Post Doctoral Research Associate - CURE

University of Massachusetts Amherst
UMass Amherst

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Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Job no: 510234
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Natural Sciences
Union: Post Doc
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

This is a postdoctoral position to carry out research and engagement associated with a project funded by the HHMI Inclusive Excellence program. This program seeks to increase the capacity for inclusive excellence in the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst through a combination of curricular revisions and faculty engagement in inclusive programming. We are focusing our curricular revisions, initially, on developing course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in introductory courses in STEM. While we have already begun this effort by implementing the SEA-PHAGES program ( in biology laboratory courses, we intend to expand to other disciplines and to help faculty develop their own CUREs. Faculty who have already expressed interest in doing so are part of the CURE Community of Practice which will meet regularly throughout the academic year. The postdoctoral fellow will be mentored and will report to Assistant Dean and Professor, Gabriela Weaver.

We seek a postdoctoral fellow to assist with the CURE development portion of this program and to provide assessment of the program overall in a manner consistent with our effort to increase our campus inclusive capacity and the goals of the funding agency. Specifically, the postdoctoral fellow will:

  • Develop and/or demonstrate an appreciation and expertise in identifying access and barrier issues limiting the participation and success of students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM, and contribute to the design and implementation of steps to advance participation and eliminate existing student success disparities.
  • Provide inclusion training for faculty who are developing and implementing new CUREs. There are workshops and training materials available for the postdoc to use in preparing for this work, as well as resources on campus who can advise in preparation of such training.
  • Work with the CNS Office of Student Success and Diversity to develop and provide training for graduate Teaching Assistants and mentors of undergraduate research assistants in inclusive practices.
  • Support the UMass CURE Community of Practice faculty to implement design features of CUREs as well as to coordinate meetings and agenda items.
  • Work with the Biology Department to support the coordination and mentoring of the SEA-PHAGES undergraduate Peer Leaders including their training in inclusive practices.
  • Carry out assessment of the project activities and outcomes, guided by Professor Weaver.

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Learn about inclusive teaching and mentoring practices, particular for STEM disciplines.
  • Develop a syllabus and materials for providing inclusive practices training.
  • Provide training on inclusive practices to faculty, graduate student TAs, and mentors of undergraduate research assistants.
  • Learn about the peer-led team learning (PLTL) model of supplemental instruction from online, book and human resources that will be made available to the postdoc.
  • Provide training as mentors to undergraduate students serving as peer leaders in CURE courses.
  • Participate in meetings of the CURE Community of Practice and help to coordinate the meetings and materials for these meetings.
  • Review research articles, funding agency reports, and other documents associated with the UMass HHMI Inclusive Excellence project in order to become familiar with the goals and objectives of the program.
  • In collaboration and consultation with Professor Weaver, develop program assessment plans.
  • Carry out the assessment plans, including data collection, data analysis and writing up assessment findings.
  • Contribute to the writing of project reports, conference presentations, and journal articles.
  • Meet with the UMass HHMI Inclusive Excellence leadership team, as needed.
  • Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the strategic priorities of the UMass HHMI Inclusive Excellence project.
  • Perform duties in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.
  • Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in a science or science education discipline, with a specialty related to discipline-based STEM education research.
  • Minimum 1 year experience teaching at the higher education level (graduate teaching is applicable).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Collaborative teamwork skills.
  • Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Research and or evaluation experience in STEM education.
  • Work Schedule

    Flexible 40-hours per week schedule, with most work expected to take place Monday – Friday from 8:30am – 5:00pm. May be necessary on occasion to work some nights and weekends.

    Salary Information

    Salary will be commensurate with experience.

    Special Instructions to Applicants

    Submit a curriculum vitae, contact information for three professional references, a cover letter describing qualifications for this position, and a Diversity Statement (see below).

    The search will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified.

    As part of a commitment to a multicultural community, we seek an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (

    UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

    Advertised: Sep 23 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close:


    The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the preeminent public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts—often called “The top college town in North America”—the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. 

    As one of the nation's top public research universities – as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding – the campus spends more than $180 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university works in conjunction with academic, government, and private partners to translate new knowledge and scientific discoveries into technical innovations and scholarly works that create opportunities for students, faculty and the public. 

    Eight schools and colleges offer more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and world. UMass Amherst is also home to New England's premier honors college.

    The 1,159 full-time faculty members are dedicated teachers and world-renowned researchers and the campus has regularly been listed among the top performers in terms of faculty awards. With over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, the student body is the most academically successful in the history of the campus. Students participate in 240 organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, extensive intramurals, living-learning residence halls, community service, and internships. With one of the largest residential life systems in the nation, UMass Amherst houses approximately 12,000 students on campus. The university is enjoying a facilities renaissance, including new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation. UMass Amherst is part of the Five College consortium with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst colleges.

    As an employer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a national leader in developing family-friendly policies, benefits and amenities designed to help faculty members develop both productive careers and satisfying personal lives. The university offers one of the nation’s most generous parental leave policies. The university is also part of the Academic Career Network, a regional consortium formed to serve dual-career couples and encourage greater diversity in the academy.


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