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Postdoctoral Associate

Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University
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Job Details

Job Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Location: Gallaudet University
Regular/Temporary: Temporary
Full/Part Time:
Job ID: 312
Application Information

Reporting to the Director of Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) for the project “New Dimensions of ASL Learning: Implementing and Testing Signing Avatars & Immersive Learning (SAIL 2)”, the Postdoctoral Associate provides support the new NSF-funded project “SAIL 2,” which launches from prior work on the NSF-funded “Signing Avatars & Immersive Learning (SAIL)” project that yielded a working prototype of an immersive sign language learning environment in virtual reality; and while SAIL 2 will expand past the prototype stage into a fully-fledged ASL learning experience, develops a more complete system where users enter virtual reality and interact with signing avatars who teach users ASL vocabulary.


  • Leads the sign recognition/feedback components of the SAIL 2 system, by integrating hand tracking into the built virtual environment, working with colleagues to assure functioning of the system, testing and programming to support hand tracking capabilities, testing and programming to develop user feedback.
  • Participates in regular SAIL 2 team meetings and leadership on project implementation.
  • Leads IRB-approved usability testing of the SAIL 2 system.
  • Assists with cognitive neuroscience and behavioral experiments to the extent desired.
  • Pursues own related research questions regarding the development of virtual learning environments or related topics.
  • Conducts project dissemination in the form of conference and journal papers, posters, and/or talks, independently and in collaboration with staff members and external collaborators.
  • Works with the team on drafting future research grant proposals.
  • Works with the project team for daily project operations.
  • Assists with training and supervising undergraduate and/or graduate student assistants.
  • Establishes and maintains a positive and supportive working relationship with co-workers and supervisor.
  • Shows a genuine commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and participates in activities and workshops to foster continuous learning.
  • Serves as a mandatory reporter under Title IX; and commits to completing Title IX training and other compliance requirements on an annual basis.
  • Performs related and other duties as assigned.

    Required Qualifications (When the candidate’s resume meets these qualifications, it will be screened in):

    • Doctoral degree in computer/information science, virtual reality, computational linguistics, data science, human-computer interaction, or related fields.
    • A minimum of one year of experience with human-computer interaction design, development, and/or testing.
    • Experience in building interactive software in one of the following programming languages: Javascript, C++, C#, Python, Matlab.

    Preferred Qualifications (While not required, it is an advantage for what the position needs):

    • Experience working with deaf or hard of hearing populations.
    • Experience conducting research with human participants.
    • Peer-reviewed publications and/or grant applications in the field of emerging technology and/or accessible technology.
    • Fluency in American Sign Language.

    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (Qualities that will help the incumbent be more successful in the position):

    • Familiarity with computer graphics engines such as Unity or Unreal.
    • Familiarity with programming for virtual reality.
    • Familiarity with accessible computing.
    • Strong ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary research team and carry out tasks autonomously.
    • Demonstrated ability to work with and across University departments, outside constituents and groups.
    • Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.

    Other Important Information:

    • This appointment is for two years, with reappointment after the first year, based in part on the availability of funding, organizational needs, and satisfactory performance.
    • The starting date for this position is October 2021 - Jan 2022 or until the position is filled (applications received before September 30th will receive full consideration).
    • This is an on-site position, with some remote work available upon ad hoc approval.
    • All employees are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be required to submit their vaccination record prior to entering campus or by 45 days of employment, whichever is earlier.

    Required Application Materials:

    • A curriculum vitae.
    • A cover letter that provides sufficient, brief, and relevant information about your qualifications as related to this position.
    • Electronic copies of 1-2 scientific publications.
    • Names of two potential references.


    Level: 7

    Salary: Commensurate with experience and qualifications.

    FLSA: Exempt

    The successful candidate will undergo a background check that must be cleared prior to working at Gallaudet University.

    Gallaudet University is an equal opportunity employer/educational institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, age, hearing status, disability, genetic information, covered veteran status, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, or any other unlawful basis. This policy is in compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, and other applicable laws and applies to all procedures affecting applicants and employees including, but not necessarily limited to: recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, reassignment, reappointment, tenure, demotion, selection for training, layoff, furlough, and termination, compensation, and all other conditions or privileges of employment.



    Gallaudet University, the world’s premier university for living and learning in ASL and English, founded in 1864 by an Act of Congress, which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.



    Although Gallaudet is a private institution, by an Act of Congress the University is able to participate in certain Federal benefits programs, specifically the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHB), the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program (FEGLI), Federal Long Term Care Program (FLTCIP), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS), and Federal Employers Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).


    Other benefits, privileges, and conditions of employment described in this website pertain solely to Gallaudet University and have been approved by the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees and/or President. Outstanding customer service is a high priority for our department and for the Division of Chief Operating Officer. Your opinion of our service is important to us, and we encourage you to offer feedback on our  Customer Satisfaction Survey. If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us.


    Mission Statement:

    As a strategic collaborator at Gallaudet University, it is the mission of Human Resources to maximize the potential of our greatest asset - our employees.  We embrace change and the opportunities it brings. We are committed to recruiting, developing and retaining a high-performing diverse and bilingual workforce.


    Vision Statement:

    To be recognized as a valued and trusted strategic partner that supports the mission of Gallaudet University and become an Employer of Choice for top talent.



    • We value, encourage and support a diverse, inclusive and bilingual workforce;
    • We cultivate a culture where people are motivated, valued and engaged;
    • We create and enhance strategic partnerships through collaboration;
    • We continually improve individual and organizational effectiveness; and
    • We enhance services through technology.


    Core Values:

    Belonging: We cultivate a sense of belonging by valuing, encouraging, engaging and supporting a diverse and bilingual workforce.

    Inclusiveness: We solicit the input of others and strive for transparency and inclusiveness and encourage the diversity of thoughts, experiences, and backgrounds.

    Service: We have a passion for customer service and are committed to knowing our employees, anticipating their needs, and exceeding expectations.

    Openness: We are open to possibilities and foster creativity and innovation to support continuous improvement.

    Nobility: We honor our commitments and conduct our work in a manner that promotes fairness, confidentiality, respect, honesty, and trust. We lead by example and advocate equitable treatment in our behaviors, policies, and practices.


    Generous Benefit

    Gallaudet employees have access to a wide variety of benefits, including:

    * Competitive federal insurance plans
    * Generous paid time off
    * Federal retirement plan matching contributions up to 5% of your pay
    * Workplace flexibility
    * Career growth opportunities
    * Educational benefits & assistance 
    * Bison perks and discounts


    Learning Opportunities

    Gallaudet University is a community where the personal and professional development of our employees always continues. Employees can choose to:

    • Pursue an advanced degree with support from the university’s educational benefits program
    • Participate in on-site professional development as well as LinkedIn courses at no cost
    • Make the most of opportunities such as professional conferences, workshops, and seminars.


    Diversity Profile (coming soon)


    • Students: 1523
    • Alumni: 23,000
    • Employees: 900

    For more information, please visit at


    Gallaudet at a glance

    • Bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution
    • Includes the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, a beacon of Deaf education
    • Has a range of programs, resources, and services that includes the following
      • National Deaf Education Center
      • Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES)
      • Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD)

      Based in the heart of Washington, D.C.

    To apply, visit at

    Find Us
    (202) 250-2284
    Austin Main Office College Hall, Room 106
    800 Florida Ave, NE
    Northeast Washington
    District of Columbia
    United States
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