Assistant Professor in Healthy Community and Behavioral Development

Pennsylvania State University
Posting Date

Penn State

The strategic plan of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education (AESE) states that “Fostering healthy individuals and communities cuts across local and global levels, and requires knowledge of how processes of individual, community, and regional development interact.” To further strengthen scholarship in this area, the department seeks candidates for a nine-month tenure-track Assistant Professor position with a 65% research and 35% extension responsibility and with the expectation of membership in the graduate faculty, as well as faculty affiliate status with the appropriate Penn State center of excellence.

This position is part of The Pennsylvania State University's recently launched Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse (CCSA), which seeks colleagues whose research interests and expertise fit within the broad areas of pathways to addiction, criminal justice, and/or spillover effects of harmful substance use and abuse to families and communities.

Our expectation is that these new colleagues will work actively to build a powerful inter-disciplinary community of scholars focused on illuminating the multi-level processes that give rise to addiction; designing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating novel, evidence-based approaches for prevention and treatment of addiction; and identifying and ameliorating the effects of substance abuse on families and communities.

This position will be co-funded by Penn State's Social Science Research Institute (;%20 Penn State is committed to building its research, education and outreach capacity to address the complex problem of substance misuse and abuse and will hire up to twelve new faculty members over the next four years. These strategic hires will build on our faculty's long tradition of excellence in interdisciplinary and translational research on substance abuse and addiction, including in the University's academic departments as well as centers of research excellence such as the:

• Child Study Center (
• Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (
• Methodology Center (
• Population Research Institute (

CCSA faculty will also have access to research infrastructure in Penn State's cross-university research Institutes, including the SSRI, the Institute for CyberScience (; and the Penn State Cancer Institute (

The successful candidate will be expected to develop a nationally and internationally recognized applied research program related to the prevention of substance misuse and abuse and the promotion of healthy behavioral development. The successful candidate will be expected to work in multi-disciplinary teams and secure external funding.

The candidate's research agenda should focus on the development and implementation of community, family and youth promotional and prevention efforts in both urban and rural settings along the established intervention spectrum.

As part of the appointment, the successful candidate is expected to develop an active extension education program in the Food, Families, and Health area. This will require both the development and delivery of educational programs and materials in issues related to substance misuse and abuse, as well as engagement with communities where substance misuse and abuse is a problem, promoting equal access to evidence-based education.

Starting Date: July 1, 2021 or as negotiated. A Ph.D. in family studies, sociology, community studies, or related behavioral or social science field is required. The successful candidate must have completed all degree requirements by the appointment date. The ability to engage professionally with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students across the University and community is required.

Candidates should upload:

• A letter of application
• Names and addresses of three professional references
• Curriculum vitae
• Official transcripts at the Penn State Career site

Questions can be directed to Leif Jensen, Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, The Pennsylvania State University at [email protected].

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.

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Job Overview


Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
United States

How to Apply