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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.

August 2022: NOAA
June 2022: Midwest CASC

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

 
The Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) is seeking FY23 climate adaptation research projects. These science projects should inform high-priority natural and cultural heritage resource management issues that could benefit from climate adaptation science and traditional knowledges. Proposed project ideas must address at least one of the MW CASC science priority topics and applicants must be associated with a member of the consortium to be considered (UIUC is a member). 
 
Midwest CASC Science Priorities: View the PDF
Project Funding Amount: The Midwest CASC intends to fund 4-6 projects through this Project Solicitation. Individual project awards are not expected to exceed $400k

Submission Deadlines: The deadline to submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) is 5 p.m. Eastern time July 21.
Additional deadlines:
  • Full Proposals Invited (Planned) — 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022
  • Deadline for Invited Full Proposals — 5 p.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022

You are invited to join an informational webinar on the MW CASC solicitation process on June 28 at 2:30pm CT (here’s the meeting join link: https://umn.zoom.us/j/9792958641?pwd=ZExtamwxWTR5Y3NSenh1TFJraDMzdz09#success; password: 1441). You can also reach out to Dr. Kristen Voorhies (kvoorhies@usgs.gov) with any questions.

Group brainstorming sessions about FY23 projects will be a part of the MW CASC Science Seminar on Monday, June 27 at 12:00pm CT (here is the meeting join link: https://umn.zoom.us/j/99097703539?pwd=T1J0TEU3eStWR1JrSXQwOGIvbG15dz09#success). Please consider joining to discuss your ideas for possible projects with other prospective PIs.

Friendly reminder: All consortium-based projects will run through the University of Minnesota as MW CASC host institution. Please reach out to Elissa Welch (welch516@umn.edu) regarding this process.
 
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!
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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