Assistant Professor – Controlled Environment Agriculture

Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia
Commensurate with Experience
April 27 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

Assistant Professor – Controlled Environment Agriculture

Description:  Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is seeking applicants for a tenure-track faculty position in Controlled Environment Agriculture applied to plant crops as part of its Phase II SmartFarm Innovation NetworkTM faculty cluster hire. Phase II includes a total of seven (7) faculty positions to be filled within several academic units and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers. Collaborations of cluster hires and existing faculty will enhance interdisciplinary flagship programs at the nexus of digital, biological, social, and physical sciences and engineering with application to agriculture, food, and natural resources. The cluster hire will be affiliated with the Center for Advance Innovation in Agriculture for enhancing the interdisciplinary networking. This ambitious vision will create a statewide network of interconnected faculty, partners, and resources for scientific discovery and developing and deploying and extending new technologies. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources and expand Virginia Tech’s global influence in this rapidly evolving domain.

The tenure home for this full-time tenure track position (AY 9-months), Controlled Environment Agriculture, with a primary research and secondary extension appointment, is the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences (SPES) in CALS. The incumbent will be a faculty member within SPES ( and based at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, VA ( at the Virginia Tech-IALR Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center ( The incumbent will be expected to conduct research related to controlled environment production of food and/or medicinal plant crops and to develop collaborative research with other faculty working in integrated agriculture technologies, such as sensors, robotics and data analyses. The incumbent will be expected to develop an Extension program and work with and support the controlled environment agriculture industry in Virginia. Subject areas of research and Extension may include, but are not limited to production systems, development and application of new technologies, new crop development and pest control. Global engagement is important as the incumbent’s career advances, and will contribute to the expansion of Virginia Tech’s reputation in this domain.

Responsibilities: The incumbent will develop a nationally and internationally recognized program in controlled environment agriculture. The incumbent is expected to obtain extramural funding and publish research in peer-reviewed journals appropriate to the discipline. The incumbent is expected to work cooperatively with other faculty in SPES, CALS, IALR, Virginia Cooperative Extension and units and programs at Virginia Tech and collaborate with other universities. The incumbent will be expected to recruit and mentor graduate students and develop an Extension program designed to support the controlled environment agriculture industry in Virginia.

Required Qualifications: 

  • Ph.D. in horticulture, plant science, agricultural/controlled environment engineering or other closely aligned field.
  • Experience in plant crop production or significant research or management in greenhouses or other types of controlled environments.
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Commitment to Extension and engagement     

Desired Qualifications:

  • Successful grantsmanship and publishing
  • Strong communication skills

Applications: For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit application materials by June 6, 2021. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined. Applications should be submitted online at, job number 515654. Required application materials include: 1) complete curriculum vitae, 2) official or unofficial transcripts of all graduate course work, 3) statement of current and future research interests as relevant to this position as well as experience in teaching and related interests, and 4) names, addresses and emails for four professional references. All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Steve Rideout, Search Committee Chair,, (540) 231-3728. Review of applications will begin on June 7, 2021 and all applications received by this date will be reviewed and considered.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.