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Associate Dean - Van Andel Institute Graduate School


Grand Rapids, MI
ID: 837-085


Associate Dean

Van Andel Institute Graduate School


Van Andel Institute (VAI) is a nonprofit biomedical research and science education institute located in the heart of Grand Rapids, MI’s vibrant Medical Mile.  VAI Graduate School is currently hiring for an Associate Dean. VAI Graduate School (VAIGS) develops future leaders in biomedical research through an intense, problem-focused Ph.D. degree in molecular and cell biology. By combining rigorous, inquiry-based coursework with extensive experience in laboratories led by the Institute’s expert faculty, VAIGS prepares students for productive careers in biomedical research and beyond. VAIGS thrives within the state-of-the-art facilities of VAI with access to extensive core technology support and the resources of collaborators in Grand Rapids, Michigan and around the country.


Position Summary:

The Associate Dean, reporting to the Dean of VAIGS, will be responsible for creative and effective leadership of faculty and staff in designing and implementing innovative and creative courses and curriculum for the PhD students of Van Andel Institute Graduate School. The Associate Dean will lead and teach professional development courses for doctoral students, particularly in scientific communication and teaching science at college level. This individual will also guide students in preparing and submitting predoctoral fellowships and support recruitment and programming for student internships.



  • Support faculty in curriculum and course design, implementation, review, and revision.
  • Design and provide faculty development in instructional design, pedagogy, and assessment of student learning (with other staff).
  • Staff liaison to curriculum committee; attend monthly meeting, meet with faculty Chair to plan agenda, prepare documents/proposals for committee consideration, report to VAIGS Dean/staff meetings.
  • Develop and implement the Teaching focus area of professional development courses.
  • Co-direct first-year course in Scientific Communication; contribute as instructor in other courses based on experience and need.
  • Identify funding opportunities for student scholarships and fellowships, guide students through application process (with Office of Sponsored Research and thesis advisers).
  • Staff liaison to Comprehensive Exam organizing committee; guide policy development and implementation.
  • Staff liaison to Undergraduate and Internship Program committee, including recruitment and programming for summer internships.
  • Support accreditation efforts particularly in regard to teaching and learning criteria.
  • Assist the Graduate Dean and other VAIGS staff in preparing the academic catalog, student handbook, faculty handbook, and recruitment materials.
  • Perform other tasks at the request of the Graduate Dean.



  • A Ph.D degree in a basic / natural science discipline and/or in science education or educational psychology; master’s degree may suffice for candidates with exceptional experience.
  • Teaching experience in higher education, preferably at the graduate level. Proven ability to design and conduct innovative courses and classes using creative learning approaches, and to coach faculty in course design and pedagogy.
  • Leadership experience in curriculum design, pedagogy, scholarship of teaching and learning.
  • Knowledge and experience in supporting applications for grants or fellowships.
  • At least seven years of professional experience in a research or higher education environment.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of word processing, spread sheet, data analysis, and presentation software.
  • Strong analytical reasoning skills, oral and written communication skills, and project management skills.



How to apply:

We would love to have a conversation with you! The first step in this conversation is your application


In your application, please provide the following:

  • cover letter highlighting key qualifications,
  • current curriculum vitae with complete bibliography,
  • names and contact information of 3 references.


Applications received by January 10, 2022, can be assured of full consideration. Interviews will take place in January and February with an expected decision in March. If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Eric Miller at


VAI is actively striving to diversify its workforce and strongly encourages qualified individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. Van Andel Institute is an EEO and Affirmative Action Employer.


As Van Andel Institute is a drug and alcohol-free employer, all prospective new employees undergo a urinalysis/drug test as part of our pre-employment process. Prospective employees will also undergo a background check (criminal history and misconduct, employment, and degree verification).


At Van Andel Institute, the health and safety of our people is our number one priority. As a condition of employment at Van Andel Institute, all employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. “Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after both doses of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine has been administered.


Van Andel Institute is located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI which is the second-largest city in Michigan and the largest city in West Michigan. Grand Rapids offers a remarkable combination of cosmopolitan atmosphere and small-town warmth, is known for its philanthropic and sustainability-driven community, and is ranked one of "America's Top 100 Places to Live."


Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids offers all the big-city excitement you would expect from a million-resident metropolis, featuring hundreds of restaurants and nightspots, theatres, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walkable neighborhoods. 

This position is located at 333 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI. View the Google Map in full screen.