Associate or Full Professor and Associate Director

  • Washington State University IREACH
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Oct 16, 2021
Full time Education

Job Description

Notice of Vacancy
Associate or Full Professor and Associate Director

Job Description Summary

Washington State University (WSU) Health Sciences and the Department of Medical Education and Clinical Sciences of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine invite applications for a dynamic and engaged Associate or Full Professor passionate about community health and health equity. This position is a permanent, full-time, 12-month, tenure-track position is administratively in either Seattle or Spokane, WA. The faculty member’s primary responsibility will be as the Associate Director of the Northwest Health Education and Research Outcomes Network (NW HERON), a practice-based research network (PBRN) housed in the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH). NW HERON explicitly focuses on rural, tribal, and other underserved communities and the practices serving them in Washington, and neighboring regions. PBRNs are groups of primary care providers and practices working together to address health and health care priorities. Together, clinicians, patients, and academic researchers in PBRNs nationwide conduct breakthrough research on solutions to neglected and unaddressed aspects of primary care, improving the day-to-day delivery of health care. Successful academic research with PBRN partnerships requires faculty with the training and experience to conduct multi-site studies with diverse clinic and community partners, and who possess a deep personal commitment to advancing health equity and social justice.

The faculty member will work both on existing programs, grants, and centers; and will be fully supported to develop new areas of research aligned with his or her interests and ongoing research, primarily within the scope of NW HERON. The new hire will receive support and mentoring as needed to rapidly build connections with rural and tribal PBRN partners, to collaborate with WSU researchers and Extension faculty, and to pursue extramural funding to expand WSU’s rural health research portfolio. The new hire will be integrated into IREACH, a diverse interdisciplinary group devoted to promoting health equity and quality health care, particularly in Native populations.

 We seek a scientist with a cutting-edge, theory-informed vision to shift paradigms and change the status quo in the context of the mission of a land-grant university. This successful candidate will, over time, assume responsibilities for and oversee the scientific, administrative, and fiscal matters within IREACH with the other faculty co-director. The position will require daily interactions with all the IREACH units described above. This individual will need to engage with diverse health care stakeholders such as farmers, primary care providers, addiction councilors, and tribal members, to develop innovative strategies that address and ultimately solve health and health care challenges faced by rural people. Dispelling the myth that rural residents are homogeneous and applying an intersectional lens to untangling rural health disparities will be critical to the success of these objectives. In addition, because PBRNs are ideal for group-randomized trials we hope the new hire will have a background in intervention science and clinical trials; such expertise will complement the work of clinical trialists and epidemiologists already engaged in health disparities research within IREACH and the College of Medicine. Working with NW HERON will be a core component of the position; equally essential will be engaging with and capitalizing on opportunities for collaboration offered by the complementary units across WSU. In short, we are seeking an extraordinary individual committed to change – a rainmaker – who can work across communities, academic units, and policymakers.   

 As an integral member of NW HERON and the Department of Community and Behavioral Health, this individual will galvanize diverse teams of researchers to address the complex factors affecting rural, tribal, and minority community health. This effort will include research with rural clinical and community partners to rigorously study and test interventions in real-world settings. Topics include but are not limited to social (e.g., built environment, health care access, and structural racism), biological (e.g., genetic and epigenetic factors), and cultural (e.g., ceremonial tobacco use, health behaviors associated with rural migrant lifestyles) determinants of health. Conducting high-quality science to conclusively identify causes of health inequities and generate evidence-based solutions is extremely challenging but essential to achieving authentic health equity for all Americans. The emphasis on underserved people is both central to WSU’s mission and feasible given WSU’s statewide outreach and IREACH’s solid foundation of research with underserved populations. Because NW HERON is a network of clinical facilities, studies conducted through NW HERON offer novel opportunities not only to observe but to directly mitigate rural, racial and ethnic health disparities by changing on-the-ground practices and by helping to remove structural barriers that perpetuate inequity.

 Publication in peer-reviewed journals, presentation at professional societies, and engagement with relevant community groups is expected. Our faculty typically mentor graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and early career faculty. The successful candidate is expected to contribute to a robust and collaborative academic life, including participating in College of Medicine and university committees, and in IREACH service activities. Classroom teaching is not required or expected but may be negotiated if desired.

 Most of the successful candidate’s time – up to 90% – will be focused on extramural research. This time can represent a combination of independent, collaborative, or cross-disciplinary scholarship through both internal and external grant funding. The remaining time (up to 20%) comprises grant writing and service. If mentoring or teaching are undertaken, these activities will be considered academic service. Travel (up to 50%) is required. IREACH faculty engage in both on- and off-site work.

 Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. WSU has comprehensive benefits including medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance. We offer excellent retirement programs and a generous leave program. IREACH is offering a generous recruitment and start-up package.

 Required qualifications include an earned PhD in Public Health, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Nursing, Medicine (i.e., an MD), or in another field relevant to public health research at the time of hire, and current appointment at the Associate or Professor rank at an academic institution of higher learning. If an Assistant Professor, must be in process of being promoted to Associate Professor and have at least
6 years of experience as a faculty member. At least 5 years of experience working with underserved populations, preferably American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or rural populations. Demonstrated experience conducting research in Native health, rural health, behavioral health/addictions, health technology, social determinants of health, environmental health or similar disciplines aligned with IREACH’s mission. Demonstrated extensive administrative skills and experience with fiscal and budgetary matters. Demonstrated high-level organizational and multi-tasking competencies while also being flexible. Demonstrated ability to interact with large groups and individuals at all academic and community levels. Proficiency in the use of computers and software applications.

For a Professor level, additional requirements include demonstrated academic and research merit at the Associate Professor or Professor level including success in securing extramural funding for research within IREACH’s target populations, as evidenced by publication record, and in teaching and in service to the profession.    

Preference is given to applicants that have demonstrated experience mentoring junior faculty, and/or postdoctoral fellows; demonstrated experience bringing together community organizations and academic constituents; demonstrated experience engaging community organizations in the research process and demonstrated sensitivity to and desire to promote health equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Applicants should apply online through WSU Human Resources: and submit a letter of application describing their skills/knowledge/expertise relevant to the required and preferred qualifications, a CV, and contact information for three professional references. Review of applications begins November 15, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. Direct inquiries via email to Eric Irvin, IREACH Associate Director, at

IREACH is one of the largest units dedicated to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander health in the United States. Recent new areas of inquiry and active research include Hispanic/Latinx and rural health. IREACH also houses an emerging practice-based research network of 200 primary care facilities around the state that serve rural, American Indian, and other underserved populations. Comprising about 85 faculty, post docs, and staff members. IREACH supports a multidisciplinary faculty who are conducted exciting, innovative extramurally funded research. Our 16 faculty and post docs come from public health, economics, demography, epidemiology, biostatistics, sociology, psychology, public health, public administration and management, and internal medicine. We have a strong community engagement team and have worked with more than 150 partners of all kinds in 17 states. IREACH is organized into units lead by master’s or doctoral-level leaders as follows: Fiscal/Administrative, Outreach and Engagement; Methods and Study Design; Communication; and IT. Especially important for conducting rigorous, culturally informed research is the IREACH Methods and Study Design unit comprised of 3 epidemiologists, 1 demographer, and 3 biostatisticians. In addition, IREACH has an in-house editor and a dedicated IRB/compliance coordinator. Our research portfolio includes community-based work on Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, COVID-19, substance use, maternal/child health, and many other health inequities. The total active IREACH research portfolio exceeds $85 million dollars. More about the work of IREACH can be found on our home page (

The Department of Medical Education and Clinical Sciences is a unique department within the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine that aims to prepare insightful and compassionate physicians. Designed to ensure faculty unity and continuity across a range of clinical disciplines and specialties, members of the department work to establish educational goals, plan, and teach course content and conduct research.

Washington State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educator and employer.