STEM Ed Postdoc

Website California Polytechnic State University, SLO

The Bailey College of Science and Mathematics at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo is seeking a Frost Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the area of STEM Education. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will work with Dr. Jasmine Nation and Dr. Alejandra Yep on the project “Nuestra Ciencia: A University-Community Partnership Focusing on Latinx Students in STEM.”

Nuestra Ciencia is a partnership between Cal Poly and local bilingual schools, where college students teach science concepts in Spanish to elementary students. The program was designed to simultaneously address microbiology misconceptions and elevate undergraduates as STEM role models for Latinx children. As an interdisciplinary team, we develop experiments and educational resources, and visit classrooms to lead activities in Spanish. The research explores the impact of co-designed activities and asset-based bilingual instruction in science for both elementary and undergraduate students. The main activities of this project are: (1) co-designing and implementing bilingual science curricula; and (2) studying how the program expands Latinx students’ opportunities to learn science.

In addition, the Frost Postdoctoral Research Fellow will help mentor undergraduate and potentially preservice education students in the credential program. They will also have the opportunity to teach classes by separate assignment as a part-time lecturer.

This position will begin Summer or Fall 2024 according to candidate’s availability. The term of employment is one-year, with a second-year possible based on performance and funding. The annual salary for this position is $62,400, with full benefits, plus a travel allowance. This position is supplemented by separate assignment pay as a part-time lecturer for the teaching assignments. Specific responsibilities will include:

Contribute to ongoing studies on the impact of Nuestra Ciencia activities on elementary and undergraduate students.
Propose and conduct research projects based on previous years’ data collection on STEM education and Latinx youth in STEM.
Organize, manage, and conduct data collection and analysis.
Facilitate partnership activities, such as maintaining communication with bilingual school teachers and principals, working collaboratively with school partners and our research team.
Co-design and co-facilitate bilingual science activities for K-6 students.
Mentor undergraduate researchers from various majors working on the project.
Actively participate in scholarly communities through publication of research articles and presentations at professional conferences.
Propose and write manuscripts based on the conducted research.
Work with mentors in developing research project goals, including writing manuscripts and grant applications.
Receive mentorship and training in effective teaching practices and teach at least 1 undergraduate course during the fellowship under the mentorship of experienced faculty (paid by additional assignment as a part-time lecturer).Courses based on fellow’s area of expertise; possibilities include “Communicating Biology to Various Audiences”; “Science Integration in the K-8 Classroom”’; “Seminar for Learning Assistants”; “Learn by Doing Lab (Aprender Haciendo)”

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Required Qualifications

Doctoral degree from an accredited institution in a science field, STEM education, or a closely related field by start date of position
Desire to learn new skills and work in teams including students, researchers, and faculty
Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Word/Google Docs, Excel/Sheets, PowerPoint/Slides/Canva and statistical software such as R or qualitative data analysis tools such as NVivo or maxQDA
Experience writing peer-reviewed scientific articles
Ability to prioritize, plan, organize, and meet timelines
Ability to lead others in managing tasks; train and evaluate the performance of assigned personnel
Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationship with others
Excellent verbal and written skills and the ability to interface with all levels of staff, university community, including students, faculty and staff, and the public
Ability to maintain regular and reliable attendance
Preferred Qualifications

Teaching experience, either at the primary (K-6) or university level
Experience working in a research-practice partnership
Experience working with preservice elementary teachers
Record of publication in science education or bilingual education
Expertise in either qualitative or quantitative research methods
Expertise in culturally relevant pedagogy or issues of race, identity, and languages
Conversational speaking and listening proficiency in Spanish

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