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Life Course Outcomes (LCO) Research Program Area Leader

Apply now Job no: 496880
Work type: Full-Time
Location: Remote, University City - Philadelphia, PA
Categories: Drexel University, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

About Drexel

Drexel is one of Philadelphia's top 10 private employers, a comprehensive global research university and a major engine for economic development in the region. With over 24,000 students, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private universities. Drexel has committed to being the nation’s most civically engaged university, with community partnerships integrated into every aspect of service and academics.

Job Summary

This is a tenure-track faculty position at the full or associate professor level leading the LCO Program’s systems and services-focused research regarding socioecological determinants of outcomes for people on the autism spectrum and those with related neurodevelopmental disorders across the lifespan to maximize impact on policy and practice. LCO’s research team employs secondary data analysis of large population-based, longitudinal, and administrative datasets; empirical investigations using mixed methods and social network analysis; and policy and program analysis.

The LCO program also supports the implementation and evaluation of an ongoing Transition Pathways Initiative building partnerships with schools, businesses, organizations, and community members to develop innovative solutions that support BIPOC adults on the autism spectrum in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Current Program faculty and leadership include an assistant professor focused on ecosystems of support at different life stages and network interventions for autistic individuals, their families, providers and organizations that support low-income autistic individuals; a Director of Community Impact who focuses on vocational transition programs and consults with businesses to accelerate inclusive hiring practices and connect employers to neurodivergent talent; a Director of Policy Impact who co-leads the Policy Impact Project – a collaborative venture of LCO and the Policy and Analytics Center (PAC), and senior level research scientist staff focused on transition processes and outcomes for autistic youth in the areas of employment and postsecondary education, health care, safety net benefits, public health insurance programs (Medicaid and Medicare), as examples. Active projects leverage collaborations across research programs, including a robust relationship with PAC, and emphasize community-engaged research to inform policy and programs at the national, state and local levels, and actively disseminate research via the National Autism Data Center in conjunction with PAC.

Start-up funds are available, and the Program receives ongoing indirect cost return, allowing opportunity for continuing growth. The Institute’s operating model provides partial salary support for all faculty. Institute tenure-line faculty are not required to teach but do actively mentor/support research trainees. This position also has responsibility for mentoring LCO junior faculty and research staff.

The AJDAI is a multidisciplinary, university-level research institute with its own tenure lines; our research emphasizes public health science applied to autism. In addition to the LCO Program, the AJDAI also has Program Areas focused on Early Detection and Intervention (Program Leader: Dr. Diana Robins) and Modifiable Risk Factors (Program Leader: Dr. Diana Schendel). The Institute also maintains administrative, clinical, and outreach cores that support its research programs, and is further supported by the resources of Drexel University, including close partnership with the Dornsife School of Public Health and other schools and colleges. AJDAI faculty are encouraged to have courtesy faculty appointments with other relevant academic units at Drexel to facilitate opportunities for mentoring, teaching and collaboration with Drexel peers.

Essential Functions

  • Autism Institute faculty devote a minimum of 70% effort to activities related to research within the Institute’s focus on autism and public health. They are expected to maintain an active research portfolio in support of the LCO and AJDAI mission, including funding acquisition, analysis, and publication.
  • The remaining 30% effort is allocated to education, primarily in the form of research mentorship, and service to the Institute, university, and autism field. This includes providing leadership for the LCO research program activities, including LCO project development and implementation, funding acquisition, publication, community engagement and interaction with AJDAI, Drexel and non-Drexel partners, mentorship of junior faculty and staff, and promotion of diversity in LCO and AJDAI in general.

Required Qualifications

  • Research scientists with a doctoral degree in the areas of public health/epidemiology, health care, social work, sociology, special education, psychology, disability policy, and related fields with evidence of leadership skills are welcome to apply.
  • Minimum of 6 years post-doctoral experience.
  • Candidates with research interests regarding transition to adulthood, tertiary determinants of health, quality of life, or other lifespan or life course issues that encompass youth, adolescence, and adulthood, are encouraged to apply.
  • The most successful applicants will have training in advanced statistics, life course research methods, and/or research translation, dissemination, and implementation science and are highly productive with an established track record of extramurally funded research and high-impact publications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • An existing focus on autism research is desirable, but not required.
  • Persons with relevant related expertise looking to move into autism research are also encouraged to apply.

Physical Demands

  • Typically sitting at a desk/table


Remote/University City, Philadelphia, PA - Flexible work arrangements, including remote start-up, are negotiable; details to be discussed during the interview process.

Special Instructions to the Applicant

Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application.

Review of applicants will begin once a suitable candidate pool is identified.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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