Postdoctoral Researcher

Postdoctoral Researcher

Classification: Full-time
Division/Department: HBCU STEM Undergraduate Success Research Center
Reports To: Derrick Bryan
Funded: 100 percent grant funds


Funded by the National Science Foundation, the new HBCU Undergraduate Success Research Center (STEM-US) is led by social scientists, natural scientists, and computer scientists from Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Virginia State University. The five-year STEM-US $9 million grant will be administered through Morehouse College. Students, faculty, and administrators from up to 50 HBCU’s will participate in the Center. Among the research activities will be a shared database tracking the successful matriculation of hundreds of STEM students, the most ever in a single study. The data will be analyzed and disseminated by the STEM-US Center’s Analytic Hub. Findings will be shared among the partner institutions and the public and will ultimately expand the use of best practices among HBCUs.

As such, the individual hired for this position will be employed by Morehouse College but will work in part virtually on a contracted project directed by Dr. Stephen Culpepper of the University of Southern Illinois through the Analytic Hub. Dr. Culpepper’s work will help identify the latent structure underlying survey items and relate the latent structure to important outcomes, such as high school background, course grades, and/or retention (e.g., to the institution or within a STEM major) using machine learning techniques. The goal is to create an assessment instrument that identifies affective factors associated with resilience. The data from individual HBCU’s could then describe, explain, and accurately predict educational outcomes across different contexts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Assist in attaining the goals of Center research by participating in research planning and proposal writing
  • Carries out research as agreed upon with faculty member/supervisor
  • Participates in the preparation of reports and manuscripts for publication
  • Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage those of other cultures and backgrounds
  • Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing contacts with colleagues, and attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or seminars as directed.
  • Keep detailed project notes and records
  • Helps to assure the success of the Center by performing all duties as assigned
Education and Experience Requirements
  • Doctoral degree in sociology, psychology, or other relevant degrees
  • Competent in using statistical programs (e.g., SPSS, AMOS, and R) and advanced statistical techniques (i.e., Structural Equation Modeling, Latent Growth Curve Analysis)
  • Have experience with educational data sets and psychosocial assessment instruments
  • Have knowledge of the limitations of educational assessment, especially within culturally diverse populations
  • Have experience with managing multi-phase projects using project management tools (i.e., Asana, Basecamp, or Microsoft Project)
  • Ability to work collaboratively online
  • Demonstrate personal accountability when working remotely
  • Contribute writing to scholarly products associated with the research (e.g., co-author manuscripts for publication and grant proposals)
  • Candidates with research experience in urban school settings and who can oversee graduate students and/or high achieving undergraduates preferred
Physical Demands
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced research environment
  • Sitting for an extended period required
  • Occasional walking as necessary
  • The position may require some travel and occasional participation in off-site functions
  • Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and to handle other computer components
  • Ability to lift 10 pounds

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