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Biochemistry Tenure-Track Position

The Biology Department at Davidson College invites applications for a tenure-track position in biochemistry at the assistant professor level. We seek a biochemist with demonstrated potential for excellence in undergraduate education to teach biochemistry, introductory biology, and additional courses in the candidate's areas of expertise. The successful candidate will develop and teach a biochemistry course (with lab) that spans content requirements in chemistry and biology with strong potential for future cross-listing between the two departments. Ability and interest in teaching a biostatistics course, a nutrition course, or contributing to the genomics program add strength to an application. A Ph.D. in biochemistry or a related field is required with postdoctoral research training (or equivalent) preferred. 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. Biochemists examining molecular mechanisms in cellular or organismal contexts by employing computational, modeling, or large-scale data approaches are particularly encouraged to apply, though applicants taking other approaches will be considered. Start-up funds and dedicated research lab space in a new interdisciplinary science building (summer 2017 completion) designed to promote innovative teaching and collaboration among STEM fields will be provided. Application materials must be submitted at jobs.davidson.edu by Sept. 25, 2016. The position will begin Aug. 01, 2017. Davidson College, located 20 miles from Charlotte, N.C., is strongly committed to achieving excellence and cultural diversity. We welcome applications from women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and others who bring additional dimensions to the college's mission.

Appointment

This position will reside in the Biology Department and it is expected the new biochemist will collaborate with the Chemistry Department on cross-listed courses and interdisciplinary research efforts as appropriate. Currently both the biology and chemistry departments each offer biochemistry lab courses with very strong student demand. An ongoing biochemistry working group composed of nine faculty members (four from biology, four from chemistry, and the pre-medical advisor) is actively seeking ways to be able to cross-list the introductory biochemistry lab courses in each department (CHE230 & BIO303) in the future. The new biochemist will be expected to join this working group toward achieving this goal.

Teaching & Research Climate

The Biology Department emphasizes student learning through original research experiences. Biology is regularly one of Davidson's most popular majors with about 75% of biology majors performing research during a summer or semester experience. With state-of-the-art facilities for both teaching and research, Davidson biologists have been very successful in integrating teaching and research. Many biology courses include original research experiences as part of the laboratory; 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 2014-15 biology faculty and students generated 49 publications. Davidson biologists have experienced similar success in obtaining funding for innovative research and pedagogy. Since 2000, biology faculty members have been awarded more than $15.8 million in external support from NSF, NIH, HHMI, and many other funding agencies. In 2015 the Davidson Biology Department was honored to receive the "accomplished" rating in implementing strategies from Vision & Change by PULSE's inaugural certification effort.

Teaching

We expect that the new biochemist will demonstrate potential for excellence in teaching, which includes fostering inclusive learning environments where all students can thrive. The annual teaching load for full-time faculty members at Davidson is five courses over two semesters (no summer courses are offered). For most science faculty members, a five-course load translates into two lab courses (with two lab sections each) plus a third course each year. The new biochemist can expect to teach two existing lab courses in introductory biology (BIO111/113) and biochemistry (BIO303) regularly and develop new courses that expand course offerings in ways related both to the biochemist's interests and as curricular needs (current curricular needs in Biology include biostatistics and nutrition).

Research

We seek a biochemist who will sustain a research program that contributes new knowledge to our understanding of molecular mechanisms within cellular or organismal contexts while also bringing new experimental approaches and research questions to Davidson in ways that incorporate undergraduate research collaborators. The research area is unspecified though candidates employing computational, modeling, or large-scale data approaches are particularly encouraged to apply.

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. $2,000 in 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 provides support for some instrumentation, travel, and/or consumables related to teaching and faculty-student research.

Facilities & Instrumentation

In summer 2017 the Biology Department will move into a new science facility housing biology, chemistry, environmental science, and psychology. Each science faculty member with an active research program will have use of a dedicated research space that is further supported by shared facilities and instrumentation (freezers, centrifuges, autoclaves, dishwashers, ice machines, balances, water systems, etc.). All teaching labs are well equipped with computers, projection systems, and specialized instrumentation. Major scientific instrumentation in biology and chemistry includes: a microscopy suite (including confocal), a tissue culture facility, environmental chambers, animal facility, spectrophotometers, PCR machines, isothermal titration calorimeter, NMR, LCMS, and more. The building also features classrooms designed for active learning and informal spaces that promote interdisciplinary collaboration and community building. In addition to this new sciences building the college also operates a greenhouse, a lake campus, a farm, and a 200-acre ecological preserve that support science education in various ways.

Support Services

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

Sabbaticals & Course Releases

New tenure-track appointments teach a four-course load in their first year and five courses per year thereafter. 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. Davidson faculty members also 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 service (often through mentoring student researchers).

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 caucus, and grants for teaching innovations. It also sponsors workshops on teaching and participates in local, regional, and national organizations dedicated to outstanding undergraduate education.

Commitments to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity

Davidson shares aspirations to reimagine the liberal arts, a singular commitment to educational excellence and access, and educating students for disproportionate impact. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity and have experience interacting with students of diverse backgrounds. The search includes a faculty equity advisor throughout the process and during campus interviews candidates will meet with representatives from Davidson's Student Initiative for Academic Diversity (SIAD) to discuss diversity and inclusivity. Davidson's current accreditation quality enhancement plan (QEP) focuses on inclusive pedagogy with an emphasis on gateway quantitative courses (STEM and Economics).

Davidson is actively pursuing inclusive excellence and recently submitted a successful pre-proposal to HHMI's Inclusive Excellence initiative in undergraduate science education. Davidson also participates in QuestBridge, Posse, and other initiatives including The Davidson Trust, a no-loan financial aid program for all students. Davidson has a non-discrimination policy and strong, ongoing commitments to social justice, quality, and access. As an example, in the wake of North Carolina's controversial HB2 "bathroom bill" Davidson rapidly released a statement in support of LGBTQA community members.

The Charlotte Area

Just 20 miles north of the thriving city of Charlotte, Davidson is a lakeside college town that is an important and well-regarded member of the Charlotte metropolitan area. As North Carolina's largest city, Charlotte is a financial center featuring professional sports teams and a busy hub airport with frequent nonstop flights to many domestic and international destinations. Thus, Davidson students, staff, and faculty members enjoy the diverse advantages and opportunities provided by remarkable proximity to a lively major city, suburbs, and charming small towns, and lakefront communities on Lake Norman (North Carolina's largest lake). Moreover, with the mountains of Western N.C. and the beaches of the Atlantic only a few hours drive in either direction, rural and recreational areas are also readily accessible and available.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted through jobs.davidson.edu with all materials received by Sept. 25, 2016. Review will begin immediately thereafter. Required materials include a cover letter (2 page max), CV, teaching plan (2 page max), research plan (2 page max), and three letters of reference (sent directly to jeingraham@davidson.edu). The CV should include links to publications as possible. The teaching plan should describe the applicant's general approach to teaching and fostering inclusivity while also addressing how the applicant will teach expected courses (introductory biology and biochemistry) and briefly describing potential courses the applicant has interest in developing. The research plan should provide an overview of the applicant's research experiences and expertise and communicate the trajectory of how the applicant expects the research program to evolve in the future including undergraduate roles in the research and a brief indication of instrumentation needs/budget. Additional materials are neither expected nor required, though candidates who feel the required documents do not reflect an important aspect of their potential may upload up to three optional documents as well through jobs.davidson.edu.

Search Timeline & Process

The search committee (four faculty members from biology, four from chemistry, and the pre-medical director) expects to begin application review in late September, conduct preliminary interviews by phone/Skype with top candidates in late October and/or early November, and then invite up to three candidates for campus interviews in 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 faculty, human resources, as well as faculty, staff, and students in biology and chemistry including representatives of Davidson's Student Initiative for Academic Diversity (SIAD). Each candidate will be expected to give a research seminar as well as teach a sample class during the multi-day interview process.