Postdoctoral Research Associate -- Cognition and Temperament Lab -- Grant-Funded

Spelman College
Atlanta, GA

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Job Title:

Postdoctoral Research Associate -- Cognition and Temperament Lab -- Grant-Funded

Job Summary:

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work in the Cognition and Temperament Lab on a grant- funded project examining the cognitive and environmental factors that help children succeed academically. This position will be responsible for conducting a longitudinal follow-up of an economically diverse sample of African American children who were originally assessed when they were in preschool and kindergarten and manage other grant activities of the lab, including preparing manuscripts for publication.

This is a one-year, grant-funded position.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

· Coordinates project activities and supervises undergraduate research assistants: Responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the Cognition and Temperament Lab. Supervise students involved in contacting participants, interviewing families, administering research procedures with children, coding videotaped tasks, and training student research assistants. Organize and supervise data entry and manage the data entry process. Operate photocopy machine, audio and video equipment, phone, fax, computer, printer, calculator, etc. · Oversees training of undergraduate research assistants on the procedures to be used in communicating with participants, greeting families, data collection, coding of data, and data entry. · Responsible for learning all data collection procedures used in the project and for administering those procedures at a high level of accuracy. Data collection procedures will include telephone, virtual, or in-person interviewing (depending on COVID circumstances), administration of written questionnaires, observation using videotape equipment, and administration of tasks to children. · The Postdoctoral Research Associate will coordinate all participant recruitment efforts from calling parents directly, to obtaining informed consent for participation, to contacting schools for permission to observe classrooms and completing appropriate documents required by school boards for classroom visits. Will be responsible for delegating various tasks to the undergraduate research assistants. · Works with the Principal Investigator to develop a system of project recordkeeping that ensures the confidentiality of research participants. Will make regular reports to the Principal Investigator regarding the number of participants recruited and the number completing the research protocol. · Data management and analyses: Will work with the undergraduate research assistants to ensure that data were entered accurately, and with the Principal Investigator to analyze data using R, Mplus, SPSS and other statistical software.
· Responsible for coordinating the collection and organization of literature related to the project and for writing summary reports of literature. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will also prepare annual reports to the funding agency on the progress of the project and the Institutional Review Board at Spelman on human subject issue and will report bi-weekly to Principal Investigator on the project. Will work with the Principal Investigator to prepare manuscripts for publication. · The Postdoctoral Research Associate will receive structured mentoring from the PI. The mentoring plan will include professional development opportunities, such as career planning, grant writing, publications, and presentations.

Required Qualifications:

PhD in Psychology, Education, Human Development & Family Studies, or related field required.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate must possess research experience and leadership skills required to manage and supervise undergraduate research assistants in the daily activities of the project. This will include excellent communication skills in written and spoken English as well as effective decision-making strategies and strategic planning skills. Experience with supervision of others is required.

The Postdoctoral position also requires knowledge of word processing software (Word, Power Point), spreadsheet software (Excel), computer data entry and data analysis using SPSS and R, skills in library research, and a knowledge of the field of child or adolescent development.

Some travel required. Availability to work some weekends required.

Preferred Qualifications:

Strong quantitative background with experience in longitudinal research.
Experience in conducting research with children and in interviewing parents.
Experience collecting classroom observational data and/or teacher data.

Physical Demands:

Must be able to occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds.



% Travel Required:


Full Time/Part Time:




Number of Vacancies:


Posting Number:


Posting Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions to Applicants:

The position is opened until filled. Application reviews will begin immediately. To apply, please provide a copy of your curriculum vitae, a cover letter, and the names and contact information (name, address, telephone number, email address) of at least three (3) references.

EEO Statement:

Spelman College is an EEO/Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran/Title IX Employer and we participate in E-Verify. We are a smoke-free campus.


Working at Spelman College

Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective historically Black college that prepares women to change the world. Spelman’s holistic liberal arts education empowers women to excel intellectually, think creatively, serve wholeheartedly, act globally, and lead boldly. Located in Atlanta, Spelman College’s multifaceted, person-centered learning community creates lasting bonds of sisterhood and support. Providing an educational experience unlike any other, Spelman embraces a long-standing and life-changing commitment to academic rigor, career development, community involvement, and positive social impact.

Spelman is part of the Atlanta University Center, the largest consortium of historically Black institutions of higher learning in the world. Its partner institutions include Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine. Spelman shares cross-registration with its undergraduate partners. The AUC institutions also share the newly renovated Robert W. Woodruff Library.

A historic campus of 32 acres, dating back to 1883, Spelman is five minutes west of downtown Atlanta. There are 25 buildings on the lush, well-manicured campus, including a new, silver LEED- certified green residence hall, The Suites, and The Camille O. Hanks Cosby Academic Center, which houses the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and the state-of-the-art College Archives.

As a result of its dedicated faculty and staff, Spelman College has gained an excellent national reputation and high rankings in the media’s annual college guides. The College ranks among the top 70 Best Liberal Arts Colleges, consistently ranks as a top producer of Fulbright Fellows and Teach For America candidates, and has the distinction of being the leading producer of Black females who go on to earn doctoral degrees in science and engineering.

Spelman College is also home to SpelBots, the first all-women, African-American robotics team to take part in the international RoboCup competition in 2005, long considered the Olympics of Robotics and artificial intelligence. In addition, the Women’s Research and Resource Center, the WISDOM Center and Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, as well as the College’s departments of art and drama and dance, are among the many esteemed programs that showcase the College’s strengths in the humanities, arts and service leadership.

Dedicated, talented, and well-qualified faculty members are a hallmark of Spelman College. Home to 183 full-time faculty members, Spelman boasts an 11:1 student/faculty ratio, providing students with greater opportunities to engage with professors across disciplines. The William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professorship Program, for example, supports professorships in the fine arts, humanities and the social sciences. It is a multidisciplinary initiative designed to enhance the intellectual, cultural and creative life of Spelman College and its surrounding community. Previous Cosby Chairs include former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin; award-winning author and poet Pearl Cleage, C’71; the Rev. Renita Weems; distinguished scholar and economist William Darity, Ph.D.; and Bernice Johnson Reagon, C'70, an internationally known producer, composer and recording artist, and founder of the Grammy Award-nominated a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey and the Rock.

Spelman faculty have a significant impact on the College’s mission to educate students to lead and serve their communities and the world. To this end, Spelman’s iconic representative is the Millenial professor. The College is strengthening its Faculty Development Program to be comprehensive – recruiting and retaining talented individuals who pursue creative, rigorous scholarship and course development within their disciplines and in multidisciplinary ventures. These professors will also lead the way in internationalizing the curriculum.

As part of the College’s strategic plan for 2015, Spelman’s agenda is to strengthen the academic core of the institution. Constituents such as students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumnae, trustees and community partners participate by taking specific actions called GOALS. Spelman’s faculty goals are: global engagement; ongoing professional development; advising students to prepare not only for careers but for lives of success, leadership, and service; leadership through participation in shared governance; and service learning integrated across the curriculum.

The Spelman MILE – My Integrated Learning Experience – forms the foundation of Spelman College’s strategic plan. Symbolizing a transformational journey of learning, the Spelman MILE will ensure key competencies – such as critical thinking, effective communication, quantitative reasoning, and digital literacy – that Millenial students need for personal success. Student GOALS include: global engagement, including at least one meaningful international travel experience; opportunities for undergraduate research and career-related internships; alumnae connections to strengthen our sisterly bonds early on; leadership development focused on individual potential and best practices; and service learning that pairs hands-on community engagement with coursework shared governance.

Each year, the College hosts Research Day in April, as well as Faculty Research Day in October. Both events are designed to showcase excellence in student and faculty research across academic disciplines.

For more information about Spelman, visit

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