Research Associate

Boulder, CO
Feb 21, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The mission of the Center for STEM Learning (CSL) is to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at the University of Colorado Boulder, and to serve as a state, national, and international resource for such efforts. Our vision for achieving this mission is:

To maintain an infrastructure of institutional support in order to transform STEM education, support education research within and across STEM fields and departments, and promote K20 faculty recruitment, preparation, and professional development.

To facilitate change in STEM education by integrating an interdisciplinary community of scholars, promoting, sustaining, and evaluating existing reform efforts, sponsoring new programs, advocating for diversity and access, influencing relevant policy, fundraising, and communicating with the public.

We seek to fill a Research Associate ("post-doctoral" level) position to work on an institution-wide educational transformation that focuses on enhancing the processes and tools used by departments in faculty-level evaluation of teaching. This work is part of an overall effort that seeks to improve undergraduate education at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), through collective learning and cultural change at the departmental and institutional levels.

This project takes a holistic approach to change, focused on shifting institutional structures and culture around teaching through the development and implementation of a teaching quality framework. In this effort, we build on decades of research in scholarly teaching and evaluation of scholarly approaches to teaching. We seek to establish a framework for supporting and assessing teaching quality for all instructors across all departments on campus that is grounded in the scholarship of higher education, including the work of Bernstein and colleagues (2002, 2010) and Glassick and colleagues (1997). This framework defines teaching as a scholarly activity like research. It assesses teaching in terms of six core components of scholarly activity-clear goals, adequate preparation, appropriate methods, significant results, effective presentation, and reflective critique-through the use of three "voices" -those of a faculty member, his or her students, and his or her peers. The framework also supports improved teaching, by providing mechanisms for assessment to help faculty to improve in their practices. These framework categories are held constant across all departments; however, the interpretation of these categories and their relative weights would be defined at a department-by-department level, thus specifying in a clear way what is meant by "multiple measures" of teaching.

We seek a team member to implement a faculty and departmental-led effort that brings together key faculty leaders and departments by providing them with a structure to help them co-create, test, and evaluate the framework. We are at the stage of working with eight pilot departments choosing to engage and become leaders in this process. Thus, this strategy empowers the community to voluntarily engage in the exploration of new ways of assessing teaching and to adopt the framework because they see its value.

The postdoc on this project will have two main roles:

Facilitator: The postdoc will actively support departmental change through facilitation of small working groups within department. Additionally, the postdoc will partner with faculty professional development experts to bring their perspectives to the departments. Responsibilities will include:

• Developing expertise in organizational change and group facilitation strategies.

• Collaborating with colleague-facilitators from centers that focus on improving and assessing teaching quality.

• Supporting departmental working teams in defining and achieving their goals for determining specific measures and processes for evaluation.

• Project Management: coordinating with individual departments, across departments in a broader discussion, and the leadership team.

Researcher: The postdoc will have the opportunity assist in developing research activities. Responsibilities may include:

• Collecting qualitative and quantitative data.

• Developing expertise in analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data.

• Developing, modifying and/or deploying instruments that can be used for evaluation of quality teaching.

• Assisting in the writing and dissemination of findings.

This is an initial 12-month appointment, which is potentially renewable, pursuant to university policies and funding. The salary is $50,000 per year, and includes benefits as established by the university HR department. The successful candidate will collaborate with a broad group of engaging and nationally renowned faculty, post-docs, and graduate students across multiple STEM departments at CU.

Position will remain open until filled and applications will begin being reviewed on February 3, 2017.


The successful candidate will have a PhD (or equivalent experience) in higher education studies or a related discipline with significant experience in a disciplinary field, or in a specific discipline with significant experience in scholarly teaching or education research. The candidate is expected to have earned a PhD by January 1, 2017.

Special Instructions to Applicants:This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals. The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To achieve this goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act required that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff.

In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Boulder Campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting Human Resources at

Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV, List of References, Unofficial transcript(s), Additional Attachments - Refer to Application Materials Instructions Below

Application Materials Instructions:Submit a 2-3 page cover-letter that includes a statement that illustrates how you meet the qualifications outlined in this position. Please discuss any experiences that would be relevant to the project. Applicant must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form and upload the following required documents: 1 - Cover Letter; 2 - Curriculum Vitae; 3 - The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree.

Job Category: Faculty

Primary Location: Boulder

Department: B0001 -- Boulder Campus - 10419 - Center for STEM Learning

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: Jan 3, 2017

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: Robbie Martinez

Posting Contact Email:

Position Number: 00730416