Rodale Institute is seeking a hands-on, forward-thinking scientist to oversee a growing and dynamic research department focused on the study of regenerative organic agriculture. The Chief Scientist is responsible for overseeing research activities of the Strategic Solutions Team (SST) at multiple campuses and facilitating a multidisciplinary, collaborative research approach.  The Chief Scientist will act as co-leader of the Strategic Solutions Team, in collaboration with the Farm Director. This position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer and will be located at the main campus in Kutztown, PA.

Key responsibilities of this position include: 1) Lead research/project teams 2) Support and facilitate the grant proposal process 3) Support education and outreach activities 4) Foster collaborative relationships 5) Complete administrative duties that include project implementation activities, monitoring and evaluation responsibilities, and staff assignments, monitoring and supervision.

Essential duties and responsibilities:


  • Plan and execute critical research projects related to the Rodale Institute’s mission and five-year growth plan.
  • Support scientists working on current organic/regenerative agriculture research including long-term systems trials, organic no-till farming, pasture-based livestock systems, crop nutrient testing, assessing soil health, soil carbon sequestration, and fertility and pest management.
  • Help set research agenda for the three research priority areas: 1) supporting farmers, 2) mitigating and adapting to climate change, and 3) solving food insecurity by growing nutrient dense food and regenerative health solutions.
  • Develop and oversee a research program that falls within the three research priority areas and that advances regenerative organic agriculture.
  • Write grants and support grant writing and reporting efforts to fund the research agenda.
  • Foster collaborative relationships with the agricultural community and research, non-profit, NGO, and higher education institutions.
  • Foster collaborative relationships within Rodale Institute staff across departments and campuses to ensure the quality of research projects and deliverables.
  • Support Rodale Institute education, outreach, development, and consulting efforts.
  • Review scientific literature and publications to keep abreast of current research.

Staffing/Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Lead and supervise project staff and teams to achieve research/project goals.
  • Participate in the hiring and training of personnel.
  • Prepare and present project updates and status reports to Rodale Institute’s Leadership Team, COO, CEO, and Board of Directors.
  • Work closely with the Farm Director to co-lead the SST.
  • Ensure adequate resources and sufficient technical guidance to achieve project success.
  • Foster a professional, creative, and enjoyable work environment.
  • Establish and maintain excellent working relationships with representatives from diverse organizations.
  • Report directly to the Chief Operating Officer.


  • Assist in interpreting/disseminating information about our research project work to varied audiences including scientists, consultants, farmers, extension, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and the public.
  • Present scientific results from research trials at industry and professional conferences.
  • Be accessible to other staff, visitors, funders, and industry stakeholders about current research and scientific discoveries at Rodale Institute and other institutions.
  • Present to the scientific community, governmental decision-makers, private environmental groups and farmers on regenerative organic agriculture and other research topics as requested.
  • Oversee research activities and staff with the intention of publishing research findings in high impact, peer-reviewed publications.
  • Review, write, and assist with manuscript preparation of research papers, invited book chapters, education and outreach material, and interpretive publications.
  • Work with the Director of Marketing and Communications and the Director of Education to make Rodale Institute research accessible and comprehensible to farmers and the general public.

Grant Proposals/Reporting

  • Research, develop and write grant proposals to support projects and to obtain funds for existing and future projects.
  • Work with Director of Development to write research proposals to and maintain relationships with corporate, private, individual, family, and foundational donors to support the work and mission of Rodale Institute.
  • Plan, monitor, and oversee specific project budgets.
  • Manage the overall research department budget.
  • Meet with the Finance Director, Grants Manager, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer periodically to review status of programs and proposals.
  • Prepare and oversee preparation of monthly/quarterly/annual grant reports as required by the funding agency.


  • Ph.D. in agriculture-related field.
  • 10+ years of experience in research, including management experience.
  • High degree of familiarity with current global trends in agriculture, the environment, and food, nutrition, and human health.
  • Demonstrated openness and acceptance of people of diverse backgrounds and culture.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel.
  • Demonstrated success in receiving grant proposals for related programs and projects.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with all audiences.

Additional information:

  • Travel: This position will require regional, national and international travel.
  • Other Rodale Institute expectations: To be trustful and respectful to all staff and visitors.
  • To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to Elaine Macbeth, Director of Finance/HR, at
  • About Rodale Institute: Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For seventy years, the Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.

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