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Assistant Professor - INVEST Program, College of Science

Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts
Closing date
Dec 27, 2023

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Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

About Northeastern:
Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Our world-renowned experiential approach empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond the confines of discipline, degree, and campus.

Our locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; Miami; San Francisco and Oakland; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant—are nodes in our growing global university system. Through this network, we expand opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research.

Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs— in a variety of on-campus and online formats—lead to degrees through the doctorate in ten colleges and schools. Among these, we offer more than 195 multi-discipline majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.

About the Opportunity:
The College of Science and College of Engineering at Northeastern University invite applications for positions at all ranks (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor), beginning in academic year 2024-2025 in the field of plant-human interface, broadly defined. Areas of particular interest in the current search include plant RNA biology, plant biochemistry, plant inter-species interactions, food allergy, pharmaceutical biomanufacturing, metabolic engineering, climate change, and sustainable foods. Primary appointments will be in the College of Science (e.g., Biology or Chemistry and Chemical Biology) or College of Engineering (e.g., Bioengineering or Chemical Engineering), with potential joint appointments in other departments and across Colleges. In the meantime, the successful candidates will also be appointed as members of the newly forming Institute for Plant-Human Interface (IPHI). Appointments will have the opportunity to collaborate in cross-disciplinary teams across the University and will complement existing strengths.

IPHI is being formed as a new institute at Northeastern University. Its mission will be to pioneer groundbreaking research at the intersection of plant sciences and human biology, driving discoveries that enhance both human health and environmental sustainability. The institute will serve as a platform for bridging science and engineering, fostering academia-industry collaborations, and offering a range of experiential training opportunities for students and junior researchers in this emerging field. Inquiries may be directed to the chair of the search committee, Prof. Jing-Ke Weng (

The College of Science comprises six departments: Biology, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Marine and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. The Department of Biology is comprised of 23 tenured/tenure-track faculty, 39% of whom are women spanning all academic ranks, and 21 full-time teaching faculty. With its core undergraduate degree programs in Biology and in Cell and Molecular Biology, the department enrolls over one-quarter of all undergraduate majors in the College of Science, and it also co-manages the Behavioral Neuroscience major with Psychology and the Biochemistry major with Chemistry and Chemical Biology. The graduate program in Biology currently has over 50 Ph.D. students in two primary concentrations (Cell and Molecular Biology, and Molecular Microbiology), including 11 Industry Ph.D. students who offer exciting partnership opportunities with pharma. The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (“CCB”) includes 36 tenured/tenure-track faculty, including joint appointments, 30% of whom are women; 20 full-time teaching faculty; three research faculty; and nine faculty with affiliated appointments. CCB was recognized as the most gender diverse faculty among the top 50 US Chemistry Departments in 2019. CCB enrolls approximately 150 undergraduate majors; 27 M.S. and PlusOne (BS/MS) students; and 100 Ph.D. students.

The College of Engineering comprises five departments: Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Mechanical & Industrial Engineering. The Bioengineering Department has over 30 (tenured/tenure-track) primary faculty and six full-time teaching faculty. The departmental spirit is collegial, vibrant, and growing and is home to approximately 135 Ph.D. students, 100 M.S. students, and 650 undergraduate students, over half of whom are women. The Chemical Engineering Department has 24 tenure/tenure-track faculty including joint appointments, 50% of whom are women, four teaching faculty, and one research professor. Chemical Engineering is home to over 400 undergraduates across 7 majors and combined majors and over 110 graduate students in Pharmaceutical Engineering and Chemical Engineering.

Northeastern is home to the Coastal Sustainability Institute, the Global Resilience Institute, the Barnett Institute for Chemical and Biological Analysis, the Center for Drug Discovery, the Institute for Chemical Imaging of Living Systems, the Network Science Institute, the Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology, an NSF Frontier Center in Theoretical Biological Physics, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Complex Systems, providing a rich multidisciplinary intellectual environment.

Our tenure and promotion process values collaborative research and teamwork. Hires will be mentored for success, with mentoring teams and group guidance. In addition, a strong and effective faculty development strategy is part of the Northeastern institutional mission. The ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development office works in conjunction with the Office of Research Development (ORD), the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI), the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research (CATLR), and University Decision Support (UDS) to provide programs and trainings to further develop and support a thriving faculty.

Northeastern University is a global university system. Positions will primarily be on the Boston campus but may be available at any of our 14 campus locations. Opportunities to collaborate extend beyond the University.

At Northeastern University, we embrace a culture of respect and inclusion, where each person is valued and empowered with equitable opportunities and access to resources. We commit to implementing initiatives that dismantle systemic oppression and build a diverse community. See our websites for more information about the College of Science or the College of Engineering.

Faculty members at Northeastern are expected to develop independent vigorous research programs that attract external funding, cross cutting the fields of plant biology, chemical biology, chemical engineering, neurobiology, immunology, microbiology, food chemistry, or bioengineering, all related to the general topic of the plant-human interface.; teach courses at the graduate and undergraduate level; oversee students and postdocs in their area of research; and participate in service to the department, university, and discipline. Qualified candidates must have excellence in, or a demonstrated commitment to, working with diverse student populations and/or in a culturally diverse work and educational environment.

Applicants must have a PhD in biology, chemistry, neuroscience, engineering or a related field by the appointment start date. The committee is particularly interested in research areas that include inter-species interactions between plants and other organisms, phytochemical interactions with human neuroimmune systems and microbiome, drug discovery based on medicinal plant natural products, and plant synthetic biology. We encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, including academia and industry.

Candidates seeking appointment at the Associate or Full Professor level should have substantial research productivity and an established history of grant support and academic service. Academic rank at the Associate Professor and Full Professor levels will be commensurate with experience and qualifications reflecting a record of demonstrated teaching and scholarly excellence. Research excellence is the top-most priority. Depending on the research profile and expertise, a joint or affiliate appointment in another department(s) within the University is possible.

Salary Grade:

Additional Information:
Interested candidates should apply here with a curriculum vita that includes a list of publications, statements addressing the prompts below, and names and contact information for at least three professional references from whom letters of reference can be solicited as needed. Applications will be reviewed beginning on October 30, 2023 and continue until the position is filled.

Successful faculty at Northeastern will be dynamic and innovative scholars with a record of research and teaching excellence and a commitment to contributing to improved equity, diversity, and inclusion. Thus, strong candidates for this faculty position will have the expertise, knowledge, and skills to build their research, pedagogy, and curriculum in ways that reflect and enhance this commitment. Please indicate how your expertise, knowledge, and skills have prepared you to contribute to this work with written statements addressing the following prompts:

Research statement (no longer than 5 pages):
Please describe the focus of your research, including the questions you have identified, the funding you have received to support the work (if applicable), the results you have discovered, and the products of these efforts. Highlight any cross-disciplinary research efforts you have undertaken. Please also describe any research you have undertaken with students, with the external community, and/or with individuals from marginalized groups. Finally, please outline the research directions you foresee pursuing at Northeastern, any cross-disciplinary and collaborative aspects, and the strategies you will take to address each direction.

Teaching statement (1 page):
Please summarize your past instructional and mentorship experiences, your pedagogical philosophy, your plans/goals for teaching in the College of Science or College of Engineering (including existing and proposed courses), and your strategies for teaching and mentoring a diverse cohort of undergraduate and graduate students.

Equity statement (1 page):
Please describe your past experience and activities, and/or your future plans, to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, justice, and belonging in your academic work. Your statement should demonstrate an understanding of the barriers facing marginalized communities in your field and be in alignment with Northeastern’s mission to reflect the diversity of the societies in which it maintains campuses and meet the educational needs and interests of its diverse population.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see:

To apply, please visit:

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