Two HHMI funded post-doctoral positions at the University of Iowa

Applications are invited for two HHMI funded post-doctoral positions to contribute to a study of institutional capacity to support inclusive first-year STEM experiences and promote dissemination of effective inclusive teaching models and practices. The successful candidates will conduct research activities under the direction of the senior personnel on research projects focused on making first-year and introductory STEM courses more inclusive through projects centered around three themes:

* Professional development that emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion.
* Innovating introductory STEM curriculum.
* Cultivating peer-to-peer student connections.

We are seeking applicants who have experience and interest in applying interdisciplinary research methods to solve important problems in higher education and who have a strong interest in student success, institutional change, or professional development. The position is offered for one year starting as early as July 2023 and is renewable for up to two years, based on mutual agreement. Starting salary is $56,484 with generous benefits. All applicants will be considered for both positions unless they indicate otherwise in their letter of interest.
Position 1 - HHMI Inclusive Excellence Learning Community Cluster 2 (LCC2)
The post-doctoral researcher will contribute to our collaborative HHMI IE3 funded project: “Increasing capacity to support equitable and inclusive learning environments for introductory-level STEM students across a 14-institution learning community”. This effort is part of HHMI’s Inclusive Excellence Initiative aimed to substantially and sustainably build capacity for student belonging, especially for those who have been historically excluded from the sciences.

Our goal is to address systemic change in higher education through collaboration among institutions committed to making systemic change happen locally. By closing the loop between researchers and change agents, we aim to accelerate change at program and institution levels, and to improve STEM education nationally. Success for the HHMI funded LCC2 project will include not only elevating the conversation around STEM education reform within all institutions in LCC2 group but will also require that we proactively avoid the “stall out” that can happen before sustainable policies and practices can be instituted at our colleges and universities. Therefore, in addition to evaluating the degree to which the learning community coheres around, and engages with its mission, we anticipate assessing the short term/immediate goals associated with project implementation and the long-term goals of institutional change around STEM education reform. In the early stages of the collaboration, we will learn about and develop mixed-methods strategies to assess the anticipated outcomes of the projects.

The postdoctoral associate will be housed at the University of Iowa working with mentors in the Cole research group as well as in the LCC2 research team. The postdoctoral associate will be able to shape the direction of their research with mentorship from and in collaboration with the project team. The postdoctoral associate will have opportunities to interact with a vibrant group of faculty, other postdoctoral associates, graduate and undergraduate researchers, and professional staff as part of the HHMI LCC2 group.
Position 2 – University of Iowa Excellence in Teaching and Learning Network
The post-doctoral researcher will contribute to our efforts to enhance support, incentives, and structures that facilitate teaching excellence and student learning. Activities will include working with a diverse team to examine policies, practices, and systems that create conditions for student academic success. This project seeks to coordinate multi-level change and investigate how each level creates conditions for change at other levels: How UI leadership creates conditions for department and faculty related to teaching, how departments create conditions for teaching practices across the curriculum, and how instructors create and improve conditions for student learning.

The primary responsibilities of this position will be to examine institutional policies and practices that influence department readiness to support and sustain curricular change.

* Review institutional polices related to recognition and reward of teaching, course and curriculum innovation, and support for student success.
* Interview college and department leadership to document how institutional polices are enacted in academic units.
* Interview faculty innovators to identify college and department practices that have influenced their implementation of courses and curriculum changes.
* Conduct reviews of literature and best practices at peer institutions.
* Work with the project team to Identify professional development strategies and resources for college and department leadership to support dissemination and adoption of inclusive teaching practices across the curriculum.
* Prepare both internal and external reports for publication and presentation.

Education Required
Doctoral degree in higher education, educational psychology, STEM education, or related field.

Required Qualifications

* Record of peer-reviewed publication
* Demonstrated interest in institutional change to improve undergraduate STEM education
* Knowledge of inclusive and evidence-based teaching practices that have been demonstrated to increase support for student learning in higher ed settings
* Experience conducting interviews and focus groups with individuals who represent a wide variety of backgrounds and institutional roles.
* Experience with the collection, compilation, and synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data and ability to create reports from data.
* Experience collaborating successfully on a research team that includes faculty, staff, and students.
* Strong organizational skills and experience completing complex projects on deadlines
* Extensive proficiency in written and oral communication skills and techniques.

Desirable Qualifications

* Familiarity with theory and practices related to institutional change
* Knowledge of organizational factors affecting adoption of innovative teaching practices
* Experience with qualitative research software
* Capacity to work effectively in diverse, cross-rank, cross-disciplinary, and cross-institutional teams.
* Demonstrated capacity to manage projects, including collecting and analyzing data and disseminating results

Individuals interested in either or both of these postdoctoral opportunities should apply through the Jobs@UIowa website ( and submit a cover letter indicating their interest in and qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three professional references. Review of applications will begin on approximately June 1, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Renee Cole at
The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences.