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Two-Year Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology in Organismal Biology and Biostatistics

The Davidson College Biology Department invites applications for a two-year visiting assistant professor position in organismal biology and biostatistics, beginning July 1, 2019. The area of specialization is open and may include physiology, evolution, ecology, behavior, conservation biology, or related fields.

The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in biology (or related field) by July 2019, ability and interest in teaching biostatistics, and teaching experience in introductory organismal biology. We seek an individual with demonstrated potential for excellence in teaching, which includes fostering inclusive learning environments where all students can thrive. The annual teaching load is five courses over two semesters, which may be met through a combination of an introductory organismal biology course (BIO112/114) plus lab, biostatistics (BIO240), and the possibility of offering of an upper-level organismal/ecological biology course plus lab/field component in the candidate's area of expertise.

Apply online only. Position is open until filled; review of applications begins January 5, 2019. Application materials include a detailed cover letter with discrete sections describing: 1) teaching philosophy, 2) research interests, and 3) how teaching, research, and/or service might contribute to Davidson's institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion, a CV, and names and contact information of references.

Davidson College is a highly selective, residential, four-year liberal arts college, located 20 miles from Charlotte, NC that is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Davidson faculty members enjoy a low faculty-student ratio, emphasis on and appreciation of excellence in teaching, and outstanding research facilities. A collegial, respectful atmosphere honors academic achievement and integrity, upholds educational excellence, encourages student-faculty collaborative research, and prioritizes inclusive pedagogy.

At Davidson College, we believe the college grows stronger by recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff committed to building an inclusive community. In order to achieve and sustain educational excellence, we seek to hire talented faculty and staff across the intersections of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political perspectives, abilities, cultures, and national origins.

Teaching

We expect that the visiting assistant professor will demonstrate potential for excellence in teaching, which includes fostering inclusive learning environments where all students can succeed. 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 visiting assistant professor can expect to teach a lab course in introductory biology (BIO112 or BIO114) and three sections of biostatistics (BIO240) in each of the two years of the contract, with the possibility of substituting introductory biology or two sections of biostatistics for an upper-level lab course in organismal biology or ecology, if needed.

Teaching & Research Climate

The Biology Department emphasizes student learning through original research experiences. Biology is regularly one of Davidson's most popular majors. 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 2010-2017 biology faculty and students generated 136 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 and Change by PULSE's inaugural certification effort. (This rating was the singularly highest achieved by participating institutions.)

Facilities & Instrumentation

In 2017 the Biology Department moved into a new science facility housing biology, chemistry, environmental science, and psychology. Each science faculty member with an active research program has 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. 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. Additional support services within the sciences include animal care staff members, a scientific instrumentation specialist, academic technologists, a department coordinator, and three laboratory preparation staff members who support biology lab courses.

Professional Development and Support

The college provides financial support ($2,000 per year) for visiting faculty members to attend professional conferences, up to $400 per semester (approx. 40 hours) for a student research assistant, and moving expenses up to $2,500. In addition, two-year visitors can apply for internal funding (Faculty Study & Research Grant) the summer between the two years of employment. The Biology Department budget provides support for some instrumentation, travel, and/or consumables related to teaching. The college provides faculty members with professional development opportunities, a Center for Teaching and Learning, a pre-tenure faculty group, a faculty of color group, a LGBT caucus, and some internal research grants. It also sponsors workshops on teaching and participates in 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 possible interactions 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 in gateway STEM courses.

Davidson's active pursuit of inclusive excellence in STEM was recently recognized by a five-year $1M grant from HHMI's Inclusive Excellence initiative in undergraduate science education. Fostering Inclusivity and Respect in Science Together (FIRST) aims for Davidson to build our inclusive capacity to engage all students in science, especially those who are new majority students or come to college via non-traditional pathways.

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. At Davidson College, we believe the college grows stronger by recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff committed to building an inclusive community. To achieve and sustain educational excellence, we seek to hire talented faculty and staff across the intersections of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political perspectives, abilities, cultures, and national origins.

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 & Search Timeline

Applications must be submitted online. Review of applications will begin January 5, 2019 and the position will be open until filled. Required application materials include a detailed cover letter with discrete sections describing:

The teaching philosophy should describe the applicant's general approach to teaching and fostering inclusivity, address how the applicant will teach expected courses (introductory biology and biostatistics), and briefly describe a potential lab/field course the applicant has interest in developing. The research interests should provide an overview of the applicant's research experiences and expertise. The CV should include links to publications as possible. 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 through Davidson's employment portal.

Search Timeline & Process

The search committee expects to begin application review January 5, 2019, conduct preliminary interviews by phone/Zoom with top candidates in mid-January to early February, and then invite the top candidate for campus interviews in February and/or March (this schedule is subject to change without notice). Campus interviews will include meetings with the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, human resources, as well as Biology faculty members, staff members, and students, possibly including representatives of Davidson's Student Initiative for Academic Diversity (SIAD). The top candidate will be expected to teach a sample class on a statistical topic during an on-campus interview.