Postdoctoral Research Associate, Youth Action Lab at Youth-Nex

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Job location: Charlottesville, VA

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2021-11-14
Req: R0028616

Youth-Nex (The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development) at the School of Education and Human Development is seeking highly qualified applicants for a one-year Postdoctoral Research Associate position, with the possibility of extension to two years based on an annual basis dependent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funding. Youth-Nex trains scholars to conduct research related to promoting effective youth development, intervention, and programming, including preventing problem behaviors. A focus of the center’s work is on translational research and research-practice partnerships in the out-of-school time and/or middle school areas. This position will lead the Youth Action Lab (YAL) and support additional Youth-Nex projects.

YAL partners with local teachers, schools, and youth-serving organizations to train and support youth, particularly those from historically marginalized communities, in using research to improve their lives and communities. Through Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), young people learn to systematically research issues they care about and take action to address them. The Youth Action Lab curriculum engages youth as scientists in all aspects of the research process, from developing research questions to analyzing data and using findings to inform solutions. This position will support existing YAL partnerships and help build the research infrastructure for YAL, with a goal of developing a line of research on the processes and outcomes of YPAR as a type of youth development programming.

The ideal candidate for this position must demonstrate:

  • Research interests in issues of adolescent development, particularly in the areas of youth leadership, civic engagement, and youth participatory action research.
  • Familiarity with multi-methods approaches to research, including participatory methods.
  • Substantive understanding of and interest in the fields of Positive Youth Development.
  • The ability to synthesize a research literature and draw implications for practice.
  • The ability to knowledgably apply qualitative and quantitative research methods in researching effective youth development.
  • The ability to collaborate with and lead a team of undergraduate and graduate researchers.
  • Qualitative and quantitative data collection and design, management and analysis skills (software such as Dedoose, online tools such as Qualtrics, QuestionPro, or SurveyMonkey).

This full-time position will incorporate work on additional Youth-Nex projects related to positive youth development scholarship and initiatives (e.g., development of a credentialing program for positive youth development; supporting statewide effort to build community-wide youth support and assessment systems).


Education: Applicants have an earned Ph.D. in Education, Psychology, or a related field.


  • Conducting applied or translational research in educational and/or community-based out-of-school settings.
  • Synthesizing research literature, data management and collection of field studies, and management of research and student assistants.
  • Expertise in youth leadership, out-of-school time, youth civic engagement, and/or youth participatory action research is required.

Preference will be given to applicants who have direct experience engaging youth in participatory research, translating research for practitioner audiences, and/or partnering with practitioners on research and using an interdisciplinary approach to either education or youth development.

Physical Demands: This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers. The job does occasionally require walking some distance to attend meetings, and programs.

Anticipated Hiring Range: $55,000 to $60,000 (commensurate with qualifications). For more information see this link on the benefits available to postdoctoral associates at UVA.


For questions about the position, please contact Youth-Nex, and for questions about the application process, please contact Margaret Weeks.

Please apply through Workday, and search for ‘Postdoctoral Research Associate, Youth Action Lab at Youth-Nex". Complete an application online and attach:

  • Cover letter (addressed to Nancy Deutsch)
  • CV/resume
  • Statement of research interests
  • Two publications or writing samples
  • Contact information for three references

Submit all materials into the resume submission field, multiple documents can be submitted into this one field, alternatively you can merge your materials together and submit as one. Internal applicants must apply through their UVA Workday profile. Applications that are missing materials will not receive full consideration.

Research Associates are appointed annually, and continuation is dependent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funding. Review of applications will begin 10 days after posting and will remain open until filled.

COVID Vaccination Requirement

Due to the scope of President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 issued in early September, all University employees, including remote employees, must receive their final vaccination dose by January 4, 2022, unless they have a University-approved religious or medical exemption. The University has updated policy SEC-045 to reflect these new requirements.  

If hired by the Academic Division, excluding School of Medicine, School of Nursing, UVA Physicians Group, and the Health Systems Library, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination or be willing to be vaccinated by January 4, 2022. Academic employees may apply for a University-approved medical or religious exemption.

Note: Some medical and safety-sensitive positions require vaccination and are not eligible for an exemption. For more information on how vaccination requirements will apply to you, please visit the UVA New Hire Vaccination Requirements webpage.

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.

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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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