Director Search

Seeking Senior Scholar in Behavioral and Social Science or Public Health

Downtown Detroit

Focus on Child & Family Development

The Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development is an independent research institute at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. It's mission is to promote the development, health and well-being of infants, children and families, particularly in Detroit, through discovery, education and community engagement.

The Directorship is a tenured associate or full professor position that reports to the WSU VIce President for Research. Director duties include faculty and community leadership, multi-level collaborations within and beyond campus, oversight of MPSI's Early Childhood Center (a legacy as the country's second-ever nursery school), and support for the historic Freer House that houses MPSI faculty and administration. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

The Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute (MPSI) has a 100-year history of service to vulnerable women, children and families and a strong commitment to social justice and inclusion. It launched one of America's first Infant Mental Health programs to promote parent/child bonding, helped set national standards for Head Start, and created rating scales of children's personalities, attitudes and intelligence.

MPSI is situated in Detroit, home to one of the country's highest per capita number of African American residents. In recent years, the city has experienced a business renaissance, yet 35% percent of residents and one-half of the city's children live below the poverty line. MPSI strongly encourages applications from persons with diverse backgrounds who are passionate about working with under-served families.

Director Qualifications
  • Doctoral degree and faculty appointment in a behavioral or social science field, such as psychology, social work, education, sociology, family medicine, obstetrics, public health, epidemiology, or another related field.
  • Demonstration of applicable prior leadership experience and accomplishments
  • Record of quality research, including external funding, in urban child and/or family issues
  • Commitment to promoting and sustaining diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership, teaching, and mentoring in a collaborative environment
Complete job description and application portal can be found HERE

Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute is strongly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and especially welcomes applications from persons from historically under-represented communities. More information about MPSI HERE.

Search Committee

Herman Gray, MD, MBA
Committee Chair & Chair, Pediatrics
Valerie Simon, PhD Professor
Psychology & MPSI
Roland Sintos Coloma, PhD
Professor, College of Education


Stella Resko, PhD
Associate Professor,
Social Work & MPSI


Chris Trentacosta, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychology


April Carcone, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Wayne State University is a premier, public, urban research university in the heart of Detroit where students from all backgrounds are offered a rich, high quality education. Wayne State is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. WSU encourages applications from women, people of color, and other underrepresented persons.