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Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Program

Apply now Job no: 513185
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: CNS Advising Center
Union: Post Doc
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Research, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

This is a postdoctoral position to carry out research and engagement activities associated with a project funded by the HHMI Inclusive Excellence program. This program seeks to increase the capacity for inclusive excellence in the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst through a combination of curricular revisions and faculty engagement in programming. We are focusing our curricular revisions, initially, on developing course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in introductory courses in STEM. While we have already begun this effort by implementing the SEA-PHAGES program ( in biology laboratory courses, we intend to expand to other disciplines and to help faculty develop their own CUREs. The postdoctoral fellow will be mentored by report to Assistant Dean and Professor, Gabriela Weaver.

We seek a postdoctoral fellow to assist with the CURE development portion of this program and to provide assessment of the program overall in a manner consistent with our effort to increase our campus capacity for inclusion and meet the goals of the funding agency.  Specifically, the postdoctoral fellow will:

  • Identify access and barrier issues limiting the participation and success of students, including but not limited to those from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM.
  • Contribute to the design and implementation of steps to advance participation and eliminate existing student success disparities.
  • Provide inclusion training for faculty who are developing and implementing new CUREs.  (Workshops and training materials are available for the successful postdoctoral candidate to use in preparing for this work, as well as resources on campus who can advise in preparation of such training.
  • Develop and provide training on inclusive practices, in collaboration with the CNS Office of Student Success and Diversity, for graduate Teaching Assistants and mentors of undergraduate research assistants.
  • Support the UMass CURE Community of Practice faculty to implement design features of CUREs, including coordinating meetings, agendas, etc.
  • Support the coordination and mentoring of the SEA-PHAGES undergraduate Peer Leaders including their training in inclusive practices.
  • Carry out assessment of the project activities and outcomes, guided by Professor Weaver.


Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Learn about inclusive teaching and mentoring practices, particular for STEM disciplines.
  • Develop a syllabus and materials for providing inclusive practices training.
  • Provide training on inclusive practices to faculty, graduate student TAs, and mentors of undergraduate research assistants.
  • Learn about the peer-led team learning (PLTL) model of supplemental instruction from online, book and human resources that will be made available to the postdoc.
  • Provide training as mentors to undergraduate students serving as peer leaders in CURE courses.
  • Participate in meetings of the CURE Community of Practice and help to coordinate the meetings and materials for these meetings.
  • Review research articles, funding agency reports, and other documents associated with the UMass HHMI Inclusive Excellence project in order to become familiar with the goals and objectives of the program.
  • In collaboration and consultation with Professor Weaver, develop program assessment plans.
  • Carry out the assessment plans, including data collection, data analysis and writing up assessment findings.
  • Contribute to the writing of project reports, conference presentations, and journal articles.
  • Meet with the UMass HHMI Inclusive Excellence leadership team, as needed.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the strategic priorities of the UMass HHMI Inclusive Excellence project.
  • Perform duties in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in a science education discipline, or in a science discipline with a specialty in STEM education research.
  • Research and/or evaluation experience in STEM education.
  • Minimum 1 year experience teaching at the higher education level (graduate teaching is applicable).
  • Collaborative teamwork skills.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience conducting/assisting with research and evaluation on STEM-specific educational programs
  • Experience with training on and use of inclusive teaching practices.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • The successful postdoctoral candidate will be providing training for groups of people who are faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students in the sciences. Therefore, the successful candidate should have the ability to work with and communicate easily with these various types of individuals.


Work Schedule

Flexible 40-hours per week schedule, with most work expected to take place in the windows of Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm.  May be necessary on occasion to work some nights and weekends.


Salary Information

Salary will be commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit curriculum vitae, Statement of Diversity (see below), contact information for three professional references, and a cover letter describing qualifications for this position. The search will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, we seek an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations.  In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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