The Penn State Department of Human Development and Family Studies, located in the College of Health and Human Development, is actively seeking applications for a tenure-track or tenured faculty position, rank open. This position will be co-funded by the university’s Social Sciences Research Institute. The selected candidate will play a pivotal role in advancing leadership within the department, college, and University focused on two key research and teaching in: (a) examining family process-level factors related to child maltreatment; and (b) developing, evaluating, and/or implementing prevention/intervention trials to reduce child maltreatment incidence or enhance resilience in its aftermath. The responsibilities also include teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses as well as directing theses/dissertations.

Ideal candidates will engage in interdisciplinary and/or translational work, integrating child maltreatment interests with our departmental training missions in family science and prevention science. We welcome candidates with the following interests and expertise:

  • Strong research focus on the familial context and its relation to child maltreatment occurrence or effects, including child and parenting factors, family dynamics, and family/community risks linked to the perpetration of child maltreatment, as well as factors influencing the impact of its occurrence on health and wellbeing.

  • Particular interest in individuals specializing in the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions or prevention programs aimed at reducing the adverse consequences of child maltreatment and minimizing its prevalence. Potential areas of translational research encompass interventions with a focus on parents or families designed to address child maltreatment or trauma-focused treatments to mitigate its effects.

  • Research expertise that enhances the use of family-focused evidence-based intervention strategies by service agencies and explores innovative intervention approaches and delivery strategies.

Key Qualifications of the Candidate:

  • Candidates seeking the rank of Assistant Professor will have an earned doctorate in the behavioral or social sciences (e.g., human development, family science, psychology, prevention science, social work), or related field, prior to beginning at Penn State.

  • Candidates at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor must also demonstrate an established record of excellence suitable for appointment with tenure at the Pennsylvania State University.

  • The candidate should demonstrate a clear program of research and strong publication record, commensurate with rank.

  • The candidate must show evidence of or potential for receiving extramural funding, commensurate with rank.

  • The candidate must show evidence of appropriate teaching and mentorship, commensurate with rank.

Departmental and Institute Context

This position will be co-funded by Penn State’s Social Sciences Research Institute ( and Human Development and Family Studies ( In addition, this position will contribute to the Penn State Child Maltreatment Solutions Network (

Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)

Rated #1 in a recent survey of HDFS doctoral programs in North America, Penn State HDFS administers graduate, undergraduate, and research programs in its core, signature areas of individual development, family science, prevention/intervention, and developmental methods. HDFS is a dynamic, multidisciplinary, and collaborative department, committed to excellence, innovation and impact in understanding and improving the lives of individuals and families in diverse contexts. In addition to the affiliations mentioned above, the successful faculty member will have opportunities to collaborate with the Department’s superb group of research methodologists with expertise in prevention/intervention trial design, administrative/intensive longitudinal data analysis, and within-person/within-family methods that assess, analyze, and interpret daily and real-time information about ongoing individual-environment interactions.

Social Sciences Research Institute (SSRI)

SSRI recruits faculty with a goal of fostering collaborations among social and behavioral scientists, and others, working from the person- to the population level to address critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels. SSRI has five strategic foci: 1) the causes and consequences of inequality, 2) human development and behavior, 3) the social and environmental determinants of health, 4) innovative and data intensive research methods, and 5) individual and community impact. SSRI supports interdisciplinary research by bringing together researchers across the university around emerging areas, and by providing consultation, seed grants and faculty fellowships, and core resources tailored to the needs of social and behavioral scientists.

The Child Maltreatment Solutions Network (CMSN)

The successful candidate will join with and contribute to an existing cluster of faculty members from multiple colleges at Penn State as a part of the CMSN is an innovative interdisciplinary cluster of faculty members committed to research, education, and outreach efforts to comprehensively address the risks and outcomes associated with child maltreatment. The CMSN also administers the university’s undergraduate minor in Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies (CMAS).

Additional Centers in the College of Health and Human Development

The college’s Center for Safe and Healthy Children houses the NICHD-funded P50 Capstone Center (the Translational Center for Child Maltreatment Studies) and NICHD-funded T32 Fellowship Training Program in Child Maltreatment Science—providing excellent opportunities for research collaboration, mentoring, and scholarship. In addition, HDFS has extensive links with other key College and University Centers of Excellence, networks, and Institutes that provide research infrastructure and extensive collaboration opportunities. These include the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (, the Child Study Center (, the Quantitative Developmental Systems Core (, the Population Research Institute (, the Penn State Addiction Center for Translation (, Penn State’s Administrative Data Accelerator, and the Social, Life and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center The successful faculty hire will also have access to research infrastructure in Penn State’s cross-university research institutes, including the Social Science Research Institute, the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Huck Institutes of Life Sciences, the Institute for Computational and Data Science, the Penn State Cancer Institute, and the Penn State Neuroscience Institute

Institutional Statement on Diversity:

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. 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. To learn more about Penn State Universitys commitment to diversity and inclusion see the Universitys Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at We invite you to come grow with us.

Our campuses are located on the original homelands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), Lenape (Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, Stockbridge-Munsee), Monongahela, Shawnee (Absentee, Eastern, and Oklahoma), Susquehannock, and Wahzhazhe (Osage) Nations.  As a land grant institution, we acknowledge and honor the traditional caretakers of these lands and strive to understand and model their responsible stewardship. We also acknowledge the longer history of these lands and our place in that history.

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.

Application Submissions

Candidates should complete an online application at and upload: a) a cover letter (1 page), b) a statement of research interests (2-3 pages), c) a statement of teaching interests and experiences (1-2 pages), d) a statement of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (1-2 pages), e) a list of names and contact information of three professional references (who will provide letters of recommendation upon request), and f) up to three selected publications or preprints. For more information contact Search Co-Chairs Greg Fosco ([email protected]) and Christian Connell ([email protected]). Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. 


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. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.