USDA-ARS Postdoctoral Fellowship in Predictive Analytics: Maryland

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Beltsville, Maryland
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
Last Date to Apply
*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. ARS Office/Lab and Location: A postdoctoral research opportunity is available with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), Food Quality Laboratory located in Beltsville, Maryland. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence. Research Project: The project’s ultimate goal is to develop knowledge and readily available technology for solving quality (in its broader meaning) issues associated with fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables that can result in higher consumption and the reduction of fresh-produce loss and waste. The project of the participant will aim to develop new approaches to understand consumer’s behavior towards quality parameters of fresh and fresh cut foods including mathematical models to predict the preferences under different scenarios, and in parallel with the analysis of biochemical markers to determine freshness and/or food’s origin. Specific objectives of the research may include meta analysis of consumer decision's towards fruits and vegetable, and construct analytical methods based on additional data tracked with emotion, eye tracking sensing and advanced digital imagery systems. This research is to support optimization of food sensory research as well as the evolving online (fruit and vegetable) grocery shopping industry. Under the guidance of a mentor (or mentors), the selected participant will play a role in a multi-disciplinary research team. The particular role of the participant can be tailored based on the participant’s technical strength. Learning Objectives: The participant will gain in-depth knowledge of plant (postharvest) physiology, food and consumer sciences. There will be plenty of opportunities for the participant’s training and testing in different methodologies, using diverse facilities, including laboratory spaces that are well established and other that are initiating research work, as well as pilot food processing plants, growth chambers and greenhouse units. Mentor(s): The mentors for this opportunity are Jorge Fonseca ( and Dr. Bin Zhou ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s). Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring 2022. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only. ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Candidates with a proven track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals, grant writing skills, and experience with delivering oral presentations are highly desirable. Preferred skills: - Solid wet laboratory skills - Excellent written and oral communication skills, evidenced by presentations at professional society meetings - Ability (or potential) to determine when and what to monitor to identify gaps of information that can result in potential use for industry and society
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