Job no: 499356

Work type: Faculty

Location: Main Campus (Orlando)

Categories: Graduate Studies, Research/Grants

Classification Title:           Professor and Director, School of Modeling, Simulation and Training

Administrative Title:        Director (T1)

Job Description: The University of Central Florida (UCF) is accepting applications for professor and director of the School of Modeling, Simulation, and Training (SMST). This is a 12-month, State funded appointment within SMST at the rank of professor with tenure. The director has the opportunity to shape the future of the school, and to play a central role in the associated university, regional, state, national, and international impacts.


The director, who reports to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, oversees all activities and personnel within the SMST, providing strategic, technical, financial, and administrative leadership. Direct reports include the deputy director of the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), the program director of the Modeling and Simulation (M&S) graduate programs, and the fiscal & contract manager. Administrative duties include supervision of faculty (tenure track and research) and staff in the school; leadership in the evolution of strategic plans and actions; preparation of reports; personnel matters; and budgetary oversight. Strategic duties include leadership in identifying and curating relationships and long-term partnerships within SMST,  throughout UCF, in the broader modeling, simulation and training (MST) community, and with our private and public partners. The director typically serves on the boards of Team Orlando, the National Center for Simulation, and other MST organizations.


We welcome candidates whose discipline and associated professional experience emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of MST, including, for example, research involving cognitive science, digital media, mathematics, human factors, computer science/computer engineering, information visualization, and systems engineering. The selected candidate should have a demonstrated track record of successful research administration and the ability to effectively lead a diverse interdisciplinary faculty with a broad collective research portfolio; the ability to identify and manage risks, anticipate and interpret changes at all levels of partnership, and lead in any responses or adaptations; possess strong communication skills and the corresponding ability to motivate individuals at all levels of the organization, with university leadership, and the leadership of our partner organizations; have a demonstrated record as a thought leader who works with the team members and partners to turn ideas into successful actions; have skills or demonstrated success at leadership in identifying, curating, and sustaining both public and private funding relationships; and embody a sense of service to others.


The School of Modeling, Simulation, and Training is relatively new and growing, having been established in 2018 in response to the continued growth and success of both IST and the M&S graduate program. IST has been successfully partnering across academia, government, and private industry for over 40 years. It is one of the nation’s leading research centers for modeling, simulation, training, and virtual/mixed reality research for both defense and commercial applications. SMST has 179 employees, which includes 50 dynamic interdisciplinary faculty members (tenure track and research), and has an annual budget of around $16.5M, which includes $13.5M in external research funding as of FY 2019-2020. SMST faculty members are internationally recognized for their cutting-edge research. The school emphasizes interdisciplinary research and robust partnerships across a diverse range of stakeholders. SMST faculty have appointments in a wide range of academic units including business, chemistry, computer science, history, industrial engineering, interactive media, medicine, nursing, philosophy, physics, and psychology. SMST also sustains impactful STEM and other outreach activities with the university, local schools, museums, and other organizations, with the goal of inspiring future generations of MST researchers and developers. Since the inception of the M&S graduate program, over 391 M.S. and 115 Ph.D. degrees have been awarded. Facilities include 80,000+ square feet of laboratories, workspace and administrative offices over four locations in the Central Florida Research Park.


UCF was founded in 1963 to provide talent for Central Florida and the growing U.S. space program. Since then its impact on the state, the nation, and the world has been steadily increasing. UCF comprises over 69,000 students and over 13,500 faculty and staff members, and has an annual budget of around $1.8 billion. UCF is an academic, partnership, and research leader in fields such as modeling and simulation, engineering and computer science, video game design, cybersecurity, optics and lasers, healthcare, education, business, public administration, and hospitality management. UCF offers 99 bachelor’s, 89 master’s and 31 research doctoral programs, and awards approximately 17,000 degrees per year.


Central Florida is the recognized world capital for modeling, simulation, and training, with between $4B and $5B in related procurement contracts issued annually. A significant amount of sponsored research supports new training technologies and techniques associated with these efforts. Along with the well-known theme parks, Central Florida is home to museums, theaters, performing arts centers, botanical gardens, spring-fed lakes and rivers, fishing, boating, golf and other recreational sports, professional sports venues, and other cultural attractions. The “space coast,” including the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Atlantic Coast beaches, is typically within a one hour drive. The Gulf Coast and associated beaches are typically within a two-three hour drive. Central Florida is served by three airports; the Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the busiest in the state, and the 10th busiest in the country, with over 850 daily flights on 44 airlines, to 135 domestic and international destinations.

Department:      College of Graduate Studies, School of Modeling, Simulation and Training

Advertised Annual Salary:             Negotiable

Minimum Qualifications:              

A doctoral degree from an accredited institution in a discipline related to MST.

A record of teaching, research, and service commensurate with a tenured professor position.

Experience in direct leadership, contribution, involvement, and direction of high impact research program(s), including experience in strategic planning.

Experience in coordination with government, academic and industrial organizations.

Strong experience in working with federal agencies, particularly in research and development.

Experience successfully managing diverse programs and associated personnel, including both faculty and staff.

Preferred Qualifications:              

Evidence of personally receiving peer-reviewed research support from a diverse set of sponsors, with associated experience in program budget and personnel management.

National recognition in MST or related disciplines via a variety of high impact venues, including, but not limited to, journal and conference publications, invited speaker activities, and national or international service.

Experience in identification of emerging trends and advances that offer the potential for changing the MST paradigm.

Additional Application Materials Required:           UCF requires all applications and supporting documents to be submitted electronically through the Human Resources website, In addition to completing the online application, candidates should upload:

* a cover letter,

* a curriculum vitae/resume,

* a Leadership Statement;

* a Diversity Statement; and

* three professional references—names, titles, email addresses, and telephone numbers for three (3) individuals who may be asked to provide letters of recommendation.

The Leadership Statement should distinctly describe both the applicant’s leadership philosophies and leadership experience. The discussion of leadership philosophies should include concrete examples of applications of the philosophies. The discussion of leadership experience should address research oriented teams/organizations, describing how the experience matches the SMST director duties and qualifications, while providing evidence of communication skills, leadership, and organizational wellbeing.


The Diversity Statement should describe experience and ideas for promoting and building a diverse and equitable community, with the inclusion of under-represented populations in hiring and in partnerships.

When considering professional references, individuals should be selected who will be able to specifically address the candidate’s administrative and leadership qualifications, including aspects of personal character, people skills in general and communication skills in particular, service to others, and collegiality.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Additional questions may be addressed to Dr. Elizabeth Klonoff (, Vice President for Research and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, or Dr. Gregory Welch (, Chair, Search Committee.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:         As an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, UCF encourages all qualified applicants to apply, including women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of traditionally underrepresented populations. UCF’s Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed at: As a Florida public university, UCF makes all application materials and selection procedures available to the public upon request.

The University of Central Florida is proud to be a smoke-free campus and an E-Verify employer.


Applications close: Open until filled