Assistant Professor Digital Agriculture

Urbana, Illinois
Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience
July 24 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department of Crop Sciences

Assistant Professor
Digital Agriculture

The Department of Crop Sciences seeks an outstanding scientist for an Assistant Professor of Digital Agriculture position with a scholarly emphasis on data-driven agriculture. The successful candidate will be able to develop novel data-driven approaches to crop production, improvement and/or protection that significantly enhance resilient and productive food systems across multiple scales. The candidate will also be able to apply their skills in mitigating risks in agriculture stemming from increased volatility in the production environment, markets and pest complexes.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit

The successful candidate will aggregate, synthesize, analyze and create new value from the rich data streams generated by all phases of agricultural production and utilization. Specifically, this scientist will deliver innovative research and educational programs at the interface of agriculture, computer science, and technology synthesis. The primary affiliation will be the Department of Crop Sciences, however close interaction with faculty from across the university through the Center for Digital Agriculture is expected. Digital Agriculture is a campus-wide initiative focused on a joint College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and College of Engineering effort with a Crop Sciences + Computer Science degree program. The University of Illinois is ideally situated for scientists to leverage the diverse expertise of interdisciplinary faculty on campus to lead the development of resilient and highly productive agricultural systems. The University combines deep faculty community with diverse expertise, world-class centers, and is surrounded by some of the most productive commercial agricultural producers in the country eager to collaborate. 

This position is part of an initiative in the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences to contribute to the improvement of global human and environmental health via the food system. We intend to dramatically strengthen and expand our capacity in this arena through a 7-position cluster hire focused on Food and Agricultural Systems for Global Health. Elevating this theme among departments with college support and coordination will synergistically leverage and enrich existing strengths across our disciplines while creating a platform to stand as a global leader in food systems and health. Faculty hired into these positions will lead College-wide efforts in food security and global health and participate in related campus priorities, including the Nutrition and Food Security theme of the campus strategic plan (, the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, among others.


  • Interface and collaborate with the faculty across campus engaged in this emerging field of research
  • Develop an extramurally-funded advanced research and outreach program in digital agriculture and sustainable cropping systems
  • Establish private/public partnerships with the leaders of industry
  • Contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching programs through teaching and student advising in the Department of Crop Sciences
  • Collaborate with colleagues to address scientific problems that require complex, multidisciplinary approaches in food and agricultural systems


All candidates must hold a Ph.D. and have demonstrated experience in a scholarly field that supports the aggregation, synthesis and analysis of rich data sets in agriculture. Such fields may include, but are not limited to: data science, statistics, computer science, engineering, plant or crop sciences, quantitative ecology, epidemiology, agronomy, or soil science. Experience demonstrating leadership of independent and team-based research is required. The candidate should have the ability to develop and instruct undergraduate and graduate courses using innovative teaching methods. The candidate must demonstrate excellent communication skills and an ability to engage professionally with a diverse population from academia, industry, farmers, faculty, staff, and students.


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a student enrollment of more than 40,000, and nearly 2,000 faculty. The community has a successful startup culture that works with faculty to pursue entrepreneurial paths for their research programs.  It is located approximately 120 miles south of Chicago in a vibrant and diverse community of 130,000, and is easy driving distance from St. Louis and Indianapolis. Our community offers the residential advantages of a medium-sized university city, excellent cultural opportunities, and high quality of life.

The College of ACES is recognized worldwide for its commitment to excellence in undergraduate and graduate programs, teaching, research, outreach, and international programs. We offer tremendous opportunities for students to achieve their goals and prepare for high-impact careers. Our hands-on academic programs prepare our graduates for local, national, and global careers. The research programs at ACES are making a difference in peoples’ lives. Our research and education centers, located throughout the state, provide vital testing grounds where research can generate practical applications that benefit consumers, farmers, commodity groups, agricultural organizations, environmentalists, conservationists, government agencies, industry, and business. University of Illinois Extension connects the University to people, businesses, and communities statewide to help solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. The faculty and staff at ACES are leaders in international engagement, addressing global challenges and impacting lives around the world.

The University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences ( is a recognized global scientific leader in plant genetic improvement, crop production, plant protection, biometry, and environmental quality. Our research and teaching facilities include state-of-the-art laboratory space for plant and soil research, newly renovated classrooms with advanced learning technologies, and over 1,500 acres of research plots on our three research and education centers.

This is a 9-month, 100% time academic, tenure-track position with opportunity for summer appointment.

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes a comprehensive benefits package. The position is available August 16, 2020.

To apply, please create a candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of research, teaching, and outreach goals, and contact information for three professional references. Letters of recommendation and transcripts may be requested at a later date. The closing date for receiving applications is September 5, 2019. All applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration. For further information regarding the application procedures, you may contact Linda Kemplin, For additional information about the position, you may also contact: Dr. Alexander E. Lipka, Search Committee Chair, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave,. Urbana, Illinois, 61801, 217-300-0726,
All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Individuals with diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.


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