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Job ID: 233017

Director for the Institute of Integrative Precision Agriculture
University of Georgia

Date Posted Mar. 15, 2024
Title Director for the Institute of Integrative Precision Agriculture
University University of Georgia
Athens, GA, United States
Department College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences or College of Engineering
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date On or after August 2024
  • Director/Manager
  • Land & Water Resource Engineering
    Engineering/Engineering Extension
    Biosystems Engineering
    Animal Science
    Agronomy/Plant & Soil Sciences
    Agricultural - General

Open Rank, Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty

Director for the Institute of Integrative Precision Agriculture


The University of Georgia (UGA) invites nominations and applications for the open-rank, full-time, benefits-eligible position of Director of the Institute for Integrative Precision Agriculture (IIPA). The contract type is negotiable. The anticipated start date for this position is August 1, 2024 or the earliest possible date.

The Institute functions as a collaborative platform to foster interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach on next-generation technologies in agriculture, food, and forestry - both within the university and with external partners. The Director will hold a senior faculty position (Professor, Professor of Practice, or Senior Research Scientist, depending on their background and professional experience) in the College of Engineering and/or the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He/she will:

  • Provide leadership and management of IIPA. Proactively represent the IIPA with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develop and implement a strategic vision for the institute in consultation with the member faculty and in alignment with the university’s mission and goals.
  • Engage the IIPA membership as a cohesive team working towards the common strategic vision.
  • Support scholarly activities of IIPA member faculty, bring together interdisciplinary teams, and actively seek and secure funding opportunities to support initiatives of the IIPA.
  • Aim to advance both basic and applied IPA-related research that bolster overall impact for the institute.
  • Collaborate with Vice President for Research, Deans, Directors, and Department Heads to support the mission of the IIPA.
  • Understand, develop, and leverage relationships with the full range of state constituencies important to agriculture.
  • Promote collaboration between IIPA faculty and agribusiness industry.
  • Support development of new academic initiatives and/or programs that advance IPA.
  • Build and manage the budget of the institute with focus on maximizing the impact of investments.
  • Manage funding and development opportunities for IIPA to grow resources in mission-consistent ways.
  • Promote a culture of inclusive excellence within the institute.

The appointment will include administration, research, instruction, and/or service, with the exact split negotiable depending on the candidate’s background and professional experience.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. in an agricultural science, engineering, computer science, or related discipline. Track record in research and scholarship as it relates to the application of technologies, data analytics, or models to problems in agriculture or biology is required. Candidates must have prior experience in leading large teams or groups.


Candidates must meet the requirements for appointment as a tenured Professor or as a non-tenure track Professor of Practice or Senior Research Scientist. For the requirements for each of these faculty ranks, please see the Promotion Guidelines for Different Faculty Ranks at

To be considered at the rank of Professor, candidates must have at least 5 full years in rank at the Associate Professor level or equivalent. To be eligible for tenure upon appointment, candidates must be appointed as an associate or full professor, have been tenured at a prior institution, and bring a demonstrably national reputation to the institution. Candidates must be approved for tenure upon appointment before hire. Specific criteria for Professor level in potential home departments are summarized at


The preferred candidate for this position should demonstrate an ability to foster interdisciplinary collaboration by forming and leading diverse research teams, coupled with a proven track record of securing external funding to bolster multidisciplinary scholarship. The candidate should excel in partnering with industry stakeholders to lead and execute research initiatives that align with state initiatives. A knowledge of the innovation ecosystem is necessary to support entrepreneurial activities and creation of intellectual property. Candidates who are both scholarly and resourceful collaborators who can navigate the intricacies of research, industry engagement, and innovation are desired.


All application materials must be submitted via the university’s job portal at:   

Applicants are asked to submit the following information along with their application:

  • A cover letter addressing the candidate’s experience relative to the responsibilities of the position.
  • A detailed curriculum vita.
  • A Statement, not to exceed 3 pages, outlining the candidate’s vision for the IIPA and for engaging its member faculty and stakeholders
  • The names, titles, and contact information for five professional references.

Selected applicants will be required to submit transcripts and a background investigation demonstrating eligibility for employment with the University of Georgia.

Review of applications will begin 15 April 2024; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Please direct inquiries to the search committee co-chairs, Dr. Ramaraja Ramasamy in the College of Engineering ( and/or Dr. Harald Scherm in the College of Agricultural and

Environmental Sciences (


The UGA Provost’s Taskforce on Academic Excellence in 2019 identified Integrative Precision Agriculture (IPA) as one of five areas for UGA to continue investment and build excellence. Since then, IPA has emerged as Georgia’s brand for digital farming, food, and fiber, representing a signature research area at the interface of agricultural sciences, engineering, and informatics- all areas in which the university continues to invest in heavily. Several faculty cluster hires in IPA and Data Science/Artificial Intelligence were conducted between 2020 and 2023 to broaden technical expertise in these areas and to advance IPA into a university-wide area of excellence. The Institute for Integrative Precision Agriculture (IIPA) was established in 2022 to connect agricultural technology research, education, and Extension across UGA and with external partners such as other universities, government entities, and agribusiness. With over 70 member faculty from across six UGA colleges and schools, the IIPA is one of the largest institutes in the university. IIPA is not a promotion and tenure unit and the member faculty in IIPA are tenured and evaluated in their home departments or schools. IIPA nurtures both foundational and use-inspired research topics. Foundational IPA emphasizes the development of theory and methods in areas that are independent of a specific agricultural domain. Use-inspired research IPA emphasizes practical application of foundational research to address current and future challenges in production agriculture, forestry, and food production.


Since our founding in 1785, the University of Georgia has operated as Georgia’s oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education ( The proof is in our more than 235 years of academic and professional achievements and our continual commitment to higher education. UGA is currently ranked among the top 20 public universities and overall top 50 in U.S. News & World Report. The University’s main campus is located in Athens, approximately 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campuses in Atlanta, Griffin, Gwinnett, and Tifton. UGA employs approximately 1,800 full-time instructional faculty and more than 7,700 full-time staff. The University’s enrollment exceeds 40,000 students including over 30,000 undergraduates and over 10,000 graduate and professional students. Academic programs reside in 18 schools and colleges, as well as a medical partnership with Augusta University housed on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens.

  • The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, genetic information, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status. Persons needing accommodations or assistance with the accessibility of materials related to this search are encouraged to contact Central HR (

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Harald Scherm
    Plant Pathology
    University of Georgia
    120 Carlton Street
    Athens, GA 30605
  • 706-542-2571


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