Genetics & Neuroscience Tenure-Track Position

by Davidson College

The Davidson College Biology Department and Neuroscience Program invite applications for a tenure-track appointment in genetics and neuroscience, with an initial appointment at the assistant professor level starting August 01, 2014.

We seek a broadly trained geneticist and neuroscientist who will contribute to all levels of the curriculum by teaching introductory biology, an intermediate-level genetics course, and additional upper-level courses that augment biology and neuroscience curricula. The research must address questions in neuroscience using contemporary genetic methodologies. Candidates with research programs that complement existing strengths and use computational, genomic, and/or optogenetic techniques are particularly encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an active research program capable of attracting external funding and producing peer-reviewed publications with undergraduate co-authors. Start-up funds and dedicated research space are available. A PhD in genetics, neuroscience, or a related field is required. Undergraduate teaching experience and postdoctoral research training are also strongly preferred. Application materials must be submitted at by September 30, 2013. Davidson College is strongly committed to achieving excellence and cultural diversity and welcomes applications from women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and others who bring additional dimensions to the college's mission. For further information contact Barbara Lom, Biology chair (


This expansion position is an appointment to the Biology Department. The successful candidate will also be expected to participate actively in Davidson's Neuroscience Program by mentoring neuroscience research students and offering courses that support the Neuroscience curriculum. Evaluation of the candidate for renewals and tenure will be conducted by the Biology Department with input from the Neuroscience Program.

Teaching & Research Climate

Davidson's Biology Department, Neuroscience Program, and Genomics Program all emphasize student learning through research. Biology is regularly one of Davidson's most popular majors and is a particularly research-active department in the college, while neuroscience is one of the most popular student-designed majors through our Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. More than half of Biology's 15 tenure-track faculty have been hired since 1998 and ~75% of our majors perform at least one semester or one summer of research. We have state-of-the-art facilities for both teaching and research and have been very successful in obtaining funding for innovative research and pedagogy. Since 2004, Biology faculty members have been awarded more than $8.8M in external support from NSF, NIH, HHMI, and other organizations. Many of our courses include an original research experience as part of the laboratory component; in some cases these class projects (as well as many independent research projects) result in peer-reviewed publications and/or presentations at scientific meetings. For example, in 2011 & 2012 eight Biology faculty members produced 39 publications with 65 total undergraduate co-authorships.

The Community

Davidson College is located in Davidson, NC, a lakeside college town situated within both the Charlotte metropolitan area (NC's largest city) and the Lake Norman region (NC's largest lake). Thus, Davidson students, staff, and faculty members have easy access (<20 minute drive) to enjoy the diverse advantages and opportunities provided by living and working near a thriving major city, small towns, recreational, and rural areas. Moreover, the mountains of western NC and the shores of the Atlantic are only a few hours drive in either direction.

Teaching Load

The annual teaching load for full-time faculty members at Davidson is five courses over two semesters (no summer courses are offered). For most natural science faculty members, a five-course load translates into two lab courses (with two lab sections each) plus a third course each year. We expect that the new neurogeneticst will annually teach two existing lab courses (e.g., Bio 111 or 113, 201, 333) and a new seminar, group investigation, and/or non-lab course that expands Biology and Neuroscience curricula in ways related to the successful candidate's interests and expertise.

Research Area

We seek a geneticist and neuroscientist who will sustain a research program that contributes new knowledge to our understanding of genes and the nervous system while also bringing new experimental approaches and research questions to Davidson in ways that include undergraduate participation during the semesters and summers. The research area is unspecified, though we seek candidates who can complement our existing strengths in classical genetics, genomics, developmental neurobiology, behavioral neuroscience, and behavioral pharmacology.

Support for Research & Professional Activities

Davidson College will provide start-up funds as well as a dedicated research laboratory to support the successful candidate's scholarly research pursuits. Annual travel funds are available for faculty members to attend professional conferences. The college also provides opportunities to apply for research support, particularly for summer research collaborations between faculty and students and support for student travel to present research results at scientific conferences. Moreover, the Biology department budget also provides support for instrumentation, travel, and consumables related to teaching and faculty-student research.

Facilities & Instrumentation

The Biology Department is currently located in the Baker-Watt Science complex, comprised of Watson and Dana Science buildings. Each biology faculty member with an active research program has a dedicated research space that is further supported by shared facilities and instrumentation (freezers, autoclaves, dishwashers, ice machines, balances, water systems, etc.). All teaching labs in our buildings are well equipped with updated computers, projection systems, and specialized instrumentation. Major instrumentation includes: a microscopy suite (including confocal), a tissue culture facility, field vehicles, environmental chambers, animal facility, spectrophotometers, real-time PCR machine, etc. The College also operates a greenhouse, a lake campus, a farm, and a 200-acre ecological preserve on the edge of the main campus. Moreover, plans are well underway to construct a new science facility that will house biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, and psychology as part of an academic neighborhood with an anticipated opening in 2016.

Support Services

The Grants and Contracts Office supports faculty members in both seeking and managing external funds. Additional support services within the sciences include AALAS-certified animal care staff members, a scientific instrumentation specialist, information technologists, a Biology Department assistant, and two laboratory preparation staff who support many biology courses.

Course Releases & Sabbaticals

Davidson faculty members have a variety of opportunities to earn reduced teaching loads to support externally funded research projects, to advance curricular innovations, and/or as acknowledgements of teaching service (often through mentoring student researchers). New tenure-track appointments teach a four-course load in their first year. Pre-tenure faculty members may request a sabbatical in their fifth year. Full-time, tenured faculty members normally earn a sabbatical leave of up to two semesters every seventh year. The College typically funds sabbatical salaries of one semester at full pay or two semesters at half pay. As well, a faculty member's external research funds and/or competitive internal funds may become available to supplement salary for leaves.

Professional Development

The College provides faculty members with professional development opportunities through a mentoring program, a Center for Teaching and Learning, a pre-tenure faculty group (NOAH), a faculty of color group, a LGBT caucas, and grants for teaching innovations. It also sponsors workshops on teaching and participates in local, regional, and national organizations dedicated to outstanding undergraduate education.

Commitment to Diversity

The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity and have experience interacting with students of diverse backgrounds. During campus interviews, candidates will meet with an equity advising team comprised of a faculty member and students to discuss academic issues of diversity and inclusivity.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted through with all materials received by September 30, 2013.  Required materials include a cover letter, CV, teaching statement, research statement, and three letters of reference (sent directly to Up to two optional reprints/manuscripts may also be uploaded at

Search Timeline & Process

The search committee plans to review applications in October, conduct phone interviews with top candidates in late October and/or early November, and then invite up to three candidates for campus interviews in late November and/or early December. (This schedule is subject to changes without notice.) Campus interviews will include meetings with the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Equity Advisor, Human Resources, Neuroscience faculty and students, and Biology faculty, staff, and students. Each candidate will be expected to give a research seminar as well as teach a sample class during the multi-day interview process.