Principal Research Scientist

Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 28, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Principal Research Scientist

The Center for Applied Learning Science (CALS) at WGU develops habit-forming learning applications leading to educational attainment and life-long success. We learn how to help people learn. Leveraging advances in cognitive and behavioral sciences and emerging technology, the Center fosters innovation from idea through incubation, continuously improving student learning at WGU and beyond.

The CALS principal research scientist is a deep and impassioned expert studying learning, both in the cognitive and non-cognitive/affective domains. The role conducts high-quality scientific research with an eye toward direct real-world application. The insights and evidence uncovered by the role inform new and on-going CALS learning product design and development.

The successful candidate excels at research funding, planning, and execution throughout the project lifecycle and oversees the CALS research roadmap. The role communicates CALS findings and insights through reports and presentations for internal and external audiences.

As a senior member of the CALS team, the role mentors other team members in research methods.

They also push the boundaries of the field, seeking new and innovative ways to help students learn and demonstrate what they know.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities - {list of significant responsibilities and essential duties that must be completed in order to achieve the objectives of the position}

  • Proposes, executes, and documents a high-level scientific research portfolio providing direction and evidence supporting new and ongoing CALS product development activities.
  • Interfaces with university, industry, and institutional partners in the definition and execution of research projects.
  • Develops project schedules, budgets and resource requests.
  • Communicates results of research for a variety of audiences through reports, white papers, presentations, and scholarly publications.
  • Leads and/or supports funding efforts, including proposal writing and funder outreach.
  • Models leadership and professionalism and mentors CALS scientists and researchers.
  • Stays current with trends, leading science and innovations, and research in learning science and related fields.
  • Understands adult learners, under-served populations, and the higher education landscape.
  • Develops and maintains a collaborative relationship with all appropriate internal and external stakeholders.
  • Fulfills other duties as assigned.

  • Deep knowledge of a field such as learning science, behavioral science, behavioral economics, education psychology, or human computer interaction.
  • Expert ability to independently define and conduct original scientific research. Proven successful history as a principal investigator.
  • Deep experience with qualitative and quantitative primary research methods.
  • Proven ability to fund research through grants or contracts.
  • Proven ability to lead research projects, including cost, resource, and schedule management as well as compliance and reporting.
  • Excellent written, oral, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Successful history communicating research results and key ideas to lay and scholarly audiences; performed thought leadership in the field.
  • Expert mentoring ability and ability to work in a collaborative team and maintain effective relationships.
  • Strong attention to detail and a feeling of pride and ownership over the quality of CALS research products and student-facing applications.

  • PhD in relevant field
  • 7+ years leading research initiatives
  • Strong consideration given to candidates sharing a body of large-scale research outputs

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States