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Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics

Washington and Jefferson College
Washington, Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Mar 7, 2024

Job Details

Job Summary

The Physics Department at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) welcomes applicants for a three-year Visiting Assistant Professor position to begin in July 2024. Applicants of all specializations are welcome to apply, including those with interdisciplinary expertise who have ties to broader STEM fields. The successful candidate will be expected to teach Introductory physics lectures and lab for physics majors, dual-degree engineering students, and pre-health audiences, but will also have the opportunity to teach upper-level courses based on their interest, or develop new courses. More broadly, the curriculum at W&J offers avenues for faculty to participate in interdisciplinary programs such as First-Year Seminar, travel courses, and general education science courses. Applicants must have a PhD in physics or closely related field, though outstanding ABD candidates will also be considered. Review of applications will begin on May 1, 2024 and continue until the position is filled.

The Department encourages faculty to continue or develop their scholarly activities, and offers laboratory space and resources to support this work. We have a range of resources and facilities available to use, including optical tables, detectors and light sources, electronics labs, an XRD apparatus with fluorescence capabilities, 3D printers, and a well-appointed machine shop. The VAP would also have access to the chemical and biological characterization equipment offered by other departments, which include a confocal microscope. W&J also provides travel funding and endowed funds to support research. There are also avenues for incorporating scholarship into courses, such as advanced labs and research-based capstone experiences. Candidates who are passionate about undergraduate research should describe their plan in the cover letter.

The Physics Department also has a substantial laboratory curriculum that has recently undergone revision to focus the instruction on experimental skills using pedagogical best-practices; we welcome candidates who are interested in contributing to these courses. We much appreciate candidates who can bring their own perspective to the courses based on their unique backgrounds, as well as those who can adjust their approach based on the backgrounds of the students, using research-validated instruction.

W&J values faculty development and appreciates the effort required to adapt to a new environment. The College offers mentoring to support colleagues' short and long-term career development. This involves pairing faculty with a mentor from inside or outside the department, meetings with them regularly, peer observations of classes, sharing of course material, and support for attending scholarly and professional development events.

About the Department

The Physics Department at W&J offers a major and minor in physics that focus on experimental skills, and maintains several engineering dual-degree partnerships. We also offer emphases within the major that allow students to study interdisciplinary topics such as chemical physics, biological physics, mathematical physics, and the intersections of philosophy and physics. The Physics Department's courses also support W&J's excellent chemistry and biology majors and robust pre-health program. The department is housed in the recently constructed Swanson Science Center, which offers state-of-the-art educational laboratories and research spaces. We frequently offer interdisciplinary general education courses, consistent with the liberal arts mission of the college.


The department seeks candidates who have a PhD in physics or closely related field, though outstanding ABD candidates will also be considered. Candidates should also demonstrate a dedication to excellence in teaching and a desire to contribute to the campus-wide liberal arts culture.


The above declarations are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of the duties and responsibilities of the position described, nor are they intended to be such a listing of the skills and abilities required to do the job. Rather, they are intended only to describe the general nature of the position.

Job Description Status

The duties and responsibilities listed in this job description are illustrative ones anticipated for this position. Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned as required. Washington & Jefferson College reserves the right to amend or change this job description to meet the needs of its programs. This job description and any attachments do not constitute or represent a contract.

Application Instructions

Candidates should submit a cover letter addressing how their experiences/qualifications meet the job description, CV, a teaching statement describing their approach and evidence of teaching excellence, and a sample syllabus, to . Applicants should be prepared to provide three confidential letters of recommendation on request. It is recommended that all documents be in PDF format and uploaded at one time. To upload more than one document on the application, please choose file then upload files until all documents are showing in the submitted documents area. Any questions about uploading documents may be directed to . Questions regarding the position should be addressed to Professor Cory Christenson at . Review of application materials will begin May 1, 2024 and continue until the position is filled.

Employee Benefits

Washington & Jefferson College offers a comprehensive benefit package for benefit eligible employees; including health, vision, and dental coverage, group life insurance, AD&D and LTD coverage, retirement plan, generous leave time, and the tuition benefit programs. These benefits add significantly to the employee's total compensation package.

Getting to Know W&J

Washington & Jefferson College is the best of both worlds: a small-town college setting in historic Washington, Pa., with easy access to the bustling business and cultural districts of nearby Pittsburgh, Pa. just 30 miles to the north. Founded in 1781, W&J College is a private, residential liberal arts college that is focused on student success. Our dedicated, experienced professors are passionate about teaching and work closely with our students to ensure that they receive a quality, comprehensive education. For more than 200 years, our alumni have influenced change in business, politics, medicine, and the arts and sciences as CEOs, lawyers, doctors, researchers, writers, teachers, and in many other equally worthy professions.

Celebrating Diversity

Washington & Jefferson College welcomes people of all backgrounds and beliefs who wish to participate in a diverse educational community. The College strives to be a place where all students, faculty, administrators and employees are able to live, study and work in an atmosphere free from bias and harassment. The College encourages civil debate and lively exchange of ideas in the belief that such exchanges promote understanding that will grow beyond simple tolerance of difference to embracing and celebrating the richness of diversity. Our graduates acquire knowledge and learn skills that help them thrive in a culturally diverse world.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Washington & Jefferson College W&J is committed to increasing diversity in our community and actively pursues individuals from all backgrounds. Additionally, W&J College complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws and provides equal opportunity in all educational programs and activities, admission of students and conditions of employment for all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, gender identity, or national origin.


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For two and a half centuries, Washington & Jefferson College has provided a first-rate liberal arts education that is both broad and practical, preparing students as ethical leaders poised for professional success. The W&J experience stands apart by emphasizing continuous professional preparation and the development of leaders committed to a standard of uncommon integrity.

As one of the oldest colleges west of the Allegheny Mountains, W&J College has been educating people who become leaders in their professions and communities since 1781. We empower our students to assume roles of leadership throughout campus, and we lead the way in integrating professional readiness with intellectual engagement. Ethical leadership is embedded in our DNA – it’s how we approach our work and live our lives, how we learn and interact with our peers – and regardless of your academic pursuit, you will learn the key principles of leading with integrity.

Our beautiful 65-acre campus in Washington, Pennsylvania is in walking distance of the restaurants, coffee shops, and community events in a growing downtown business district. It’s also just 30 miles south of Pittsburgh and all it has to offer. On campus, you’ll find comfy spaces for study and social time in our eclectic mix of historic and modern buildings. And, with a variety of student activities like concerts and movie nights at our amphitheater, there’s always something going on.

We foster a supportive, diverse culture where all members of our campus community are valued, included, and able to realize their full potential. You’ll find community on campus through clubs and organizations centered around your interests, and internships, volunteer opportunities and more, you’ll build your community off-campus, too. With more than 20,000 hours of community service last year, we're taking the lead in living, playing, and serving in our extended community.

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