Director (Academic Administrator)

Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Sep 17, 2020
Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Director (Academic Administrator)

Director, Social Sciences Research Institute

As one of Penn State's seven, university-wide interdisciplinary institutes in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR), the Social Sciences Research Institute (SSRI) supports and promotes innovation and excellence in the social and behavioral sciences and contributes to a University-wide culture of interdisciplinary collaborative research. The new SSRI Director will build on a strong foundation to promote the social and behavioral sciences at Penn State, including by working with faculty from across the University as well as the other OSVPR Institute Directors, College Deans, Research Associate Deans, and Department Heads to advance the Institute's and University's strategic priorities.

With an annual budget of approximately $11 million, the SSRI's mission is to foster research that addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels. The Institute does so by bringing together researchers from a range of disciplines and by providing consultation, financial support, shared accessible infrastructure, and services to social and behavioral scientists across Penn State. The SSRI's five strategic foci, Reducing Social Disparities, Smart and Connected Health, The Human System, Innovative Methods, and Dissemination and Implementation Science, are contain a portfolio of activities within SSRI's research units

The SSRI Director reports to the Senior Vice President for Research who oversees Penn State research--currently exceeding $968 million annually. The Director's responsibilities include:
  • advancing a vision for Penn State's social and behavioral sciences, university-wide leadership, and catalyzing translational research excellence at the interfaces of the social and behavioral science and other science disciplines
  • building interdisciplinary collaborations across the social and behavioral sciences and beyond including by developing policies and incentives for faculty engagement and creating an atmosphere of inclusion of diverse expertise and perspectives
  • chairing SSRI's Executive and Steering Committees, which advise on SSRI investments, policies, and programs
  • chairing the SSRI Deans, Associate Research Deans, and Department Head Advisory Committees, which provide input and insights on both strategic and operational matters
  • identifying new funding opportunities
  • promoting interdisciplinary, collaborative, and translational research through seed funding and research infrastructure support
  • serving as a liaison between the University's social and behavioral science research initiatives and state, national, and international organizations

The successful candidate will be an international leader in the social and behavioral sciences with:
  • a strong record of interdisciplinary research accomplishments
  • will demonstrate vision and leadership skills necessary to develop and advance new initiatives
  • promote ongoing research efforts including translation of research into science-based programs, policies, and practices
  • recognize opportunities for promoting and advancing Penn State's land grant mission.

Candidates must have credentials appropriate for a tenured professor in an appropriate college.

The successful candidate must also support maintaining and nurturing an exceptional work environment.

Our employees are our greatest asset and our success as an organization in achieving our goals is based on having a team of inspired individuals with unique perspectives, an array of skills, and providing them with an engaging environment with opportunities for growth.

The successful candidate will ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion is in the forefront of workforce expansion; they will provide professional development and opportunities for career advancement; and they will provide a work environment that positions individuals to do their best work, ranging from opportunities for individuals to excel, teams to be creative, and units to inspire.

Penn State is Pennsylvania's land grant university, located in central Pennsylvania. State College and its surrounding communities are home to approximately 100,000 people, including more than 45,000 students and is popular for its excellent school system, outdoor recreational opportunities, cultural events, and sports.

To apply, please visit and submit a letter of application documenting qualifications for the position: statement of interest, current curriculum vitae, and contact information for at least three (3) professional references. Inquiries can be directed to Tom Richard, PhD (, chair of the search committee. Review of applications will start in September 2020 and continue until the position has been filled.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and other protected groups.

Apply online at

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.