Assistant Director of Biomedical Graduate Programs @ Vanderbilt University

December 7, 2021

Link for full job description and application portal:


Job Description

The Assistant Director of Biomedical Graduate Programs will work collaboratively with other staff in the BRET office and the program directors to ensure that strong students are recruited and then supported at Vanderbilt.  The position will involve outreach to prospective students, facilitation of the interview and selection process, assistance with curriculum implementation and analysis of efficacy of recruitment process.  Additionally, the Assistant Director will co-direct the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy, which has overarching administrative responsibility for multiple undergraduate summer research programs and also provides intellectual and social enrichment activities for the participants.

The Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) supports and coordinates graduate education, postdoctoral training, minority affairs, career development and education initiatives for the Vanderbilt biomedical community.  The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and the Quantitative and Chemical Biology Program within BRET are the two main umbrella graduate programs that recruit biomedical Ph.D. students to Vanderbilt.  These programs are responsible for organizing the first year of the graduate students’ education and training, which is achieved via a collaborative effort between the BRET office staff and Vanderbilt faculty 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Report to and work in close collaboration with the directors of the Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) and the Quantitative and Chemical Biology Program (QCB). 
    • Work closely with all members of the BRET staff. Coordinate bi-weekly standing meetings of the BRET director, program directors, program manager, and others as necessary.
    • Manage and coordinate admissions into the Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and Quantitative and Chemical Biology Program. Act as a contributing member of both admissions committees.
    • Manage IGP and QCB recruiting weekends and organize overall applicant schedule and interview schedules in collaboration with program manager. 
    • Communicate with other graduate programs in the case of students who may be cross-applying or have suitability for other programs.
    • Maintain outcomes analysis of recruiting and conduct surveys of applicants and participants as necessary to evaluate recruitment strategies to our programs. 
    • Participate in graduate student recruiting events, including on campus and off campus events, diversity-focused events, online-virtual events, and personal communication with candidates. This may require travel. 
    • Direct marketing and outreach for the IGP and QCB to optimize quality of incoming class.
    •  Sit on the curriculum committee of the QCB. Facilitate communications with instructors.
    • Assist with managing QCB courses in Brightspace.
    • Flexibility with other duties that accompany the evolving nature of these programs.
    • Co-Direct the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy (VSSA), undergraduate research program
    • Aid in the application, selection, appointment, and laboratory placement of students participating in the VSSA. 
    • Develop and manage the programming of VSSA activities, including orientation, a research seminar series, professional development series, social activities, and large (150 participant) student research symposium.
    • Manage VSSA budget and event planning. 
    • Mentor and advise VSSA students for their individual career goals. 


  • A PhD in a STEM field is necessary.
  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is necessary.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written) are necessary.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with different stakeholders is necessary.
  • The willingness and ability to represent Vanderbilt through participation in national student research symposia in a professional and positive manner is necessary.
  • Availability and willingness to work non-standard hours, especially during recruitment activities, is necessary.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information is necessary.
  • Evidence of strong organizational skills is preferred.