Two Assistant Professor Positions in Biology

photo of Duke Chapel with a cherry tree in bloom on the foreground

Duke University’s Department of Biology is planning to hire two Assistant Professors. We are looking for individuals who will develop a world-class research program in any area of Biology, using any mode of inquiry (experimental, field, or theoretical work), and enhance and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the biological sciences.

We are broadly interested in individuals whose research integrates across biological scales such as the organization of and interactions among molecules, cells, organisms, species, and their environment.  Strong candidates must also share our passion for teaching and mentoring our undergraduate and graduate students, and support our departmental mission, which prioritizes inclusive scientific and educational excellence.  

Interested candidates should submit the following by October 21, 2022:

  • a cover letter (with contact information);
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a three-page research statement that includes a description of research accomplishments and plans for future research;
  • a one-page statement describing their awareness of, experience promoting, and plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • a one-page statement describing their teaching philosophy, previous experiences and future plans for teaching;
  • and 3 reference letters.

For more information on each of these documents, please scroll to the "Required Documents" section at the bottom of the page.

Applications must be submitted electronically through Academic Jobs Online: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/22805.

The start date for this position is August 1, 2023.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer in Durham, NC that is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and provides employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. We are committed to creating an outstanding and inclusive training environment and we strongly encourage members from historically marginalized groups to apply.

The mission of Duke Biology is the study of life in all of its complexity. In Duke Biology, our scholars spend their days discovering how biological systems work. We work across all levels of biological organization, fascinated by the structural complexity of individual proteins to the emergent properties of entire ecosystems, and we examine processes that range from ultrafast movements that last nanoseconds to the evolutionary processes that span eons.

Whether we use microscopes, sequencers, mass spectrometers, hand lenses or the naked eye, members of the Duke Biology community are attentive to the enormous variety of life on Earth. We seek to understand how the variety and complexity of life have been derived and maintained over time. It is through our research that we come to know what is conserved and what is changing through the course of biological evolution. It is through our research that we understand how much information is shared across the tree of life, and how dependent every organism is on the same shortlist of resources often in limited supply.

 It is our job to ask and answer new questions about how biological systems work and to share that knowledge with the world through our writing, teaching, and outreach. It is our job to engage young people in our process of discovery and to provide them with opportunities to contemplate and study the natural world. It is our goal that alumni of our department will feel confident in interpreting and applying novel insights in biology in any career path they ultimately choose to pursue.

 In the course of our work together, all members of our community, will be provided with clear expectations and support for fulfilling those expectations in a climate of transparency, equity, accountability, and kindness.

As the ad says: “We are looking for individuals who will develop a world-class research program in any area of Biology, using any mode of inquiry (experimental, field, or theoretical work), and enhance and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the biological sciences.”

Because we are a broad Biology department spanning from molecular biology to ecosystems, we are also interested in candidates who can reach across different areas of the discipline. We stated that “We are broadly interested in individuals whose research integrates across biological scales such as the organization of and interactions among molecules, cells, organisms, species, and their environment.”

Below are some examples of areas and fields that could be represented and also match potential institutional efforts as part of Duke's strategic plan. However, even if your work does not fit in these categories, do not self-select. We are primarily interested in finding excellent scholars, mentors, teachers, who will contribute to the department's effort in increasing diversity and equity.

-A plant physiologist who conducts experimental work examining how plant-water relations and growth trajectories respond to rising temperatures and carbon dioxide

-A cell and developmental biologist who studies how organisms adapt to environmental stress at the genetic, cell, and molecular level.

-An ecologist who studies the potential for global warming to drive increasingly problematic phenological mismatches between flowering plants and pollinator life histories

- An animal physiologist who examines the metabolic impacts and physiological responses to shifting migratory paths due to global changes in ocean currents.  

-An epidemiologist who explores how habitat destruction or global transportation networks shape the spread of plant or zoonotic diseases, and what makes populations resistant or resilient to disease

-An evolutionary biologist that explores how rapid evolution is allowing populations to persist in the face of rapid climate change

-A plant geneticist who screens for plant traits that maximize resistance to environmental stressors or disease 

-A regenerative biologist who examines the molecular and cellular regenerative mechanisms underlying whole body and tissue specific loss in response to environmental stress in response to environmental stress. 

-a cell and molecular biologist who studies more efficient forms of carbon fixation, such as the pyrenoid organelle in green algae.

- A molecular biologist who explores how the microorganisms that drive ocean carbon cycling (coccolithophores or Prochlorococcus) are responding to ocean acidification

-A microbiologist who examines explores how environmental or gut microbiomes confer stability in organism or ecosystem energetics in spite of rising environmental variability

Cover letter: This one-page document is your first introduction to the department and the search committee. Be specific but brief in explaining your interest in the position, your pertinent skills and vision, and a summary of what makes you a competitive applicant. Include your contact information, and if comfortable, add your preferred name and pronouns.

CV: The CV is a document that describes your career trajectory to date.  You should include details about where you have completed previous academic training; lists of publications and presentations; awards and grants received; courses taught; and service activities conducted.

Research statement: This is document should focus on your current as well as your future research agenda. Highlight your main accomplishments and discuss the goals of your research program. We are interested in your short-term projects (next 5-7 years), but also in your vision for the next 30 years (we want people to build their careers here at Duke!). Remember that we are a diverse group of biologists and it is in your interest to get as many people excited about your science as possible. It is a good practice to balance the level of details and making sure that it is still understandable by a group of educated biologists.

Diversity statement: We will evaluate candidates’ contributions to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging following the rubric designed by UC Berkeley:

“This rubric envisions the evaluation of DEIB as encompassing three main areas: 1) knowledge and understanding, 2) track record of activities to date, and 3) plans for contributing to DEIB.”

Strongest scores will be given to candidates with a clear and deep understanding of dimensions of DEIB in higher education, sustained track record of varied efforts to promote DEIB in teaching, research, or service, and clear and detailed plans for advancing DEIB.

Teaching statement: In this a one-page statement describing teaching philosophy, previous experiences, and future plans for teaching. We are interested in candidates who not only have an established track record of pedagogy, but who can clearly articulate a teaching philosophy and provide examples of how their teaching philosophy has led to teaching innovations.