Postdoctoral Associate in Biology Education Research @ BSCS

February 27, 2020
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate in Biology Education Research
Reports To: Research Division Director
Start Date: June 1st, 2020
FLSA Status: Exempt
Applications are invited for a fulltime post-doctoral associate in biology education research at
BSCS Science Learning in Colorado Springs, CO. The successful candidate will work as a
researcher, curriculum writer, and teacher educator on genetics education research projects. The
associate will serve as a researcher on NSF-funded projects led by Dr. Brian M. Donovan, who
will serve as the associate’s postdoctoral advisor. The Postdoctoral Associate will be appointed for
a two-year period with the possibility of extension for one additional year.
Postdoctoral Associate Appointments at BSCS
A postdoctoral associate position at BSCS is a mentored apprenticeship. Postdoctoral associates
play a significant role in research, instructional materials development, and/or professional
learning projects and engage in a customized postdoctoral learning program with the mentorship
of a BSCS research scientist. BSCS provides postdoctoral associates with a salary, full benefits,
and an annual budget for professional development and participation in academic conferences. At
the completion of a postdoctoral associate appointment, an individual will have acquired additional
understanding and abilities required for a research and/or development career in science education
and will have authored additional publications and other scholarly works. In collaboration with
their mentor, every postdoctoral associate develops a professional development plan with a set of
specific goals for the period of their appointment. BSCS research scientists will also provide
postdoctoral associates with mentorship in grant writing, manuscript writing, and presentation
skills. Postdoctoral associates often serve as mentors to research assistants and associates.
This Postdoctoral Associate in Biology Education Research position
This postdoctoral associate will work with research scientists to co-design and carry out research
studies on genetics education, co-develop and validate research instruments, collect and analyze
data, present research findings at conferences, and author manuscripts. They will also have the
opportunity to engage in curriculum writing and/or professional development for educators
depending on their interests. The postdoctoral associate will have the opportunity to work on two
or more projects during their time at BSCS, including the following NSF-funded genetics
education research projects:
NSF-IUSE Award # 1914843 - Collaborative Research: Exploring How Undergraduate Learning
of Multifactorial Genetics Affects Belief in Genetic Determinism. This project explores how the
learning of multifactorial genetics affects belief in genetic determinism among undergraduates.
The primary duty of the postdoctoral associate will include co-developing computerized
educational interventions that teach undergraduates about complex multifactorial genetics
concepts. These interventions will employ inductive learning frameworks to scaffold the
interpretation of genetic data, the modeling of genetic data, and argumentation using genetic data.
The postdoctoral associate will also work collaboratively with the project team to study how these
interventions influence belief in genetic determinism, implicit person theories, and the motivation
to study STEM in a series of large randomized control trials carried out across many colleges and 
universities. These randomized trials will be implemented through Qualtrics. She/He/They will
also assist in conducting cognitive think-alouds with these intervention materials to understand
how students apply their prior knowledge of genetics to make sense of multifactorial genetics
concepts. This project is part of a collaboration with Dr. Michelle Smith (Associate Professor of
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University) and Dr. Gregory Radick (BSCS
Research Affiliate and Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology at the University of Leeds).
NSF-CORE Award # 1660985 – Towards a More Humane Genetics Education: Exploring How
Knowledge of Genetic Variation and Causation Affects Racial Bias. This project explores if and
how the development of genomics literacy protects against the development of racism during
adolescence. For more on this project please visit the humane genetics project webpage on the
BSCS website (or click here). The primary duty in this position includes co-teaching professional
institutes for middle and high school biology teachers about how to teach about human genetic
variation to reduce racism. The postdoctoral associate will also work collaboratively with the
project team to conduct a randomized control trial of the humane genetics intervention.
Required Qualifications
• Ph.D. in science education or ABD;
• bachelor’s degree in biology or equivalent, with significant understanding of human
Desirable Qualifications
• knowledge of the relevant educational literature, which includes inductive learning,
argumentation, model-based reasoning, contrasting cases, genetic essentialism, implicit
person theories, and genetics education research;
• strong skills in two or more of the following areas: curriculum writing, in-service teacher
professional development, mixed-methods research.
• coursework in population genetics or multifactorial genetics.
Essential Qualities and Abilities
• a commitment to improving science education;
• a commitment to equity and social justice in education;
• strong internal motivation;
• flexibility and openness to learning;
• ability and desire to work collaboratively, to be mentored, to work independently, and to
mentor younger researchers;
• project management, time management, communication, and writing skills
About BSCS Science Learning
BSCS Science Learning is an independent, nonprofit organization that develops, studies, and
disseminates powerful approaches to science education. Our mission is to improve science
teaching and learning through research-driven innovation. Founded in 1958, BSCS has brought
the experience of inquiry learning to millions of students and teachers across the U.S. and around
the world. Today, BSCS conducts research on how to improve science teaching and learning, 
develops instructional materials, offers professional learning programs for teachers, and conducts
leadership development programs. Underlying all this work is our commitment to providing all
young people with equitable, inclusive, and just science learning opportunities.
Additional Information
The full-time, annual salary for this position ranges from $50,000 to $60,000 depending on
experience and qualifications. The position also includes a $5,000 budget for professional
development activities, including conference attendance. This position requires public speaking
and travel.
BSCS offers competitive compensation and a generous package of benefits, as well as a flexible
and inclusive work environment, with a strong commitment to the professional growth of all
BSCS’s offices are in Colorado Springs, the #2 city in US News & World Report’s 2018 Best
Places to Live. Located along the Front Range of the Rockies one hour south of Denver,
Colorado Springs is known for a mild climate, a vibrant arts community, and year-round outdoor
recreation. Preference will be given to candidates who will relocate to Colorado Springs. For
additional information about BSCS and our work, prospective applicants are encouraged to
review the BSCS website (
BSCS Commitment to Diversity
BSCS Science Learning is committed to recruitment of a diverse staff so that we can bring the
broadest possible range of perspectives to our mission of improving science teaching and
learning. We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for
employment without regard to age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability (physical
and/or mental), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, military
obligations, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any status protected by federal,
state, or local law.
To Apply:
Applicants should send their research statement, teaching statement, diversity statement,
curriculum vita and a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications to Please put “Postdoctoral Associate” in the subject line. In your cover letter,
please include your interest and qualifications in the position and indicate your willingness to
relocate to Colorado Springs, if you currently reside outside the area. We will review complete
applications as they are received and will continue to accept and review applications until the
positions are filled. Employment could begin as early as April 1, 2020 or as late as June 1st,
2020. In your cover letter, please indicate your earliest available start date