Michigan State University(MSU) Research Associate-Fixed Term in East Lansing, Michigan

h3Working/Functional Title/h3 Research Associate h3Position Summary/h3 dir="LTR" align="LEFT"The Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University (MSU) is searching for a full-time Research Associate (post doc) to be a part of a four-year grant funded through the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research that is modeling ways to transform the food system in Flint, Michigan for better health, economic and social outcomes. The position will start as soon as an appropriate candidate is found, preferably Fall 2018. Candidates will be based in Flint, Michigan, with frequent travel to the MSU campus in East Lansing, Michigan. dir="LTR" align="LEFT"Project Description: The overall goal of this community-engaged research project is to analyze the food system in the Flint metro area in order to identify leverage points towards a more resilient state. By identifying these leverage points, the project aims to reduce inefficiencies in the food system and to enhance collective action, resulting in healthy and affordable food access for all and positive economic and social benefits for the community at large. We hypothesize that the food system in Flint currently exists in a sub-optimal "emergency" state due to the presence of feedback loops. These feedbacks maintain the system in a non-preferred state and create redundancies and inefficiencies in the system that act to stymie attempts to move the system towards a more desirable state. To identify these feedback loops we will use participatory mental modeling, and agent-based modeling approaches in addition to social network, institutional, and resilience analyses, concluding with a system dynamics model. The combination of these methods allows us to accomplish our dual objectives of building systems understanding and fostering collaboration and social learning. In addition to the insights generated for transforming the food system in Flint, this project will also allow us to contribute to the growing literature on community engaged research, participatory modeling, social learning, and knowledge production in general leading to new participatory and integrated approaches that can be applied to other urban areas facing similar issues. dir="LTR" align="LEFT"The successful applicant will become part of a transdisciplinary team led by the Community Foundation for Greater Flint (CFGF), and including researchers from Michigan State University, dedicated to investigating the food system in Flint, Michigan using multiple participatory techniques. The research associate will help to coordinate the research activities under this project, particularly at MSU, working closely with the food system navigator and project assistant based at CFGF who will be responsible for the overall project management and community engagement. The project research plan involves collecting qualitative and quantitative data, researching secondary data sets, and constructing both qualitative and quantitative models including fuzzy cognitive maps, causal loop diagrams, system dynamics models, agent-based models, and social network analyses. The research associate will be responsible for participating in and coordinating the collection of the data using participatory research methods (also to be carried out by MSU graduate students and faculty), and feeding it into the modeling efforts. Statistical skills and experience using mixed methods are required to be able to collaborate in interdisciplinary research across the social and natural sciences. Desirable background includes knowledge of the literature on urban food systems and the literature on social-ecological resilience (the theoretical framework for this study). Responsibilities will be divided between fieldwork, analysis, and writing. Candidate is expected to work independently but contribute to team-based science, and to engage with the community throughout the resea