Job Post

Land Institute Seeks Lead Scientist, Soil Ecology

January 07, 2022

Position Title                                                                                                                                                506017_1641492466177_LandInstituteSept20161
Lead Scientist, Soil Ecology

Position Summary  

The Land Institute invites applicants for the position of Lead Scientist, Soil Ecology to advance work on ecological intensification of perennial grain agriculture and evaluate ecosystem services associated with diverse perennial grain cropping systems. All Land Institute researchers collaborate within and across disciplines within the organization and with partners globally and participate in public outreach regarding the work of TLI.

Support of Research Programs

The successful candidate will be provided with dedicated lab and field space, technician assistance, and access to lab instrumentation and plot equipment. Research programs have substantial financial support through the general operating budget of TLI but can be expanded by securing competitive research grants through the USDA, FFAR, NSF, and others.


Department: Ecology

Reports to: President

Status: Exempt

Location: Salina, KS



· Mission-Driven: You are passionate about the mission of The Land Institute to create a diverse, perennial grain agroecosystem that feeds humanity and are interested in aligning your skills and personal genius to benefit this work.

· Creative Problem Solver: You excel at strategic thinking, being open to new perspectives and better ways to do things; you are creative, visionary, and manage innovation well. You are interested in serving the organization’s needs by developing, through a consultative and collaborative approach, novel solutions to organizational challenges.

· Collaborative: You are a team player first and believe in the power of a diverse collective to solve problems.



· Education/Training: Ph.D. degree in ecology, biogeochemistry, soil science, agroecology, or related field. Post doctoral experience is preferred but not required.

· Record of publishing experimental results.

· Knowledge of and experience in experimental design and statistical analysis.

· Understanding of and alignment with TLI’s mission.

· Experience with mentorship or leading teams in a research setting.

· Good communication skills, both written and oral.


Environmental and Working Conditions:

· Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer and phone.

· Work in field and laboratory research settings.

· Work in a general office environment.

· Travel in varying conditions (<15%).


Preferred Skills:

· Demonstrable grant-writing ability

· Outreach, extension, or teaching (formal or informal) experience

· Experience leading research collaborations with scientists or other agricultural stakeholders


Compensation and Benefits:

The Land Institute offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The salary range for this position is $80-95k annually.



· Lead and coordinate research on soil carbon dynamics and ecological intensification of perennial grains cropping systems.

· Work with lead scientists and staff on soil ecology questions relevant to establishment of, yield stability of, and ecosystem services provided by perennial grain cropping systems. Relevant research areas include carbon and nitrogen dynamics, intercrop function and stability, soil microbiome functioning, soil hydrology, and weed ecology.

· Network to establish research endeavors at partner institutions and organizations that cannot be addressed at The Land Institute research stations.

· Take leadership responsibilities in existing, long-term perennial grain soil ecology and agronomy projects.

· Manage a research team that includes two full-time technicians and seasonal research assistants and interns.

· Represent The Land Institute to the scientific community through publication, presentation, and other public outreach.

· In collaboration with the administrative team, manage the Soil Ecology program budget.


To Apply

To be considered for this position, interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to Review of applications will begin February 1, 2022.


About The Land Institute:

The Land Institute co-leads the global movement for perennial, diverse, truly regenerative agriculture at a scale that matches the enormity of the intertwined climate, water, and food security crises. The Land Institute’s work, led by a team of plant breeders and ecologists in multiple partnerships worldwide, is focused on developing perennial grains, pulses and oilseed bearing plants to be grown in ecologically intensified, diverse crop mixtures known as perennial polycultures. The Institute’s goal is to create an agriculture system that mimics natural systems in order to produce ample food and reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of agriculture. Through transdisciplinary research and collaborations, we build learning communities to help society cross the threshold into diverse, perennial grain agricultures. For more information, please visit

The Land Institute is an equal opportunity employer and embraces the opportunity to provide employment to qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. We are pleased to provide reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

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