Two post-doc positions at Purdue University (Indiana, USA)

Two Post-Doctoral Research Associate Positions

Human Dimensions Lab, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana


Overview:  We are seeking
two post-doctoral research associates to join two collaborative, interdisciplinary, international projects. Both projects are part of a large initiative, Arequipa Nexus Institute
for Food, Energy, Water, and the Environment (the Nexus Institute) and both positions will involve coordination and collaboration with selected faculty and graduate students at the National University of Saint Augustine (UNSA), our partner institution
in Arequipa, Peru (see the end of this position announcement for more information about the Nexus Institute).


Project 1: Equitable Co-existence of Agriculture, Mining, and Regional Development in Arequipa: Realities, Barriers, and Opportunities

This post-doctoral research associate will work closely with Dr. Zhao Ma from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Dr. Jonathan Bauchet from Department of Consumer
Science, and Dr. Laura Zanotti from the Department of Anthropology. We will investigate how communities across the rural-to-urban gradient in the Arequipa Region perceive water availability and quality in the context of climate change to identify potential
strategies for facilitating the co-existence of agriculture, mining, and regional development in an equitable way.


Project 2: A Framework for Sustainable Water Management in the Arequipa Region

This post-doctoral research associate will work with Dr. Zhao Ma from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in close collaboration with Dr. Linda
Prokopy from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and Dr. Laura Bowling from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. We will evaluate the formal and informal social institutions associated with water resource governance in Arequipa,
Peru. This assessment will be used by Drs. Prokopy and Bowling to inform a larger process of developing
stakeholder-driven land use and water management tools, data, and a planning framework aiming at promoting socially, economically and ecologically sustainable agricultural and resource development in the region.


Both post-doctoral research associate positions are for two years, given satisfactory progress in the first year. We offer an annual salary of $47,500 plus benefits, and will provide
funds to cover relevant travel expenses to research sites and conferences. The selected post-doctoral research associates will also have opportunities for professional development on and off-campus. Preferred start date is April 16, 2018, but may be negotiated
upon request.


Specific responsibilities:  (1) Managing day-to-day communication and relationship between research team and partners in
Peru; (2) Organizing and coordinating qualitative and quantitative data collection in the field (as soon as summer 2018); (3) Analyzing qualitative and quantitative data; (4) Co-developing manuscripts and other research and engagement products; (5) Participating
in other research-related project activities.


Required qualifications:  (1) Completed a PhD in a relevant field by the start date; (2) High Spanish-language
competency, particularly in spoken Spanish; (3) Interest and willingness to travel to the Arequipa region for field work during an extended period of time (e.g., one or more months).


Strongly preferred qualifications:  (1) Experience with interview and survey research; (2) Familiarity
and/or experience with water governance and smallholder farmer related research; (3) Experience with statistical/econometric analyses; (4) Field experience in the rural Global South.


Competitive candidates will have a strong interest in and commitment to interdisciplinary approaches and mixed-methods research, and are either familiar with or interested in human
geography, environmental psychology, natural resource decision making, political ecology, and/or other natural resource/conservation social science discipline(s)/field(s). Competitive candidates will also have a strong record of success in their PhD program,
and a demonstrated commitment to international work. Finally, competitive candidates will have good oral communication and writing skills, attention to detail, and willingness and ability to both
lead efforts and be an effective team member.


To apply:  Please submit the following in a single PDF file to Dr. Zhao Ma via email: (1) cover letter
describing your relevant experience and scholarly interests with a clear indication of your preference between the two projects; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) two examples of relevant publications or writing samples; and (4) contact information of three references.
Please use the following subject for your email “Nexus post-doc application for position X_First Name Last Name.”


Review of applications will start on
March 19, 2018 and will continue until the positions are filled. Women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Purdue University is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer.
For more information, contact Dr. Zhao Ma (;
765-494-1790) or visit


The Nexus Institute:  This effort
is a major part of a strong Purdue–UNSA partnership aiming to create a new era of knowledge, discovery and innovation that will lead to transformative solutions to grand challenges faced by Peru
and Latin America more broadly. The mission of the Nexus Institute is to (1) collaboratively address key environmental, agroeconomic, and social challenges limiting the development of adaptive, profitable, and sustainable food-energy-water systems in the Arequipa
Region of Peru; (2) create and manage key analytical environmental laboratories, a network of long-term agricultural experimentation and demonstration stations, sampling and monitoring stations, watershed modeling and decision support centers, and GIS and
remote sensing laboratories; (3) enable UNSA and Purdue researchers and students to jointly tackle regional and global grand challenges; and, (4) facilitate science-based decision making among stakeholders to address the interrelated social, economic and environmental
challenges facing Arequipa. On the Purdue side, the Nexus Institute involves 7 colleges, 23 departments, 50+ faculty, and 23 post-doctoral research associates across 19 projects.


A bit about our location:  West Lafayette-Lafayette, Indiana is situated between Indianapolis, Indiana (one hour south)
and Chicago, Illinois (two hours north), and is home to 174,000 residents. The community is diverse with good schools, safe neighborhoods, over 40 parks and extensive trail systems, active
Farmers Markets, and year-long community festivals and art events.