Position Overview

Organization: Physical Sciences
Title: Postdoctoral Scholar, Physical Sciences, Rachel Scherr research team, UW Bothell

Position Details

Position Description

The Division of Physical Sciences, in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, at the University of Washington - Bothell, in collaboration with researchers at Seattle Pacific University, seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar to work on a recently-funded National Science Foundation grant, “Professional Development for Teaching and Learning about Energy and Equity in High School Physics.” The grant will develop and study professional development whose learning goals are as follows:
  • Teachers will be able to explain how scholarly concepts of energy are shaped by the values of the historical period in which they were constructed.
  • Teachers will be able to apply rigorous strategies for energy reasoning to socio-politically relevant energy scenarios.
  • Teachers will recognize historic and present-day inequities in (a) the energy industry and (b) science participation.
  • Teachers will be able to prepare energy instruction that is culturally responsive and relevant to learners’ communities.
For more details, interested candidates can consult the full grant narrative
The Postdoctoral Scholar would join a collaborative team that includes: faculty Rachel Scherr (Physics, University of Washington - Bothell); faculty Amy Robertson, Kara Gray, and Lane Seeley (Physics, Seattle Pacific University); and consultants Tali Hairston (Equitable Development LLC), Sam McKagan and Adrian Madsen (AlderSEA), Abigail Daane (South Seattle College), and Moses Rifkin (University Prep High School).  
The Postdoctoral Scholar would be supported in choosing an independent and integrated strand of research (within RQs 1-4 in the grant narrative) and would receive extensive professional development that includes travel to conferences, mentoring undergraduate and graduate researchers, and other skills identified collaboratively. 
Term of appointment: This position is a full-time, 12-month (one-year) appointment that may be extended up to a maximum of two years. The ideal start date is August 1, 2020, but can be as late as Fall 2020.  The Postdoctoral Scholar title is limited to five years, including postdoctoral experience(s) at UW and other institutions.
Postdoctoral Scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.


Minimum qualifications: Ph.D. (or foreign equivalent) in Physics, Science Education, or a related field. Capacity and interest in supporting undergraduate and graduate student research, developing an independent strand of research with support, participating in project management, and presenting research in presentations and publications.


Applicants should submit a current CV, an in-progress or published manuscript, a list of three professional references (please let them know that we may contact them), and answers to the following questions (~1-2 short paragraphs each):
  1. Describe a professional accomplishment that you are proud of. What about this accomplishment makes you feel proud?
  2. Looking at the grant narrative, what is at least one research question that you feel confident you can immediately pursue, and how? What is one research question you feel you can learn something from pursuing, and what is it?
  3. Describe an experience where you’ve supported someone in accomplishing a long-term task that you collaboratively identified. (This could be an undergraduate research project, or it could be a neighborhood project, or something altogether different.) How did you structure your time to accomplish this task, and what did your support role look like? What did you learn from this experience?
  4. What excites you the most about this project?
  5. Please describe how would see yourself impacting UW Bothell’s mission to build an inclusive and supportive community of learning and incorporate multicultural content and diverse perspectives on ethnic and racial groups, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and special needs (https://www.uwb.edu/about/vision).
  6. What is something you feel concerned about or intimidated by as you move into a postdoctoral research position?
  7. What kinds of professional development do you hope to gain as a postdoctoral research associate?  
Questions about this position should be directed to Rachel Scherr (rescherr@uw.edu) or Amy Robertson (robertsona2@spu.edu). Candidates may contact Lisa Goodhew (goodhewl@uw.edu), Lauren Bauman (bauman.c.lauren@gmail.com), or Abigail Daane (abigail.daane@seattlecolleges.edu) to learn more about what it is like to work with one or more members of the team.

The Physical Sciences Division offers a B.S., B.A., and minor in Physics, and undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Earth System Science. The Division is housed in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), which also includes the Divisions of Biological Sciences, Computing and Software Systems, and Engineering and Mathematics. The School aims to be a leader in providing accessible, innovative, and effective education and research that promotes responsible engagement with our world and society. Our mission is to support and promote excellence in STEM research, scholarship, and education through commitment to our core values of collaboration, opportunity, rigor, and engagement. Our Faculty have access to all of the resources of the three campuses of the University of Washington (Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma).
The University of Washington Bothell is one of the most dynamic public universities in the state of Washington. We offer a participatory student experience grounded in hands-on learning, close relationships with faculty members as teachers and mentors, and the personalized support of staff who are dedicated to student success. The academic work of the campus focuses on cross-disciplinary research and creative practice, connected learning, and community engagement. UW Bothell’s current enrollment is approximately 6,000 students. More than 90 percent of undergraduates are from Washington State, and approximately half are first-generation college attendees or come from underrepresented groups. Located along wetlands and a river north of Seattle, UW Bothell builds vibrant regional partnerships, creates and disseminates new knowledge, and prepares students for leadership throughout Washington and beyond.
Diversity is a core value of University of WA Bothell. We believe the power of diversity enriches all of us by exposing us to a range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions. To learn more, read our Diversity Statement.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All
qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed,
religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information,
gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.