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Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Position Number: 4213670
  • Location: Worcester, MA
  • Position Type: Science - Chemistry

Department Head and Professor


School of Arts & Sciences

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - WPI

Worcester Polytechnic Institute seeks outstanding candidates for the Head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with a negotiable starting date.


The Department Head of Chemistry and Biochemistry (CBC) is expected to provide long-term visionary leadership; nurture and enhance existing departmental strengths in research and teaching; maintain the highest level of quality in undergraduate and graduate programs; attract, mentor, and retain top faculty and staff; formulate and execute a strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion; work collaboratively with members of the department and other departments and offices across WPI; develop external collaborations with other academic institutions and industry; and elevate the department's national and international recognition.

The department head will have leadership skills that will support the ongoing efforts of the CBC faculty to enhance the reputation of the department and its positions nationally and globally by building on its existing strengths and by facilitating new opportunities in both research and teaching.

Researchers from all areas of biochemistry and chemistry are invited to apply. We seek a colleague from any area of biochemistry or chemistry, and, in particular, an applicant who would support the department's effort to build connections with data science.

Candidates must have the following qualifications:
  • A Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or closely related area.
  • A proven commitment to high-quality, rigorous, innovative, and inclusive teaching.
  • Research expertise that complements both departmental strengths and campus-wide collaborative initiatives in sustainability, materials reimagined, and BioX, a program integrating major cross-cutting research areas including biological response mechanisms and detection.
  • A strong record of university service that may include departmental leadership, university committee leadership, or implementation of department/university initiatives.
  • A proven record of and commitment to success in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom, the laboratory, and in outreach activities. Such commitment shall include gender, racial, socioeconomic, and neurodiversity elements.
  • Excellent leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills.

About the Department

The Department Chemistry and Biochemistry at WPI consists of 18 full-time faculty, 11 of whom are dual teaching- and research-focused, and 7 teaching-focused faculty. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department has approximately 120 undergraduate majors and 30 graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) students.

Research strengths in the department include biochemical signal transduction, membrane biophysics, therapeutic drug design, green chemistry, and materials chemistry. Faculty research is supported by the NSF, NIH, DoE, DoD, and other federal and private funding sources with external research funding of $10 million in the last 5 years.

Recent departmental initiatives include expanding graduate course offerings for both traditional and continuing education students, developing a plant medicinal chemistry program, enhancing laboratory courses in the department to include more project-based learning, and working towards improved educational and research experience for underrepresented students.

About the University

WPI is a selective private university with an innovative curriculum centered on science, engineering, arts, business, and global studies with roughly 5,000 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students. Ranked highly by US News & World Report among national comprehensive universities, WPI is an internationally recognized leader in project-based learning and global education. Most undergraduate students at WPI participate in a global project experience completing academic projects at WPI's 50+ project centers across six continents. We are most proud of our No. 1 ranking for "faculty who best combine research and teaching." (Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Ed., 2016). Located one hour west of Boston, the university's campus is in Worcester, Massachusetts, a thriving 21st century college city and a growing hub of scientific and technological innovation. Part of Boston's MetroWest innovation corridor, Worcester further includes collaborative opportunities with The University of Massachusetts Medical School, prominent liberal arts colleges and universities, large pharmaceutical corporations, and start-ups. Located in the heart of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Worcester affords easy commutes to Boston, Providence RI, and Hartford CT for two-career families.

How to Apply

Applications should include:
  • A cover letter.
  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • A statement describing leadership, teaching, research and service experience and accomplishments.
  • A statement describing the candidate's vision and goals as the head of our specific department and university, including the candidate's approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in chemistry specifically and in higher education more broadly.
  • The names and full contact information of at least five professional references that can speak to the candidate's research, teaching, leadership, and inclusion efforts. References will not be contacted until the final stage of interviews.

Application review will begin on June 2, 2023 with reviews continuing until the position is filled. Questions about the position or the hiring process should be sent to the Search Committee at

WPI is a diverse campus of learners passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We are looking for candidates who can support our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

United States of America (Exempt)

WPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks to increase the diversity of its workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability. It seeks individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to a culture of creativity, collaboration, inclusion, problem solving, innovation, high performance, and change making. It is committed to maintaining a campus environment free of harassment and discrimination.

To apply, visit:

About WPI
WPI is a vibrant, active, and diverse community of extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, and state of the art research facilities. At WPI, we have competitive and comprehensive benefits, including health insurance, long-term care, retirement, tuition assistance, flexible spending accounts, work-life balance and much more.

Diversity & Inclusion at WPI
WPI is committed to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected; a place where every student, faculty and staff member can be themselves, so that they can study, live, and work comfortably, to reach their full potential, and make meaningful contributions in order to meet departmental and institutional goals. WPI thrives on innovative practice and welcomes diverse perspectives, insight, and people from diverse lived experiences, to enhance the community environment and propel the institution to the next level in a competitive, global marketplace.

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