Soil Health Partnership Science Director



The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) Science Director oversees science and research at SHP, including data collection, data management, data analysis and external engagement, outreach, and science collaborations. The Science Director will provide internal support to the Senior Director and the Leadership Team. The Science Director will lead a team of 5 staff, including a data management specialist, a geospatial analyst, a research postdoc, and 2 project managers. The Science Director will provide impactful analyses and summaries of SHP data to SHP field staff, grower community, scientific community, and to our collaborators and partners. The Science Director will provide oversight of scientific progress of projects to ensure the successful, initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and completion of internal and external projects. 


  • Leads the SHP Science Team in developing and executing a cohesive work plan in support of SHP’s science objectives, mission, and goals.
  • Ensures SHP’s applied research meets standards of rigor generally accepted by SHP’s community and audience.
  • Coordinates the SHP Science Advisory Committee, ensuring new initiatives and key findings are in line with SHP’s mission and appropriate in methods, scope, and expected impact.
  • Oversees data analysis, working with internal and external staff to deliver key findings over time to fulfill funder expectations, and the development of farmer decision-making tools in support of advancing soil health-building farming practices.
  • Provides expertise to the SHP Leadership Team to aid in managing program data collection, analytics, and publication strategies.
  • Generates and organizes data summaries for SHP Field Team, significant collaborators, and SHP Network farmers.
  • Collaborates internally and externally to develop effective processes, strategies, and tools to streamline data collection, data management, data analysis, and delivery of results.
  • Represents SHP at internal and external events, including webinars, podcasts, trade shows, scientific conferences, and panels.
  • Supports and manages research partnerships with universities, non-profits, industry groups, and other partners.
  • Represents SHP’s data and research findings to multiple audiences including: farmers, National Corn Growers Association leadership, funding partners, the scientific community, and the media.


  • Ph.D. in agronomy, soil science, data science, agricultural economics, or related discipline.
  • Minimum 3 years of work experience in an agricultural field.
  • Substantial experience presenting research results to diverse and non-technical audiences, and ability to communicate results to a broad range of audiences from experts to the general public.
  • Experience writing peer-reviewed journal articles and grower level analyses.
  • Strong knowledge base in soil physical, chemical, and biological interactions.
  • Extensive experience analyzing and visualizing agricultural data.
  • Experience or training in R, python, SQL, and ESRI software
  • Experience with and working understanding of USDA conservation programs, as well as USDA funding opportunities.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability working across interdisciplinary and multi-sector research teams, both as a leader and a team member
  • Willingness to travel nationally.

Time requirements and Location:

  • This is a full-time position. This position is a work-from-home position and will continue to be a work-from-home position after COVID-19. Because NCGA is headquartered near St. Louis, MO, and because most SHP research sites are located in the Midwest, travel (post COVID-19) throughout the Midwest should be anticipated; however, travel is not limited to the Midwest.


  • SHP customer support – Responsive to needs of internal and external clients. Takes personal responsibility for service delivered. Is courteous and responsive to clients. Sets realistic expectations with clients regarding requests for additional services.
  • Team support – Is seen as a leader, collaborator, and one who can contribute in a team setting. Encourages all members to participate, and keeps team focused on goals and objectives. Demonstrates a willingness to work with all those involved in the task at hand.
  • Initiative – Acts independently while working to achieve performance objectives. Takes action to improve or remedy situations that may be problematic by offering solutions, insights, and suggestions to those involved.
  • Adaptability – Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, and adjusts plans to meet changing needs.
  • Results Focus – Can be counted on to meet or exceed goals; motivates self and others for results; is a conscientious worker who can be relied upon to handle unforeseen obstacles.
  • Customer Focus – Meets internal and external client expectations; delivers upon commitments; builds client confidence; follows through on requests gaining trust and respect.
  • Judgement – Uses good problem solving and analytical skills in making decisions. Thinks through the impact of decisions and actions on other people and programs.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to   by Friday, February 19, 2021. Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted, with interviews starting immediately and continuing until a suitable candidate is identified.


The Soil Health Partnership brings together diverse partner organizations, including commodity groups, federal agencies, universities and environmental groups to work toward the common goal of improving soil health. SHP is identifying, testing and measuring farm management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers. We believe the results of this farmer-led project will provide a platform for sharing peer-to-peer information, and lend resources to benefit agricultural sustainability and profitability. An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, we provide the spark for greater understanding and implementation of agricultural best practices to protect resources for future generations. 

The National Corn Growers Association is committed to cultivating a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Our goal is to attract qualified candidates and encourage applications from all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.