Director, Youth-Nex Center

  • University of Virginia
  • Charlottesville, VA, USA
  • Oct 31, 2023
Full time Education: (i.e. Schools/Colleges of Education) Human Development/Family/Consumer Science Psychology Social & Behavioral Sciences Deans & Directors

Job Description


Director, Youth-Nex Center


The School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia (UVA EHD) seeks a senior scholar to serve as the Director of Youth-Nex, the UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development. We are seeking a scholar with expertise in youth and digital technology with a focus on mental health who has demonstrated capacity for leadership. The position is for a tenured scholar at the rank of Professor of Education who is focused on understanding, developing, implementing, or testing digital technological interventions to prevent or reduce adolescent mental and behavioral health problems, promote adolescent wellbeing, and/or increase equitable access to care. The scholar’s area of expertise could also include leveraging digital technological advances to train or support intervention providers (e.g., clinicians, counselors, teachers).

EHD is a global leader in developing innovative, rigorous, research-based programs that drive improvements in policy, programs, and outcomes for children, educators, and systems. Founded in 2009, Youth-Nex is a trans-disciplinary center with a translational approach to scholarship and innovation that is central to its work. The aim of the Center is to expand and apply the science of Positive Youth Development to enhance the strengths of youth and to prevent developmental risk. Youth-Nex is dedicated to both conducting and translating high quality science to help ensure supportive, equitable developmental opportunities for every youth. The successful candidate will have access to Youth-Nex's existing infrastructure, staffing, and resources and assume the role of Center Director. 

The University of Virginia's 2030 plan recognizes Digital Technology and Society as a major societal challenge and an opportunity for multidisciplinary work that draws on our existing strengths. In partnership, the Provost and the deans of various schools are making multiple coordinated faculty recruitments to strengthen the research community focusing on Digital Technology and Youth Development across the University. Recruits will receive support from the Provost and from their school and will participate in the Digital Technology and Youth Development Initiative, which is part of a major Grand Challenges research investment of over $50M in Digital Technology and Society.

The successful candidate will have a PhD and an established line of scholarship in education, human/adolescent development, psychology, or a related field with expertise in digital technology in relation to youth mental health. They may have a line of research and teaching interests that are aligned with any one of EHD’s departments (Educational Leadership, Foundations & Policy; Human Services; Kinesiology; Curriculum, Instruction & Special Education) and program areas (e.g., applied developmental science, clinical and school psychology, youth and social innovation). They will expand Youth-Nex, EHD, and UVA’s sponsored research portfolio and teaching/training in an area of international importance while having the opportunity to build out Youth-Nex’s portfolio of expertise and connections with the University’s Youth and Digital Technology Grand Challenge.



Preferred and Required Qualifications


Required Qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree in psychology, human development, cognitive science, developmental science, education, public health, or a closely related discipline.
  • Record of active participation and leadership in interdisciplinary research and teaching environments.
  • Strong record of leadership, publications, influential scholarship, and sponsored research related to youth development, adolescent mental and behavioral health, and digital technology as it relates to adolescent well-being.
  • Explicit evidence of skills and experience related to advancing understanding and outcomes for underrepresented groups.
  • Experience conducting research in partnership with schools or other youth-serving settings.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and passion for community-engaged and translational research.
  • Experience translating research for practitioners.
  • Experience advising and mentoring doctoral students and overseeing doctoral student research.
  • Strong relational and communication skills.
  • Experience leading an externally-sponsored research program and collaborating with other scholars on multi-investigator applications.
  • Experience supervising staff to support research and community engagement.
  • Experience leading interdisciplinary teams.

Application Details (to apply use the Apply Now button below.)

Application Instructions

Review of applications will begin on November 23, 2023 and will continue until the candidate is selected.

To apply for this position please follow Please submit the following documents: (1) Cover letter (please speak to your interests and qualifications for the position, as well as your potential contributions to the University’s mission); (2) curriculum vitae; (3) summary of research interests; (4) teaching and mentoring statement; and (5) contact information for three references (name, email address, telephone number, and address). Note: The form will ask for one contact reference -- please list all three references on one form. References will not be contacted until after in-person interviews are conducted.

The University’s Mission Statement affirms its “enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning environment marked by the free and collegial exchange of ideas; unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect; and universal dedication to excellence and affordable access.” If you elect to address potential contributions to any aspect of this mission in a cover letter, please focus upon your work skills and experience. In doing so, you may choose to refer to your personal perspective, but the focus of our consideration is on your potential contributions through skills and experience, rather than personal opinions or beliefs.

For questions about this position, please contact the Search Chair Jason Downer, Professor of Education For questions about the application process, please contact Rajiva Seneviratne at

Charlottesville and central Virginia offer a distinctive community for both personal and professional activities. Charlottesville is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is consistently listed among the top cities in national rankings of the most desirable places to live. It offers a thriving community, highlighted by regular literary, film, musical, theatrical, and historical festivals. For more information about UVA and the surrounding area, please visit and UVA assists faculty spouses and partners seeking employment in the Charlottesville area. To learn more please visit

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physicians Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, and family medical or genetic information.

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