Open Rank (Associate/Full Professor)/Research Director – Concussion/neurodegeneration

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

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Job Details


Exercise and Sport Science - 318600

Posting Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Position Type:

Permanent Faculty

Working Title:

Open Rank (Associate/Full Professor)/Research Director – Concussion/neurodegeneration

Appointment Type:

Tenured/Tenure Track

Vacancy ID:



Full-Time Permanent

Hours per week:




Position Location:

North Carolina, US

Hiring Range:

Commensurate with experience

Proposed Start Date:


Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a major research university in the University of North Carolina System with student enrollment exceeding 29,000 students. The Department of Exercise and Sport Science ( supports an undergraduate program of over 1,400 undergraduate majors with three specialization areas (Exercise and Sport Science, Fitness Professional, Sport Administration); a Master of Arts graduate program enrolling ~60 students also with three specializations (Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology, Sport Administration); and a doctoral program in Human Movement Science in partnership with the UNC-CH School of Medicine ( The mission of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science (EXSS) is to discover, create and promote knowledge of human movement to improve the quality of life of individuals and society. The mission of EXSS is further enhanced through interdisciplinary cooperation and departmental faculty securing competitive extramural funding in the form of contracts and grants. These endeavors enable the department to advance knowledge and thus serve the state and nation.

The teaching, research, and service efforts of the EXSS Department are supported by an outstanding faculty and staff, which currently includes: 33 full-time faculty (plus 6 new hires starting July 1), 9 part-time (fixed term) faculty, 20 joint appointment / adjunct faculty, 8 emeritus faculty, 25 full-time EXSS staff members, and 16 full-time Campus Recreation staff members.

Position Summary:

The Department of Exercise and Sport Science invites applications for an outstanding 9-month tenured Associate or Full Professor faculty member to deepen and expand research in concussion, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and/or neurodegeneration, while teaching in areas related to exercise and sport science. We aspire to recruit faculty engaged in innovative and highly impactful work that will diversify and enhance our research, teaching, and public outreach missions, and who can translate this research to teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in neuroscience, neurotrauma, neuroepidemiology, and/or sports medicine. This position will assume a leadership role (Research Director) within the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, College of Arts and Sciences.

Successful candidates will demonstrate expertise in sport-related concussion, mTBI, and/or neurodegeneration which may include, but is not limited to, studying the short- and long-term effects of neurotrauma sustained during sports or occupational activity and promoting neurohealth following concussion and mTBI. Potential applicants should have a strong interest in developing impactful collaborative opportunities within the department, across the College of Arts and Sciences, and across the greater UNC community (including the nationally ranked School of Medicine and Gillings School of Global Public Health, and the new School of Data Science and Society), while fostering a climate that values inclusion and equity in all its forms. There is a potential for a joint appointment with another department depending on the successful candidate’s background and interests, with Exercise and Sport Science serving as the faculty member’s primary department.

Applicants should have an established record of scholarly productivity and catalyzing interdisciplinary research that aligns with the mission of the Center of the Study of Retired Athletes, its partner center (Matthew Gfeller Center), the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, and other departments/units across campus if a joint position is desired.

* Assume a leadership role (Research Director) within the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes at UNC-Chapel Hill
* Establish and grow a focused and independent research agenda, with preference to applicants who demonstrate a significant publication record.
* Seek extramural funding to support their research
* Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of the role.
* Serve as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students across a diverse student population
* Teach undergraduate and graduate courses related to neuroscience, neurotrauma, and/or sports medicine
* Serve as a research advisor and/or committee member for undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science
* Participate as a core faculty member and contribute to mentoring doctoral trainees in the Human Movement Science doctoral program
* Perform other responsibilities and duties as may be assigned by the department Chair.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

* An earned doctorate (or terminal degree) in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, other Public Health field, or related field with demonstrated expertise in neuroscience is required
* Record of securing extramural research funding and/or currently working on extramurally funded projects
* Record of research publications
* Knowledge and desire for culturally responsible pedagogy appropriate for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) with respect for diversity and richness in human experience

Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience:

* Collegiate-level teaching experience is desirable

Campus Security Authority Responsibilities:

This position is designated as a Campus Security Authority in accordance with the Clery Act. This position will be required to report Clery crimes to the Clery Compliance Manager and complete annual training about reporting responsibilities.

Special Instructions:

The application should include the following: 1) letter of application, 2) a Research Statement (no more than 3 pages) highlighting the applicant’s previous and ongoing research, plan for future innovation, and potential collaborators, 3) a Teaching Statement (no more than 3 pages) describing the candidate’s teaching philosophy, potential classes to develop, experiences mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and contributions to a diverse educational environment, and 4) complete academic curriculum vitae. Applicants are also required to identify the names, titles/positions, email addresses, and phone numbers of four (4) professional references who may be contacted by email with instructions for submitting recommendation letters. Review of applicants will begin February 1, 2023 and continue until the position is filled.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Jason Mihalik, Search Committee Chair, at

Deadline: Review of applications will begin February 1, 2023 and continue until the position is filled.


The nation’s first public university is at the heart of what’s next, preparing a diverse student body to become creators, explorers, innovators and leaders in North Carolina and throughout the world. Carolina’s nationally recognized, innovative teaching, campus-wide spirit of inquiry and dedication to public service continue the legacy that began in 1795 when the University first opened its doors to students.

Here, in one of America's most beautiful college settings, we offer exceptional careers in richly diverse fields. Come explore what UNC-Chapel Hill has to offer you.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 19,117

Graduate/Professional Enrollment: 10,894

Total Student Enrollment: 30,011

Founded: 1789, as the first state university in the United States

Type of Institution: Public, four-year

Undergraduate Admission: 15,961

Graduate/Professional Enrollment: 10,039

Total Student Enrollment: 26,000

Faculty: 3,000

Percentage of faculty who hold Ph.D.s or the highest degrees in their field: 94 percent

Faculty/student ratio: 1/14

Location: UNC is located in the heart of Chapel Hill, the best college town in America! It's a friendly town of about 40,000 in the geographical center of North Carolina. Chapel Hill is at the western point of the Research Triangle, an area of about one million people, comprised of Chapel Hill, the cities of Durham and Raleigh, and the Research Triangle Park, home of many corporate offices and scientific research centers. Carolina is about 30 miles from the state capital, Raleigh, and 20 minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Chapel Hill's main street, Franklin Street, borders the campus and offers shops, coffee houses, cafés, movie theaters and houses of worship. The town has a historic district, museum, library, parks, malls, and many recreational facilities.

Origins of Carolina's students: 82 percent of UNC's freshmen are from North Carolina and 18 percent are from out-of-state. Our students come from 42 different states and our international students represent 37 countries.

Size of freshman class: Approximately 3,400

Class size: Barely five percent of undergraduate classes contain more than 100 students; two-thirds of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students. Forty-one percent have fewer than 20 students, including First Year Seminars, in which first-year students work closely with professors.

Sports and athletic programs: UNC is an NCAA Division I school with 28 varsity teams. Carolina is the proud home of the Dean Smith Center, Kenan Stadium, Carmichael Auditorium, Koury Natatorium, and many other fine athletic facilities. Students join more than 60 intramural and club sports, which include baseball, bowling, crew, golf, lacrosse, rock climbing, rugby, tae kwon do, and ultimate frisbee. The Student Recreation Center offers weight training, aerobics, stair machines, and all the equipment you would expect to find at a great health club! Carolina offers a newly renovated outdoor pool and indoor pools, a golf course, tennis courts, and the longest zipline in America!

Number of residence halls: Incoming undergraduates will live in one of Carolina's 29 residence halls, which are wired for Internet access and cable television.

Scholarships and financial aid: About 40 percent of UNC-Chapel Hill students receive scholarships and/or some form of financial aid.

Special research institutes: Institute for Research in Social Science, Institute of Outdoor Drama, Morehead Planetarium, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Institute of Government, Institute of African American Research.

Career services: On-campus counseling, job fairs, résumé writing service, internships, placement services.

Technological facilities: Students find multiple uses for Carolina's state-of-the-art technological resources. They can access Carolina's computer services through Academic Technology and Networks, which manages academic computing, e-mail, microcomputing labs, interactive media presentation, video and classroom support, and a help desk. The MetaLab oversees the development of SunSITE, one of the world's busiest digital library and electronic publishing projects.

Students may open e-mail accounts, and many use campus computer resources to construct personal Web pages. Students in residence halls have hardwired network connections to the Internet and cable television in their rooms. At the ATN Training center, students may take classes on software packages and utilities. Computer labs are available for student use all over campus.

Carolina Computing Initiative: Beginning with the freshman class of 2000, undergraduates must purchase laptop computers. The University has arranged for IBM to offer computers at excellent prices. Students, faculty, and staff will enjoy cost savings, higher quality compatible equipment, and better technical support through CCI.

The Study Abroad program allows students to live and learn in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Rim, Africa, and the Americas.

The Honors Program offers special seminars, research programs, and the chance to design your own independent studies.

Carolina students spend time in public service through student organizations, the Campus Y, the Carolina Center for Public Service, and courses that incorporate community service.

UNC's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a national collegiate honor society, is the oldest in North Carolina, dating from 1904. There are many other honorary societies at Carolina.

UNC offers ROTC programs in all branches of national military service.

Through the First Year Seminars program, first year students will understand what it means to study at a premier research university. They will learn from faculty members and share in their research in seminars of no more than 20 students.

Life outside the classroom: More than 370 clubs, teams, and student organizations offer something for everyone! You can choose from among musical and dramatic performing groups, publications, ethnic and religious clubs, the Campus Y and other service organizations, fraternities and sororities, and pre- professional organizations. Whatever your interests, you will find others at Carolina who share them!

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