Tennessee State University’s Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is pleased to announce graduate research assistantship to support a Ph.D. student in conducting research in Forest Ecology. The students will be advised by Dr. Sarah McCarthy-Neumann (sneumann@tnstate.edu) whose research lab investigates the role of plant-soil feedback (PSF) on forest community dynamics.

The research project is fully funded through USDA-NIFA and focuses on a PSF and oak/hickory regeneration failure and encompasses both greenhouse and field experiments. The assistantship begins with Fall 2023 enrollment and is fully funded 12-month GRA positions for 3 years ($24,000 per year plus fully paid tuition and fees).

We seek applicants with a high level of enthusiasm for field and greenhouse research that contributes to understanding plant-soil feedback as an important mechanism underlying forest community dynamics. The student will have access to substantial existing data from past and ongoing studies, and a network of unique study sites.

Successful applicants will be expected to work independently as well as collaboratively as a member of the research group, develop independent research questions related to the overall project goals, conduct field work sometimes in remote locations, perform detailed laboratory analyses with a high level of precision, and publish research results.


  • A M.S. degree in plant/forest ecology, forestry, environmental science, botany or related field. Previously attained and maintained exceptional academic standing
  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Experience in report-writing or drafting research articles
  • A self-motivated, well-organized, adaptive to collaborative work

    Preference will be given to applicants with:

  • Experience with running experiments and advanced statistical analysis
  • Peer-reviewed publications

How to Apply:

If interested, please submit the following documents in a single PDF file to Dr. Sarah McCarthy-Neumann (Assistant Professor of Forest Ecology) at sneumann@tnstate.edu

  1. A letter of interest (maximum 2 pages);
  2. Curriculum vitae;
  3. Unofficial copies of transcripts (undergraduate and M.S.);
  4. Unofficial GRE scores;
  5. List of three references (name, title, affiliation, email address, and phone number);
  6. Publication samples.

Review of the applications will begin immediately and will continue until the positions are filled. To be accepted into the graduate program, potential students must also apply through the TSU Graduate School at http://go.tnstate.edu/inquiryform . When applying, please indicate an interest in the Forest Ecology Graduate Assistantship in the required Statement of Interests. Contact Person: Sarah McCarthy-Neumann: Contact Phone:  6159637977 Contact eMail sneumann@tnstate.edu (see lab website at https://www.mccarthy-neumannlab.com/).

Last Date to Apply 05/15/2023

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