Michigan State University

Post-Doctorate Research Associate

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Posted On: Sunday, 30th September 2018
Category: Research
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
480 Wilson Road, Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, Michigan 48824
Job Type:
Full Time

Job Description:

About Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems:

The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and MSU Center for Interdisciplinarity (C4I) are seeking a post-doctorate research associate (Fixed-Term) position. This position is an initial one-year appointment, with a one-year reappointment contingent upon funding and performance. The position will be housed at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems at 480 Wilson Road – Natural Resources Building – East Lansing Michigan

This is an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated, resourceful, experienced, and committed candidate to bring creative vision to an existing foundation of relationships and learnings in the areas of food sovereignty and racial equity. The ideal candidate holds a PhD in fields related to food and racial justice issues in a social science or humanities discipline, exhibits openness to engaging in a range of interdisciplinary team-oriented applied research approaches, and has lived experience with equity issues, cultural competency, and community engagement.

This postdoctoral position is the first of two positions that are planned to be part of a unique exchange program and partnership between Michigan State University and Ohio State University. The second position is planned to be filled at Ohio State University at a later date.  The candidates chosen to fill them will work closely and collaboratively with leaders and researchers from both institutions, and particularly the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation at Ohio State, and the Food@MSU initiative, to establish a regional community of practice committed to furthering food justice and racial equity.

This is expected to be a full-time, two-year, temporary position. Initial appointment will be for one year with reappointment contingent upon funding and performance.


Position Responsibilities:

Specific to project work

  • Review and, where appropriate, build upon a recently completed national environmental scan of racial equity metrics used in food systems work.
  • Work with a variety of Michigan Good Food Charter partners and other colleagues – including the Good Food Charter Shared Measurement advisory committee – to build upon the national environmental scan to consider and select a set of metrics that can be used at state (Michigan) and county levels to assess progress towards an equitable food system.
  • Coordinate production and delivery of a report that sets these developed racial equity metrics within the framework of current and future Michigan Good Food Charter goals and agenda priorities.
  • Share findings from this report with MSU teams working at the intersection of food systems and a) health; b) placemaking; c) racial equity, d) workforce development, and e) arts and culture
  • Develop the report into a curriculum module that could be used in university classrooms and/or by MSU Extension in working with local community partners
  • Assess the status and trajectory of food sovereignty work in the state of Michigan
  • Collaborate with the post-doctorate fellow at Ohio State University in helping to establish a regional community of practice committed to furthering Create content for Food@MSU website and social media
  • Actively participate in C4I staff and strategic meetings and stay current on C4I projects, activities, resources, and publications relevant to this work
  • Actively participate in CRFS staff and strategic meetings and stay current on CRFS projects, activities, resources and publications as relevant to this work; and
  • Help to foster, facilitate, and maintain a culture of anti-racism, trust, support and accountability.


Required Qualifications

We are seeking candidates who are committed to a humanities or social science research career, have related research and training experience, and have an outstanding academic record.

  1. Doctoral degree required in field related to food justice and racial equity, with possibilities including but not limited to the humanities, the social sciences, or an interdisciplinary field that includes humanistic or social scientific training, completed by the time of appointment
  2. Expertise in a research area related to food justice and racial equity issues, which could include but is not limited to: social psychology, philosophy of science, statistical methods, critical theory, mixed methods, philosophy of interdisciplinarity, evaluation metrics, small group dynamics, community engagement, communication theory and
  3. Demonstrated project leadership and management experience
  4. Demonstrated resourcefulness, self-motivation and ability to problem-solve and think critically.
  5. Ability to self-direct and balance multiple projects simultaneously and to easily shift between working independently and as part of a team.
  6. Demonstrated strong written and verbal communications skills and experience using a broad range of communication tactics.
  7. Ability to effectively and diplomatically engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholder groups (in Michigan and nationally) such as academic faculty and staff, organizational partners, and funders.
  8. Experience working with multicultural and diverse populations.
  9. High degree of knowledge of and comfort with using technology in completing job requirements including Microsoft Office suite; online search, file-sharing, and collaboration platforms; electronic survey software; and phone/web conferencing systems.
  10. Available to regularly travel throughout the state and occasionally within the US, including overnight, and possession of a valid, current state driver’s license.
  11. Understanding of and committed to a culture of equity and inclusivity.  





$51,000 annually.


To Apply:

You must apply online to MSU Human Resources: go to ht tp://careers.msu.edu look for job posting #533288 under faculty/academic staff.

A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, an updated curriculum vita or resume, and the names and contact information of three references needs to be submitted as a part of the application process.



MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Michigan State University employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.

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