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Job ID: 157221

Research Associate
Michigan State University

Date Posted Apr. 9, 2021
Title Research Associate
University Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI, United States
Department Department of Animal Science
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Research Scientist/Associate
  • Economics
    Animal Science

Understanding Human Dimensions of Precision Swine Farming

Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

A research associate (postdoc) is sought to examine the role of human perspectives and willingness to pay on the adoption of precision livestock farming technology (PLF) by the swine industry. The person in this position will join a multidisciplinary, international team with expertise in animal behavior and welfare, precision livestock farming, social science, and economics.

The research associate will design and conduct qualitative interviews to discover the thoughts of key members of the US swine industry (from retailers through breeding companies) on the value and utility of PLF. The candidate will participate in design of quantitative surveys for use with farmers, veterinarians, and consumers to understand their perspectives on using PLF technology-collaborating with faculty and extension educators from 4 universities to collect these data. The candidate will also assist with quantitative survey work examining farmers’ and consumers’ willingness to pay for PLF technology in pork production. The candidate will work with a team of extension experts in Michigan, Iowa, and North Carolina to develop and deliver extension programming related to practicalities of using PLF technology on farm.

The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Social Science, Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, or a related field and a background in qualitative and quantitative methods related to survey and interview development, delivery, and analysis (i.e., mixed methods social science data). The candidate will collect data from and have an interest in delivering extension programming to swine industry stakeholders related to precision livestock farming. The ideal candidate will combine expertise in social science research with an understanding of swine production and precision livestock farming technology (or a keen desire to learn about these topics from the team). The successful applicant must have excellent communication skills, be able to work collaboratively across a diverse group of scientists, students and extension educators, and be adept in learning new skills.

Position Length, Salary & Benefits:

  • This position is initially for one year, renewable annually based on performance, for up to three years.
  • Salary will be commensurate with experience ($49,000-$53,000).
  • Health insurance benefits are also included.

Review of applications will begin on June 1, 2021

Questions regarding the position can be directed to Dr. Siegford (

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. The University actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

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