Data Science

Cluster Hire in Data Science of Emerging Plant Diseases and  Global Food Security, NC State University

This position is still open

As part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, NC State University seeks an outstanding faculty at any rank to form a new interdisciplinary faculty cluster on “Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security”.   The Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security cluster will develop new knowledge on emerging plant disease biology using an expanding array of new technologies to gather, analyze, synthesize, and share knowledge about emerging infectious diseases of plants caused by agricultural crop pathogens and arthropod vectors of these pathogens using: novel biosurveillance methods, remote sensing, GPS and mapping systems.

The new faculty cluster in Emerging Disease Biology and Global Food Security seeks an outstanding interdisciplinary data scientist for an open rank tenure-track faculty position, conducting cross-cutting research in population genomics, epidemiology, and the evolution of emerging pests and pathogens of agricultural crops.  Successful candidates will have demonstrated expertise in the development and use of molecular, bioinformatics, and geospatial tools to track sources of disease outbreaks at multiple levels of scale, from the genome and biome to ecosystems. Candidates will be expected to work closely with other biologists and modelers recruited as part of the cluster, and to interact with other clusters, including Bioinformatics, Geospatial Analytics, Genetic Engineering and Society, and Data-Driven Sciences.  The position will be housed in the Bioinformatics Research Center, an interdisciplinary unit with faculty from Statistics, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, and other departments.

The Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security cluster provides a dynamic environment for teaching and research collaborations across disciplines. NC State’s location in the Research Triangle provides rich opportunities for interactions with industry; other universities, including Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and a number of government agencies. Opportunities for synergistic linkages with the Southeast Regional Climate Hub, USDA Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, and the Southern Region IPM Center are also highly anticipated.

The Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program is bringing some of the best and brightest minds to join NC State University’s interdisciplinary efforts to solve some of the globe’s most significant problems. Guided by a strong strategic plan and an aggressive vision, the cluster hiring program is adding new faculty members in select fields to add more breadth and depth to NC State’s already-strong efforts. The Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program marks a major initiative of the university’s strategic plan, “The Pathway to the Future.”  Explore more information about the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program and this cluster at

The candidate should have a doctorate in Statistics, Biostatistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, or other related discipline with strong quantitative training and an applied focus as described.  Candidates should have the ability to teach at a variety of levels and the capacity to mentor at the doctoral level.  The candidates should have a strong capacity to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and become part of the integrated core team developing the Global Food Security Graduate Certificate Program. The capacity to mentor doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows is expected. Priority will be given to candidates that have demonstrated interdisciplinary collaborations that cut across academic units.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in Statistics, Biostatistics, Evolutionary Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, or other related discipline with strong quantitative training and an applied focus as described.   Candidates should have demonstrated ability or potential to attract extramural funding, and will be expected to take a leading role in developing new cross-cutting initiatives at NCSU, exploiting the traditional strengths in quantitative and biological sciences. For consideration, a curriculum vitae, cover letter, statement of research goals for the cluster and contact information for references are requested.

Materials for consideration will be accepted electronically via A comprehensive review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Review of applications will begin December 15, 2015, and continue until the position is filled. The target start date for is August 2017; however, a mutually beneficial time may be negotiated. Questions about the position may be directed with a subject line “CFEPGFS inquiry” to or Dr. Jean Ristaino (

NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application process please call (919) 515-3148.