Position Overview

Purdue University seeks a new Head of the Department of Physics & Astronomy to lead a large and dynamic faculty towards its full potential for forefront scientific research, state-of-the-art teaching, and outstanding service to the community. Unprecedented enrollment increases and substantial growth in the campus combined with the nationally recognized quality of life of the surrounding community provide a strong foundation for a successful candidate to achieve an ambitious strategic vision.

Recent faculty initiatives provide a solid basis for growth, including a founding role in the DOE Quantum Science Center (at Oak Ridge), the preeminent Microsoft Quantum Lab Purdue for topological quantum computing, a key role in the NSF Harnessing the Data Revolution Institute (A3D3) for artificial intelligence, establishing a highly recognized new group in atomic, molecular & optical (AMO) physics, and ambitious projects in astrophysics spanning multi-messenger astronomy and utilizing the upcoming Vera Rubin Observatory and James Webb Space Telescope. Internationally recognized  research in biophysics, condensed matter physics, high energy physics (including dark matter searches), and high energy nuclear physics is growing through the contribution of a young faculty, with one third of the 60-member faculty having joined since 2015 as new faculty continue to be recruited.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy is in the College of Science, which has spear-headed key initiatives in data & computational sciences and quantum science & engineering as well as recently making substantial investments in the geosciences, life sciences, environmental & atmospheric science, and space sciences & engineering.


The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy, or related discipline, an outstanding record of scholarly achievement, and a history of extramurally funded research commensurate with the rank of full professor at Purdue. The candidate must have a clear vision for the future of the Department in the University, the State of Indiana, and the Nation. Requirements include exceptional leadership abilities, a commitment to excellence in education, a record of teaching achievement, an enthusiasm for engagement, and a dedication to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Outstanding candidates are eligible for the rank of Distinguished Professor and may relocate an existing research program to Purdue. The Dual Career Assistance Program at Purdue will assist with finding appointments for a faculty spouse or partner.


Candidates should submit (1) a cover letter including the names of three references, (2) a complete curriculum vitae, (3) a statement of research interests and accomplishments, (4) a statement of teaching interests and accomplishments, and a (5) vision statement for the Department’s future. Purdue University is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement.  Candidates should address at least one of these areas in (6) a separate Diversity and Inclusion Statement, indicating past experiences, current activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

Applications should be submitted to this site. Inquiries can be directed to Steve Durbin, chair of the head search committee (durbin@purdue.edu). Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. A background check is required for employment at Purdue University.

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer.  All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.