Research Associate

Boulder, CO
Jun 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" researcher-level) position to work on an multi-institution educational transformation project sponsored by the National Science Foundation (award #1626565). The overall project seeks to improve undergraduate STEM education at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and Colorado State University (CSU), through collective learning and cultural change at the departmental and institutional levels.

This project takes a holistic approach to change, focused on shifting departmental structures and culture through a new type of departmental working group called a Departmental Action Team (DAT). A DAT is a self-selected group of faculty, students, and staff within a single department with three primary goals: (1) to address an educational issue of departmental interest (e.g., coherence across the curriculum or increasing underrepresented populations among majors), (2) to sustain improvements related to the issue by creating lasting structural and cultural changes, and (3) to provide a collaborative, community-building experience for DAT members. DATs are departmentally-focused, externally-facilitated, participant-driven, team-based, and focused on creating sustainable changes from the offset. DATs at CU and CSU will be co-facilitated by postdoctoral researchers and staff from the campus's Teaching and Learning Centers (TLCs). Over time, responsibility for DAT facilitation will move entirely to the TLCs, to institutionalize the DAT model on each campus.

Postdocs on this project will have two main roles:

Facilitator: The postdoc will actively support departmental change through facilitation of DATs. Additionally, the postdoc will partner with faculty professional development experts in facilitating efforts as well as institutionalizing the DAT model on campus. Responsibilities will include:
  • Developing expertise in organizational change and group facilitation strategies.
  • Collaborating with colleague facilitators from campus Teaching and Learning Centers.
  • Supporting DATs in defining and achieving their goals (facilitating meetings, linking DATs with campus and national resources, encouraging positive group dynamics, etc).

Researcher: The postdoc will be part of the project's research team. Specific project outputs will include:
  1. A facilitator's guide and departmental case studies for others who wish to use adopt the DAT model.
  2. Research publications and conference presentations of project findings.
  3. Instruments for measuring cultural and structural changes within departments and TLCs.

The postdoc will be expected to not only assist in, but also take a leadership role in, developing research activities. Responsibilities will include:
  • Collecting qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Developing expertise in analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Developing and utilizing instruments.
  • Assisting in the dissemination of findings.

This is an initial 12-month appointment, which is potentially renewable for up to two additional years, pursuant to university policies and funding. The salary, as set by our grant's budget, 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 and CSU.




The successful candidate will have a PhD in a STEM discipline with significant experience in scholarly teaching or education research, or a PhD in education or a related discipline with significant experience in a STEM field. The candidate must have earned a PhD by January 1, 2017.


Preferred qualifications include experience with:
  • facilitation and collaboration.
  • STEM education reform efforts.
  • quantitative and/or qualitative social science research methods.
  • instrument development.
  • organizational change.

Special Instructions to Applicants: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, Additional Attachments - Refer to Application Materials Instructions Below

Application Materials Instructions:- 3 references - 2-3 page statement that illustrates how candidate meets the qualifications outlined in the job description. Please discuss any experienes 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. This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals.

Job Category: Faculty

Primary Location: Boulder

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

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: Dec 5, 2016

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: Robbie Martinez

Posting Contact Email:

Position Number: 00729835


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