Postdoctoral positions in STEM education

by Stephanie Chasteen on April 26, 2016

There have been several postings for postdoctoral positions in educational change lately.  Please add to this post in the comments if you have others to share, and this can be a good repository.

(Added 7/10)

Physics Education Research in Sweden

The Swedish National resource centre for physics education ( at Lund university has an opening for a post-doc in Physics Education, with an interest in outreach and/or teacher CPD.


(Added 7/10)

Physics Education Research at Texas State

We have a post-doc opening in PER at Texas State. The research area is STEM teacher preparation and identity development. The official job listing can be found here:

(Added 7/1)

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Engineering

The College of Engineering at the University of Maine is seeking applicants for a one-year postdoctoral Research Associate Position to work on a recently funded project to analyze the current state of engineering and technology education at Maine’s K-12 schools. This position will collaborate with representatives from academia, industry and schools, and develop a definition of engineering intervention, and then survey (both in writing and using on-site interviews) the degree to which any form of these interventions is currently implemented in Maine.

Knowledge, Skills & Qualifications:

• ?  Ph.D. in engineering or engineering education, or alternatively Ph.D. in education or related

field with a M.Sc. or B.Sc. degree in engineering, engineering technology, or demonstrated knowledge of the engineering profession

• ?  Demonstrated excellent organizational, written and oral communication skills are required.

• ?  Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment.

Work Year: Full-time, one fiscal year appointment. Anticipated start date September 2016. Salary: $47,500.

Interested applicants are requested to review the complete posting at and to compile the following documents in a single PDF file and send the application package to Project Director (Dr. Alex Friess) via email at Materials to be submitted are: 1) a cover letter, 2) a resume/curriculum vitae which fully describes your qualifications and experiences and provides contact information for three professional references, 3) academic transcripts, and 4) statement of professional philosophy. Any questions regarding the position should be forwarded to Dr. Alex Friess. Incomplete application materials cannot be considered. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until a suitable pool of candidates is found.

(Added 6/22)

Postdoctoral Researcher in physics education

RIT School of Physics and Astronomy announces an opening for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Physics Education Research. The position is supported through a 4-year NSF-funded study “Exploring factors that shape education & workplace training on essential 21st century competencies: A translational study in four high-STEM job regions” (DGE-1561493). The postdoc will work with Ben Zwickl (Physics), Kelly Martin (Communication) and a collaborating team at University of Wisconsin Madison led by Matt Hora. We are studying how communication, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-regulated learning competencies are developed in STEM classrooms and used in workplaces. The study spans four STEM fields (Photonics, IT, Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing) in four geographic regions (Raleigh, Houston, Seattle, and Denver). This research will connect teaching with students’ potential careers and inform policies that promote STEM education and workforce development. Data collection will involve surveys, interviews, and classroom observations and integrate both qualitative and quantitative education research methodologies. If you have any interest in the position please check out the full posting and contact Ben Zwickl<> with any questions.

For the full posting description, and to apply, go to, then search openings, then Keyword Search 2499BR.

(Added 6/14)

Postdoctoral Researcher in physics education

Job Title: STEM Teaching and Learning Expert
Start Date: August 8, 2016
Supervisor: Andrea Greenhoot, Director and Professor, Center for Teaching Excellence, Kansas University Working location: Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Overview: The STEM Teaching and Learning Expert in Physics will be hired as part of a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows program coordinated at the University of Kansas but will work onsite with faculty members in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The STEM Teaching and Learning Experts (STLEs) are key contributors to a Course Transformation Initiative that is being implemented at a network of seven American and Canadian research universities, led by the University of Kansas (the TRESTLE network), and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The STLE will implement interventions in the department to improve teaching and student learning in large introductory courses and upper year courses in physics, and will evaluate the efficacy of those mechanisms in enhancing both faculty teaching practices and student understanding. The STLE will join a community of STLEs and faculty leaders in the TRESTLE network to develop expertise in evidence-based STEM pedagogy and assessment, and will collaborate with faculty in Physics at Queens University in the development and delivery of effective instructional approaches and associated materials, and measuring the effects of these teaching interventions on student learning. The emphasis will be on laboratory environments, and teaching innovations may involve using online resources to cover course material prior to laboratory sessions and encouraging development of investigative skills in laboratories. The STLE and faculty members who normally teach the course share teaching and course redesign responsibilities. The STLE program is intended for individuals planning for a career in a teaching-focused position or at a primarily undergraduate post-secondary institution, or for those who wish to develop expertise in discipline-based educational research and/or the scholarship of teaching and learning. The position is for 3 three years total, contingent on satisfactory job performance and will be handled as three 1-year contracts.


  • Develop educational materials to improve student learning and tools to demonstrate student achievement of learning outcomes in laboratory courses (35%)
  • Enhance online course resources outside of class time and develop active learning activities to maximize concept mastery during face-to-face class and laboratory time as appropriate (20%)
  • Partner with regular faculty members to teach and implement mechanisms for improving student learning and engagement in laboratory courses (15%)
  • Engage in opportunities presented by the on-campus Course Transformation Initiative and TRESTLE cross-institutional network to enhance knowledge of best-practices and collaborate with similar initiatives in other departments on campus and at other universities (10%)
  • Contribute to the regular progress reports written for the course transformation initiative and TRESTLE network leaders (and shared with the departments) (10%)
  • Work collaboratively with others to measure the effects of these teaching interventions on student learning and faculty attitudes and teaching practices (5%)
  • Perform other related duties as required of this position (5%)

Evaluation of the following requirements will be made through (1) descriptions of work experience and educational experiences in letter of application, (2) record of accomplishments and productivity addressed in cv, and (3) information provided from professional references.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Ph.D. in Physics by the date of the appointment with strong background in experimental physics.
  2. Demonstrated experience in course design and development.
  3. Interest in pedagogical design and improvement in course teaching.
  4. Teaching experience at a university/college setting
  5. Willingness to work at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and be located there, as indicated in the letter of application.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Experience with development of innovations that enhance student learning.
  2. Experience with implementing mechanisms for improving student learning and engagement in largeintroductory courses.
  3. Experience with pedagogical design and improvement in course teaching.

For more information about the position, or to apply, please contact Stephanie Becker at Applicants should send a cover letter and CV that address the requirements for the position. Review of applications will begin on June 27, 2016 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.

(Added 6/13)

Rocky Mountain National Park Education Technician

Ever want to work in a National Park? Do you have solid geek skills and a formal education background to be able to walk in off the street and be able to:

  • – web author in a content management system
  • – develop, set up, and run distance learning content for presentation on such platforms as a portable rear-projection screen, Webex, Google Hangouts, Skpe, etc. 
  • – set up and administer a Learning Management System such as Blackboard
  • – use design and editing software such as Adobe InDesign and Elements
  • – use and guide others in the use of a Promethean board

– correlate and/or design curriculum to Colorado state academic standards, Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards

If so, Rocky Mountain National Park will be advertising a term Education Technician position starting on Tues. June 14 on

The position is project based and will last at least 13-months, extendable up to 4-years with full benefits. The salary starts at about $43k per year.

This position is part of a very motivated and widely recognized non-formal education team, considered one of the best in the National Park Service. 

(Added 5/26)

Associate Director for Science and Learning position with Harvard CTL

Job posting: Associate Director for Science and Learning position with Harvard University’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

Seems to involve teaching fellow-like work and they are looking for someone with a Ph.D. in a STEM field:

(Added 5/17)

Adjunct teaching position in physics

University of Wisconsin-Stout, in Menomonie, WI.  Contact:  Laura McCullough.

We have a full-time one-year position with a good likelihood of being needed for another year or more. We really need someone who knows how to teach well. If you have anyone looking for a one-year gig, please send this email along.

Salary is in the $40-$45K range, cost of living is really cheap in Menomonie. Very PER-friendly department, and the folks who have taught the classes before are happy to share syllabi, tests, worksheets, etc. The course load is 16 contact hours including lecture for semester one physics and lecture for semester two physics, no more than 46 in each class (currently enrollment ~25 each). A good way for a recent PhD to get some teaching experience!

(Added 5/12)

The Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Postdoc

The Institute seeks a post-doctoral scholar position to contribute and help lead our portfolio of research and development projects. The Institute develops partnerships between University groups and external educational organizationsfocused on both formal and informal learning environmentsto improve and study K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education with an equity focus. We pursue this work from a science of learning perspective in STEM education projects by leveraging and building upon research literatures on learning and STEM education while we develop educational models and principles of learning. For more information on the Institute, please see the web site ( This is a twelve-month full-time position at the non-tenure rank of Research Associate.

The ideal candidate for this position would join the Institute team and bring a scholarly background in the learning sciences, science education, STEM education from a disciplinary field, or related field. She/he would be able to help conceptualize, direct, and conduct R&D projects that relate to the Institute’s mission. The projects that might be associated with this position focus on the equity-focused implementation of the new vision for K-12 science education across public school districts; the development of technology-intensive science curriculum taking an interdisciplinary, equity-focused project-based learning approach; and the development of out-of-school robotics and electronic textile programs for families. Generally, the ideal candidate would have experience conducting design-based research with a focus on project-based and culturally relevant science instruction and engaging in empirical studies of learning across settings. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will also work on other research and development efforts funded in the Institute over time.

Essential function: This post doctoral scholar would participate in research activities assisting and collaborating with Professor Philip Bell, the executive director of the Institute, and in collaboration with other Institute staff and collaborators at other institutions. He/she would split their responsibilities between a project and external STEM efforts. The scholar would work on two fronts: (1) collaboration and coordination across the STEM-related research groups and their projects, and (2) building capacity for equity-based implementation of science education among diverse external stakeholders. The postdoctoral scholar would be responsible for coordinating and carrying out curriculum development efforts and professional development events for the learning communities as well as collecting, organizing and interpreting learning data and literature, and carrying out related research and administrative tasks as needed. The scholar would take on associated administrative responsibilities in the Institute.

Minimum qualifications: A Ph.D. in a relevant field is required. The ideal candidate will be flexible, dependable, and meticulous, with excellent oral and written communication skills. Organizational skills are essential. The candidate must be able to work independently as well as be a collaborative, cooperative, and congenial member of a close knit scholarly team. In addition, the candidate must collaborate with staff from external design and education organizations. Excellent interpersonal skills and in particular the demonstrable ability to build rapport with K-12 students and teachers is needed. Enthusiasm for a purposive, collegial, and multifaceted organizational culture is essential. The ideal candidate would have a strong interest in how people learn (broadly understood), in design research focused on technologies and communities, and in qualitative methods for studying people and communities. The candidate should possess advanced fluencies with digital and social media, especially as it relates to the design of learning experiences and communities. They should be deeply familiar with technologies used to conduct research on learning.

Desirable qualifications: Educational research experience and participation in a field of science would be an advantage.

How to apply: Please submit: (a) a brief letter of interest, (b) a CV, (c) a single writing sample most appropriate to the described position, and (d) names and contact information for 3 references. Please submit your application packet by email to, with the subject line ISME Research Associate.

Send queries about this position to Dr. Philip Bell at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but must be received by July 31, 2016 for full consideration. University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research and service.

(Added 5/9)

Postdocs in physics education research at Stanford

The Wieman group at Stanford has an opening for one or two postdoctoral scholars to start in the summer 2016 to spring 2017 time-frame. This would be a one-year appointment with renewal for up to two additional years. The Wieman group interacts closely with Dan Schwartz’s cognitive psychology group, and works to apply and test findings from cognitive psychology in the teaching of science.  Current research of the group involves studying: the assessment and learning of problem solving strategies and practices, mechanistic reasoning, how students of different backgrounds learn from interactive simulations, quantitative critical thinking in instructional physics labs, and classroom interventions in teaching physics based on specific learning mechanics, such as invention activities and contrasting cases. The work is carried out at a variety of scales, ranging from cognitive interviews and small-scale “lab” studies to working with instructors at Stanford or Foothill Community College to carry out much larger studies on individual class sessions or entire courses.  The successful candidate would be expected to participate in some subset of these research areas but would also be free to pursue other areas of particular interest to them.  While a Ph. D. in physics education research is preferred, candidates whose Ph. D. research was in more traditional areas of physics but have a strong interest and commitment to go into PER will be considered.  Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing diversity. We welcome applications from women and members of minority groups, as well as others who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research and teaching missions.
To apply, email C. V. and cover letter, along with the names of three references, to Rachel Knowles, assistant to Carl Wieman, at<>.  Applications will be reviewed and considered until the position(s) is filled.

(Added 5/9)

LSST Head of Education and Public Outreach – Tucson, AZ

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project Office seeks an individual with demonstrated leadership in science education and engagement at the national level for the position of LSST Head of Education and Public Outreach (EPO). The successful candidate will provide vision and leadership for the construction phase of LSST’s unique EPO program, highlighting the facility’s unique contributions (including time domain science and galactic structure) to students, citizen scientists, planetarium content creators, and the general public. Activities include: engaging the community and building sustainable partnerships, collaborating with various team members to continuously evaluate and refine EPO’s education objectives and deliverables, working closely with the EPO Project Manager to ensure delivery of a state-of-the-art online portal with a suite of learning experiences, and establishing a strong foundation for future EPO operations. This full-time position is based in Tucson, Arizona.

For more information and to apply, visit:*E0D19480237D5E0D


(Added 4/29)

Director of Educational Outreach and Research

JILA AMO Physics Frontier Center and Physics Education Research Group at the University of Colorado Boulder, Deadline May 15

The AMO Physics Frontier Center at JILA and the Physics Education Research group at the University of Colorado at Boulder are collaborating to support a physics education outreach program.  A two-year (possibly extendable) position is available for someone to direct the outreach & community partnership  efforts of the AMO Frontier Center and conduct research on student learning in these environments.  The position will be jointly supervised by a faculty member from the Physics Education Research Group and a director of the Physics Frontier Center.  The goal of the program is to continue robust informal science programs with local schools serving populations that are typically underrepresented in science, collaborate with other Physics Frontier Centers, communicate current physics research to the general public and concomitantly to research and evaluate these outreach programs using cutting-edge physics education research methods.
The successful applicant will be responsible for preparing graduate students and postdoctoral research assistants within JILA and the Physics Department at CU to present science activities at local middle and high schools, coordinating with teachers and administrators at local schools to establish forums for these and other outreach activities, developing methods for communicating with the public, and researching & evaluating these efforts.  In addition to creating and studying outreach programs, the candidate will collaborate with other Physics Frontiers Centers to present information on these centers at national conferences and work with outreach coordinators from other centers on projects of mutual interest.
Eligibility:  Candidates should have completed a doctoral degree by July 2016.  Graduates with a specialization in physics education research are especially encouraged to apply, but graduates with a background in traditional areas of physics research, or science education research who are interested in shifting their focus to physics education research will also be considered.  The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.
Closing Date:  Review of applications will begin on May 15th, 2016, and continue until the position is filled.  This appointment could begin as early as Jun 15, 2016.
Stipend:  $50,000/yr.
Application Procedure: Please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference to: Professors Eric Cornell and Noah Finkelstein c/o Krista Beck, JILA UCB 440 University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309

Senior Research Associate for Systemic Change Network

From Charles Henderson and Andrea Beach, applications starting May 12 2016.  Western Michigan University.

The Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education (CRICPE) at Western Michigan University (WMU) is seeking a senior research associate to support the establishment of the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN). This project is funded by a grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust. The research associate will be in a visible leadership role in the development of ASCN.

We are seeking applicants who have experience and interest in applying interdisciplinary research methods to solve important problems in STEM education and who have a strong interest in higher education policy and systemic change in higher education STEM education. Applicants must have a PhD in a relevant field.

ASCN will serve as an open, interdisciplinary, professional network and intellectual home for individuals and groups in a broad range of disciplines who are engaged in creating and/or studying change in STEM higher education in the full range of institutional settings.  ASCN will help capture what is known and soon to be discovered about leading and evaluating change efforts in undergraduate and graduate STEM education, which will help maximize the individual and collective efforts of network members.

More information about ASCN can be found at <>

The Senior Research Associate will join CRICPE, a WMU research center that conducts and supports interdisciplinary research focused on promoting transformative change in postsecondary education (see Supervised by CRICPE Co-Directors, Dr. Charles Henderson and Dr. Andrea Beach, the research associate will take the lead on the administration and implementation of the project, while providing research and evaluation support to the steering committee and working groups that comprise the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN). The research associate will support stakeholder groups that involve a wide range of disciplines and constituent types (Researchers, Faculty, Change Agents, University Leaders, etc.) from various institutions of higher education and national organizations. The research associate will also support the working groups by conducting literature searches and interpreting data by the selecting and applying the appropriate quantitative, statistical, and qualitative methods for analysis and the interpretation of data. The research associate will be expected to anticipates and resolves issues on behalf of the ASCN and develop timeliness and strategic planning to ensure the ASCN reaches its intended goals.

Applications should be submitted electronically at:


Two postdocs in Center for Research on Instructional Change

From Charles Henderson and Andrea Beach, applications starting May 12 2016.  Western Michigan University.

The Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education (CRICPE) at Western Michigan University (WMU) is seeking two postdoctoral research associates to support the project implementation and research the impact of institutional transformation funded by a $3.2M grant from the US Department of Education. Broncos FIRST is built around an innovative model to promote and institutionalize emergent change in higher education, particularly around student success.

The postdocs will join CRICPE, a WMU research center that conducts and supports interdisciplinary research focused on promoting transformative change in postsecondary education (see  Supervised by CRICPE Co-Directors, Dr. Charles Henderson and Dr. Andrea Beach, the two postdocs will engage in mixed-methods research on important processes and outcomes of the project. These include the work of learning communities; intra-organizational alignment of student support structures; and institutional culture/climate related to student success. The post docs will also consult with and serve as resources for professional learning communities of faculty, staff, and undergraduate students as these heterogeneous groups engage in action research projects. Responsibilities will include research planning, development, data collection and analysis, and development of manuscripts and presentations related to the project.[]<>We are seeking applicants who have experience and interest in applying interdisciplinary research methods to solve important problems in higher education and who have a strong interest in student success, institutional change, or professional development. Applicants must have a PhD in Higher Education or a related field.

Both appointments are full time and will be made for a period of one year, renewable for up to three years total.  Salary is competitive, depending on qualifications and experience. The start date for the positions is expected to be between June and August 2016. Review of applications will begin on May 12 and continue until the position is filled.

Applications should be submitted electronically at:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa McDonnell February 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Postdoctoral Scholar in Biology Education Research at UC San Diego

The Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego invites applicants for a postdoctoral scholar position to join a collaborative team in biology education research (Drs. Ella Tour, Lisa McDonnell, and Stanley Lo). The postdoctoral scholar will contribute to ongoing research that examines how undergraduate and graduate students develop critical thinking and scientific argumentation skills as they progress in their education.

Applicants should either have a PhD in biological, biochemical, or biomedical sciences with an interest in discipline-based education research or have a master’s degree in biological, biochemical, or biomedical sciences with a PhD in science education, learning sciences, curriculum and instruction, or other equivalent areas.

The candidate should be able to work well both independently and as a team and must be comfortable managing multiple competing deadlines. Demonstrated experience in STEM education research or with quantitative research methodologies is preferred. The candidate should also be interested in qualitative and mixed-methods research.

The position start date is negotiable but with an ideal start date of around the time of June 1, 2017. One year of internal funding is available for this position. Candidates may elect to be considered for summer teaching assignments. Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for external funding.

To apply, please email a cover letter describing your background, future goals, and fit for this position; a curriculum vitae (CV); and a one-page summary of your educational research interests to Dr. Ella Tour at Please be ready to provide three letters of reference. For full consideration, all materials must be received by March 1, 2017. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

UC San Diego is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to gender, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

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