PURPOSE is a National Science Foundation-funded institutional postdoctoral training program which is hosted through the Center for Early Learning in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. The training program is recruiting four two-year postdocs in the areas of early childhood STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning and development in informal and/or formal learning environments (i.e., home and school environments).
A core focus of this training program will be on the integration of STEM and other school readiness domains, such as language, literacy, social-emotional functioning, and executive functions during early childhood years. You will join a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary department and contribute to the innovative and high-impact research being conducted within the Center for Early Learning.
An increased focus is placed on understanding the development of early academic and cognitive skills, particularly early STEM, during the foundational preschool and primary school years. Though significant advancements have been made in understanding how these domains individually develop, much of the work in this field is siloed within respective domains. Advancing cross-domain research is hampered due to limited opportunities for early career scholars to obtain training in multiple domains. Thus, PURPOSE is explicitly focused on bridging this training gap.
Additional Information on PURPOSE
The PURPOSE postdocs will receive scientific and professional development in the following three areas:
- Research: opportunities to engage in ongoing projects that focus on advancing equity in early STEM education research with minoritized populations, understanding the cross-domain development of early STEM and non-STEM skills, and developing their own independent projects
- Practice: providing professional development to pre-, and in-service educators, contributing to practitioner-based publications, developing practices to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in academic communities
- Policy: learning how education policy affects STEM learning, supporting policy-relevant professional development that incorporates attention to structural barriers
You will also be supported through a foundation of professional learning (e.g., providing explicit training on “the hidden curriculum” of academia and the practices of the scientific process), DEI (in contexts of both their scholarly and professional development), and mentoring (both the provision of mentoring and learning how to mentor). The PURPOSE postdocs will have one primary mentor and one secondary mentor that could include Drs. David Purpura, Valerie Knopik, Cammie McBride, Robert Duncan, Sarah Eason, and Jennifer Finders. The faculty profiles which include the research interests of the faculty members can be found here.
- Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, Education, Psychology, Communication Disorders, or related field completed by the start of the employment
- Research interests in early childhood STEM or other school readiness domains with an interest in connecting across STEM and other areas
Additional Desired Qualifications
- Quantitative or mixed-methods training
- Ability to work collaboratively with a research team
- Applicants with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion are preferred
How to apply
Official Posting: https://careers.purdue.edu/job-invite/22749/
The start date is negotiable, but the preferred start is no later than August 1st, 2023.
For best consideration, applications should be submitted by November 30, 2022. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled, and interviews will be conducted over Zoom. Please submit 1) a maximum two-page cover letter that describes your interests in the position and potential mentors (identify your preferred primary mentor), 2) a CV (including items in preparation), 3) a maximum 500-word DEI statement (emphasizing how your prior research and/or future projects and professional engagement demonstrate an understanding of, and a commitment to, issues of DEI in your field and in the academic community), 4) one scholarly writing sample (published or unpublished manuscript; we recommend candidates submit the research they are most proud of, regardless of journal or publication status), and 5) names and contact information of two references who will be contacted at a later point in the review process. Questions can be directed to Dr. David Purpura (email@example.com). Prospective applicants are also encouraged to contact the faculty with whom they are interested in working. Please use the subject line NSF PURPOSE POSTDOC in all correspondence.
Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. A background check will be required for employment in this position. As specified by the NSF grant requirements, candidates must be U.S. citizens, national, or legally admitted permanent resident aliens of the United States.
The targeted salary will be $70,000 per year and postdocs will receive $5,000 per year in research/travel funding. Responsibilities may include engagement in ongoing projects, development of new research projects, intervention development, manuscript preparation, conference presentations, project management, presentation of findings, and development and implementation of dissemination events for families and schools.