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University of California
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Website URL:
Posted: 12/18/2020
CE Project Scientist UC Berkeley Food Institute
Salary: TBD


The Project Scientist will conduct an extension-based applied research program addressing policy and economic barriers, motivations, and opportunities that influence agricultural producers’ transition to economically viable, environmentally sustainable, regenerative, and equitable practices. The Project Scientist will work to develop effective ways to meet the needs of producers (who have diverse scales and resource capacities across urban, rural and regional contexts) and help them overcome economic and policy-related challenges as they transition to practices based on agroecological principles (including but not limited to new market opportunities, circular and solidarity economies, soil health, organic production, integrated pest management, crop diversification, culturally relevant foods, practices that enhance food security, and fair labor practices), and disseminate findings on policy and economic solutions that benefit farmers, farmworkers, communities, and society more broadly.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Envision and operationalize a research program that reflects BFI's vision, rooted in producer transitions to agroecological systems.
  • Undertake and support applied research on on-farm transitions to sustainable food and agriculture systems.
  • Collaborate with producers, businesses, policymakers, government agencies, and extension and research colleagues on relevant research and outreach projects.
  • Provide and coordinate outreach and assistance to producers and producer organizations, commodity groups, food businesses, and community organizations, to provide information on economic incentives and opportunities of innovative sustainable agriculture methods, with attention to socially disadvantaged producers, locations, groups and businesses.
  • Develop tools and resources (in languages used by target communities, when possible) that support education and assistance for farmers, farmworkers, and those that serve them, on strategic opportunities, including but not limited to innovative financing, value-added certification programs (e.g. organic, sustainable, or fair trade programs, etc.), values-based procurement, direct-to-consumer marketing, partnerships with the charitable food system, land access policies, etc.
  • Document, publish, and share project work and accomplishments in peer-reviewed journals and through other publications that are relevant to and will reach key audiences.
  • Develop and submit funding proposals, fulfill project objectives, and write grant reports, which includes evaluation of outcomes.
  • Support BFI’s research-to-policy outreach projects and policy program, working closely with the Executive Director, Faculty Director(s), and staff.
  • Expand outreach and communications about BFI’s policy-relevant research and connections to ANR in sustainable agriculture and food systems, and with stakeholder groups, including UC-SAREP, the Organic Institute, and others.

Reporting Relationship: The Project Scientist will work collaboratively with the faculty co-directors of the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI), and possible other BFI associated faculty members with strong disciplinary connections, to develop and conduct research and extension. They will also be administratively responsible to the ANR Associate Vice President.

Qualifications and Skills Required

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in relevant field, including community and economic development, agricultural economics, political economy, development economics, rural sociology, geography or food/agriculture policy.
  • At least five years of experience working professionally in extension and/or applied research or policy in the agriculture and/or food or agriculture sector (food production, distribution and/or processing, and food business, communities or farmworkers), or related context. This may include relevant experience as a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher.
  • Demonstrated ability to think and act creatively in providing education and/or outreach.
  • Available to travel occasionally throughout the state and within the US; possession of a valid, current state driver’s license required.
  • Understanding of and commitment to equal opportunity and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated program and project leadership and management skills.

· Successful experience in grant writing and fundraising for research projects or fellowships.

· Fluency in Spanish (or other strategic language for California food systems economic development) is strongly preferred.

· Cultural competencies, including humility, to effectively work with different population groups

Skills Required: To be successful, a Project Scientist requires skills in the following:

Professional Competence and Impact

All UC ANR Project Scientist series titles are required to demonstrate professional competence in their programmatic areas.

· Experience in effectively collaborating with and facilitating meetings with diverse stakeholders (in California and/or in other regions the U.S.), including food and agriculture businesses, nonprofit organizations, and/or government institutions.

· Document, publish, and share project work and accomplishments in peer-reviewed journals and through other publications that are relevant to and will reach key audiences.

· Participation in professional societies and conferences and ability to give presentations at seminars and continuing education functions.


· Strong written and verbal communication skills are required.

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

· Ability to self-direct and balance simultaneous projects and to work in teams.

· Professionally represent ANR and BFI in various forms of collaboration, conferences, and communication opportunities in this field.

Lifelong Learning

Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional development and personal growth.

About UC ANR

The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across the California. We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers UC Cooperative Extension UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in the counties throughout the state of California.

Learn more about

Salary & Benefits

  1. : Beginning salary will be in the Assistant – Associate Project Scientist Rank. For information regarding the Project series salary scales, please refer to: This is a represented position. Placement within either rank will depend on experience.

The Project Scientist position is a non-career track position. The position is a two-year renewable term appointment (up to 4 years total) with a merit cycle every two years. The performance in the position will be evaluated annually. Continuation beyond the initial four years is contingent upon a review of continuing need and the availability of funding.

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and approximately thirteen paid holidays per year. ANR is part of UC’s Family-Friendly Policies. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at:

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: and choose “applicants” (refer to position #20-12)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by February 15, 2021.


Contact Tatiana Avoce; email:

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at as a resource.