Vice Chair of Research – Keck School of Medicine

The Department of Family Medicine of the Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) at The University of Southern California (USC) seeks a fulltime research faculty member to serve as the next vice chair for research. Providing leadership to the research division of the Department, the vice chair for research will join a top-tier medical school committed to educational innovation, research growth and development and community-focused healthcare at a time of excitement and forward momentum. The Department vision, “we are leaders in health and social justice for all” is reflected in its research, education, clinical care, community, and advocacy work across USC and into the community.

The vice chair for research will play a critical leadership role within the Department of Family Medicine, serving on the leadership team.  Priorities for this role will include developing a research division that focuses on growth and development of research faculty, developing an infrastructure to support and engage learners and faculty in research and scholarship across the department, and collaborating thoughtfully and effectively with KSOM and USC’s research infrastructure to optimize opportunities for impact. The vice chair will build upon a legacy of strength in geriatrics and elder abuse research with opportunities for growth presented by Department’s strategic directions. These include care for unhoused communities through street medicine, the expanded, innovative primary care delivery role in complex care, and training of primary care clinicians prepared to take on the opportunities and challenges of the future. The position also promotes a culture of inclusivity where all faculty, staff, and learners are valued, and all voices are heard and ensures and models a culture of professionalism in accordance with KSOM at USC policies.

Responsibilities: Build team/infrastructure to support research within department and connect to resources across USC.

1. In collaboration with department leadership, clarify and evolve priorities and goals for research and scholarship given department context, size, particular commitments, and challenges.
2. Maximize research funding and productivity that aligns with department goals, along with broad awareness of research opportunities and funding, including for pilots and small grants for new researchers.
3. Assist the Chair in fostering an environment that values and supports research programs.
4. Assist the Chair in developing/recruiting/retaining high potential research faculty.
5. Ensure optimal operating effectiveness and strategic positioning of research programs.
6.  Review and approve budgets and IRB submissions for research proposals from Departmental PIs.
7. Meet regularly with chair, department administrator and research administrator to provide updates on research portfolios within the Department and opportunities to collaborate across Keck School of Medicine, discuss research strategic priorities, address barriers and make recommendations to keep the research operation sustainable and thriving.
8. Cultivate a culture of inquiry for faculty and learners to ask and answer practice-based questions and publish; work with leaders in care, education, and faculty affairs to promote a feasible and gratifying exercise of scholarship and publication among learners and all faculty, whether primarily identified with research, care, or education.
9. Be a model—an active researcher on own projects—living the life, walking the talk, producing the results, interacting with other researchers inside and outside the institution.
10. Participate as a member of the Department leadership team, led by the Department chair to provide input into department decisions, contribute research expertise as well as representing research faculty and staff perspective.
11. Serve as a liaison to the major research entities in the Medical School such as CTSI and research committees. Serve as the Department’s representative, promoting collaborative research and scholarship within the larger institution.
12. Provide high-level direction and mentoring for researchers as a group or as individuals, including establishing pathways for novice researchers to become research-focused faculty. Find or develop other mentors inside or outside the department.
13. Promote the recognition of faculty within their areas, e.g., nominating people for awards, making their work visible.
14. Oversee department dashboard research metrics; metrics for desired goal-related outcomes as well as an expanded set of metrics needed to monitor and improve the research operation, working with leaders in care and education for scholarship metrics in those areas.

Key Relationships:

  1. Leadership of the Department including the Chair, Vice Chairs of Education, Clinical Affairs and DEI. Many challenges, initiatives and implementations have facets in care, education, and other areas. Working together collaboratively benefits the entire mission of the Department.
  2. Research team direct reports include researcher administrator, research faculty and staff.
  3. Department administrator and the business manager who collaborate to secure the success of research in the Department.
  4. The Directors of key programmatic areas in the Department including Keck Family Medicine, Student Health, Street Medicine, Primary Care Initiative and the Physician Assistant Program.
  5. Institutional leaders in the Medical School, Academic Health Center, CTSI, Cancer Center and others as needed to gain alignment, support, or contribute to the development of research and scholarship within the larger institution.
  6. Research leaders and research communities in the local area, state, region, and nation, including: Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM), AAFP National Research Network, as well as national research organizations such as the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) in which the Department can be active contributors and partners. These relationships provide context for the value of research across local, state and national groups and their learners.
  7. The vice chair participates or maintains relationships with central decision‐making or implementation groups and committees important to the Department in which opportunities for research and scholarship may emerge, including:
    • Research faculty meetings, including those to which all faculty are invited to hear about research from within and outside the Department.
    • When relevant for contextual understanding of scholarship in the clinic environment, clinical committees or other groups who create clinical goals and processes that create opportunities for research, evaluation, and other scholarship among faculty and learners.
    • Issue or project‐focused internal initiatives that promote research and scholarship across the Department.

Desired Qualifications, Competencies, and Skills:

  1. PhD, MD, or MD/PhD with research training in a relevant scientific area such as medicine, public health, social sciences or other related area.
  2. Must be eligible to be appointed at Associate or full Professor level.
  3. Demonstrated ability to complete, submit and achieve research funding from numerous sources.
  4. Meaningful publication record and other evidence of impact.
  5. Sound understanding and experience in primary care and primary care research including methodologies that are applicable to primary care and community health.
  6. Evidence of strong quantitative and/or qualitative methodological skills and research productivity.
  7. Demonstrated experience with mentoring and development.
  8. Excellent communication skills.
  9. Strong teamwork and collaboration skills.
  10. Educational skills related to teaching research to learners from different educational and clinical backgrounds.
  11. Ability to work with and lead interdisciplinary teams.
  12. Outstanding skills in organizing and executing tasks in a collaborative manner.
  13. Experience working in complex adaptive systems and building effective relationships with peers within the department and across the medical school.
  14. Ability to convene researchers and other stakeholders in productive conversation about direction, cooperation, and implementing complex plans that require many people in many ways.
  15. Attention to and action on Departmental priorities regarding diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.
  16. A practical ability to implement via research the vision of our Department that “we are leaders in health and social justice for all”.

Salary and Application Information:  The annual base salary range for this position is $165,000 –$230,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Applicants are encouraged to apply by February 29, 2024.   For additional information about this position, please contact Lauren Martinez, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor, recruitment committee chair:

To apply online: or use the follow link and search for REQ20145209:

Please forward CV and cover letter to

USC values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment. Women and men, and members of all racial and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply.