Friday, February 22, 2019

Engineering Education Postdoc, Cornell

Applications are invited for a post‐doctoral researcher in engineering education in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. The successfulcandidate will take a leading role in the redesign and evaluation of two required junior‐level mechanical engineering classes, supported by a Cornell University Active Learning Initiativegrant.

Job description:
The successful candidate will take a leading role in the redesign and evaluation of two required mechanical engineering courses, most likely in the solid mechanics area. The postdoc willwork with a group of faculty and postdocs, including the course instructors, to develop and document course materials emphasizing active and inductive learning and real‐lifeapplications. Additional duties include developing and implementing metrics for the learning objectives of each class, and using those metrics to determine the efficacy of the courseinterventions.
Opportunities for teaching may also be available. This position is part of a Cornell‐wide initiative to shift the undergraduate curriculum toward active learning approaches; the wide range of participating departments is summarized here:‐initiative‐funds‐nine‐projects The postdocs will have the opportunity to engage with the Center for Teaching Innovation and participate in weekly seminars with other Active Learning Initiative postdocs to receive training and support in designing and implementing research‐based teaching strategies. We expect the course redesign project to lead to archival publications in the Engineering Education literature.

Employer: Cornell University Location: Ithaca, NY
Start date: June 1, 2019
Length of appointment: 2 years
Time commitment: full time, but will consider part‐time appointments.

Required qualifications:
  • Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, engineering education research, or a closely related field.
Preferred qualifications include some combination of the following:
  • Experience with relevant literature and education research methods
  • Strong background in solid mechanics
  • Ability to work collaboratively with multiple faculty members and postdocs, adapting to diverse views and approaches
  • Ability to work independently
  • Project leadership, time management, communication, and writing skills
  • Experience with curriculum development, teaching assistant training, or faculty development
  • Enthusiasm for learning new things (Because this project will involve integrating and applying many different research areas, an ability to grow is even more valuable than extensive experience in any one of the above areas.)

To apply:
Submit a CV, cover letter, a brief teaching and research statement emphasizing relevant background and/or interest in engineering education research, and the names and email contacts of three professional references to Prof. Elizabeth Fisher at  Evaluation of applications will start on March 15, 2019.

Please also contact Prof. Fisher with any questions.

Diversity and inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

PER Postdoc, Cornell

Applications are invited for a post-doctoral researcher in the Physics Department at Cornell University. The successful candidate will participate in the redesign and evaluation of the introductory physics labs supported by a Cornell University Active Learning Initiative grant held by the physics department.

Job description:
The successful candidate will take a leading role in the implementation and evaluation of the new physics labs for two introductory calculus-based course sequences (engineering and honors, 6 courses total). Four courses have already been implemented, so the focus in the third year will be on the final implementations and long-term sustainability (TA training, documentation, etc.). They will also work with Dr. Holmes and student researchers to assess the program through analysis of surveys and other assessments, interviews, focus groups, and in-lab observations.

Discipline-based education research is growing at Cornell, with faculty and collaborators in physics,
biology, and other STEM fields, as well as a number of new teaching postdocs, graduate and
undergraduate students. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to mentor and work with
many individuals, including collaborating with other teaching postdocs with Active Learning Initiative programs across campus.

Employer: Cornell University
Location: Ithaca, NY – possibility for remote work that would involve extensive visits to Ithaca
Start date: Spring 2019.
Time commitment: Prefer full-time, but will be flexible for the right candidate.
Length of appointment: One year.
Preferred qualifications include any of the following:
• Ph.D. in physics education research, physics or astronomy, or closely related field
• Experience with relevant literature and education research methods: expertise in qualitative or
quantitative research methods would be relevant
• Ability and desire to work collaboratively, mentor graduate and undergraduate students, and to
also work independently
• Project leadership, time management, communication, and writing skills
• Experience with curriculum development, teaching assistant training, or faculty development
• Enthusiasm to learn new methods, bodies of literature, etc.

To apply:
Submit a CV, cover letter, and a brief teaching/research statement including relevant background and
experiences in lab development, TA training, or PER generally, as well as the names and email or phone
contacts of three professional references to Dr. Natasha Holmes at
Please also contact Dr. Holmes with any questions.
Diversity and inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and
educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Part-time (or short term) PER postdoc position at the University of Colorado

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher in Physics Education in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU). The postdoc will work on a project titled “Quantum Education and Workforce Development.”  This project aims to answer the question: what skills, knowledge, and competencies do academic/government researchers and industrial partners want for quantum careers at the BS/MS/PhD level? This project will use interviews with academic and government lab researchers and quantum industries to answer this question.

The results from this study will be published for wide dissemination, as well as will inform a multi-college Quantum Education Task-force at the University of Colorado, which will create an implementation and assessment plan to make the new quantum workforce and education programs a reality.

The project is run jointly by Heather Lewandowski at the University of Colorado and Ben Zwickl at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The successful candidate may work remotely on the project or be located at CU. The total time for the project is the equivalent of eight months at full time work. This can be spread out over up to a year.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in physics, physics education research, or closely related field. Prior experience with quantum physics research or physics education research is preferred but not required.

To apply for the position please send the following materials to

1. Cover letter that addresses the required and preferred qualifications described above, describes the applicant’s interest in joining the project, states the desired location and duration of work, and answers the following questions:

1.A) How do your previous experiences prepare you to work cooperatively and productively with colleagues and supervisors?

1.B) In this postdoctoral research position, you will gain significant skills in physics education research. How do you envision those skills will be useful to you later in your career?

1.C) If you prefer to work remotely rather than at CU, please describe any experiences which demonstrate effective collaboration and productivity in a remote working context.

2. CV with references listed.

The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to building a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans. Alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting the ADA Coordinator at

PER Research Associate, MIT [UPDATE: position filled]

Research Associate MIT: Physics Education Research group, Dave Pritchard
The REsearch on Learning Assessing and Tutoring Effectively group is studying and improving learning in demonstrable ways. Central to this is assessment: help create/improve our (not yet) complete set of research-based week by week topical quizzes and an assessment of reasoning skills for mechanics. Our goal is to provide students and teachers formative/summative assessments with resolution down to the sub-topic level, as well as evaluations of higher level skills.  This involves identifying and improving existing problems as well as authoring new ones, while always analyzing their performance and (hopefully) demonstrating their superiority over traditional hand-graded problems. The major responsibility of the research associate will be to collect and augment assessments, and ideas from the research literature, write new questions, and help understand the data.  We are also analyzing a large (17k) data set on the FCI emphasizing the diagnosis of specific student shortcomings on the pretest by mining information from the incorrect responses – ultimately to guide instruction.
This postdoc will include curating resources, performing experimental/control group experiments to research which instructional resources teach which topics & learning objectives best, and especially the characteristics of expertise.  RELATE has expertise in educational data mining, psychometrics including multi-dimensional item response theory, and experience in designing online experiments. (see  Our postdocs generally participate in the physics department’s teaching and online education.

Requisite Knowledge and Skills:

Knowledge of Physics (esp. mechanics and E&M) and education research literature
Programming ability with Python and Statistics/data analysis skills, r
Teaching experience in introductory physics
Writing novel and clear questions and research articles

A Ph.D or Ed.D in physics or science education research, statistics and data mining, or cognitive science etc. is desired, but a physics BS with following teaching experience is OK.  Applicant must be comfortable working both alone and with others.  All former RELATE alumni have obtained positions in academia or education companies. Inquiries and applications (CV, cover letter, and list of at least three references) should be sent to (please include “postdoc application” in subject line). Review of applications will begin immediately; starting date June to late Fall 2019.

MIT is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. For more information check and .
Prof. David E. Pritchard
Room 26-241 Dept. of Physics, MIT
77 Massachusetts Ave. , Cambridge, MA 02139.