Director of Prevention Research Center | Penn State University

Jun 27, 2014

The College of Health and Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University invites applications for the next Director of the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development (PRC). The Director will hold the C. Eugene Bennett Chair in Prevention Science, and will have an exciting opportunity to lead the PRC into its next phase of development by:
- Conducting impactful research.
- Advancing methodological and technical innovations.
- Mentoring the next generation of prevention scientists.
- Extending strong collaborative relationships with researchers, the National Institutes of Health and other federal and state funding agencies, foundations, and policy makers.

The new director will come in as a full professor with his or her tenure line either in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) or the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) (see summary of departments below). The director will have access to a substantial endowment that provides a stable and flexible source of discretionary funding to support PRC activities.

In addition, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) also plans to add up to two prevention science faculty members over the next couple of years. Although these hires are likely to be made at the assistant or associate professor level, strong candidates will be considered at any level. Candidates interested in the directorship should encourage collaborators or colleagues to apply for these positions.

The Candidate:
Candidates for this exciting position should be experienced faculty members dedicated to continuing the PRC’s impressive contributions to prevention science and eligible for tenure at Penn State. Specifically, the Director will provide leadership in developing new and innovative programs of research in prevention science, as well as for innovative training at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels. To be successful in this role, the Director must have a strong applied health research portfolio with demonstrated ability to create, stimulate and foster productive interdisciplinary collaborations. As a member of the HDFS or BBH Department (with a possible secondary appointment in a related department), this person will also teach and mentor students. An earned doctorate in the behavioral or social sciences or a related public-health discipline is required. Administrative experience in an academic setting is desired but not required.

The Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center:
The Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development (, a prominent interdisciplinary research center in the College of Health and Human Development, was established in 1998 to foster research focused on developmental aspects of risk and prevention. Research projects in the PRC, many funded through NIH, range from etiologic studies to large-scale translation trials, examining how families, schools, and communities can work together to promote healthy lifestyles for children, youth, and families. Current research focuses on topics ranging from alcohol and skin cancer studies, to interventions to strengthen families and parenting, to the development and implementation of school-based prevention and intervention programs. Longitudinal research is a hallmark of the Center. Center faculty also develop clinical trials of innovative models to promote competence and prevent unhealthy outcomes for children, families, and communities, conduct rigorous research on the translation and dissemination of effective prevention programs in community settings, and conduct evaluation studies designed to inform policy within several state agencies. The Center provides research seminars on prevention science for faculty and graduate students, and coordinates a NIDA-supported training program with the Penn State Methodology Center ( to foster the integration of prevention and statistical/design methodology in the prevention of substance use and related morbidities (e.g., HIV). The Center is also an active partner in two other training grants in obesity prevention and in interventions aimed at promoting literacy and social/emotional competence in children and youth. Through an endowment, the Center supports Bennett Faculty Scholars, Graduate Prevention Fellows, and conferences. The PRC currently has over 55 full-time research and administrative staff and approximately 25 graduate students and post-docs from across the University. One indicator of the Center’s dedication to interdisciplinary work is the active engagement in PRC research projects of over 20 tenure-track faculty from various departments and colleges throughout the University. In December 2012, the PRC moved into a state of the art new building, in close proximity to the Department of Biobehavioral Health (, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (, the Center for Healthy Aging (, and QuantDev, a team of innovative methodological scholars (

The Department Of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS):
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies ( has a diverse, multi-disciplinary faculty that focuses on individual development from infancy through old age, on family structure and dynamics, on the impact of social/cultural contexts on development and family functioning, and on the design and evaluation of interventions to promote health and development, and to prevent disease. A strong research and training program in developmental and prevention methodology is integrated into the Department’s research and graduate education activities.

The Department Of Biobehavioral Health (BBH):
The Department Of Biobehavioral Health ( consists of a transdisciplinary faculty studying the intersection of biological, behavioral, social/cultural, and environmental factors involved in studies of health across the lifespan. With a mission “to advance the frontiers of translational science research and training,” along with faculty expertise in many aspects of health and health behavior research from “cells to society,” BBH is a dynamic department and uniquely positioned to make strategic contributions to health disparity research domestically and globally.

The College of Health and Human Development:
The College of Health and Human Development enrolls approximately 4,600 undergraduates and 350 full-time graduate students at University Park. The College includes eight academic units and several research centers and service units. For more information about the College,
The Pennsylvania State University:

Founded in 1855, Penn State is one of the most comprehensive public institutions in the nation with approximately 44,000 students enrolled at University Park, the administrative and research hub of the University. The University and surrounding community enjoy a lively performing arts calendar, an array of intercollegiate sports, excellent on-campus child care, and superb public schools. Penn State recognizes and is supportive of dual career situations.

The announcement is listed as job number 52038 under "Executive / Administrative Jobs.” The web site to apply is: be considered, all candidates need to apply on-line.

Review of applications and nominations will begin immediately and continue to be accepted until the position is filled. For more information about this exciting opportunity, please contact the committee chair, Mark Greenberg To be considered, all candidates must complete an on-line application, submit cover letter, curriculum vitae and supporting information (e.g., reprints, preprints, letters from three professional references).

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and other protected groups.

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