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Research Assistant Professor

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Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department: Agricultural & Applied Economics
Categories: Agriculture / Life Science

Job Description

The College of Agricultural and Life Science’s Center for Agricultural Trade ( in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ( at Virginia Tech invites applications for an early career, non-tenured position at the rank of research assistant professor with a specialization in global economic modeling of agricultural trade policy and climate and environmental issues impacting agricultural productivity. The position is a 9-month, academic-year appointment with expectations for funding summer activities through external grants, teaching, or other mechanisms. Funding for this position is initially for two years with subsequent years dependent upon performance and availability of research funds. The anticipated start date for this position is August 10, 2022.

Research Appointment: The successful candidate will develop a strong research program that employs modern empirical and computational simulation techniques to evaluate global economic implications of emerging international trade and climate issues relevant to U.S. agricultural industries. The successful candidate will be expected to conduct ex ante forecast simulations and/or ex post econometric assessments of policy scenarios affecting the competitiveness of US agricultural production and trade. Specific duties will include:
- Conducting relevant research on agricultural and trade issues and policies, including ex-post econometric analyses using panel data structural gravity models, machine learning or other dynamic treatment effects event studies;
- Calibration and simulation of the Center’s linked livestock-crop global-spatial model to quantify emerging policy issues and scenarios;
- Working closely with the Center’s team of faculty and graduate students to maintain and update the Center’s econometric and global simulation models;
- Applying for competitive grants and external funding opportunities to support the Center’s land grant mission;
- Publishing academic journal articles, policy reports and shorter policy briefs;
- Presentation and dissemination of research results to academic, policy-making and industry associations at federal, state and professional venues
- Assisting in the organization and execution of relevant conferences and seminars, including the annual Virginia Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade in Richmond, VA, and the College of Agricultural and Life Science’s Dean’s Keynote lecture

The candidate’s research applications will also have the opportunity to contribute to a broad range of fields represented within the department, college and university such as the College of Agriculture and Life Science's (CALS) Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Initiative (, the Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture (CAIA) (, the University’s Global Change Center, the interdisciplinary graduate education program (IGEP) in remote sensing, the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE), and VT's Advanced Research Computing (ARC) center.

Opportunity for Teaching & Advising: The individual will be expected to participate in the recruitment and advising/mentoring of graduate students, including serving on Master's theses and Ph.D. dissertation committees. Depending on interest, the individual may also have the opportunity to teach a class at the undergraduate or graduate levels.

Required Qualifications

• PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics, Economics, Computer Science, Operations Research, Management Science, Statistics, Engineering, or a closely related discipline
• Spatially explicit research experience and coursework related to global economic modeling and modern applied econometric techniques.
• Record of peer-reviewed publications or advanced working papers related to the position description

Preferred Qualifications

• Proficiency in R, Stata, GAMS, GEMPACK, and/or Python modeling languages.
• Experience in procuring grants or other external funding mechanisms
• Research experience involving estimation and calibration of regional and global economic and policy modeling.
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively in a team-based atmosphere.
• Experience working with large structured and unstructured datasets.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with Experience

Review Date


Additional Information


The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

Please include a CV, a statement of research interests including relevant experience and fit for this position, a list of three references with contact information, and a one page statement describing candidates commitments to promoting diversity and working in a multicultural environment with your application packet.  


About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

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 military 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.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Jason Grant at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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