex datasets to advance understanding and solve complex agricultural problems at scale. The successful candidates are expected to teach interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate courses in digital agriculture, crop modeling, crop-climate interactions, with emphasis on quantitative methods and modeling and use of remote sensing data with direct applications to crop and water quality management.  The course topics could also include Digital Ag modeling, system biology, mathematical modeling involving crop genotype-management-environment, and Big Data with direct applications to real-world crop biology at both undergraduate and graduate levels.  Graduate student training in modeling and collaborative research activities that address foundational or emerging issues in crop and soil sciences are expected.

Qualifications: Successful candidates will have a Ph.D. in computer science, genomics, plant or soil sciences. Other areas of expertise may include, but are not limited to: integration of genomic/proteomic/metabolomics and other data sources such as agricultural meteorology data to predict crop growth and stress tolerance; prediction of growth using remote and proximal sensors; advancing our understanding of input use efficiencies (water, radiation, nutrients); determining crop responses to environments affected by climate change. Candidates are expected to work across the Department, College, and University as part of a diverse research community that demonstrates an ability to contribute to an inclusive climate and work culture. Candidates will show a commitment to seeking extramural funding, teaching, and working on research teams addressing multi-disciplinary problems. Successful candidates are expected to develop an internationally recognized and extramurally funded program.

The College and Department: Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and the Department of Agronomy are creating an opportunity to use cyber-physical systems to improve efficiency, quality, and sustainability of agricultural practices and impacts. The two positions are part of a college-wide Digital Ag hiring cluster that also includes positions in Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Agricultural Economics, and Forestry and Natural Resources. These positions are significantly augmented by deep resources in computer science, data management, and high-speed computing.  Excellent core facilities are available on campus, including genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics, and metabolite profiling centers, as well as field and controlled-environment phenotyping. The College of Agriculture also supports unique field facilities, advanced data acquisition platforms and commitment to the development of Digital Agriculture.

The Agronomy Department is an integral part of the College of Agriculture, one of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences. The College boasts 3 World Food Prize laureates, and the ninth-ranked Agriculture program in the world (QS, 2018). The College has 11 academic departments and currently includes 313 faculty, 672 graduate students, and 2,803 undergraduate students. The College is deeply committed to the three land-grant missions (teaching, research, and extension); to international activities and perspectives that span all missions; and to support a diverse and inclusive environment focused on excellence in all that we do. The College’s strategic plan can be found at

Purdue is an ADVANCE institution (  As an ADVANCE institution, Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and Department of Agronomy are committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement.  Candidates should address at least one of these areas in their cover letter, indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

Interaction with faculty at Purdue’s Discovery Park ( is encouraged. Other resources available for candidates to succeed in this position include:

•    Purdue Integrative Data Science Initiative

•    CoAg Smarter Agriculture 

•    CoAg Hadoop/Spark data pipeline

•    Research Computing high-performance resources

•    Purdue Libraries research data tools and services

CLOSING DATE: February 15, 2019, or until filled.


Submit: 1) An application cover letter that includes a statement on advancing diversity, 2) a statement of research goals and objectives in this position (two pages maximum), 3) a statement of teaching philosophy (two pages maximum), and 4) curriculum vitae that include a complete publication list, including the names and contact information for at least three professional references.

Questions may be directed to the Search Committee Co-Chairs, Dr. Mitch Tuinstra (via email or Dr. James Camberato (via email Application packets should be emailed to Brandon Chafin ( and indicate a preference for position 1 or 2.  A background check will be required for employment in this position. Assistant / Associate Professor of Agronomy in Digital Agriculture (2 positions).

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities,
 women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.