Jobs …

Current and recent job openings for iSEE research centers and projects.

MARCH 2022: Illinois hiring ecophysiology, agronomy postdocs for SCAPES

Agrivoltaics (AVs), the co-located production of solar energy and crops, is an emerging technology that can reduce competition for land and provide climate-smart solutions to improve land use efficiency (combined crop and electricity yield), crop water-use efficiency, profitability, and the economic resilience of farmers. Two postdoctoral positions are available in the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as part the Sustainably Colocating Agricultural and Photovoltaic Electricity Systems (SCAPES) project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal of SCAPES is to provide the interdisciplinary research, outreach, and educational opportunities that will optimize the design of sustainable AV technologies for diverse crop species (row crops, forage, and specialty crops) acrossthree biophysically diverse regions in the U.S.: Illinois, Colorado and Arizona.

The ecophysiology postdoc will focus on measuring photosynthesis, photoinhibition, conductance, plant water relations of select C3 and C4 crops growing in different configurations under commercial and experimental photovoltaic solar arrays. In addition, the postdoc will characterize the dynamic atmospheric and soil microenvironment between andunder solar arrays. The agronomy postdoc will quantify crop development and patterns of biomass allocation, including root growth, of crops growing under the treatments described above. It is expected that both postdoctoral associateshave experience conducting field research, under sometimes adverse weather conditions, and will contribute to a highly collaborative work environment where they will coordinate research activities with a large team of collaborators, supervise technicians and undergraduates, and write manuscripts. Field work will be conducted on solar farms inChampaign County, Ill.

The ecophysiology postdoc will work primarily under the guidance of Carl Bernacchi, Evan DeLucia, and Nuria Gomez-Casanovas, and the agronomy postdoc will work primarily under the guidance of DoKyong Lee and Bruce Branham. The postdocs will be expected to collaborate with economists, ecosystem modelers, and others in the SCAPES project.

Required Qualifications:

  • A D. or the equivalent in plant physiology, ecophysiology, agronomy, or related field
  • Experience with laboratory and field work
  • Strong English writing and oral communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to travel frequently to research sites in Illinois
  • A valid driver’s license

Strong candidates will also possess the following attributes:

  • A strong publication record from their Ph.D. (papers published, in press, or submitted)
  • Experience with gas exchange and micrometeorology measurements, and above- and belowground plant sampling, and soil coring
  • Knowledge of soil temperature and moisture monitoring equipment
  • Creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things

All candidates must have received a Ph.D. in a relevant field within the past five years. The position is available for two years, with possible extension further; however, annual renewal is dependent on funding and progress made by the individual. This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.

Application review will begin Jan. 31, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is flexible, but ideally on April 1, 2022. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contactinformation for three professional references. Please put the specific postdoctoral position for which you would like to be considered in the subject line of your email to Basia Latawiec, Research Program Coordinator, at latawic2@illinois.edu.

For further information about the position, please contact Bernacchi at bernacch@illinois.edu, DeLucia at delucia@illinois.edu, Gomez-Casanovas  at ngomezca@illinois.edu, Lee at leedk@illinois.edu, or Branham atbbranham@illinois.edu.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordancewith applicable University processes.

University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.

FULL JOB DESCRIPTION HERE >>>

Grant and Other Opportunities for Illinois Scholars ...

Current and recent calls for proposals from major funding agencies, as well as speaking opportunities and other announcements for Illinois faculty-level scholars.

May 2022: DOE opportunities

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Please see a funding opportunity internal to campus as part of the USGS Midwest Climate Adaptation and Science Center (CASC). The intent of this opportunity is to support UIUC researchers' engagement with the Midwest CASC (https://www.usgs.gov/programs/climate-adaptation-science-centers/midwest-casc) and help build a larger UIUC-led initiative in the Midwest CASC. Additional information is attached and below.
 
Deadline: 5 p.m. Friday, June 3, 2022
Format: Two-page proposal and short abstract (details in the attached)
Funding Opportunity. The Midwest CASC invites proposals from faculty and researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to support a 50% Graduate RA (11 month appointment). Proposed projects should be related to the Interim Science Priorities of the Midwest CASC (appended to the attached document) and have the potential to build into a larger initiative (e.g., ~3 years with multiple graduate students and/or postdoctoral researchers). Additionally, as appropriate, the funded graduate student will be expected to participate and interact with the CASC members and related activities.
 
 
Questions about this RFP may be addressed to the UIUC representatives of the Midwest CASC, Jeff Brawn (jbrawn@illinois.edu) and Jeremy Guest (jsguest@illinois.edu).
 
Best of luck!
March 2022: DOE opportunities

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Please find two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) from the Department of Energy below. If researchers are interested and pursuing either of these opportunities and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know as soon as possible.
 
RFP/FOA topic: Urban Integrated Field Laboratories (IFL) (DE-FOA-0002582)
Pre-Application Deadline (estimated*): April 19, 2022, 4 PM Central
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): June 16, 2022, 4 PM Central
Funding (total): $10M-25M
Duration: 5 years
Brief Overview: The DOE SC Program in Biological and Environmental Research (BER), Earth and Environmental System Sciences Division (EESSD) hereby announces its interest in applications from the scientific community for Urban Integrated Field Laboratories (Urban IFLs) that will improve the science underpinning our understanding of climate and environmental predictability across complex and variable urban regions. EESSD supports fundamental systems level research aimed at identifying the foundational principles of dynamic physical, biogeochemical, and human processes and interactions and advancing fundamental understanding of the predictability of the climate and broader Earth system. EESSD develops the science, technology, and knowledge base that is necessary to inform actions to enable the resilience of natural-human systems that are exposed to climate trends, variabilities, and extremes.
 
 
RFP/FOA topic: FY22 BETO WASTE FEEDSTOCKS AND CONVERSION R&D (DE-FOA-0002636)
Concept Paper Deadline (estimated*): April 18, 2022, 4 PM Central
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): June 7, 2022, 4 PM Central
Funding (total): $500,000 to $2,500,000
Duration: 1.5-3 years
Funding Opportunity Topic Areas: (1) Municipal solid waste feedstock technologies (advancing pre-processing, high value co-product development); (2) robust microbial cells (overcoming variability, improving longevity); (3) robust catalytic processes; and (4) community-scale resource and energy recovery from organic wastes (feasibility development, technology testing).
 
Best of luck!

 

March 2022: FFAR

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Please see a funding opportunity below from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research. Please note pre-applications are due 4 p.m. Central March 9. If researchers are interested and pursuing this opportunity and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know at jsguest@illinois.edu.
 

Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research 2022 Seeding Solutions Program

Award Details: $300,000 to $1 million

Important Deadline: March 9, 2022, 4:00 PM CST – Pre-Applications

RFP Link

Program Summary:

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research invites applications for its 2022 Seeding Solutions program, which encourages innovative and transformative research to benefit farmers, consumers, and the environment.

To that end, FFAR will award meritorious applications — prioritizing those projects that emphasize a commitment to cross-sector partnerships — addressing and providing solutions to an intractable problem and/or accelerating innovation within FFAR’s Challenge Areas or AgMission, which include:

  • Soil Health: Advanced understanding of what soil health is, how it is measured and how to manage and optimize the sustainable delivery of the ecosystem services which soils provide.
  • Sustainable Water Management: Interdisciplinary, model-based research to optimize crop production while minimizing environmental impacts and enhancing terrestrial water supplies through widespread adoption of advanced agricultural practices.
  • Next Generation Crops: Advanced breeding methods and development of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance for crops grown in organic and conventional cropping systems to increase farmer profitability and environmental resilience.
  • Advanced Animal Systems: Improved animal health, welfare and productivity, antibiotic stewardship, and the environment. Research with outcomes relevant to multiple species and/or One Health approaches that incorporate transdisciplinary research relevant to animals, humans and the environment is particularly encouraged.
  • Urban Food Systems: Elucidation of connections between urban food systems and the urban environment, in addition to the connections between rural and urban communities to improve food and nutritional security, human health outcomes, economic opportunities and food system resiliency through transdisciplinary partnerships.
  • Health-Agriculture Nexus: Systems-level approaches (both technological and non-technological) aimed at reducing food and nutritional insecurity and improving human health in the United States and worldwide.
  • AgMission: Innovative research and integrated data systems to advance knowledge and adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices, focusing on co-design with agricultural stakeholders and understanding enabling conditions for systems-level change.

FFAR will award a total of up to $10 million in grants through the program, with up to 10 individual awards ranging from $300,000 to $1 million.

Applications that demonstrate strong partnerships by matching from external sources outside the applicant institutions are encouraged. These partners may include but are not limited to the private sector, nonprofits, commodity and trade groups, state governments, and others that do not traditionally work in agriculture.

Eligible applicants include higher education institutions, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and U.S. government-affiliated research agencies. Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as program director(s)/principal investigator(s) may apply to the program through their home institution or organization.

Pre-applications are due March 9, 2022, and selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application by 5 p.m. Eastern July 13, 2022.

For complete program guidelines and application instructions, see the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research website.

You can contact the Office of Foundation Relations for:

  • Illinois researchers who have experience with this foundation
  • Background information about this foundation
  • Guidance through the campus processes
  • Assistance with proposal development and/or review
October 2021: DOE Multiple FOAs

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Below are multiple funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) from the U.S. Department of Energy along with other helpful links.
 
RFP/FOA topic: Office of Science Open Call DE-FOA-0002562
Pre-Application: Optional but encouraged. We recommend reaching out to relevant program managers to explore whether topics are of interest to them.
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): Any time before Sept. 30, 2022
Funding (total): $200,000 to $5,000,000
Duration: 6 months to 5 years
Funding Opportunity Topic Areas: All Office of Science programs participate and list areas of interest including: Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Isotope R&D and Production and Accelerator R&D and Production

 

RFP/FOA topic: University-Based Cybersecurity Centers DE-FOA-0002503
Concept Paper Deadline (estimated*): Oct. 13, 2021
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): Dec. 8, 2021
Funding (total): $2,500,000
Duration: 2 years
Funding Opportunity Topic Areas: The centers will address research and development challenges related to cybersecurity and critical energy infrastructure, and will take into consideration the distinctive characteristics of each region’s electricity system, network infrastructure, and workforce expertise.

 

RFP/FOA topic: Technology Innovation to Increase Hydropower Flexibility DE-FOA-0002417 
Informational Webinar: Oct.13, 2021
Concept Paper Deadline (estimated*): Nov. 2, 2021
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): Jan. 21, 2022
Funding (total): $1,000,000-4,000,000
Duration: 1.5-3 years
Funding Opportunity Topic Areas: The focus is on developing and testing next-generation technologies to improve the flexible capabilities of the U.S. hydropower fleet. This includes technologies that can increase the flexibility of hydropower units by expanding operating range, faster ramping and start-stops, and improved frequency and voltage control. Also of interest are innovations to reduce the negative impacts, such as accelerated machine wear-and-tear, associated with operating the unit more flexibly.
 
RFP/FOA topic: National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Enabling Coexistence Options for Wind Energy and Wildlife-Bat Behavior Research and Technology Advancement DRFX-2021-10708
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): Dec. 8, 2021
Funding (total): $450,000-700,000
Duration: 1.5-2 years
Funding Opportunity Topic Areas: DOE’s Wind Technologies Office is seeking research proposals that examine how bats behave near wind turbines and how they respond to tools intended to keep bats away from turbines.

 

RFP/FOA topic: Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize 
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): Feb. 25, 2022
Funding (total): ~$250,000
Duration: Not readily apparent.
Funding Opportunity Topic Areas: DOE plans to award cash prizes to groups and organizations, including university-based programs, that support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underserved in climate and energy technology funding.


Additional Opportunities:

- Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration (RECS) Program: https://recs-ccus.org/ 
- Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program: https://science.osti.gov/wdts/scgsr
- Innovation in Buildings Graduate Research Fellowship (IBUILD): https://ibuildfellowship.org/
 
*Deadlines are included in this summary to help folks get a sense for the timeline for the call for proposals. If you are interested in submitting to this call for proposals, please review the RFP/FOA for yourself to identify deadlines, submittal requirements, etc. 
 
If researchers are interested in pursuing upcoming opportunities and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know at jsguest@illinois.edu.
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