University of Vermont Post-Doctoral Position in Cover Crop Networks and Farmer Behavior


Position Description

A two year post-doctoral position is available at the University of Vermont under the mentorship of Dr. Meredith Niles.  The expected start date is negotiable, with a preferred start date by summer 2020.  Salary range will be between $45,000 and $50,000, depending on experience.  There are also a number of generous benefits associated with the position, which can be found at:  The post-doctorate will also have opportunities for professional development and travel associated with the project.


This post-doctoral position is part of a USDA Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant working across dozens of institutions and states focused on cover crop precision agriculture.  Additional information about the project and team can be found here:


The main focus of this post-doctoral position is the analysis of the information ecology and networks of cover crop adopters and non-adopters.  The project is planning a large farmer survey across more than a dozen states in the winter of 2021.  The post-doctorate will work to develop and disseminate the survey, coordinate survey outreach and return rates, and survey analysis including network analysis.  The position will work across a large research team across multiple institutions and have significant opportunities to engage across disciplines and with researchers working from the field level up through data platforms and tech development. 


The post-doctorate will be a member of Dr. Niles’ lab (, whose members are associated with the Food Systems Program, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Gund Institute at The University of Vermont.  The post-doctorate through this integration will have the opportunity to mentor graduate students, and participate in other projects related to food security and climate change, farmer adaptation to climate change, and agriculture, diets and health.  The lab has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research, food systems science, and open access principles. 


Required Qualifications

  • A PhD in a relevant field related to social sciences, food systems, data science or networks, political science and/or plant, soil or agricultural sciences among others.  There is no specific disciplinary PhD requirement, so candidates from many different disciplines, departments and interdisciplinary programs are encouraged to apply if their experience is relevant.

  • Demonstrated academic capacity evidenced by academic publications and conference presentations

  • Experience and expertise in statistical, survey and network analysis, programming of online surveys in LimeSurvey or another platform

  • Demonstrated capacity to develop surveys,

  • Independent work ethic


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with agricultural producers in social science research

  • Experience working with large research teams, including ability to work across disciplines and with remote academic and non-academic partners

  • Interest/experience in mentoring graduate/undergraduate students


The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any category legally protected by federal or state law. Applicants are welcome from any region, and there are no associated citizenship requirements.


Application Process

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Niles with any clarifying questions prior to the submission of their application.  To apply for this position please submit:

  • A cover letter that details experience and interest in the position including experience working on survey development, network analysis, and across large teams

  • A full CV

  • At least one, and up to three peer-reviewed publications

  • Contact information for three references


Top candidates will be invited to interview through videoconference, with the possibility of a campus visit. 


In order to be fully considered for the position, applications should be received by April 1, 2020.  Applications should be sent to Dr. Niles at


350 Carrigan Wing, 109 Carrigan Drive

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT 05405

  • Twitter Clean Grey
  • LinkedIn Clean Grey