Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Website Boston College

The post doctoral research fellow position will work with Dr. Katherine McNeill at Boston College on two synergistic funded grants focused on supporting teacher learning in the context of curriculum-based professional learning. The first grant is the OpenSciEd Developers Consortium to support the revision of the professional learning materials for OpenSciEd curriculum. The OpenSciEd curriculum is a set of coherent, rigorous, research-based instructional materials that is freely available. OpenSciEd materials include phenomenon-based units that prioritize student coherence and equitable science sensemaking. The OpenSciEd professional learning strives to give teachers the materials, support, and power to get kids excited and curious about the world around them and confident in their ability to figure it out through questioning, investigating, and solving problems. The post doctoral research fellow will work with the OpenSciEd middle school professional learning team in the revision and release of these materials. The second grant is a new National Science Foundation (NSF) entitled Supporting teacher customizations of curriculum materials for equitable student sensemaking in secondary science which is a collaboration with Dr. Brian Reiser at Northwestern University. This project includes research examining teachers’ customization processes and the development of tools to support teachers in adapting curriculum materials, specifically the OpenSciEd curriculum materials, for their specific school context to facilitate equitable science sensemaking for all students. The focus of the first year of this work will be on conducting an empirical study of teachers’ customization processes, developing a theoretical model of teacher thinking and learning that underlies customization and designing initial customization tools to support teachers in this important work. Initial employment will be for one year. Based on performance, employment could be extended for subsequent years.

Key responsibilities include:

Work with the OpenSciEd professional learning team to revise professional learning materials and facilitator materials for release on the OpenSciEd website.
Work with the BC and Northwestern teams to design survey and interview instruments to understand what types of customizations teachers make while enacting the OpenSciEd curriculum materials and their rationale for these customizations.
Collect and analyze survey and interview data from teachers currently enacting the OpenSciEd middle school curriculum.
Design initial customization tools to support teachers in tailoring the curriculum materials to facilitate equitable sensemaking that is coherent from the students’ perspective
Present project findings at conferences and writing manuscripts for publication

To apply, e-mail to Dr. Katherine McNeill ([email protected])  a resume/cv,  contact information for three references and a cover letter describing how your past experiences align with the job and goals of the two projects. Any questions about the position can be sent to Dr. Katherine McNeill ([email protected]).


PhD in science education, learning sciences or related field
Research experience in k-12 science education
Excellent written and verbal communications skills.

Individuals with the following experiences and expertise will be preferred:

K-12 science teaching experience;
Experience studying teacher learning, professional learning and/or curriculum enactment
Experience running professional development for science teachers

Full-Time Equivalent Hiring Range: $52,704-$60,000; salary commensurate with relevant experience.

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