Careers at UMass Amherst

Extension Assistant Professor - Food Sciences

Apply now Job no: 521418
Work type: Faculty Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Food Sciences
Union: MSP
Categories: Faculty, Agriculture/Extension, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst invites applications for a full-time Extension Assistant Professor. We seek a candidate who will develop an integrated program in Healthy, Sustainable, and Accessible Food involving extension, teaching, and research. The successful candidate will participate as a full member of the University of Massachusetts faculty in a 12-month, non-tenure track appointment. 


Essential Functions

The ideal candidate will have experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas or other areas related to the health, sustainability, or accessibility of foods: food analysis, food systems, fermentation, nutrition, food processing, food microbiology, community development, supply chain, consumer behavior, sensory evaluation, food safety, food distribution, environmental remediation, food product development, sustainable food material processing, food waste, food resource economics, food chemistry, food toxicology, food packaging, circular food economy, computational methods. 

A new faculty member would link efforts in these areas within the Department of Food Science with research and extension programs managed by the Center for Agriculture, Food & the Environment (CAFE), and the University. We are committed to teaching and serving a diverse student body, professional practitioners, and the broader public. The candidate's experience and interest should align with at least one of the Food Science’s research emphases.

They will collaborate with faculty, staff, and public stakeholders to address food system issues related to health, sustainability (environmental or economic), or accessibility of foods. They will work closely with other outreach professionals (e.g., Extension Educators) to serve food system practitioners and policymakers through a multi-disciplinary outreach and education program. The new faculty member will also collaborate with government and non-government agencies to expand and develop food production programs for new, diverse, and previously underserved food producers and businesses. A primary role will be to generate, translate, apply, and disseminate research-based information that can be used to support and empower food entrepreneurs and mission-driven organizations to grow, process, and distribute healthy local food.

The UMass Amherst Department of Food Science has an exemplary undergraduate program with tracks in Food Science and Technology, Food Studies, and Culinary Science. Students increasingly want to study food, with growing interests in sustainable foods, emerging methods for plant-based food production, and interest in entrepreneurial pursuits. The new faculty member will have the opportunity to modify and develop courses in food science for both campus and online programs and guide students in related internships.

The candidate is expected to collaborate effectively in multi-disciplinary teams to develop (via research) and deliver (via extension) practical solutions to critical issues in the food system (especially within Massachusetts) that respond to public/client needs and issues, acquire extra-mural funding to support research and extension programs, mentor and teach undergraduate and graduate students, and contribute to the department/college/university and professional service. 


Other Functions 

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness.
  • Work with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • M.S. with industry or outreach experience or Ph.D.  


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • Experience in extension or public outreach.
  • Experience with industrial applications of food science.
  • Ability to work with food processing equipment is desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in academic journals.
  • Potential for effective collaboration with the Food Science Department, UMass Extension, faculty, staff, industry, non-profits, and government. 
  • Potential to cooperate with diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Potential to teach undergraduates and engage in public education.
  • Potential to acquire extra-mural funding to support research and extension programs.


Additional Details

  • Some travel is required.


Work Location

  • This is an in-person position, located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus.


Salary Information

  • Salary commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, statement of teaching philosophy, statement of Extension philosophy, Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (see below), and contact information for three (3) professional references. The department values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds, and who possess a strong commitment to contributing to the success of historically underrepresented groups.

Initial application review will commence on February 19, 2024.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (


The University is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University’s goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual’s record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic career and degree.

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