Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Job description

Posting Number:


Position Number:


Position Type:

Post Doc



Department ID:

172201 - Biological Sciences


172201 - Biological Sciences

Job City & State:

Nature Research Center, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC 27601

Essential Job Duties:

The Department of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) jointly invite exceptional applicants for the open post of Coordinator for the newly created citizen science project—Cretaceous Creatures—part of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ new Dueling Dinosaurs Project ( under the supervision Dr. Lindsay Zanno, associate research professor at NCSU and head of paleontology at the NCMNS.

Successful applicant will be an employee of NCSU and will work onsite in the jointly supported Paleontology Research Lab, Nature Research Center (NRC) at the NCMNS. The NCMNS is the largest natural science museum in the southeastern US with an annual visitorship exceeding one million. A global leader in science communication, citizen science, and natural science collections-based research, the NRC is an 80,000 square foot innovative, certified Green Building housing five state-of-the-art research laboratories (Genomics & Microbiology, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Biodiversity, Paleontology, and Evolution & Behavioral Biology) in which scientific staff advance their research in front of public audiences. The NRC offers hands-on, interactive learning opportunities including open laboratories, Meet-the-Scientist areas, high-tech and dynamic presentation spaces, and interactive exhibits that interpret cutting-edge research that affects the daily lives of visitors and enhance its mission to engage the public in understanding how scientific research impacts their daily lives. The Paleontology Unit’s current research and field sites include Triassic and Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems.

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences borders North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, one of the largest US centers for high-tech and biotechnology research. Surrounding universities include NC State University, Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and consistently ranks among the top places to live and work.

Primary responsibilities of this position include implementing (with the Head of Paleontology), and managing the Cretaceous Creatures public science project, which involves Cretaceous microfossils, designing online resources for data collection and learning, conducting original research on the project, and liaising with partners. Preferred research topics include the impact of public science on STEM learning and informal learning practices. Successful candidate will serve as the project manager for Cretaceous Creatures, and is expected to conduct research on, and communicate to the public about, this high-prole public science project. This position will coordinate the logistics for Cretaceous Creatures on a state, national, and global scale.

Inclusiveness and diversity are critical to the success of the College of Sciences and the University. The selected candidate will be expected to foster an environment that is supportive and welcoming of all groups.

Other Work/Responsibilities:

Public Science Project Management (50%) This position is responsible for day-to-day management of public science initiatives associated with the Dueling Dinosaurs Project. This includes training and supervising students, teachers, volunteers; recruiting and coordinating public school partnerships across the state of North Carolina, nationally, and internationally; managing the appropriate collection, handling, and record keeping of data, and creating and managing online resources for public participants.

Conducting Research (25%) It is the responsibility of this position to conduct and disseminate research on some aspect of the public science project commensurate with the project goal to advance the data-driven discourse on public science. Individual in this position will also work with the head of
paleontology to write grants to support the project goals. Experience in the realm of public engagement with science is expected.

Science Communication (15%) The individual holding this position is expected to enthusiastically communicate to diverse audiences about the project through social media, teaching, popular writing, public lectures, and/or other museum-based educational activities.

Project Liaising (10%) This position serves as a liaison with museum education, community engagement, and exhibitions in the realm of STEM engagement for the Dueling Dinosaurs Project.

Work Schedule:

Monday - Friday, 8 - 5

Department Required Skills:

Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g., M.D., D.V.M., Sc.D.) in appropriate field awarded no more than five (5) years from initial date of postdoctoral appointment.

Preferred Years Experience, Skills, Training, Education:

Doctoral degree from a recognized college or university with a major in geology, biology, education, sociology of science, or a related specialty. Preference to candidates with demonstrable research on public science, public engagement with science, or science education. Project management experience preferred. Preference will be given to
candidates that possess demonstrable experience in the science of paleontology. Additional experience
desired includes: teacher training, grant writing, fieldwork in the biological or geological sciences, and
informal education in a museum setting.

Required License or Certification:


Valid NC Driver's License required?:


Commercial Driver's License Required?:


Anticipated Hiring Range:

$46,000 - $48,000

Job Open Date:


Quick Link:


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or [email protected] Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree equivalency verified at or equivalent service. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.




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Job No:
Posted: 1/23/2021
Application Due: 4/23/2021
Work Type: Full Time