Position Description - Instructional Change Teams Research
We are advertising a postdoctoral-level research position associated with the NSF-IUSE award Modeling Instructional Change Teams (NSF #1914857, Lead PI Alice Olmstead; NSF #1914880, PI Andrea Beach, co-PI Charles Henderson, https://
The instructional change teams project is a national-scale, mixed-methods, and practice-oriented research study. It builds on a prior qualitative study led by the PI team (NSF #1525393). We are currently three years into this project, with slightly over one year remaining. The primary focus is the development and use of a survey instrument that diagnoses various aspects of instructional change team collaborations. We currently have a pilot survey instrument that we are actively using to collect data from and provide feedback to teams and team-based project leaders working to improve undergraduate STEM courses. In the final year of the project, we aim to recruit and provide feedback for additional teams to complete our pilot; validate our survey instrument; use survey data to develop claims about how various factors influence instructional change team collaboration and outcomes; and share the results through publication and other dissemination strategies. Follow-up qualitative data collection and analysis is also possible.
The postdoctoral research appointment will span all aspects of the instructional change teams project. The selected candidate will be expected to engage in activities such as: identifying and recruiting study participants; collecting and compiling survey data; preparing reports for study participants; statistically testing the pilot survey instrument and modifying it appropriately; analyzing survey data to address research questions; reviewing relevant literature; and synthesizing the results for publications and presentations. They will be expected to work closely with our existing team including the three PIs, a part-time, postdoctoral-level independent contractor, and another faculty member at Texas State with quantitative analysis expertise, as well as the previous postdoctoral researcher from this project when appropriate. PI Olmstead will be the primary advisor for this position.
An optional, part-time (20%) appointment with the STEM Communities Project would involve pursuing research on the impacts of the programmatic aspects of this five-year, team-based instructional change effort for participants and their instructional approaches. Research activities could include collecting and analyzing interviews with participating faculty and/or undergraduate Learning Assistants; collecting and analyzing video-recordings of faculty-student teams preparing for instruction; and synthesizing results for publication and/or presentations. They would be expected to work closely with the PI team, other postdocs, student researchers, and/or the external evaluator for the project when relevant. Olmstead (project co-PI) would again be a primary advisor for this role, along with co-PI Eleanor Close. With this option, the appointment on the instructional change teams award would be reduced to 80% of full-time.
Minimum qualifications are:
- PhD in a STEM and/or Education field
- Comfort in learning or using quantitative research methods to analyze survey data
- Enthusiastic and motivated learner
Preferred qualifications are:
- Experience with quantitative research studies
- Experience with statistical analysis and/or programming packages (e.g., R, Stata, Python)
- Experience with qualitative research studies (particularly for the optional, STEM Communities appointment)
- Commitment to counteracting systemic inequities in STEM
- Motivation and ability to engage with STEM faculty, project PIs, and diverse students
Candidates who identify with underrepresented minority groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
The salary for this position is between $50,000-$55,000 per year. Review of applications will begin on July 11, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. Preferred start date is August 1st, 2022. The initial appointment(s) will be for one year, renewable as funding remains available (1-6 additional months, depending on exact budgeting and appointment). We will consider a remote work arrangement with occasional in-person collaboration, as well as in-person collaboration at one of the grantee institutions. The lead PI for the instructional change teams project is at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX; co-PIs are at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. All PIs for the STEM Communities Project are at Texas State University.
Please contact Alice Olmstead (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Interested candidates should submit a 1-2 page cover letter and a CV to STEMEdPostdocs@txstate.edu. The cover letter should explain the candidate’s interest in the position and why they are a good fit for this, based on alignment with the minimum and preferred qualifications and any other desirable qualifications (e.g., past experience relevant to the job responsibilities). The cover letter should also specify a preferred start date and, if the candidate has not yet received their PhD, when they expect to receive it. The CV should include a list of professional experiences, publications, and contact information for three professional references. Candidates may be asked to submit a writing sample in response to a job-related prompt. Candidates should clearly identify the position they are applying for (instructional change teams postdoc, with or without the part-time STEM Communities Project appointment) and address how their qualifications fit this position.
Additional Job Information
Texas State University is a large, diverse Hispanic-Serving Institution in Central Texas, between Austin and San Antonio. The College of Science and Engineering includes seven STEM departments and a growing number of discipline-based education research faculty. Selected candidates will have regular opportunities to interact with faculty, students, and other postdocs who are engaged in STEM education research (see, in particular, http://txstper.wp.txstate.edu and http://luxford.wp.txstate.edu/