Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-funded Project

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Principal investigators are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to assist in the completion of a USDA-funded project to document apple and wine-grape pruning practices. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology. The candidate will have expertise in commodity chain analysis and apple and wine-grape pruning practices. The candidate will have expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods. Specific required research skills and experiences include intensive interviewing, conducting focus groups, survey design, and spatial analysis. The candidate will also need to be flexible enough to travel to conduct research in multiple locations around the United States.

This position includes a 12-month initial appointment with possible extension, depending on additional funding availability.


  • Assist with conducting a literature review on pruning practices and commodity chain analysis.
  • Conduct in-depth interviews (individual and/or group) and participate in quantitative survey design and analysis.
  • Communicate with key stakeholders to disseminate results and make recommendations.
  • Participate in, and lead where appropriate, writing of reports and peer-reviewed manuscripts.
  • Possibility for teaching in the undergraduate program.



  • PhD in a social science discipline (sociology/rural sociology, political science, economics, social psychology, geography, communication).
  • Excellent communication skills including spoken/written English.
  • Broad social science methodological competence, especially in the conduct and analysis of qualitative interviews, design and implementation of standardized surveys, quantitative analysis, and spatial analysis.
  • Demonstrated desire to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Proven organizational skills and the ability to work independently while adhering to tight timelines.
  • Availability to travel to conduct interviews and focus groups.
  • Work under the supervision of a collaborative team of researchers from Penn State‚Äôs AESE Department.

Visit the PSU Jobsite to apply. The job number for this position is 42725.

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