Tuesday, December 3, 2013

PhET Postdoc at CU Boulder

The PhET Interactive Simulations Project at the University of Colorado Boulder has an opening for a Research Associate (postdoctoral researcher) position focusing on studying interactive simulations (sims) for learning science. The PhET Team develops interactive sims for teaching and learning science and math, creates activities that couple with the sims, and makes all of these resources freely available to educators and students on the web. Research is a major component of the PhET Project, and focuses on understanding aspects of design and use that lead to increases in student learning and student engagement.

The primary responsibilities of the successful applicant will be to carry out and publish research on learning and engagement from sims, along with related issues on sim design and use. Of particular interest is the investigation of why PhET sims seem to be engaging and useful for students with extremely wide range of backgrounds and levels of education. The same sims are commonly used in middle school, high school, and several levels of college science classes. We wish to understand how effective the sims are at all these different levels and why, as well as exploring what this wide range of effectiveness can say more generally about how teaching methods and materials might be optimized for a diverse group of students. The work will be done with the guidance and collaboration of Carl Wieman of Stanford University who is doing research in a number of areas blending science disciplinary expertise and cognitive psychology. The successful candidate will likely be involved with collaborations with other members of Wieman’s research group, some members of Dan Schwartz’s cognitive psychology group at Stanford, and the other members of the PhET research team. Other responsibilities include training faculty on use of PhET sims through PhET workshops at local and national meetings, and collaborating with other members of the PhET team on design activities, as appropriate.

The successful candidate will work at the University of Colorado Boulder which is a national leader in STEM education with over 50 campus programs addressing STEM education and a new Center for Science Learning launched in 2012. In addition, the candidate will also have an opportunity to participate and interact with the Physics Education Research group as well as the cross-disciplinary STEM Discipline-based Education Research Group.

More information on PhET can be found at: http://phet.colorado.edu

Qualifications: We will consider graduates with a PhD in: any science who is interested in shifting their focus to science education research, a PhD in cognitive psychology with a strong interest in the hard sciences, or a PhD in physics education research. Prior experience teaching or working with students and teachers is a plus, along with knowledge of the science education literature.

Start Date: There is considerable flexibility in the start date. We will consider start dates as early as January 1, 2014 and as late as August 15, 2014.

To Apply:
All applicants must apply through JobsAtCU website: https://www.jobsatcu.com/postings/75435

Applicants must complete the Faculty/Exempt Professional and EEO Data (application) form, upload a cover letter, a statement on their perspectives on teaching and learning, a 1-2 page statement discussing the candidate’s research interests and potential research approaches related to why PhET sims seem to be engaging and useful for students with extremely wide range of backgrounds and levels of education, and a resume/curriculum vitae. A proof of degree (unofficial transcript) must be uploaded, and three references must be entered (note the applicant should enter the contact information for letters, and the system will contact them to upload their letter).

The official application process will not be complete until you upload your documents online.

Review of applications will begin on December 13, and continue until the position is filled.

Please email Oliver.Nix@colorado.edu with any questions about the application process.
(Note:  This position is different from this posting.)