Assistant Professor-Rural Sociology, Pennsylvania State University

This is a nine-month, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Rural Sociology with a 75% research and 25% (11) teaching responsibility in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education (AESE), with the expectation of membership in the Graduate Faculty in Demography and an affiliation with the Population Research Institute (PRI) and Social Science Research Institute (SSRI). The position is co-funded by SSRI as part of its strategic foci on social and environmental determinants of health and on the causes and consequences of inequality. PRI sits within SSRI, and both support interdisciplinary research by bringing together researchers across the university around emerging areas, and by providing consultation, seed grants, and core research resources. The successful applicant will be expected to develop a nationally and internationally recognized research program related to the sociology and demography of rural populations, with a focus on links between population health, environment, and development. The candidate’s research agenda should focus on the prevalence, correlates, causes, and/or consequences of health disparities, with special attention to the role of the environment (e.g., climate change, air and water quality, natural resource extraction) as well as rural/urban and other spatial variation in this regard. Specific topics for study might include environmental influences on health outcomes; health behaviors; health care access and utilization; community health; family health; health-related policies; and demographic processes (e.g., migration, fertility, and mortality). Preference will be given to candidates with the skills and proclivity to conduct quantitative multi-level and spatial analyses. Candidates who show evidence of, or potential for, interdisciplinary collaborations are particularly desired. The successful candidate will be expected to work in multi-disciplinary teams, secure external funding, and mentor and advise graduate students. Teaching expectations include a graduate course on advanced statistics, as well as courses that contribute to the Rural Sociology graduate program and its dual-degree program in Demography, and to the AESE’s undergraduate program in Community, Environment, and Development. Qualifications: A Ph.D. in rural sociology, sociology, demography, or related field. The successful candidate must have completed all degree requirements by the appointment date. Applicants should demonstrate excellent research and communication skills. Teaching experience along with experience indicating independence, productivity, and capacity to work effectively on multi-disciplinary teams is preferred. A demonstrated ability to engage professionally with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students is required, and the successful candidate will actively strive to provide an inclusive learning environment for all students.

Application Requirements: The review of applications will begin on March 1, 2024 with a start date of August 1, 2024, or as negotiated. Candidates should provide a cover letter, curriculum vitae, names and contact information for three references, a forward-looking statement on research interests and a statement of teaching/pedagogy related to the position description. In addition, every candidate must submit a “Reflection on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging” document as part of their portfolio. Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with university policies. Questions can be directed to the Search Committee chair: Dr. Leif Jensen (

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, as well as a culture of belonging that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverages the educational and institutional benefits of diversity in society, and provides opportunities for engagement intended to help all members of the community thrive. We value belonging as a core strength and an essential element of the university’s teaching, research, and service mission.

AESE is a welcoming community with our scholarship focusing on people, society, and economic systems grounded in theory and methods from the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Faculty and students develop and employ rigorous approaches to discover fundamental and applied principles that advance science in their core disciplines. AESE strives to improve the health, prosperity, and welfare of people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond. Our core areas for teaching and research are (1) Agricultural and Food Systems, (2) Community Development and Engagement, (3) Environment and Natural Resources, and (4) Population Processes in Global Perspective. The Department offers three resident and one online graduate programs and oversees four undergraduate majors. For more information visit our site at Apply online at CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Apply here: