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Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator Academic Coordinator II Local Farm and Food Innovation (LFFI) (23-21)

County Location: Fresno County

Date Posted: January 17, 2024
Closing Date: February 4, 2024

Job Description: Download

Position Overview

Location Headquarters: Fresno County, Fresno, CA

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for a Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator, Academic Coordinator II.  UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers, educators and support staff dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and community health issues. Research, outreach and education from locally based Cooperative Extension offices serves all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. Our mission is to bring the University of California directly to Californians through research, extension and education programs that support:

  • Sustainable, safe, and nutritious food production and delivery
  • Economic success in a global economy
  • A sustainable, healthy, and productive environment
  • Science literacy and youth development

By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC system.

Purpose:

The Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator is an integral part of the Local Farm and Food Innovation (LFFI) Initiative, part of the Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation (F3) Project, offering a unique opportunity to drive positive change in the Central Valley region's food systems.  The Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator will leverage their expertise and knowledge in the areas of agricultural technology, business and/or production to understanding the unique technological needs of small-scale farmers and translating those insights into actionable research initiatives. The Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator will foster collaboration between UCANR researchers, small farmers, and external partners, facilitating the development of practical and effective technology solutions for the benefit of the small farming community. In close collaboration with project partners, the Coordinator will establish and lead a Small Farms Technology Innovation Alliance, a coordinated platform that brings together UC ANR academics and staff, community-based organizations, small- to medium-scale family farmers, and ag-tech companies focused on research and development collaborations to benefit small- and medium-scale and historically underserved farmers.

 

The Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator will serve as the vital link between UCANR's research community and external partners, such as F3innovate and private industry.  This involves facilitating seamless communication, knowledge transfer, and project coordination, ensuring that innovative ideas are translated into tangible outcomes.  The Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator will also play a pivotal role in staying attuned to the latest technological advancements relevant to small farmers, maintaining a keen understanding of emerging tools, systems, and approaches that can enhance farm productivity and sustainability. Building a robust network of stakeholders, including farmers, researchers, and technology companies, will be instrumental in achieving the Local Farm and Food Innovation Initiative’s mission of driving innovation in the agricultural sector while supporting the growth of small farming enterprises. This role will supervise up to two Community Education Specialists that will providing business support, guidance, and resources to small-scale farms and small agtech businesses.

 

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Research and Industry Liaison Coordinator will:

 

Research Coordination and Liaison:

  • Serve as a liaison between UCANR's research community and external partners, including F3innovate and private industry.
  • Translate insights and opportunities into actionable research initiatives by collaborating with UCANR researchers and experts.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas among researchers from various fields, such as agriculture, engineering, data science, and environmental sciences.

 

Innovation Leadership:

  • Play a pivotal role in driving innovation in the small-scale farming sector, particularly in the Central Valley.
  • Address the unique challenges faced by small farmers to improve their overall productivity and sustainability and ensure that innovative ideas are translated into tangible outcomes that directly benefit small farmers.
  • Utilize UCANR’s existing expertise to identify gaps and opportunities considering environmental and social aspects of agricultural technology and practices.
  • Guide applied research activities of LFFI Project Scientists with expertise in various aspects of agriculture and ensure research is based on local needs assessments and contributes to the goals of the LFFI project.

 

Technology Advancement:

  • Stay updated with innovation and emerging technologies in the agricultural sector.
  • Possess a broad understanding of the latest technological advancements relevant to small-scale farming.
  • Actively seek out and assess new tools, systems, and approaches that can enhance farm productivity and sustainability.

 

Stakeholder Relationship Management:

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders, including small, BIPOC farmers, researchers, and industry partners.
  • Actively engage with small-scale farmers in the region to gain insights into their technological needs and challenges.
  • Co-manage the establishment and leadership of the Small Farm Technology Innovation Alliance (SFTIA) in collaboration with project partner organizations.

 

Project Oversight:

  • Oversee the execution of LFFI projects related to small-scale farming.
  • Coordinate the efforts of research teams and provide guidance as needed.
  • Collaborate with researchers to integrate innovative technologies and solutions into the agricultural practices of small-scale farmers.
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of Community Education Specialists providing hands-on support to small farmers and technology provides, as well as track and document participant progress, including conducting pre and post participant surveys and regular check-ins.

 

Counties of Responsibility:  This position will be headquartered at the UCCE Fresno County Office, Fresno, CA, and will cover the following counties: Merced, Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings Counties.

 

Reporting Relationship:  The Research-Industry Liaison Coordinator is administratively responsible to the LFFI Regional Director.

Qualifications and Skills Required 

Education: A minimum of a Master's degree in an appropriate field related to Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Technology Management, Environmental Science, Agricultural Business, Sustainability or Innovation is required at the time of appointment, in addition to a minimum of five years of professional experience.

Minimum and Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong professional relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • Experience in coordinating and leading research initiatives and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Strong understanding of small-scale farming practices, emerging agricultural technologies and trends and the unique challenges faced by small farmers.
  • Ability to engage with small farms, researches, academics, and community partners to understand their needs, and work collaboratively to achieve common goals is vital for success in this role.
  • Program coordination, evaluation experience and supervisory skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and the ability to work independently and as part of a team in a complex and fast-paced environment.
  • Skilled at complex problem solving and competent with online tools for data tracking and collaboration.
  • This is not a remote position. The candidate must be available to be onsite.
  • Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed, proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicles used is required. Must possess a valid California Driver's License to drive a County or University vehicle.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience in establishing or leading collaborative alliances or partnerships.
  • In-depth knowledge of emerging agricultural technologies and their practical applications.
  • Familiarity with the agricultural landscape of the Central Valley.
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting sustainability and innovation in agriculture, particularly in small-scale farming.
  • Proficiency in one or more relevant languages in addition to English, such as Hmong and Spanish.
  • Administration experience within the university environment and exposure to the University of California academic environment.

 

Technical Competence and Impact

 

Communication

  • Demonstrated excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate and coordinate effectively with diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to share complex information in a manner tailored to the audience.

 

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a team member with university staff, partner organizations, industry, and other stakeholders.
  • Able to adapt as circumstances warrant.
  • Aware and willing to actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to shift program focus as times, organizational, and stakeholder needs change.

 

Lifelong Learning

  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement.
  • Participate in professional organizations, agencies, non-governmental organizations and others by providing information and leadership
  • Maintain a program of continuous self-improvement by participating in in-service training, seminars, workshops, work group & program team meetings, short courses, professional society meetings and other relevant opportunities.

 

Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review (including Professional Competence, University and Public Service and Affirmative Action and DEI) at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/355229.pdf

 

About UC ANR

 

The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across the state of California.  We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians.  UC ANR administers Statewide Programs and Initiatives (SWP/I’s) that focus research and extension on solving priority problems that engage ANR academics and UC faculty in integrated teams to work on complex issues requiring trans-disciplinary approaches; as well as UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in counties throughout the state.

 

Learn more about

  • DEI: Further to the above, academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/Office_-_Team_Management/Diversity_Equity_Inclusion_Belonging/
  • Affirmative Action: Further to the above, academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/
  • The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

Salary & Benefits

Salary: The salary will be in the Academic Coordinator II series from Step 1- $78,342 up to Step 4 - $90,096 annually of the Academic Coordinator II, Fiscal Year Salary Table. The step placement in this series is based on experience and professional qualifications.  For information regarding the Academic Coordinator series salary scales, please refer to: https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2023-24/july-2023-acad-salary-scales/t36-ii.pdf

 

This appointment is a limited term appointment.  The merit cycle is every two years.   The performance in the position will be evaluated annually.  The position will be extended based on the continued need for the position, performance and availability of funding.

 

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and holidays. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #23-21)

 

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by February 4, 2024 (open until filled)

Questions?

Contact Tatiana Avoce; email: tavoce@ucanr.edu

 “Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring work authorization without need of employer sponsorship for the duration of the appointment period.”

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time.  Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.  

 

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. 

 

As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited.