Director of Community Engaged Research and Practice, TU College of Public Health

Posted by Temple University on May 22, 2017

The Temple University College of Public Health (CPH), an innovative multidisciplinary educational and research environment that brings a transdisciplinary perspective of health, wellness, and social welfare, seeks a highly accomplished community-based research leader to serve as its founding Director of Community Engaged Research and Practice.

Advancing the cutting edge of inter-professional research, education and clinical practice, the CPH is experiencing unprecedented growth in its research and educational portfolios. Over the next several years, the College will continue to expand its footprint with new facilities and increase the size of its faculty significantly.

The CPH has a strong commitment to the collaborative process between researchers and community partners to create and disseminate knowledge that strengthens communities by conducting research that reinforces well-being through authentic collaboration.

The Temple CPH recognizes the critical role of community engaged research and seeks a founding Director of Community Engaged Research and Practice to build on current strengths and lead the growth of the College’s interdisciplinary, community-engaged research activities. This newly-created role will report to the Associate Dean for Research and serve as a convener and facilitator for bringing together researchers, practitioners and communities. The Director will also lead and help shape the strategic direction of the College’s Center for Social Policy and Community Development (CSPCD), which is dedicated to advancing the quality of life for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable residents through evidence-based social and health service programming and evaluation.
The founding Director of Community Engaged Research and Practice will bring evidence of success leading, coordinating, and facilitating interdisciplinary research teams, a doctoral degree in a relevant discipline, and substantial experience in community-based public health research. Nationally recognized community engaged public health research and a track record of community collaborations is expected, along with a strong record of scholarly, peer-reviewed publications and extramural research funding consistent with appointment at the Associate or full Professor level.

Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, has been retained to assist in this search. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. All applications, inquiries, and nominations, which will remain confidential, should be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document.

The founding Director’s role will be to develop and support community-based research that is policy relevant, actionable, and reflective of the needs of community partners. The Director will support new research techniques and partnerships through engaging, educating, and mentoring faculty as well as graduate and post-graduate trainees, and grassroots organizations. S/he will also lead efforts to provide research design and technical expertise, identify new funding sources, and connect researchers from within the College and across the University with community-based organizations to form mutually beneficial partnerships.

In addition to maintaining a relationship with the chair of the department in which he or she holds a faculty appointment, the Director will report to David Sarwer, PhD, CPH’s Associate Dean for Research, for the Community Engaged Research and Practice leadership aspects of the role. Dr. Sarwer joined the College in this new role in 2015. He oversees and develops all aspects of CPH’s research mission, supports faculty in interdisciplinary research programs, and research work among faculty and students. His research is focused on the etiology and treatment of obesity, and he directs the College’s Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE).

The Director will serve on the College’s senior leadership team, which includes the Dean; the associate deans for faculty affairs, academic affairs, and research; the senior advisor to the dean; the directors of sponsored research, information technology, and of the Office of Practice and Engagement (OPE).

The Director will work closely with OPE to ensure that community engaged-practice activities are well integrated and communicated across the College, and that respective activities are complementary. The OPE sponsors continuing education opportunities, facilitates access to researchers and students for partnered research and assessment projects, and seeks ways to support practice partners. Providing leadership across disciplines for building and maintaining relationships with community based agencies and government for clinical internships and fieldwork, the OPE plays a critical role in ensuring students get the practical experiences needed to fulfill degree requirements.

In addition, as leader of the Center for Social Policy and Community Development, the CERP Director will supervise the CSPCD’s director, who is responsible for Center operations. S/he or will also work with Center staff to identify new community partners and potential new contract and funding opportunities.

The overarching challenge for the new Director will be to grow the breadth and depth of the College of Public Health’s community-engaged research and practice activity. In fulfilling that charge, the founding Director will play a key role in helping the College realize its potential through his/her work leading activities related to the following opportunities:

 Lead growth of the College’s interdisciplinary, community-engaged research portfolio
The Director will play an important role identifying new opportunities and catalyzing initiatives that combine and leverage the many talents of CPH faculty through interdisciplinary research that is informed by and informs community knowledge and expertise. S/he will also facilitate research that engages faculty from academic units across the campus to work with CPH on community-based research projects. Key to these efforts will be fostering strong, reciprocal relationships with existing and potential partners in the community.

 Lead and help shape the strategic direction of the Center for Social Policy and Community Development
The Director will ensure that CSPCD’s vision is achieved. S/he will play an important role in expanding faculty engagement and integrating scholarly activity into the work of the Center. S/he will also be responsible for ensuring that CSCPD’s organizational and operational structure effectively supports an environment conducive to the pursuit of the rigorous, interdisciplinary, scientific, social, and behavioral research objectives of the College and the University. The Director will lead the Center to continuously assess and modify its programs to ensure that they are informed by and responsive to the needs of the communities it serves. At the same time, it is critical that s/he be forward-looking in order to position the CSCPD to take advantage of changing priorities and funding opportunities.

 Build research design and technical expertise capacity internally and externally
The Director will mentor faculty, graduate and post-graduate trainees, and grassroots organizations, providing technical assistance and design expertise to help grow and support impactful, reciprocal community-based research projects. The Director will also provide support for navigating regulatory approval processes as well as guidance and advice regarding coordination of internal and external partnerships.

 Identify and pursue new funding sources
The Director will nurture existing relationships with funders and pursue his/her own research interests. At the same time, s/he will play a vital role in identifying and helping others to pursue and secure new resources from the full range of potential funders, including previously untapped federal and state agencies, industry, foundations, and private philanthropy. Developing and leveraging relationships and networks in government, industry, and academia to bring even greater visibility to the CPH and CSPCD locally, across the state, and nationally, will be critical to ensuring success in these efforts.

The ideal candidate will bring many of the following qualifications, experience, skills, and qualities:
● A doctoral degree in a relevant discipline combined with a record of scholarly peer-reviewed publications and extramural research consistent with appointment at the associate or full professor level required.
● Nationally recognized leadership in community engaged research and a track record of mutually beneficial on-the-ground collaboration with community organizations.
● Proven skills as a highly effective, innovative, collaborative leader gained through serving as an academic department chair, center director, or comparable role.
● Demonstrated experience in the set up and management of community based research programs.
● Experience navigating research design review boards and helping others navigate regulatory processes. ● Demonstrated novel approaches to grant seeking; demonstrated excellence in inter-and multi-disciplinary academic pursuits; successful collaborations with internal and external colleagues.
● Proven capacity to build and maintain relationships with faculty and administrators as well as with community organizations, government, foundation, and industry leaders.
● Exceptional leadership skills, with the proven ability to foster a spirit of collaboration.
● Accessible to faculty, administrative colleagues, and community organizations.
● Proven experience in the effective allocation of resources.
● Demonstrated commitment to valuing and actively promoting an inclusive, diverse culture.
● Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills.
● Collaborative, innovative facilitator and bridge-builder with the ability to see synergies and connect people and organizations for mutual benefit.

Temple University has engaged Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in confidence to the firm as directed below.
Sarah Herman and Allison Burson
Isaacson, Miller
263 Summer Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02210

Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Temple University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. People of color, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply

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