FIRE Faculty Leader Positions with The University of Maryland First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE)

The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President is seeking full-time 12-month faculty members to lead newly developed FIRE research streams.  FIRE Faculty Leaders design and implement the group research agenda and are responsible for all research-related curricula, instruction, and broad student mentorship. 
Please apply for our current positions at this location.

The position empowers early-career faculty members to grow as research leaders, educators, mentors, and higher education professionals.

FIRE Faculty Leaders Introduction

FIRE Faculty Leaders work in collaboration with department-based UMD faculty members to design and implement the research agenda of a new FIRE research stream.

FIRE Faculty Leaders as Leaders

FIRE Faculty Leaders are typically post-PhD scholars who seek to:

  • Use their expertise in a discipline to lead a FIRE stream – a group of 40 dedicated undergraduate students through a two-semester research experience.
  • Oversee all research operations including student progress, infrastructure, equipment and facilities, consumables, and manage a dedicated fiscal budget.
  • Serve as the primary instructors of record for related FIRE courses.
  • Work directly with students in a dedicated research environment.
  • Provide direct leadership, insight, and perspective to peer mentors and students.
  • Develop as research leaders, educators, and higher education professionals.

FIRE Faculty Leaders as Educators

As the lead instructor of research-related FIRE courses, the FIRE Faculty Leaders are tasked with providing an excellent educational experience. 

FIRE Faculty Leaders seek to:

  • Develop a research-centered curriculum that allows for iteration: students engage in work that includes periods of uncertainty, setbacks, and unexpected outcomes and have the opportunity to repeat unsuccessful methodological attempts.
  • Develop and use educational best practices for formative assessment of student training and summative assessment of student accomplishments.
  • Use pedagogies shown to create effective learning environments.

FIRE Faculty Leaders as Mentors

As the professional that works with FIRE-participating students, FIRE Faculty Leaders provide personal, academic, research, and professional mentorship.

FIRE Faculty Leaders engage in student development by:

  • Creating experiences that drive the development of personal capacities such as collaboration, communication, time management, leadership, critical thinking, confidence, self-efficacy, resilience, discipline identity, and goal orientation.
  • Supporting academic growth through both practical advice and the research-centered work that allows other first-year courses to have increased purpose and meaning.
  • Providing research mentorship by fostering a work environment that encourages collaborative efforts from all students while minimizing conflict and competition, challenges students to learn to act autonomously.
  • Engaging in practices that both implicitly and explicitly instruct students regarding behaviors that promote student professional success.

Expectations of Position

  • Ability to lead a team of undergraduate peer mentors through clear communication and management.
  • Ability to develop instructional curriculum and protocols for research-based inquiry and discipline understanding.
  • Ability to effectively teach undergraduate students in lecture and research-based environments.
  • Ability to mentor students from research, academic and personal perspectives.
  • Ability to assess student learning through development of formative and summative assessments appropriate for inquiry-based instruction.
  • Ability to manage research operations including student progress, equipment, consumables and oversight of the fiscal budget.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with stream faculty members, undergraduate peer mentors, students and institutional colleagues.
  • Ability to problem-solve, prioritize and manage multiple projects and timelines.
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills including the ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
  • Ability to work autonomously and collaboratively.
  • Flexibility to grow, adapt and change as FIRE develops at UMD.

Multiple FIRE Faculty Leader positions will be supported with start dates possible in both:

  • August 2022


  • January 2023

Initial appointments will run through December 2023 with strong potential for annual renewals beginning in January 2024 per positive performance reviews.  The position reports to the Director of Discovery-Based Learning in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost.

Minimum Qualifications

  • PhD (title: Assistant Clinical Professor) degree or
  • Master’s (title: Lecturer) degree or
  • Bachelor’s (title: Faculty Specialist) degree.
  • Research leadership experience.


  • Experience working on funded research projects.
  • Prior supervisory experience of undergraduate researchers.
  • Record of success in presenting research at conferences and/or publishing research in peer-reviewed journals.
  • At least one-year experience in teaching undergraduate students (either as the instructor of record or as a teaching assistant).
  • At least one year of research team experience with substantial project management experience and organizational skills.

More information about this position:

More information about the FIRE program:

More information about the FIRE research streams:

More information about the FIRE student experience: information about current FIRE Faculty Leaders: