University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
Position: Post-doctoral associate in Discipline-Based Education Research, Department of Biology, Henning Lab.
Start Date: Flexible – ideally on or before January 1, 2021
The Henning lab is inviting applications for a full-time disciplined-based education research (DBER) post-doctoral associate for a 2 year appointment in the Biology Department at the University of South Alabama. This position has a flexible start date, but ideally will begin in January 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – relocation to Alabama is negotiable.
The successful candidate will explore how multi-faceted visible and hidden student identities shape student perceptions of in-class interactions, institutional inclusivity, as well as discipline inclusivity, across all STEM majors at a regional R2 university. However, previous experience in DBER is not necessarily required.The ideal candidate would have experience with both quantitative and qualitative data analysis, including conducting semi-structured student interviews. Ideally, the successful candidate would also work collaboratively with PI Jeremiah Henning (as well as colleagues from Louisiana State University & Auburn University) to translate student-collected data into multiple-identity-focused cultural competency workshops for faculty and staff. The post-doctoral researcher will also have flexibility to conduct independent research, mentor Masters’ students, and get involved in teaching, depending on applicant’s interest.
The postdoctoral scholar will be funded by an NSF-supported EHR Core Research: Building Capacity in STEM Education Research (HER:BCSER) grant to PI Henning. The major goals of this grant are to: 1) explore multiple identities among STEM majors at a regional R2 university, 2) understand how multiple identities shape retention of students at the university and within STEM disciplines, and 3) to use data to design cultural competency training workshops for faculty, staff, and graduate students aimed at providing participants with better knowledge, language, and confidence to connect and engage all students. By improving the cultural competency of faculty and staff, our goal is to improve day-to-day interactions for marginalized students, reduce microaggressions, reduce conscious and unconscious biases, and to set a higher standard for campus-wide inclusion, which will improve campus climate and student sense of belonging.
Primary responsibilities: The primary duties and responsibilities will include – (1) implementation of student surveys across all STEM majors at the University of South Alabama with PI Henning, (2) conducting semi-structured interviews with students, (3) training and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate student researchers, and (4) data analysis and disseminating data via peer-review publications and presentation at meetings. Projects can be tailored toward the candidates’ interests and skills. (5) The postdoctoral scholar will also work within a team to design and implement cultural competency training workshops.
In addition to activities focused at the University of South Alabama, the successful candidates will have the opportunity to collaborate within the EDU-STEM network. The EDU-STEM network is a coordinated teaching and research network that is currently funded by an NSF research-coordination grant to support the research-coordination efforts of those interested in equitable teaching practices in introductory biology.
• Ph.D. in biology, education, data science, biology education research, or closely related field
• A strong record of publication
• Interest in discipline-based education research
• Experience with relevant literature and education research methods and familiarity with qualitative research approaches - such as conducting interviews with students – and analysis.
• Experience in quantitative research methods and statistics, particularly, familiarity with multilevel statistical modeling using R or other statistical software. There will be opportunity to learn and improve quantitative skills in R.
• Ability and desire to work collaboratively, mentor graduate and undergraduate students, and also work independently.
The Post-doctoral associate will be appointed for a one-year period with the possibility of extension for two additional years based on satisfactory performance.
About the area and university: The University of South Alabama is located in Mobile, Alabama – situated perfectly connecting the gulf coast beaches and the base of the hyper-diverse Mobile-Tensaw Delta. The University of South Alabama is a public, masters and doctoral-level institution, classified as High Research (R2) activity in the Carnegie Classification categories, and has > 14,000 students. The Biology Department is one of the largest departments on the University of South Alabama campus, with over 600 majors and has consistently grown over time.
To apply: Please send me, Jeremiah Henning (firstname.lastname@example.org), a single PDF document including a cover letter, CV, representative publication(s) (if any), and the names and contact information for three references. I will continue to accept applications until the position is filled but the initial application review will occur on September 15th 2020. Email me with any questions and I am more than happy to setup a Zoom meeting to provide more details for interested individuals.
The University of South Alabama is an EO/AA employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression), religion, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.