Job Details

Pennsylvania State University
  • Position Number: 4528235
  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Position Type: Health - Nutrition & Dietetics

Assistant/Associate Professor in Precision Nutrition

The Department of Nutritional Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University seeks applications for an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) or Associate Professor (tenure-eligible) ranked position. This position will complement the research of existing faculty within the Department and across the University, which includes research related to ingestive behavior; mechanisms of obesity; role of diet in cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease prevention; maternal child health including pregnancy and lactation; genetic models of inflammation; epidemiology and global health nutrition. We are seeking candidates in the area of Precision Nutrition. These hires will be co-funded by Penn State's Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences The tenure home will be in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. This position comes with a competitive start-up package and salary based on 36-weeks of service annually, which can be supplemented with additional salary up to a total of 48 weeks from external competitive grants, contracts, and/or endowment funds.

One-size-fits-all approach may not be effective in disease prevention and management. Precision health aims to incorporate individual characteristics, lifestyle, and environment to optimize health. Precision health is inclusive of precision medicine and precision public health, and in the context of nutrition, has been highlighted as an NIH priority with the creation of the Nutrition for Precision Health initiative under the All of Us Research Program. Biopsychosocial differences contribute to the interindividual variation of nutrition interventions-these variations contribute to health inequities. Precision nutrition asserts that these contributions are bidirectional, with complex links to genomic, metabolomic, social, psychological, dietary, and environmental components. We will consider applicants whose research includes animal models and/or human trials addressing any of these components. Applicants will be expected to maintain a successful research program and to teach in the Department's undergraduate and graduate programs. Teaching and service expectations will be appropriate to Penn State's mission as a Land Grant university.


We are seeking highly motivated individuals with:
  • An earned Doctoral Degree (Ph.D., M.D., and/or equivalent) in nutrition, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or closely related field is required
  • Evidence of original research published in peer-reviewed journals (Assistant & Associate Professor) and potential for (Assistant Professor) or track record (Associate Professor) of extramural funding
  • Potential for (Assistant Professor) or proficiency in (Associate Professor) teaching and mentoring students
  • Research that is synergistic with core areas of the strategic plans of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, the College of Health and Human Development, and Penn State overall, of which Enhancing Health is one of five thematic priorities ( )

The Department seeks applicants whose professional preparedness, experience, and accomplishments are informed by experiences working with and within groups historically underrepresented in higher education in the United States. Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate, through prior actions and achievements, intentional and actioned commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Examples of such contributions are research or creative activity focused on empowering underserved populations; teaching, mentorship, and service that increases equitable access; and inclusion in fields where historically excluded populations are underrepresented.

About the Department of Nutritional Sciences:

The National Research Council ranked Penn State's Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences among the nation's best. The Department has 26 full-time faculty. Current student enrollments are approximately 250 undergraduate students, 44 Master's students, and 26 Ph.D. students. The Department provides a supportive, collaborative environment that facilitates and encourages interdisciplinary translational research. There are many opportunities to collaborate with faculty in the Department of Nutritional Sciences; in other departments in the College of Health and Human Development; as well as in other Penn State Colleges (e.g., Agriculture, Engineering, Medicine, Science, Liberal Arts and Sciences), Centers and Institutes across campus, including but not limited to the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences, the Social Sciences Research Institute, Penn State Clinical and Translational Institute (CTSI), Penn State Cancer Institute, and Cooperative Extension. Faculty within the department have a high success rate of extramural funding. For more information about the department, visit:

The Department of Nutritional Sciences is located within the College of Health and Human Development (HHD) at University Park. HHD enrolls approximately 4,200 undergraduates and 350 full-time graduate students. The College includes eight academic units and several research centers and service units. For more information about HHD, visit:

About the Huck Institutes of Life Sciences

The Huck Institutes might best be imagined as a web-or maybe as a series of bridges, built and maintained by dedicated researchers, between various University institutions that would have otherwise been isolated islands. The more these bridges are built up, the better we get at communicating and collaborating across the life sciences, and the better we get at solving problems and having real impacts on science and society.

For this position, the key Huck Institute units and initiatives we would expect a precision nutrition hire to collaborate with include:
  • Microbiome Center (with >100 faculty from 10 colleges)
  • Metabolomics expertise, with recent investment, instrumentation and faculty expertise across several colleges to handle population-level initiatives on diet, metabolism and health outcomes, not least in disadvantaged populations
  • Center for Medical Genomics/Genome Sciences Institute, where we have world-leading faculty in statistics and genomics, including precision genomics initiative as part of University Health Science Council biomedical initiative
  • Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and/or Center for Molecular Immunology and Infectious Diseases, where there is expertise in inflammation and global health

The hires would also contribute to growing faculty expertise in the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Neuroscience, Bioinformatics and Genomics, Physiology, or Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences.

About the University Park Campus

This position is located at the University Park campus of Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, a picturesque locale in the heart of the Commonwealth known as Happy Valley. As a vibrant, affordable college town, State College hosts year-round festivals and activities and is near countless miles of hiking trails and state parks. State College is not only centrally located in Pennsylvania, but also the Mid-Atlantic region. Major metropolitan areas including Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg are just a short drive away.

Application and Inquiries

To apply, interested candidates should complete an on-line application and upload: Cover letter; Personal statement addressing interests and vision (future goals and plans) in a) research and b) teaching; A diversity statement; A curriculum vitae along with names, titles, and complete contact information for four professional references who may be contacted; and, three peer-reviewed manuscripts illustrating the applicant's contribution to the scientific literature.

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 inclusive excellence 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 inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

Please address materials to Assistant/Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences (Open) Search Committee and direct questions or informal inquiries to the search committee chair, Associate Professor Karolina Skibicka ( Please indicate "Precision Nutrition Assistant/Associate Professor" in the subject line of email correspondence and cc: the message to Julie Brenneman (

Review of applications will begin October 9th, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. Salary is competitive and commensurate with background and experience. An attractive benefits package is available.

Apply online at

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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.

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