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Program Officer - HHMI Science Education Alliance

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, Maryland, Baltimore
May 23, 2023
Primary Work Address: CP117 Dept. of Chem. & Biochem, Baltimore, MD, 21228 Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) advances discovery and sharing of scientific knowledge to benefit us all. As a biomedical research organization and philanthropy, HHMI supports a vibrant community of academic researchers, educators, students, and professionals across the nation. Together, we're unlocking the fundamentals of biology and building an open and inclusive future for science.

The Science Education Alliance

HHMI's Science Education Alliance (SEA) provides opportunities for undergraduate students and their instructors to engage in authentic scientific research. The SEA is part of the Inclusive Learning group (ILG) within the HHMI Center for the Advancement of Science Leadership and Culture. The SEA team works primarily in the SEA laboratory and offices on the campus of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and also regularly interacts with the rest of ILG which is located at HHMI Headquarters in Chevy Chase, MD.

The SEA program supports a large and growing community of faculty members from 2- and 4-year colleges and universities across the U.S. who embed discovery-driven research as a fundamental component of the early undergraduate science curriculum. Organized as an inclusive research and education community ("iREC"), the SEA provides instructor training, centralized research infrastructure, and operational and scientific coordination to enable the full participation in research of students and faculty from all backgrounds and at all types of colleges and universities, including schools without a research tradition and infrastructure.

Since its inception in 2008, the SEA has supported instructors and their students at more than 200 institutions in two collaborative research projects: (i) the Phage Hunters Advancing Genomic and Evolutionary Science (PHAGES) project and (ii) the Gene-function Exploration by a Network of Emerging Scientists (GENES) project. Each project is designed to be embedded in the undergraduate science curriculum as a course-based research laboratory course, which allows the research opportunity to be scaled to engage relatively large numbers of students simultaneously. In the 2022-23 academic year, approximately 5,000 students are conducting research in the PHAGES and GENES courses. PHAGES is typically a year-long research course, and GENES extends that research by one or more semesters.

The SEA will create a new initiative that will focus on recruiting and supporting colleges and universities that serve significant numbers of students who belong to groups underrepresented in science. These institutions include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and community colleges.

The new Program Officer

The Program Officer will be part of the SEA team which manages all aspects of the SEA program. The Program Officer will also work closely with the other members of ILG and will help lead the design and implementation of a new initiative aimed at engaging in the SEA more HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs and community colleges.

What we provide:

  • A role that is well-positioned to have an impact across the national education landscape because of its access to resources, freedom to solve problems creatively, and time to craft quality resources;

  • A mission driven team that is passionate about the work they do;

  • A team that believes in continuous learning and cultivates an environment where all members of the group help each other;

  • A competitive compensation package that includes a 10% employer contribution to your retirement, up to $10,000 in educational reimbursement each year, and a significant budget for professional development.

What you'll do:

As part of the SEA team:

  • Design, develop, and manage an initiative to recruit and support HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and community colleges in the SEA;

  • Help organize and implement various SEA meetings, workshops, site visits, and other activities (note: support of SEA meetings and workshops can require overnight stays at meeting/workshop sites);

  • Conduct microbiology-based wet-bench research;

  • Conduct bioinformatics analyses;

  • Contribute to the administration of SEA and other ILG projects in an office environment using computer-based applications, including word-processing, spreadsheets, desk-top publishing;

  • Work in a research/teaching laboratory and shared office space located at the University of Maryland Baltimore County;

  • As part of ILG, assist in administrative activities to support ILG programs including the timely review of progress and financial reports from grantees;

  • Effectively work with other parts of HHMI and non-HHMI organizations; and

  • Reliably handle and maintain confidential information.

If this role appeals to you, we encourage you to apply even if you are unsure about whether you meet all educational and experiential qualifications described below.

We plan to begin reviewing applications at the end of January 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.

What you bring:

  • PhD or equivalent degree in a STEM field, preferably in the life sciences with experience in bioinformatics and/or microbiology;

  • Experience working at a community college and/or an HBCU, HSI, or TCU;

  • Experience instructing and leading laboratory courses;

  • Commitment to learn innovative instructional practices in STEM;

  • Excellence in initiating and completing tasks independently and successfully after receiving guidance from the supervisor;

  • Excellence in managing multiple tasks and priorities with attention to detail;

  • Excellence in producing results that are reliably accurate and timely; and

  • Excellence in interacting constructively with a wide range of people, including students, faculty, scientists at all levels of accomplishment, and co-workers.

As part of your application, please submit the following:

  • A cover letter (5 pages maximum) that summarizes your thoughts and experiences relevant to this position, including but not limited to:

    • working with students and faculty at the postsecondary level;

    • an understanding of science education in community colleges, HBCUs, HSIs, and/or TCUs;

    • experience designing and teaching undergraduate laboratory courses; and

    • a reflection on what it means to advance equity and inclusion in science.

  • A curriculum vitae (3 pages maximum) that speaks to the position and provides details of the experiences presented in the cover letter.

Physical Requirements:

Remaining in a seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard or a pipettor; ability to move about the workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Must be able to communicate verbally and through writing.

Persons with disabilities will be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our site to learn more.

Compensation Range

$100,885.60 (minimum) - $126,107.00 (midpoint) - $163,939.10 (maximum)

Pay Type:


HHMI's salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.