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This job expired on January 08, 2019

Paid PhD/MS Research Assistantships Colorado State University

  • Date Posted November 09, 2018
  • Location Fort Colins, CO
  • Category Agriculture / Business
  • Job Type Educational program
Company Description

Colorado State University's Food Systems Initiative's mission is to have global impact through local engagement in food systems led research, outreach and instruction. 

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics centers its research, teaching and outreach activities in defined areas of excellence: agricultural education, agribusiness management and food systems, the economics of water, land, energy and environment, and agricultural, food and resource policy. We are dedicated to, and appreciated for, engaging stakeholders in high-quality disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, as well as the ability to effectively communicate findings to the public and peers. Excellence in teaching and mentoring students is created with thoughtful and innovative curricular design, emphasizing experiential learning where appropriate and fostering student achievement.

Though our graduate program in agricultural economics is disciplinarily focused, we offer opportunities to explore food systems topics in an inter-disciplinary context. Maintaining our commitment to science-based curriculum allows for disciplinary depth and maturation of a particular expertise. However, we offer opportunities to combine this with project-based experiential learning that offers linkages to other fields of study, and thus assures assure richer application to problems faced in real world food systems contexts.  

Job Description

Areas of Study:        
*Economic impacts of policies supporting U.S. farm to school programs
*Food security and dietary quality effects of urban food policies
*Economic analysis of alcoholic beverage industry and related marketing

Deadlines: application deadline is February 15, 2018

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (DARE) at Colorado State University has openings for at least 3 PhD/MS students in different specialty areas within the broad umbrella of the economics of food systems. Specifically, we are recruiting for students interested in supporting the three following new/ongoing research areas:

  • Economic impacts of policies supporting U.S. farm to school program. An ongoing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funded research project in the Department is evaluating: 1) farm and ranch profitability impacts of sales through these markets (preliminary results using state-level policy data shows that these policies matter); 2) spillover impacts to household purchases at retail grocery stores resulting from farm to school programs; and 3) changes in levels of students’ consumption of fruits and vegetables based on local procurement. The selected student would augment this work by building a database of Federal, State, and Philanthropic grants supporting K-12 farm to school programming in the U.S. (including the possibility of a Washington DC based internship). Once built, the database will enable to research team to investigate how policies, and specifically grant dollars, impact the success of these programs.

Primary supervisors: Dr. Bonanno, Dr. Jablonski, Dr. Thilmany.  

  • Food security and dietary quality effects of urban food policies

As consumers become more interested in their food and its origin, urban communities are increasingly integrating food into mainstream planning and policymaking. We are looking for a graduate student to work closely with a team of inter-disciplinary researchers to understand how households’ food security and dietary quality may be affected by urban policies and programs. Part of this work, funded from the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR), will involve collecting data, and modeling household purchasing decisions, and their response to key proposed interventions.

Primary supervisors: Dr. Bonanno, Dr. Jablonski, Dr. Thilmany,  

  • Economic analysis of alcoholic beverage industry and related marketing

Alcoholic beverage industries have been experiencing tremendous growth and transformation to their marketing channels. This is especially prevalent within the craft beer industry, which has grown at an exponential rate over the past decade. Graduate students in this field have the opportunity to examine a variety of issues such as: the impact of state and federal policies on alcohol sales and distribution; changing market structure and marketing tactics; and the growth of related industries (e.g. input materials and retail distribution). Colorado State is well-positioned to support such research with its new established Liquid Arts Research Forum (LARF), a multi-disciplinary collaboration working with industry leaders.

Primary supervisors: Dr. Berning, Dr. Bonanno, Dr. Costanigro

Within each of these topic areas, the selected students will work closely with an inter-disciplinary team of faculty involved in applied research. The student will develop a skillset in the areas of applied policy analysis and micro econometric modeling. Additionally, the selected students may have the opportunity to perform both primary data collection as well as empirical analyses of secondary, restricted-access data. Direct interaction with diverse stakeholders will provide an opportunity to understand and evaluate the importance of applied research for effective policy recommendations. To learn more about these initiatives, please visit: http://foodsystems.colostate.edu  

Requirements: strong candidates will possess an innate curiosity and a passion for studying the economics of food systems. Students should have the desire and ability to develop their quantitative skills (including econometric), microeconomic foundations, and relevant policy analysis. Previous research experience, excellent written and oral communication, organizational skills, ability to work independently, and experience in any segment of the food system are desirable.

Graduate assistantship includes:

  • 2-4 years of a competitive stipend, commensurate with the student’s experience and engagement in research
  • 2-3 years of full tuition support
  • Full medical insurance
  • Potential for summer salary and travel funds to cover costs for academic conferences.

The student will be responsible for required graduate fees. CSU is an EO/EA/AA employer and conducts background checks on all final candidates.


Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, approximately 65 miles North of Denver. Fort Collins is at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, with ample opportunity for outdoor recreation.

How to apply
This job expired on January 08, 2019
DeadlineFebruary 15, 2019

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