Center for Rural Health Research at ETSU: Director for Research and Programs


The College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University is establishing an externally funded Center for Rural Health Research aimed at advancing the health and well-being of people living in rural Tennessee and the Appalachia region. The Center is a model for private-public partnerships and has an ambitious agenda with a goal of disrupting the intergenerational cycles of poor health, lack of educational attainment and poverty. The Director for Research and Programs will be responsible to the Director of the Center and will provide scientific and operational leadership while overseeing the Center’s divisions. The successful candidate will have a strong base of research, coordination and technical skills that can be adapted to meet the needs of an emerging Center and its different internal and external stakeholders. The Director must understand the unique responsibilities and accountabilities of the Center, have a command of issues important to rural health, and provide outstanding leadership while working with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy as part of a complex team and state/regional effort. The Director will hold a research faculty appointment in the College at a rank and salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.


  • Facilitate strategic planning for the Center and align strategy and goals with research and policy initiatives, faculty searches, data resources and infrastructure;
  • Lead research, policy and programmatic efforts and guide the Center’s faculty and staff in developing and implementing research projects and seeking external funding;
  • Manage administrative aspects of the Center, including operations, budget, financial and scientific reporting, and successful completion of deliverables;
  • Build and strengthen the Center’s team through faculty and staff recruiting, hiring, coaching, feedback and support;
  • Establish, oversee and manage financials and schedules for multiple projects and programs;
  • Convene the different research and evaluation committees with internal and external stakeholders; manage meetings/conference calls and facilitate Center-wide decision making;
  • Provide research and technical expertise and oversee data collection, entry, management and analysis;
  • Steer the dissemination of findings to multiple audiences through a variety of appropriate mechanisms;
  • Serve as a resource for the Center’s team on scientific and administrative matters and work collaboratively with the team to ensure that milestones are completed in a timely and high-quality manner;
  • Develop relationships with and maintain effective communication and collaboration with multiple partners and stakeholders;
  • Develop policies and procedures and ensure IRB and other regulatory compliance; and perform
    other responsibilities as assigned.


Minimum qualifications: A doctoral degree (PhD or DrPH) or master’s degree in a public health or related field, at least 7 years of experience in rural health research/practice and at least 5 years of supervisory/management experience that is directly relevant to this type of center. Additional minimum qualifications for this position include demonstrated success disseminating research findings to a wide audience through peer-reviewed publications and presentations in diverse settings; experience leading high-functioning teams; and experience managing budgets.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and committed to the improvement of health in rural areas;
  • Recognition among the rural health research community;
  • Effective leadership, interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Proficiency in research and evaluation methodologies and experience using research findings to inform policy or program development;
  • Demonstrated expertise in successfully designing and carrying out quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation processes;
  • Proficiency in primary data collection methodologies;
  • High level of proficiency in computer software and tools including word processing, presentation, data management, and statistical software;
  • Proficiency in technical writing, budgeting, and program evaluation;
  • Exceptional planning and organizational skills;
  • Strategic thinking with attention to detail;
  • Ability to manage a large budget;
  • Ability to develop and guide others in the development of peer-reviewed publications;
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze data, summarize findings, and present complex methods and results in ways that are understandable to broad audiences;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse organizations and individuals with a wide variety of professional backgrounds and experiences;
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and written;
  • Ability to coordinate multiple resources and tasks, meet deadlines, and solve problems as they arise;
  • Ability to lead and manage people.

Required Qualifications: A doctoral degree (PhD or DrPH) or master’s degree in a public health field with 7 years of directly-related experience in rural health research/practice; 5 years of supervisory/management experience; record of publication and presentation of research results to broad audiences; experience managing and administering large budgets; knowledge of issues impacting rural health.


Competitive salary commensurate with education and experience and comprehensive benefits.

To Apply:

You may apply at: 

View full position description here.

East Tennessee State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer

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