Open Positions in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Located in Lewiston, Maine, Bates College is internationally recognized as a leading undergraduate-only liberal arts college with approximately 2,000 students. The Chemistry and Biochemistry department offers majors in chemistry and biochemistry with about 40 students per year within the two majors. We also offer a minor in chemistry and a general education concentration in chemistry.
Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty and Staff
Our permanent faculty and staff typically includes eight faculty, three support staff, and shares support from an administrative assistant and a chemical hygiene officer/stockroom manager. Our current faculty have expertise in biochemistry/microbiology, biophysical, analytical, environmental, inorganic, materials, organic, and physical/nanochemistry. Staff support and teach labs and maintain the departmental instrumentation. We hire with resources in place to help our new colleagues succeed in their teaching and research, and we are collaborative and mutually supportive of each other. Our entire department is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff, and we expect this to be a priority for our new colleagues as well. Several of our faculty have been involved with the Bates HHMI inclusive excellence grant and have taught our STEM Scholars program.
The teaching load at Bates is five courses spread over two semesters and a 3.5 week short term in May. Lectures count for 1 credit and labs count for 0.5 credits (for example, teaching a lecture with one lab section counts as 1.5 courses.) All faculty in chemistry and biochemistry contribute to either the general chemistry courses or the organic chemistry courses. Tenure track faculty have a one course reduction in their first year and an option for pre-tenure leave (one semester at full pay or two semesters at half pay.) Many teaching resources are available on campus, including a new Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning, Student Academic Support Center (which combines the former Academic Resource Commons and Math and Statistics Workshop), Office for Intercultural Education, faculty mentoring through the Dean of Faculty’s office, and Institutional Research among others.
Three Assistants in Instruction (AIs) contribute to preparation and teaching lab courses in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and upper level chemistry courses.
Novel research with undergraduates is valued at Bates and is an important component of tenure and promotion. In addition to lab or field-based research, we value community-based projects and education related scholarship (though these are not required). All department members are research active and involve undergraduate students in their research program. Most biochemistry and chemistry majors graduate with research experience through our required senior thesis, and many gain additional experience through our robust summer research program. Each faculty member has a dedicated research lab housed in the brand new Bonney Science Center, which includes a new 400 MHz NMR, ICP-MS, GC-MS, SEM, XRD, fluorescence spectrometer, FT-IR, Leica SP8 confocal microscope, vivarium, suite of HPLCs and GCs, and cell culture facilities among other instrumentation. Additionally, faculty members have access to facilities in nearby Carnegie Science Hall, including the environmental geochemistry lab. New tenure track faculty will receive competitive start-up funds. Internal funds are available for summer research students, and a college-wide grants office assists with external funding.
Governance and Engagement
All faculty are expected to participate in the governance of their assigned academic department or program(s) as well as the college through monthly faculty meetings. In addition, all faculty contribute to the governance of the college through assigned or elected committees. Tenure track faculty are exempted from committee assignments in their first year.
Tenure and Promotion
The criteria for tenure are described in Article II of the Faculty Handbook. Faculty are evaluated on the basis of teaching, professional achievement, and governance and engagement. Since excellence in scholarship is highly variable across disciplines, specific criteria such as number of papers or grants is not provided. While peer reviewed work is required for tenure, the College considers significant intellectual endeavors connected to our disciplines such as non-peer reviewed community-engaged research, digital and public-facing contributions, and involvement with profession associations as part of evaluation when assessed in appropriate ways. Candidates should consult with their department chair and evaluation committee.
About the Open Position
What will our new colleagues do?
Responsibilities for the biochemistry position include teaching lectures and labs for general chemistry, advanced biochemistry, upper level biochemistry electives, and possibly organic chemistry. Responsibilities for the organic chemistry position include teaching lectures and labs for organic chemistry and upper level chemistry electives. Candidates with expertise in neuroscience, and an interest in contributing to that interdisciplinary program, are particularly encouraged to apply for either the biochemistry or organic position. Both positions will contribute to the general education curriculum, academic advising, and advising biochemistry and chemistry theses. The new faculty members will join ongoing cross-STEM initiatives in inclusive pedagogy, equity and inclusion, and curricular renovation. Each successful candidate will be expected to develop a signature and independent research program in experimental or computational chemistry, biochemistry, or chemical education, and also to take part in our system of shared governance.
The following provides some guidance regarding the application process and what we are interested in learning about you from your application. Please reach out to email@example.com if you have additional questions.
We will review applications beginning October 1, 2023. We will produce a “short list” and request letters of recommendation from three referees for short-listed candidates. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed via ZOOM. The Committee will then invite several candidates to campus for an on-site interview that will include a teaching demonstration and a research talk. Our hope is to make recommendations to the Dean of Faculty and complete our hiring process by the end of November or early December. As we approach these steps in the process, this webpage will be updated.
We ask you to submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching statement, research plan, and copy of your graduate transcript. We want to learn about your past and potential contributions to equity, inclusion, and diversity with regard to underrepresented groups, and ask that you describe them either in a separate, additional document, or integrated into the teaching and research statements. We support candidates that have interests in crossing academic boundaries by teaching electives that will count in other academic units or by mentoring thesis students from other areas of the college. For example, some members of our department have historically contributed courses or mentoring to Environmental Studies, Biology, Physics, and Neuroscience. If you have specific expertise or interests in contributing to other academic units, please outline this in your cover letter.
The Cover Letter and Curriculum Vitae: Please identify which position(s) you are applying for and use these materials to present your previous research and teaching experiences that have prepared you, your enthusiasm and interest in working at a small liberal arts college, and specifically at Bates College. Please introduce us to your teaching experiences; serving as a teaching assistant, tutoring, mentoring, participation in teaching workshops, teaching courses independently etc. Please also acquaint us with your research experiences; undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training, experiences in national laboratories or in industry, etc. We recognize that there are multiple pathways to applying to this position, and we recognize that teaching and research pathways may be non-traditional, so this is your opportunity to let us learn about your journey.
The Teaching Statement: Teaching statements help us learn how you will help students learn difficult concepts, your goals for our students in the classroom and laboratory, how you assess student learning, the ways that you will help our students engage in the material in and out of class and lab, and how you will foster a collaborative, inclusive, and equitable environment for learning. Providing specific examples of how you have done this in the past and/or anticipate doing this in the future will help us more than generic examples. We are also interested in learning what courses you are most excited to teach, either from our existing offerings or as new courses that you might contribute.
The Research Plan: We will use your research plan to learn about your specialty and expertise, your specific research question(s), its/their overall significance, your plan for the first approximately 3-5 years, your preparation to carry out this plan, and your ability to communicate to our committee made up of both scientists and nonscientists. We are particularly interested in how your research goals and program will support the inclusion of student collaborators, and if there are specific specialized equipment or facilities that will be needed. Some candidates explicitly describe potential funding sources and/or collaborations if relevant.
Describing your strengths and experiences and anticipated contributions to equity and inclusion:
Our courses are designed to use inclusive teaching practices and our majors include learning goals that are attentive to equity and inclusion (Biochemistry Major Learning Outcomes and Chemistry Major Learning Outcomes). We are interested in learning about your past and potential contributions to equity, inclusion, and diversity with regard to underrepresented groups, and we ask you to integrate them as appropriate into your teaching and research plan or address these in a separate, additional document.
Graduate Transcripts: We will use these to determine what coursework you have completed that has prepared you for teaching in our curriculum. Unofficial transcripts, or officially translated transcripts (if they are not in english) are acceptable. If you did not take graduate-level coursework in Chemistry or Biochemistry, please include information about your preparation to teach General Chemistry and/or Organic Chemistry, and upper level- discipline specific courses in your cover letter.
Letters from Referees
If you are a short-listed candidate, we will request that you arrange for us to receive three letters from people who know your professional work. At least one of these writers should address your potential as a teacher and at least one should address your promise as a scholar.
Many of our faculty members routinely mentor students through the summer either using funds from their external research grants, or funds from Bates (for students: https://www.bates.edu/academics/student-research/summer/ and for Faculty:https://www.bates.edu/dof/summer-research-apprenticeships/ ).
How are faculty supported?
Bates supports new faculty with a course reduction in the first year of teaching, formal mentoring, and new-faculty development programming. Bates provides tenure-track faculty with a paid pre-tenure leave and generous financial support for post-tenure sabbaticals. Faculty scholarship is supported by start-up packages, the new Bonney Science Center, internal grants, and a robust external grants office. Faculty research is routinely supported by the NSF, NIH, and other external funding sources.
Bates is committed to supporting educational access for all. This work is supported by an HHMI Inclusive Excellence grant to support transforming how we teach STEM, a SHULER Education Foundation Grant grant to support financial aid for Pell-eligible students, low income, and undocumented students, and a Mellon Foundation Curricular Transformation Grant. Teaching is supported by a new Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning and other academic resources. Community-engaged learning, and study abroad are encouraged and robustly supported.