Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health with focus on Rural Health Disparities

Pennsylvania State University

United States

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health with focus on Rural Health Disparities


The Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) in the College of Health and Human Development ( at The Pennsylvania State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor faculty position in the area of rural health disparities.


The College of Health and Human Development strongly encourages applicants who would enhance the diversity of our academic community to apply. To learn more about Penn State University's commitment to diversity and inclusion see the University's Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at http:// In HHD, enriching the lives of others is our mission. We believe in the power of human capacity for growth and live that mission by meeting challenges, both big and small, with excitement and energy every day.


BBH takes an integrative approach, combining a vast array of fields, to advance understanding of the biological, psychological, environmental, cultural, and global factors that converge to affect health and wellness across the entire human lifespan. We seek applicants that employ an integrative research approach to the study of health disparities in rural populations and settings in the U.S., including, but not limited to, native populations (i.e., American Indian, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders), immigrant populations, and other special population groups. Such approaches may include research to explore the mechanisms underlying the impacts of culture, discrimination, racism, and/or poverty on physical and/or mental health outcomes. Other examples may include investigations of the ways in which rural communities' inequitable access to resources exacerbates health disparities. The ideal applicant will have a strong interest in and experience with conducting interdisciplinary research that leverages both behavioral and biological perspectives. Candidates should demonstrate an established interdisciplinary research program, and a successful history of publishing in peer-reviewed journals.


The position includes teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A doctorate in public health, behavioral science, psychology, biocultural anthropology/human biology, sociology, biostatistics or a related field is required. Applicants should have a strong record of scholarly research commensurate with their experience and an engagement in professional service. A record of external research funding is seen as a strength.


This individual will have access to research facilities including the College of Health and Human Development's shared Biomarker Core Lab (BCL; ), the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI;, the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI;, the Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center (SLEIC;, the Methodology Center (, the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences (, the Center for Healthy Aging (, the Center for Health Care and Policy Research (, Population Research Institute (PRI;, and Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health ( Opportunities for collaboration also exist with multiple academic units across the College and University (e.g., Human Development and Family Studies, Nutritional Sciences, Kinesiology, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, College of Nursing, Hershey Medical Center, Biology).


Located in Centre County, Pennsylvania, employment at Penn State offers an incredible opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the central Pennsylvania outdoors combined with all of the culture, sports, and entertainment available in a large university community. More information on the area and all of its amenities can be found here: https://


The College of Health and Human Development embraces diversity, equity and inclusion as core values in both its mission and vision. Our goal is to empower a broadly diverse generation to become leaders and scholars who promote human health, development and quality of life throughout the lifespan.


With our focus on the improvement of the quality of individuals' lives within their families and communities, the College of Health and Human Development naturally places the understanding of diversity in a central position in both its mission and vision. Through teaching, research, and outreach programs, we strive to communicate the importance of diversity to both College and community members. Diversity is broadly defined by the College as human differences including differences in age, social class, disability, race, ethnicity, immigrant status, gender, gender expression, religion, veteran status, and sexual orientation. The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.


For full consideration, applications should be received by October 30. Review of completed applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The expected start date is August 2021. Questions or informal inquiries about this position may be sent to the search committee chair, Dr. Lori Francis, at Please indicate “BBH Rural Health Disparities Search” in the subject line of email correspondence.


To apply, applicants must complete an online application including a cover letter describing research interests and background, and their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; curriculum vitae; and 3 reprints that convey research interests and expertise. Four professional letters of reference should be sent by November 15 directly from the letter writers to Dr. Lori Francis at



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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.


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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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