Department Head for Biomedical Sciences

University of Minnesota
Duluth, Minnesota
Salary (based on qualifications) + benefits
December 06 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Department of Biomedical Sciences seeks a highly collaborative, inclusive leader to fill the position of Department Head. The Department of Biomedical Sciences was created in 2012 via the merger of three existing basic science departments (Anatomy/Pathology/Microbiology & Immunology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Physiology & Pharmacology).  There are 27 faculty in Biomedical Sciences divided equally among the tenure-track/tenured research focused faculty, and the academic track (non-tenured) education or research focused faculty. The Head of Biomedical Sciences is expected to play a significant role in overseeing and developing a vigorous BMS department consistent with the mission of the Duluth Campus as part of the University of Minnesota Medical School, described below.

Today the BMS department has over $2,000,000 in total annual grant funding (NIH, DOD, Foundations) with strong programs in neuroscience and cancer biology in addition to other areas such as Lyme disease and transcriptional stress (  Several faculty members hold endowed professorships or prestigious awards from NIH such as the R35 Outstanding Investigator grant. The department also has active R01 and R15 grants. Training grants for scientific pipeline development reside within the department. The department plays a key role in community engagement with programs in Brain Awareness and Elementary Science education provided for schools across Northern Minnesota.  A fully staffed animal facility is located on campus and access to all University equipment and cores are available as needed including research core facilities on the UMN campus in the Twin Cities.  Pre and Post award support is also available in addition to a local sponsored program administration.  The Duluth-based Associate Dean for Research supports the department with a team that provides facility support and equipment management in partnership with the department head. The Biomedical Sciences head will receive a recruitment package to provide support for his or her own research needs in addition to helping the department grow its research and education programs through faculty recruitments. Areas of interest include our existing strengths in neuroscience and cancer, as well as areas that would complement the existing research.

The head will have a significant impact on the faculty, curriculum, research direction and collaborations in fulfilling the missions of the Campus and Medical School.  The opportunities and expectations for this position include:

  • Responsible for recruiting and developing faculty to build and unify the department based on the Medical School mission.
  • Provide faculty leadership by fostering a climate of excellence in all aspects of the Medical School missions, including education, research, service and community engagement.
  • Provide research leadership by setting a research agenda for the department to include translational and foundational basic science research, promoting the funding and conduct of research, identifying departmental resource needs related to research; providing opportunities for students to participate in research; and personally maintaining an active, funded research program, that could include R15 grants, an NIH opportunity currently available on the Duluth campus.
  • Provide educational leadership by promoting excellence in teaching; actively participating in the educational program; identifying teaching as a major focus of faculty effort by encouraging the development of innovative approaches to teaching; fostering a climate which values the teaching of medical and graduate students; and providing for appropriate recognition in promotional review. 
  • Build and strengthen connections between faculty on the Duluth Campus and the Medical School Twin Cities Campus.
  • Collaborate with Campus and Medical School administration on all aspects of department operations and participate in meetings of the Medical School department heads and similar bodies.


  • Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree in a biomedical sciences field
  • Qualifications for Professor level appointment with tenure
  • Successful leadership experience in an academic department
  • Track record of national research funding
  • Demonstrated track record of working successfully with health professional and graduate students
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills


  • Highly collaborative, inclusive leadership style with the interest and ability to lead by example
  • Willing to play a hands-on role in the departmental teaching and research missions
  • Ability to value and embrace all disciplines represented in the department
  • Ability to balance competing demands and to set priorities for department and faculty
  • Strong faculty mentor and advocate
  • Highest standard of integrity and ethics
  • Institutional fit: willing to support and promote the Duluth Campus’s unique mission and its commitment to diversity

Candidates for this position should provide a Curriculum Vitae, a one-page statement of research goals, and a cover letter that describes why the applicant is interested in the position of Department Head and what past leadership and/or administrative positions the applicant has held. 

How to Apply

Applicants must apply on-line at Search by Job Information:  Job ID 327886 – Head (With Faculty Rank)

To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions.  You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and curriculum vitae.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "Add Attachments" section.  This position requires that you attach a Curriculum Vitae, a one-page statement of research goals, and a cover letter that describes why the applicant is interested in the position of Department Head and what past leadership and/or administrative positions the applicant has held. 

This position will remain open until filled.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and should be submitted by March 1 for best consideration.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).