Food and Agriculture Policy Graduate Student Researcher

Berkeley Food Institute Published: November 4, 2016
Berkeley , California
Job Type
Analyst / Research / Farm / Organics / Policy /

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~ The Berkeley Food Institute (BFI)seeks to transform food systems-to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. ~

We empower new leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems. BFI is working to achieve this mission through interdisciplinary research, public education, policy, and community engagement in food and agriculture systems.

BFI consists of a partnership between the College of Natural Resources, Goldman School of Public Policy, Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley Law, School of Public Health, College of Environmental Design, and Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. The Institute has more than 140 affiliated faculty and staff from diverse disciplines who work on a broad range of important food and agriculture issues.

Position Overview 

The Food and Agriculture Policy Graduate Student Researcher (GSR Step V) appointment is in spring 2017, 20 hours per week. Specific timing and hours will be agreed upon between employee and their supervisor.

This position will assist with key elements of the Berkeley Food Institute policy program for Spring 2017. The aims of BFI's policy program are to: 

  • Facilitate exchange of information between Berkeley faculty/staff about practices and ways in which research is used to effectively influence policy in food and agriculture systems.
  • Provide training and guidance about approaches, capacities, and tools to connect and communicate research to policy makers in food and agriculture.
  • Identify opportunities and resources for UC researchers' involvement in policy, and collaboration in these efforts.
  • The main policy themes for 2017 will include: Promoting equitable access to good food; advancing fair and healthy jobs in food systems; and accelerating the adoption of agroecology.

This position reports to the Berkeley Food Institute Policy Director, with some additional supervision by BFI Executive Director. 


  • Assist in planning a policy symposium in Washington, DC for late March 2017.
  • Identify policy-relevant research from Berkeley faculty and help to organize and explain its relevance to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Assist with research and drafting of original BFI policy publications, including policy briefs.
  • Assist with policy outreach and communications to relevant stakeholders.
  • Assist in an assessment of US state policy programs that affect organic agriculture, to reveal state agencies and policies support (or thwart) the expansion of organic farming.
  • Write concise summaries of research findings in reports to supervisor.
  • Track food and agriculture-related legislation (state and federal). 


  • Outstanding communication skills (oral and written).
  • At least 2 years of experience in researching and/or organizing complex information.
  • Research or work experience related to food or agriculture and/or public policy.
  • Experience working on interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving, particularly but not limited to one of the three main policy themes noted above.
  • Comfort with creativity, innovation, and hard work.
  • Strong interest in and dedication to social equity in food and agriculture systems.
  • Ability to apply systems thinking to large and small projects.
  • Attention to details and consistency.
  • Experience in policy analysis and/or writing policy briefs is preferred but not required.
  • Experience related to certified organic food and farming is preferred by not required. 

Compensation: $24.06/hour plus full tuition and fee remission. 

To Apply 

Please click below: "Apply Now Online!" to email the following items as one combined pdf with the subject line "Policy GSR." 

  • Cover letter
  • Résumé
  • Contact information for two professional and/or academic references 

Note: Application Deadline: November 13, 2016 at midnight (PST). Applicants must be matriculated graduate students at UC Berkeley. 

~ The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. ~

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