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Motivate Lab Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia
 
 
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Date Posted 07/15/2021
Category
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type FullTime
Application Deadline Open until filled
 
 
 
 
 

The Motivate Lab is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (postdoc) who can begin August 2021. The postdoc will work closely with Chris Hulleman (University of Virginia), Jim Stigler (UCLA), and Karen Givvin (UCLA) to develop, implement, and test the effectiveness of a series of learning mindset interventions embedded in an online statistics course. The position is a part of the Better Book Project, funded by the California Learning Lab. This project will develop, implement, and continuously improve an online interactive textbook for introductory statistics. The project’s innovative design - based on learning science theories of how people develop deep understanding in complex domains - involves repeatedly engaging students with the deep conceptual structure of the domain (in this case, statistical modeling), and includes a heavy emphasis on simulation, randomization, and bootstrapping as tools for both doing data analysis and understanding statistical ideas. The goal is not simply to increase students’ course completion, but the development of flexible and transferable knowledge - i.e., deep understanding - in all students. The postdoc will join the motivation and engagement team led by Chris Hulleman (Motivate Lab) and Karen Givvin (UCLA), and work with the two other research and design teams (statistics curriculum and math prerequisites).


Key Responsibilities

The Postdoc will be responsible for...

  • Survey and intervention design

    • Design and implement surveys and pulse checks assessing student and instructor mindset and motivation

    • Design, develop, and implement data-informed learning mindset and utility-value interventions to be tested by participating instructors

  • Data analysis and management

    • Clean and transform raw data in preparation for analysis

    • Data analysis through code primarily using Mplus (preferred) and SPSS

    • Preliminary data analysis for longitudinal analysis (e.g., measurement invariance)

    • Analysis of descriptive and correlational statistics by group

    • Analysis of validity and reliability of quantitative measurement scales

    • Higher-level analytical techniques (e.g., latent change analysis, multiple-group structural equation modeling)

    • Create and manage longitudinal datasets

    • Build datasets by merging from various data sources, tables, files, etc.

  • Communication of Data

    • Provide recommendations to instructors and curriculum designers based on research findings

    • Present research findings to higher education administrators, faculty members, other researchers, and potential funders

    • Present research findings at conferences and professional meetings

    • Contribute to dissemination efforts through academic writing, grant writing, professional development materials, and promotional materials

As projects grow and develop at Motivate Lab, new and unforeseen responsibilities will likely appear. The ideal candidate will exhibit adaptability and flexibility with the changing responsibilities.


Qualifications and Skills/Experiences

The ideal candidate will have a background in postsecondary work, non-profit, and/or education sectors. This person will have a passion for shaping how schools serve students and for creating equitable spaces for students from historically marginalized and minoritized populations.

  • Minimum qualification: Ph.D. from an accredited university in psychology; educational psychology; statistics, evaluation, and research methods; econometrics; education or a related social sciences field

  • Strong working knowledge of motivation research

  • Advanced quantitative data analysis and management skills, with proficiency in MPlus

  • Experience with social psychology or motivational interventions design and implementation

  • Demonstrated experience preparing conference presentations, research findings, and manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals

  • Strong organizational skills, including attention to detail and balancing multiple priorities

  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to interact effectively with a diverse team of internal and external stakeholders

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and demonstrate good judgment

We know there are great candidates who might not check all of these boxes or who possess important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.


Commitment to Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Motivate Lab is committed to:

  • Recruiting talented and diverse staff.

  • Recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, and providing an inclusive and supportive environment in which staff and faculty are recognized as integral to the success of our work.

  • Promoting a culture of integrity, mutual respect, excellence, collaboration and innovation.


How to Apply

Complete an online application through UVA’s application portal and attach a CV/resume and answers to the following questions in lieu of a cover letter:

1. What about Motivate Lab, and the Postdoctoral Research Associate role in particular, is most intriguing to you?

2. What skills and experiences make you a uniquely qualified candidate for this role?

3. How you intend to bring a focus on practices that promote justice, equity, and inclusion to this role?

Each response should be no more than 300 words.

All completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


About Motivate Lab

The mission of the Motivate Lab is to improve people's lives through rigorous motivation research.  Led by two professors at the University of Virginia, Motivate Lab's annual operating budget of over $2.2M is completely supported through external grants and contracts.  Our current five-year strategic plan has ambitious goals of growing the size, scope, and impact of our work in education and beyond, including sports and workforce settings.  The majority of work in our organization focuses on research and development activities that develop tools to infuse learning-mindset supportive practices into educational and policy contexts, with a particular focus on supporting students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in higher education.  We utilize our rigorous methods to design translational activities, including professional development, training, and dissemination, for both researchers and practitioners.  We aim to change both the fields of practice and research through our innovative and agile methods of developing evidence-based practices.


Target start date: August 2021

Note: this is a restricted position and continuation beyond a year is dependent upon the availability of funding and satisfactory performance.


Compensation

Competitive salary is commensurate with individual’s experience and skills. All full-time employees receive a comprehensive benefits package.

The University of Virginia, i ncluding the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff.  We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences.  We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.



The Motivate Lab is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (postdoc) who can begin August 2021. The postdoc will work closely with Chris Hulleman (University of Virginia), Jim Stigler (UCLA), and Karen Givvin (UCLA) to develop, implement, and test the effectiveness of a series of learning mindset interventions embedded in an online statistics course. The position is a part of the Better Book Project, funded by the California Learning Lab. This project will develop, implement, and continuously improve an online interactive textbook for introductory statistics. The project’s innovative design - based on learning science theories of how people develop deep understanding in complex domains - involves repeatedly engaging students with the deep conceptual structure of the domain (in this case, statistical modeling), and includes a heavy emphasis on simulation, randomization, and bootstrapping as tools for both doing data analysis and understanding statistical ideas. The goal is not simply to increase students’ course completion, but the development of flexible and transferable knowledge - i.e., deep understanding - in all students. The postdoc will join the motivation and engagement team led by Chris Hulleman (Motivate Lab) and Karen Givvin (UCLA), and work with the two other research and design teams (statistics curriculum and math prerequisites).


Key Responsibilities

The Postdoc will be responsible for...

  • Survey and intervention design

    • Design and implement surveys and pulse checks assessing student and instructor mindset and motivation

    • Design, develop, and implement data-informed learning mindset and utility-value interventions to be tested by participating instructors

  • Data analysis and management

    • Clean and transform raw data in preparation for analysis

    • Data analysis through code primarily using Mplus (preferred) and SPSS

    • Preliminary data analysis for longitudinal analysis (e.g., measurement invariance)

    • Analysis of descriptive and correlational statistics by group

    • Analysis of validity and reliability of quantitative measurement scales

    • Higher-level analytical techniques (e.g., latent change analysis, multiple-group structural equation modeling)

    • Create and manage longitudinal datasets

    • Build datasets by merging from various data sources, tables, files, etc.

  • Communication of Data

    • Provide recommendations to instructors and curriculum designers based on research findings

    • Present research findings to higher education administrators, faculty members, other researchers, and potential funders

    • Present research findings at conferences and professional meetings

    • Contribute to dissemination efforts through academic writing, grant writing, professional development materials, and promotional materials

As projects grow and develop at Motivate Lab, new and unforeseen responsibilities will likely appear. The ideal candidate will exhibit adaptability and flexibility with the changing responsibilities.


Qualifications and Skills/Experiences

The ideal candidate will have a background in postsecondary work, non-profit, and/or education sectors. This person will have a passion for shaping how schools serve students and for creating equitable spaces for students from historically marginalized and minoritized populations.

  • Minimum qualification: Ph.D. from an accredited university in psychology; educational psychology; statistics, evaluation, and research methods; econometrics; education or a related social sciences field

  • Strong working knowledge of motivation research

  • Advanced quantitative data analysis and management skills, with proficiency in MPlus

  • Experience with social psychology or motivational interventions design and implementation

  • Demonstrated experience preparing conference presentations, research findings, and manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals

  • Strong organizational skills, including attention to detail and balancing multiple priorities

  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to interact effectively with a diverse team of internal and external stakeholders

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and demonstrate good judgment

We know there are great candidates who might not check all of these boxes or who possess important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.


Commitment to Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Motivate Lab is committed to:

  • Recruiting talented and diverse staff.

  • Recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, and providing an inclusive and supportive environment in which staff and faculty are recognized as integral to the success of our work.

  • Promoting a culture of integrity, mutual respect, excellence, collaboration and innovation.


How to Apply

Complete an online application through UVA’s application portal and attach a CV/resume and answers to the following questions in lieu of a cover letter:

1. What about Motivate Lab, and the Postdoctoral Research Associate role in particular, is most intriguing to you?

2. What skills and experiences make you a uniquely qualified candidate for this role?

3. How you intend to bring a focus on practices that promote justice, equity, and inclusion to this role?

Each response should be no more than 300 words.

All completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


About Motivate Lab

The mission of the Motivate Lab is to improve people's lives through rigorous motivation research.  Led by two professors at the University of Virginia, Motivate Lab's annual operating budget of over $2.2M is completely supported through external grants and contracts.  Our current five-year strategic plan has ambitious goals of growing the size, scope, and impact of our work in education and beyond, including sports and workforce settings.  The majority of work in our organization focuses on research and development activities that develop tools to infuse learning-mindset supportive practices into educational and policy contexts, with a particular focus on supporting students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in higher education.  We utilize our rigorous methods to design translational activities, including professional development, training, and dissemination, for both researchers and practitioners.  We aim to change both the fields of practice and research through our innovative and agile methods of developing evidence-based practices.


Target start date: August 2021

Note: this is a restricted position and continuation beyond a year is dependent upon the availability of funding and satisfactory performance.


Compensation

Competitive salary is commensurate with individual’s experience and skills. All full-time employees receive a comprehensive benefits package.

The University of Virginia, i ncluding the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff.  We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences.  We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


Apply
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