University of Massachusetts Amherst — Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Success and Diversity

Lecturer A – Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Success and Diversity – CNS

Job no: 515197
Work type: Faculty Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean – Natural Sciences
Union: MSP
Categories: Faculty, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five College Consortium (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The College of Natural Sciences (CNS) Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Success and Diversity, a non-tenure-track faculty position (100% FTE), 12-month appointment, reports directly to the Associate Dean for Graduate, Postdoc and Faculty Development and will provide leadership and supporting activities to advance the recruitment and retention of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS), with a special focus on racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic groups underrepresented in STEM. The Director will be responsible for designing and implementing graduate student and postdoctoral fellow programming and assessing its effectiveness. The Director will work with college leadership on issues related to recruitment and retention and grant writing and partner with other campus entities to establish metrics and assessments that inform CNS's graduate student and postdoctoral diversity initiatives.

The Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Success and Diversity position will be housed in the College of Natural Sciences Academic Advising Center or other department depending on the successful candidate's credentials.

Essential Functions

Candidates for this position must have strong interpersonal skills and the ability communicate effectively with faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff. They must work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equity and inclusiveness. The candidate will work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean's strategic priorities around DEI.

  • Form partnerships with stakeholders and key offices on campus to support diversity and inclusion initiatives related to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
  • Establish best practices in recruitment and retention of underrepresented (UR) graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
  • Promote best practices for effective graduate student mentoring through programming, training, and connection with existing campus programs.
  • Support graduate student recruitment programs and on-ramp activities for new graduate students.
  • Engage with relevant entities on- and off-campus to ensure recruitment of a diverse cohort of graduate students in CNS. Travel and institute and/or maintain consistent presence at fairs and conferences that convene students from diverse backgrounds such as Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans (SACNAS).
  • Establish metrics for UR graduate recruitment goals.
  • Establish goals to enhance climate for and develop new programs to increase success and retention of underrepresented graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
  • Develop and implement trainings to promote inclusive practices, particularly in admissions and teaching assistantships.
  • Operate as an information resource and advisor to the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Associate Dean for Graduate, Postdoctoral and Faculty Development on diversity and inclusion matters that impact graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
  • Serve as liaison to the college for all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in CNS, especially those from underrepresented groups and international students and function as proactive liaison between trainees and CNS leadership.
  • Support existing and assist in the formation of new supportive communities among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from historically underrepresented groups within in CNS.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master's degree in STEM or STEM-adjacent field.
  • Strong commitment to increasing and maintaining diversity and inclusion; knowledge of key factors that impact diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated track record of working successfully with faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows especially those from historically underrepresented groups and first-generation college students.
  • Direct experience in developing and implementing diversity-related programs at an academic institution.
  • Ability to lead community building activities, diversity and inclusion activities in academic settings.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated sensitivity to and experience with culturally diverse (African-American, Latinx, Asian, Native American), and other underrepresented populations (women, first generation college students, LGBTQ students) in STEM
  • Strong team orientation and ability to collaborate with internal and external constituents.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills and efficiency in handling multiple projects required.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills required.
  • Ability to deal successfully with conflict, skilled in leading difficult conversations, and experience in leading groups to reach consensus.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree preferred.
  • Strong record mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in science disciplines.
  • Demonstrated successful experience in grant writing.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.

Work Schedule

  • 12-month, calendar year appointment.

Salary Information

  • Salary commensurate with experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a curriculum vitae, cover letter (describing qualifications and fit for this position), Diversity Statement (see below), and contact information for three (3) professional references.

As part of a commitment to its multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (

Please apply by October 1, 2021 to ensure priority consideration. The search will remain open until filled.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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