Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL)

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
Closing date
Oct 21, 2021

Job Details

Job location: Charlottesville, VA

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2021-01-25
Req: R0021388

The School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia seeks applicants for a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). This postdoctoral position will prepare the incumbent with knowledge and skills to conduct high-quality, scientifically sound research that sits at the intersection of education and developmental science, with a focus on young children’s executive functioning and classroom engagement within early classroom experiences.


The postdoctoral associate will primarily work on an NIH-funded study called Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success (P2K). Data collection for this longitudinal observational study of young children’s early schooling experiences is now complete, and the research team is working on dissemination. Incumbents will disseminate research findings at professional and practitioner-oriented conferences, in scholarly journals, and in state reports, briefs, and practitioner-oriented products, working in collaboration with Principal Investigators, other faculty and staff, and graduate students; this will include taking the lead on data analysis, writing, and presenting. This scholarly work will integrate an explicit focus on equity and inclusion within early classroom environments, with a particular emphasis on children from racially and ethnically marginalized backgrounds. In addition, the incumbent will have the opportunity to engage in another existing project from CASTL’s portfolio of intervention evaluations and research-practice partnerships focused on the early school years (PreK through elementary).

The individual selected for this postdoctoral research associate will receive mentoring on ways to conduct rigorous applied research, prepare grant proposals, improve teaching and mentoring skills, broadly disseminate research, move research into practice, and develop research, practice, policy partnerships. They will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills through attendance in research meetings, talks, and workshops within CASTL, the SEHD, the University, and externally as appropriate.


An earned doctorate in Education, Psychology, or related field, with expertise and interests in further developing research strengths focused on early schooling (PreK through elementary), including children’s executive functioning, classroom engagement and school readiness skills, as well as teacher-child interactions and instructional opportunities. The incumbent will exhibit a commitment to diversity and equity through their scholarship and/or service. Strong methodological and quantitative skills are critical. Outstanding interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are essential.

In alignment with UVA’s 2030 “Great and Good” strategic plan, CASTL is committed to:

  • Recruiting talented and diverse doctoral students, postdoctoral associates, faculty and staff.
  • Recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce and providing an inclusive and supportive environment in which staff and faculty are recognized as integral to the success of our work.
  • Promoting a culture of integrity, mutual respect, excellence, collaboration and innovation.


Review of applications will begin February 3, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled, with an anticipated start date of June 1, 2021. Selected Post Docs must have their completed PhD by the start date. This is a 12-month appointment with the possibility of renewal contingent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funding.

Please apply through Workday, and search for ‘'Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL)". Complete an application online with the following documents:

  • Cover letter, please speak to how you address diversity, equity and inclusion in your work.
  • CV/resume
  • Writing sample
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Contact information for three references who can comment on your scholarly accomplishments and promise.

Upload all materials into the resume submission field, multiple documents can be submitted into this one field. Alternatively, merge all documents into one PDF for submission. Internal applicants must apply through their UVA Workday profile by searching 'Find Jobs'.

For questions regarding this position, please contact Jason T. Downer, Professor of Education. For questions about the application process, please contact Bethany Case, Academic Recruiter. For more information on the benefits available to postdoctoral associates at UVA, visit and

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


In 1819, the University of Virginia established a new model for intellectual exchange and cross-disciplinary collaboration in higher education. Two hundred years later, as a major research institution, we continue to challenge conventions, lead with ingenuity and advance knowledge for the common good.

What began as an innovative idea has become one of the nation’s leading public research universities, with over 21,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UVA also has over 3,000 full-time faculty offering more than 400 degrees.

Each of the University’s eleven schools has its own distinctive mission, working together to garner consistently high rankings—including #2 Best Value Public College (Princeton Review, 2016), #3 Public University in the Nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2016), and #3 Best Value Among Public Colleges (Kiplinger’s, 2016).  

As we invest in and strengthen our research capabilities, UVA seeks new faculty ready to uncover new insights, rewrite old rules and collaborate on intellectual discoveries.


As an R1 institution, the University’s research centers, consortia and laboratories are on the leading edge of discovery and technology, offering collaborative spaces for students and faculty to solve global problems.

Our professors are recognized members of major national scholarly and professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty’s engagement in interdisciplinary research is being facilitated by new research institutes specializing in everything from big data to brain functioning, and by cluster hires across schools.


UVA is also home to a nationally renowned academic medical center and the UVA Health System, which serves a three-part mission to treat patients, conduct translational research and train medical practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines.

Established as the nation’s 10th medical school in 1825, the institution has since grown to include a 612-bed hospital and a Level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers, a Children’s Hospital, and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

The UVA Medical Center is consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report magazine and has been named among the top 25 percent in seven specialties.


The vast majority of UVA students come from the top 10% of their high school class, as well as from all 50 states, over 142 countries and a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite their diversity, all UVA students share a love of learning and a drive to achieve.

One of the reasons students choose Virginia is our unique residential culture. At UVA, the community of students, faculty and staff personifies the Jeffersonian idea that living and learning are connected. The Academical Village was constructed to support a unique residential experience, with faculty living in the Pavilions, students occupying Lawn rooms and the world-famous Rotunda at its heart. The University’s residential culture continues to support this experience today—strengthened by students, faculty and staff rich in backgrounds, ideas and perspectives. Our unique culture is also paying dividends in innovation:  UVA’s faculty have generated more than 130 patents since 2010.

Perhaps most importantly, faculty come to UVA knowing that instruction is as important as research, and they pride themselves on their many teaching awards.  Our best professors look for ways to encourage, mentor and develop tomorrow’s leaders inside and outside the classroom.


Living in Charlottesville you’ll find sophisticated restaurants, world-renowned wineries and breweries, cosmopolitan arts and music, friendly urban and suburban neighborhoods and a Piedmont landscape that has lured adventurous souls for centuries.  No wonder the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research named Charlottesville the “happiest city in America” in 2014.

In addition to UVA and its health system, several major employers have facilities in Charlottesville, including State Farm, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Department of Defense, GE and others.  Charlottesville is also becoming a center for innovative start-up businesses.  The University also actively helps spouses and partners of faculty members build their networks and pursue employment opportunities with a wide variety of area employers. 

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and may be entitled to reasonable accommodations to assist in their pursuit of employment at the University. This includes assistance in completing the online job application as well as reasonable accommodations during the interview process. Please contact the UHR Service Center: 434.982.0123 to request assistance.

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