Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) – Vanderbilt FIRST

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt FIRST (V-FIRST) is part of the NIH’s FIRST (Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation) Program, which helps institutions build a diverse community of scientists by recruiting early-career faculty with a demonstrated commitment to inclusive excellence. Vanderbilt University (VU) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) are fully dedicated to these efforts.

Position Overview
In the first round of V-FIRST cluster hiring, we seek to hire a cohort of up to 8 highly motivated and accomplished early-career researchers to join our vibrant science community. These tenure-track (Assistant Professor level) faculty positions offer an excellent opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research in one of two areas: 1) Immunology, Inflammation, and Metabolism or 2) Neuroscience. Though our primary recruitment focus for 2023-24 is on the aforementioned areas, we will consider strong candidates who are interested in Structural Biology & Imaging or Genetic and Omic Discovery & Health Disparities. Additionally, we welcome applications from candidates who are interested in positions for the 2025 cycle.

All applicants must be committed to inclusive excellence, and we strongly encourage individuals from marginalized racial and ethnic groups and other underrepresented groups to apply. Hired individuals will be employed as faculty by Vanderbilt University in either the Schools of Medicine, Arts and Science, Engineering, or Peabody (Education and Human Development), or at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Candidates will be hired into departments that are most relevant to their research area.


  • Must have either a PhD or MD (or equivalent, MD/PhD, PhD, PharmD, DrPH or other doctoral degrees in relevant sciences), and should not have previously held a tenure-track Assistant Professor (or equivalent level) position.
  • A strong record of scholarly research accomplishments, demonstrated by a track record of publications in reputable scientific journals.
  • A commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence in the academic and research environment.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to collaborate with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.

Application Instructions
Interested candidates should submit 1) a cover letter stating your interest in Vanderbilt, your vision for your research, your contributions and/or plans related to inclusive excellence, and the research area(s) you wish to be considered for, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a research statement describing your trajectory to a scientific research career, and 4) contact information for 3 individuals who can provide letters of recommendation. Please submit all application materials through our online portal: Review of applications will begin on February 1, 2024, and continue until the positions are filled.

Why Choose Vanderbilt?

  • $1 Billion annually in external research funding.
  • Over 100 interdisciplinary centers & institutes.
  • Robust commitment to providing substantial resources for junior faculty career development along with numerous internal funding opportunities.
  • Vanderbilt University’s Research Development and Support (RDS) team aligns faculty research with funding, managing 148 Limited Submission Opportunities (LSOs), including 25 for early career faculty, and administering internal funding programs across all disciplines.
  • The Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization supports faculty in translating research into commercial ventures, utilizing the Innovation Catalyst fund to bridge the gap between ideas and real-world solutions.
  • Many departments in Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in our FIRST program thematic areas have a top 20 or higher ranking.
  • Over 75 undergraduate students each year choose a biomedical research laboratory for their Immersion project.

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have strong institutional commitments to recruiting and retaining an academically and culturally diverse community of faculty. We believe in providing equal opportunities for all employees and applicants, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Our dedication to fostering a culture of inclusive excellence is integral to our success, and we strive to ensure that all individuals can contribute and thrive within our organization. Vanderbilt is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Organization Details
Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have made substantive investments and long-term commitments to inclusive excellence. Across Vanderbilt, the Chancellor, Provost, Deans, and medical center leaders have set bold aspirations to move Vanderbilt toward greater diversity, inclusiveness, and connectedness through increased investments, recommitment to action, updated strategic plans, and heightened accountability. Vanderbilt University (VU) is an internationally recognized research university offering undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education, and human development, as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, VU has a total enrollment of more than 15,000 students in 10 schools – four undergraduate and six graduate and professional schools. Basic sciences, biomedical sciences, engineering, social sciences, and quantitative science doctoral degrees are conferred by VU, with more than 5,300 full-time graduate students enrolled. The combination of cutting-edge research, liberal arts, and a distinguished medical center creates an invigorating atmosphere where researchers collaborate to solve complex problems affecting our health, culture, and society. Scientific research primarily occurs in the Schools of Medicine, Arts and Science, Engineering, and Peabody (Education and Human Development). Currently, the School of Medicine ranks 11th in NIH funding, receiving more than $350M in NIH direct funding in 2021.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is a comprehensive health center dedicated to patient care, research, and the education of healthcare professionals. Competitive research grants from all external sources totaled over $836 million in FY 2021. VUMC is home to the region’s only Level I Trauma Center, a dedicated Regional Burn Center, and one of only 51 Comprehensive Cancer Centers nationwide. Through the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN), VUMC works with over 6,100 clinicians, 70 hospitals, 13 health systems, and hundreds of physician practices and clinics. VUMC’s clinical mission drives our motivation to pursue translational science and supports synergy and economies of scale in clinical research. In 2016, VUMC became an independent entity, which allows direct capital market access to ensure it can effectively compete in the health marketplace. Although this restructuring means VU and VUMC are separate legal entities, we function as “One Vanderbilt,” with all VUMC-employed faculty having appointments at VU. The President and CEO of VUMC is also the Dean of the VU School of Medicine.

Equal Opportunity Employer
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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