JOB – Rock Ethics Institute Postdoctoral Scholars

The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State has a threefold mission to promote ethics education, research, and outreach.  In particular, we aim a) to integrate ethics education across the Penn State curriculum and to provide informal ethics education to our community in order to underscore and strengthen a culture of integrity and responsibility at Penn State, and b) to serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research in the field of ethics that is both collaborative and policy-relevant.   We pursue our educational aim by working with faculty across the university to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to integrate ethics into their undergraduate classes. We are also launching a program to train STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to become leaders and educators in the field of research ethics. Our research efforts have led to a series of exciting collaborations related to food ethics, neuroethics, and climate ethics, including a recent NSF sponsored research network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management Strategies which will investigate the question: “What are sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible climate risk management strategies?” At least four ten-month postdoctoral scholarships will be awarded with appointments beginning August 2013. Appointments are for full time employment (40 hours per week) and may be continued for a maximum of 3 years contingent upon satisfactory performance and the needs of the Institute. The salary range is $45,000-$60,000 per year, depending on experience. We are interested in hiring Postdoctoral Scholars with expertise in the following areas:

  • Science and ethics, with particular interest in coupled epistemic-ethical issues in climate change science and in the life sciences
  • Engineering ethics
  • Bioethics, with particular interest in food ethics
  • Business ethics
  • Ethics education and moral literacy, with particular interest in ethics education assessment
  • Ethical leadership
  • Ethics in K-12 curriculum
  • Research ethics
  • Institutional ethics
  • Agricultural ethics

Scholars will receive training and mentorship. They will be expected to assist in designing, offering, and assessing ethics training for faculty and graduate students, to participate in collaborative research in ethics, and to help to strengthen the interdisciplinary ethics community across the campus. Scholars can expect to work on co-authored publications and engage in research that will contribute to their own research trajectory. Scholars may also receive experience working on grants and other fundraising activities. They will also work closely with senior faculty related to their area of expertise and participate in multi-disciplinary seminars and conferences. There may be opportunities to teach one class per year. Applicants are expected to have completed the requirements for the Ph.D. or professional degree by the appointment date.

How to Apply

Candidates should submit an online application at and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent confidentially to Deborah Trialonas at

A complete application will include the following materials:

  • A cover letter detailing the candidate’s qualifications, including how their background qualifies them for one or more of the above listed areas of interest and how their experience is relevant to the position as described;
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • A scholarly paper or dissertation chapter (not to exceed 12,000 words) representing the applicant’s scholarly achievement or potential;
  • Three letters of recommendation.

To ensure full consideration, complete applications should be received by January 4, 2013. The selection committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and incomplete applications may be at a disadvantage.  We will be interviewing candidates February 20-23, 2013 at the Central APA in New Orleans.  Skype interviews will be arranged for those unable to attend the Central APA meetings.