Research Associate-Fixed Term

Job description

Position Summary

A new NSF-funded project, led by Prof. Katie Hinko ([email protected]) at Michigan State University, seeks to characterize the landscape of informal physics programming (commonly called physics outreach) across the United States. This project is also in collaboration with Dr. Noah Finkelstein at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The Research Associate's (post-doc) responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Help develop a survey of informal efforts;
  • Construct a taxonomy of programs;
  • Study “successful” and “failed” programs to determine the culture and resources needed to support programs;
  • Managing all aspects of this project along with Dr's. Hinko and Finkelstein, such as determining a data collection scheme;
  • Connecting with informal physics practitioners and conducting interviews;
  • Traveling to perform site visits to programs around the US;
  • Analyzing multiple data sources and synthesizing findings;
  • Supervise graduate and undergraduate students on the project;
  • Assist with grant proposals;
  • Contribute to the efforts of the broader PER group at Michigan State University;
  • Present and publish the findings of this project in national venues for both researchers and practitioners.

Results from this project will have significant impact on the physics community as well as the broader scientific community, and it will have the power to impact change in informal physics programming nationwide and beyond.

The Physics Education Research Lab at Michigan State University ([email protected]) is a growing and vibrant community of faculty, graduate students, and post-docs. An opportune place to develop skills in mentoring, leadership, teaching, and outreach in physics, [email protected] collaborates with various universities across the world as well as with researchers at MSU working in CREATE for STEM, the college of education, and the learning sciences.

The appointment is initially for one year, with the possibility of a one year extension, based on performance and the availability of funding. The salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Physics, physics education or a related

Minimum Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold a Ph.D. in physics, physics education, science education, museum studies, science communication, or a related field.

A successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • Extensive experience working in informal STEM learning environments
  • Significant research experience with qualitative methodology and data analysis, including interviews and observations
  • Excellent professional research skills including communication, mentoring, project management, and the publication process
  • Interest and experience in issues surrounding (in)equity in STEM education

    Desired Qualifications

    An exceptional candidate will demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Significant experience with physicists and the physics community
  • Successful history of physics education research or research in informal STEM environments
  • Ability to work with university science students, faculty, and administrators at academic institutions
  • Coordination of large scale data collection across multiple sites
  • Experience with quantitative methodology and/or survey design
  • Working on a multi/interdisciplinary team and/or
  • Required Application Materials

    Applicants should submit a CV, a statement of research interests, and a statement of educational philosophy and experiences to 

    In addition, applicants should arrange for three (3) letters of recommendation to be submitted to the same posting. Letters must be uploaded separately.



    Special Instructions

    Review of applications will begin on April 15, 2018 and will continue until the position has been filled. Start date is negotiable with a preference toward candidates that are available in early summer 2018.

    Questions regarding the position may be directed to Prof. Katie Hinko ([email protected]), the research advisor for this project.

    MSU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.




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    Job No:
    Posted: 3/5/2018
    Application Due: 12/28/2018
    Work Type: