Postdoctoral Associates

The Department of Biology Teaching and Learning in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota seeks two postdoctoral research associates interested in conducting research on biology teaching and learning at the undergraduate level.

One postdoctoral scholar will work under the supervision of Dr. Anita Schuchardt to pursue research about the effect of student engagement in constructing and testing models of scientific phenomenon on student learning. I am particularly interested in how mathematical modeling and computational modeling can be incorporated in to science curricula to help students achieve a better understanding of scientific mechanisms and improve their computational thinking and quantitative reasoning.

The other scholar will work under the supervision of Dr. Abdi Warfa to contribute to ongoing research that seeks to characterize the nature of teacher discourse moves used by biology faculty in reform environments and to quantify their impact on student learning and/or examining the effectiveness of modeling activities on student cognition.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

50% – Research
Read and evaluate educational research papers, design and conduct educational research studies, collect and analyze quantitative/qualitative data, write research papers, present findings, apply for grants.

30% – Curriculum and Assessment Development
As needed, design curriculum and assessments and evaluate their effect on student learning and affect. Teach and/or train others to teach the curricular intervention. Evaluate fidelity of implementation of assessment. Administer and/or train others to administer the assessment.

20% – Supervision and Teaching
Co-advise and mentor graduate students and undergraduate research assistants as needed. Assist with development of curricular materials and assessments for undergraduate biology courses.


Essential Qualifications

  • PhD in biology, biochemistry or related sciences with some experience in biology teaching or education research OR
  • A master’s degree in biology, biochemistry or related sciences with a PhD in science education, learning sciences or equivalent areas

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with quantitative, qualitative analysis of educational research data.
  • Evidence of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Experience applying pedagogical best practices and evidence-based teaching methods to science teaching.
  • Ability to teach, mentor, and support students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with people from different disciplines and diverse backgrounds.
  • How to apply

Applications must be submitted online.  


Search Job ID# 315891

You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter outlining how your experience meets the job description and a CV. 

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail (link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail) or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).

Questions about these positions can be directed to Drs. Anita Schuchardt ( and Abdi Warfa ( Please indicate whether you wish to work with Dr. Warfa or Dr. Schuchardt at the top of your cover letter. For full consideration, all materials must be received by April 2, 2017. Review of the applications will continue until the positions are filled.

Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota, with its five campuses and 67,932 students, is one of the largest, most comprehensive universities in the United States, and ranks among the most prestigious research universities in the world. It is both a major research institution, with scholars of national and international reputation, and a state land-grant university, with a strong tradition of education and public engagement.   

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus has extensive research and teaching facilities; active-learning classrooms, genomics core facilities, field research stations, greenhouses, museum collections, herbarium and laboratories. The campus is located in the heart of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, which is rich in cultural and natural attractions.