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The Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology

UMass Amherst
United States, Massachusetts, Amherst
March 14, 2024

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 Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst () is inviting applications for The Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology at the Advanced Associate or Full Professor level, to lead the Rudd Adoption Research Program starting in Fall 2023. The Rudd Chair serves as professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, with affiliation in one or more of the five graduate training programs in the department (behavioral neuroscience, clinical, cognitive/cognitive neuroscience, developmental, social), as relevant to the candidate's expertise and needs of the department programs.

Essential Functions

The position includes an expectation for maintaining an exceptional research program (including seeking of external funding), teaching of graduate and undergraduate courses, mentoring graduate students, and providing service to the university, profession, and community. In addition, the Chair serves as director of the Rudd Adoption Research Program (RARP), whose mission includes the following functions:

  • Advance knowledge about the psychology of adoption.
  • Provide evidence-based knowledge to inform adoption policy and practice.
  • Engage with community partners to incubate, implement, and evaluate innovative programs.
  • Mentor the next generation of adoption-competent scholars.
  • Create an adoption-friendly campus at UMass Amherst.

The RARP seeks to develop synergy among scientists, practitioners, and policymakers from varied disciplines who share interests in topics relevant to adoption. The RARP has an established record of organizing an annual conference series and a biennial Summer Adoption Research Institute. The goal of these activities is to contribute to evidence-based practice in adoption and to provide research-based information that will influence policy at agency, state, federal, and international levels.

The position includes oversight of staff, who currently include a Program Manager, Data Manager / Analyst, and Events Coordinator (shared responsibility with the Center for Research on Families). Supervision also includes undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, visiting professors, and other staff hired to meet the needs of the program. The position includes management of an international advisory board and fiscal oversight and stewardship of the income from three endowments.

More details about the Rudd Adoption Research Program and its annual reports can be found at:

Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the department and College of Natural Sciences community and across the campus to support the Dean's strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Psychology or a closely related field, that could fit well within one or more of the training programs in the department (behavioral neuroscience, clinical, cognitive/cognitive neuroscience, developmental, social).
  • An excellent record of research productivity that is currently grant-funded or has strong promise of securing funding, that is commensurate with an Advanced Associate or Full Professor position and could fit within the scope of research in one or more programs in our Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
  • A strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate education and mentoring, and to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application please submit a curriculum vitae, cover letter, statement of research interests, statement of teaching philosophy, samples of representative research papers, a diversity statement (see below) and contact information for three (3) professional references.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, the College of Natural Sciences 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. ().

Short-listed candidates will be asked to provide materials that address the standards and criteria for tenure at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as described in our Academic Personnel Policy (also known as the "Red Book".

We will begin to review applications on November 15, 2022, and will continue to accept applications until the position is 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.