The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Delaware (UD) has fully funded M.S. or Ph.D. student openings in controlled environment agriculture (indoor vertical farming) or space crop production to start in February 2024 (Spring) or June–September 2024 (Summer or Fall). Students with a strong background in horticulture, plant/crop science, or a related field are encouraged to apply.

What Will You Research? You will study 1) how environmental factors interact with nutrient solution factors to influence growth and quality of indoor hydroponic food crops; and/or 2) lighting optimization for space crop production to improve productivity and nutritional quality of leafy greens.

Our research aims to improve resource use efficiency of indoor vertical farming and space crop production with dynamic environmental and nutrient management strategies. Additional assistantship duties are to be expected.

Why Choose UD? UD is a top-ranked national R1 institution. Located in Newark, Delaware on the East Coast, UD is within 2 hours of New York City and Washington, D.C., and 1 hour of Philadelphia. Our Delaware Indoor Ag Lab (DIAL) features state-of-the-art tunable LED lighting systems and climate-control growth chambers.

Accepted M.S. and Ph.D. students will receive a highly competitive stipend, a tuition scholarship, and subsidized health insurance.


  • A B.S. or M.S. degree in a related field before the desired start date. An M.S. degree in a related field is required for Ph.D. applicants.
  • GRE is not required. TOEFL or IELTS is required for international applicants.
  • Previous research experience in at least one of the following and related areas: Controlled environment agriculture (indoor or greenhouse crop production), floriculture, horticultural LED lighting, plant physiology, and plant nutrition. Peer-reviewed publications are a plus.
  • Ability to move heavy objects (up to 50 lbs.), work in a collaborative and diverse team environment, and work on some weekends and holidays.
  • Exceptional work ethic and integrity, drive and commitment to research, attention to detail, problem-solving, mature receptiveness to feedback, time management, and oral and written communication skills.

How to Apply?

Please email the following to Dr. Qingwu Meng ( before formally applying: 1) an email of why you are the best fit (technical and personal traits); and 2) a CV. Email before September 30, 2023 for priority funding consideration for a Spring 2024 start. Applicants who cannot meet this deadline or wish to be considered for a later start are still encouraged to contact Dr. Meng. Positions are open until filled.

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