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Specialist - Teacher-Continuing

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 753218
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: Lyman Briggs College
Department: Lyman Briggs Dean 10028546
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Education/Training, Continuing System Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Position Summary

Michigan State University (MSU) and MSU’s Lyman Briggs College (LBC) actively promote a dynamic research and learning environment in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives and cultural backgrounds pursue academic goals with mutual respect and shared inquiry.

LBC invites applications for a teaching-focused faculty position in the Academic Specialist Continuing Appointment System to join the college’s biology group starting August of 2022. The successful candidate will teach introductory undergraduate lectures and labs, as well as supervise a teaching team of graduate and undergraduate assistants.  

Candidates must be committed to undergraduate teaching and must have a master’s degree (minimum) or Ph.D. (desired) in biology or biology education in hand by August 15, 2022. This position requires expertise and teaching experience in active learning lecture and inquiry-based laboratory format. The successful candidate will be committed to advancing excellence in the teaching of introductory courses in both organismal and cellular/molecular biology and will join the college’s ongoing efforts to improve undergraduate STEM education, particularly with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B). A scholarly approach to teaching students and mentoring student employees is essential. This position offers exciting opportunities for individuals interested in teaching in a liberal-arts style residential college with all of the resources of a large “Big 10” research university. 

Founded in 1967, LBC is a vibrant undergraduate residential college within MSU focusing on the study of the sciences in their societal and global contexts ( The LBC curriculum integrates the natural sciences and mathematics with the human, social, and cultural dimensions of the sciences. There are approximately 2,000 students in Lyman Briggs, 66% of whom are women. 31% of all primary, secondary degree, and additional majors identify as students of an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. Additionally, 32% of LBC students are members of the MSU Honors College. Faculty work closely with students in small classes. LBC is also a leading center for research on teaching and learning and for interdisciplinary scholarship. Most LBC faculty members in the tenure system have a joint appointment in a disciplinary department or program to support their scholarship and professional development. The college boasts a dynamic community of students, staff, and faculty who make LBC an exceptional place to learn and work. 

Academic Specialists in the Continuing Appointment System are long-term, teaching-focused faculty who are outstanding instructors in the classroom, support curriculum improvement, and who support and mentor undergraduates. Academic specialists also contribute professional service to the college, including membership on LBC committees, and have full voting rights in the college. As with faculty in the Tenure System, Academic Specialists in the Continuing Appointment System are supported in their professional development and follow a career progression (i.e., reappointment, reappointment with Continuing Status, promotion to Senior Academic Specialist). The successful candidate will start with a three-year probationary appointment that has the potential, after successful reappointment, to become a long-term position in the Academic Specialist Continuing Appointment System (for details see the MSU Academic Specialist Handbook ( Reappointment and continuing appointment decisions are based on performance reviews that include peer and student teaching evaluations. 

The successful candidate will teach five or six courses every academic year. The biology group offers linked lecture and laboratory courses in both organismal biology and cellular and molecular biology.The laboratories are characterized by semester-long research projects. These are all supported by undergraduate learning assistants. They also offer an undergraduate research course and senior seminar courses. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to work on other teaching and learning projects as needs and interests arise. For example, they have the opportunity to mentor graduate students on teaching and learning projects or on training grants.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree


Desired Degree


Minimum Requirements

Candidates must have a Masters in biology, biology education, or a related field

Desired Qualifications

  • Candidate has a PhD in biology, biology education, or a related field

  • Experience teaching introductory biology classes as the instructor of record. 

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching, service, and/or community involvement

  • Demonstrated innovation in undergraduate-focused biology teaching 

  • Leadership of teaching teams, including undergraduate learning assistants and/or graduate teaching assistants

  • Experience mentoring undergraduate students


Required Application Materials

To ensure a holistic assessment of candidates, we request that applications include:

  1. Cover Letter that frames the application in the context of this position in Lyman Briggs College.

  2. Curriculum Vitae, including education background/qualifications, a list of publications, teaching and mentoring roles, leadership positions, contributions to the academic community, and efforts in public outreach;

  3. Contact information for three references. While letters will not be solicited for the initial evaluation of candidates, references should be prepared to submit letters (promptly upon request), which focus on the candidate’s teaching and mentoring experience, or efforts to broaden representation. At least one letter should address the candidate’s teaching experience and commitment to student learning in the classroom setting.

  4. concise teaching portfolio (max 20 pages) with: 

    1. 1-2 page Teaching Philosophy

    2. Description/Example of experience teaching laboratory exercises and/or proposed multi-week laboratory exercise idea(s). Note: We prefer you lead students to propose and pursue one experiment for multiple weeks (as done in inquiry or CURE labs) rather than perform traditional weekly cookbook lab experiments.

  5. a 1-2 page statement of contributions to the academic community. Universities are complex institutions that rely on faculty to assume diverse responsibilities, including fostering student learning, disseminating knowledge, and sustaining healthy inclusive communities. The applicant should describe how they have been involved in departmental and/or institutional activities as part of their institution’s academic community. They should also describe their interests and plans for enriching the MSU community, including how they plan to advance issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions

We actively encourage applications from -- and welcome nominations of -- biologists within the LGBTQIA+ community, biologists of color, veterans, biologists with disabilities, and biologists from other historically excluded groups. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through diversity.

Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Questions regarding this position should be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. Jerry Urquhart, at   


Review of Applications Begins On



MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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