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The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) seeks applications for the position of U.S. Physics Team Academic Director. AAPT also welcomes applications from those willing to serve on a team of two co-Directors. We are seeking applicants who will lead the preparation of 20 to 24 gifted U.S. high school students for the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). The director or co-directors will have the opportunity to lead a program with a remarkable history, as well as adapt the program in response to national imperatives for fostering physics talent, particularly within historically underrepresented populations. The director or co-directors will provide general oversight of the U.S. competition including recruiting and training team coaches, preparing and grading exams, training of the U.S. Physics Team during training camp, and traveling with the Team to the IPhO.

Qualifications for the Physics Team Academic Director or co-Director:

  • A background in physics with classroom and laboratory experience, demonstrated involvement with students in special projects or activities, and an appreciation of the physics culture of problem-solving and experimental investigation;
  • A record of managing complex tasks and improving processes through innovation;
  • Ability to carry out Team-related responsibilities throughout the year;
  • Be available to oversee the ten-day-long training camp held at the University of Maryland (or another institution of higher education), usually during late May and early June, and lead the Team to the IPhO in July;
  • Ability to work as part of a team to provide oversight of the assistant coaches and to partner with the AAPT Programs & Conferences staff in support of the program, and
  • Capacity to develop relationships with teachers, parents, and corporate sponsors.

From 1986 to 2019, the United States Teams have brought home: 68 Gold Medals, 51 Silver Medals, 29 Bronze Medals, and 11 Honorable Mentions. (The IPhO was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.) See https://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/PT-landing.cfm for details about the program. The work requires about one month’s time prior to the training camp spread across 10 months, about 10 days associated with the training camp, and about 10 days for the final training and travel to the IPhO, The time commitment is significant but the sense of accomplishment is gigantic! Applicants must be prepared to make at least a three-year commitment to the program. AAPT pays an honorarium and expenses associated with the training camp and the IPhO.

To apply, please provide the following:

  • A statement of interest addressing how you meet the qualifications
  • A current c.v.
  • Names and contact information for two references (preferably AAPT members).

Send materials to eo@aapt.org with “Application for U.S. Physics Team Academic Director” in the subject line. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2021; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Letters of recommendation from two references in support of your application will only be solicited from short listed candidates. For more information, contact Beth Cunningham, AAPT Executive Officer, via email at eo@aapt.org.