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Assistant Professor of Biology

St. Olaf College
Northfield, Minnesota
Posted Date
Jul 7, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Biology & Life Sciences
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Department of Biology at St. Olaf College invites applications for a full-time, tenure track colleague who will contribute to inclusive excellence, engage undergraduates in innovative research, and teach a variety of courses including those in our cadaver-based human anatomy and physiology sequence. This position is at the Assistant Professor level and begins August 2023.

The Biology major curriculum guides students to obtain a broad foundation in biology through core courses, but also achieve depth in specific interests through elective courses and independent study. Teaching responsibilities include regular teaching in the human anatomy and physiology courses (BIO 143 and BIO 243), which serve a range of majors (Biology, Kinesiology, Nursing), concentrations (Neuroscience, Public Health), and pre-health pathways. Other courses taught in the successful candidate’s area(s) of interest could be existing or new, at varying levels (introductory to advanced), and emphasizing a range of skills (e.g., written communication). The normal teaching load is six courses per year, where courses with a laboratory component count as more than one course. For example, a typical human anatomy and physiology course with three lab sections generally counts as about three courses. 

Our department is actively engaged in the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and we are particularly interested in applicants who can and will advance the college’s goals in these areas. For example, with the support of a student action team and other student input, we examine the influence of racism on historical and current biological thinking in our classes, labs, and seminars. We strongly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, people of color, and members of other underrepresented groups.

Our Biology faculty are dedicated to including undergraduate students in our scholarly work, and we seek a colleague with similar goals. We are well-equipped to support research programs in a wide variety of areas. Resources include vivarium spaces, microscope facilities, a neurophysiology suite, and a full range of centrifugation and spectrophotometric equipment. New faculty receive a competitive startup package that supports the establishment of their research program. St. Olaf has a vibrant college-wide summer research program (Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, or CURI) that supports biology faculty-mentored student research, which often then continues throughout the academic year via independent research courses.  

We emphasize interdisciplinary training, encouraging students to solve problems using tools from other fields. We welcome participation in any of our interdisciplinary programs, such as Neuroscience, Biomolecular Science, Mathematical Biology, and Public Health, as well as in various international and off-campus programs. Duties also involve advising, committee service, and departmental and institutional obligations like attending faculty meetings.


The successful candidate should:

  • have received their Ph.D. by the position start date.
  • show potential for excellence in teaching a variety of courses, including courses in our cadaver-based human anatomy and physiology sequence.
  • show potential for developing a research program amenable to participation by undergraduate students, and with promise of attracting external funding.
  • have a strong and demonstrated commitment to promoting the equitable inclusion of students and colleagues of all backgrounds in all aspects of college life.

    Postdoctoral research, industry, non-profit or government experience, and/or prior teaching experience are desirable additional qualifications.

About the Department:

Our Biology department is housed in a state-of-the-art science building that is uniquely equipped with resources and infrastructure to support research at multiple levels. These assets, along with a team of dedicated Biology faculty collaborating with talented students, support our excellent record of teaching and wide range of active research programs. About 110 students per year graduate with a Biology major, with many continuing their education in graduate or professional programs. For more information about the department, visit


At St. Olaf, we are committed to equity and inclusion. We strive to be a campus of welcome where students, faculty, and staff thrive by bringing their full humanity—gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic class, disability, religion, spirituality, and age—to the Hill each day. Our goal is to generate conversations and processes that over time create greater clarity, transparency, trust, cooperation, consensus, respect, and measurable outcomes. Practices that support this goal include listening, cultivating a growth mindset, respecting those with different views, being informed by data, and understanding that the work is ongoing, collaborative, organic, and ever evolving. We encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan to learn more about our commitment and to identify how you might contribute to these efforts.

How to Apply:

A complete application includes:
1. Cover letter
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Diversity statement (200-500 word limit): Describe how you would contribute to the development of a diverse and inclusive learning community at our college through your teaching, research, and/or service. Include examples of your contributions when possible.
4. Statement of Teaching Philosophy: Describe your teaching experience, interests, and ideas about effective pedagogical approaches; include some discussion about your experience and/or interest in teaching anatomy and physiology courses.
5. Statement of Research and Interest: Describe the research you propose to carry out at St. Olaf; discuss specifically how you would include undergraduates in your research program, and plans for obtaining external funding.
6. Graduate Transcripts (official or unofficial)
7. The contact information for three professional references who can speak to your abilities in teaching and scholarship (St. Olaf solicits letters directly after an initial round of screening.)

Review of applications will begin on September 16, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. Applications received by that date will receive fullest consideration. Finalist interviews are expected in November or early December. Questions about the position, department, or College may be directed to Jean Porterfield, Search Committee Chair, at

Who We Are:

Founded in 1874, St. Olaf College is a residential, coeducational liberal arts college with approximately 3,000 students and 800 faculty and staff employees. The college is located on a picturesque 300-acre campus in Northfield, Minnesota, a vibrant, restored, historic river town of 20,000 located 45 minutes south of culturally rich and diverse Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The college offers an academically rigorous, nationally ranked liberal arts education that fosters the development of the whole person in mind, body, and spirit and emphasizes learning in an inclusive and globally engaged community. We encourage applications from candidates committed to multicultural understanding and the enrichment of our diverse community.

The college offers a comprehensive benefits package including a 9% company retirement match, company monthly contributions to a retirement healthcare account, company contributions to eligible employee’s health savings account, significant tuition discount (up to 80% off) at ACM and ELCA colleges and universities for employee’s children, and generous paid time off. For a full review of benefit offerings, see the summary of the benefits program here:

To provide a safe and secure educational environment, St. Olaf College verifies the accuracy of all credentials presented by applicants and conducts a criminal background check on every new hire. 

St. Olaf College requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (medical and religious exemptions may apply). To be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you need to have received the COVID-19 vaccination dose(s), plus a COVID-19 booster shot before your start date, or within two weeks of eligibility for a booster.

A link to our DEI page:

A virtual campus tour:

An overview of Northfield:

An overview of the Twin Cities:

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