The University of Missouri College of Education and Human Development invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship position in the Prosocial Development & Education Research Lab. This Postdoctoral Fellow will work on the project Measuring Prosocial Behavior in Schools through a Virtual Reality Game: vSchool funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The project aims to develop and validate a school-friendly, game-based assessment of prosocial behavior for 4th – 6th grade students that can be used to evaluate behavioral and social-emotional learning (SEL) interventions. SEL interventions often aim to increase prosocial behavior, yet few SEL interventions actually measure increased prosocial behavior as an outcome. This is partly due to a dearth of measures of prosocial behavior that are validated, school-friendly, strengths-based (rather than deficit-based), and amenable to intervention. Our team includes forerunners in game-based measurement of social-emotional skills, prosocial experts, psychometrician, and game designers.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will collaborate with the team in development of the gameified assessment, quantitative data design, collection and analysis of data, and publication of findings, among other research duties as they arise. The fellow will gain experience working on a federally-funded, research project within a lab that has $16 million in federal funding for six projects focused on promoting prosocial education and positive classroom climate. The fellow will also have the opportunity to develop an independent line of research related to the study’s activities. The fellow should be committed to seeking and securing external funding, producing original research, publishing their work in highly ranked conference proceedings and journals (as appropriate), and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research. The lab includes affiliated faculty, two postdoctoral fellows, four GRAs, and various UGRAs.

This position is 100% FTE and may start as early as May 2022. This is a 1-year position with the possibility of renewing up to 3 years.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • An earned doctorate in educational or developmental psychology and assessment of social skills or related disciplines at the time of appointment.
  • Experience in collecting, cleaning, and analyzing quantitative data.
  • Experience in prek-12 students’ social and emotional development, and development/evaluation of assessments.
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students.
  • Comfort with technology use.

Communication and Other skills:

  • Strong professional writing skills, including research reports, peer-reviewed research articles, or other print and electronic publications.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Ability to communicate research results through talks at scientific conferences as well as to lay audiences.
  • Facility with technology and online platforms for organizing teams and work spaces.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • K-12 teaching, counseling, or administration experience
  • Experience conducting classroom observations
  • Proficiency in English
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Prior federal grant experience
  • Experience mentoring undergraduate students to conduct educational research
  • Experience in collaborating as a member of a larger research team
  • Proficiency with managing complex data sets and applying cutting edge data analysis techniques.


  • Lead weekly research team meetings
  • Work with the project coordinator to ensure benchmarks are met on time
  • Ensure quality control of assessment development
  • Collect, organize, and analyze data
  • Recruit participant students and teachers
  • Mentor graduate research assistants
  • Co-author research publications and annual reports
  • Develop future grant proposals

Candidates will be evaluated on the following factors:

  • Qualifications listed above
  • Ability to develop and sustain an independent program of scholarly research
  • Openness to learning
  • Skills in participating in research projects and generating research ideas
  • Research interests that align well with lab mission

The University of Missouri is committed to postdoctoral development. Postdoctoral fellows across all disciplines are supported with campus professional development opportunities, research and teaching awards, and small grants programs. Postdoctoral scholars can also further their academic career preparation through the University of Missouri’s Preparing Future Faculty seminar program. For information about postdoctoral fellows at MU, visit:

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. Travel funds are included in position.

Benefit Eligibility: This position is eligible for University benefits.  The University offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement, and educational fee discounts.  For additional information on University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits website at

To Apply:

  • A letter of application that addresses the candidate’s interest in the work, overall qualifications for the fellowship, and an explanation of how this fellowship will help prepare the candidate’s future career interests and professional goals.
  • A CV
  • A writing sample
  • List of three references

The CV must be uploaded in the Resume/CV and Cover Letter section at

Beginning Review Date: Formal review of applications will begin January 3, 2023 and continue until the position is filled.

Questions should be directed to:

Dr. Christi Bergin
Associate Dean for Research & Innovation
University of Missouri
109C Hill Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-2400

More Information

About the College

The College of Education is ranked #36 in the nation among public universities overall by U.S. News and World Report. Among programs especially relevant to the proposed study, MizzouEd is ranked #3 in graduate counseling programs and #21 in graduate special education programs. Today, the College has a student population of approximately 1000 undergraduates and 1,600 graduate students. The College is nationally recognized for its distance and online education programs.

About MU and the Surrounding Community

MU is the oldest state university west of the Mississippi River and the largest of the four institutions in the University of Missouri System. In 1867, MU became one of the first public universities in the nation to establish an academic program specific to teacher preparation. MU has a student body of over 34,000 and is designated as a Carnegie Research University with very high research activity. MU is one of only six universities in the U.S. that is both the flagship and land grant institution housing medicine, veterinary medicine, and law on the same campus. As an AAU member institution since 1908, MU is recognized as one of the top research and educational institutions in the nation. More information is available on the web at:

MU is located in Columbia, a metropolitan community of approximately 120,000 that has been rated by Money Magazine, Men’s Journal and MSN.COM as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Columbia ranked 6th on Livability’s 2019 list of Top 100 Best Places to Live. It has been ranked among the best college towns to live in. Columbia has been recognized as a bike-friendly community. Rails-to-trails conversions allow recreation and commuting to campus in natural spaces across the city. Cost of living is modest. Columbia is immediately surrounded by rural counties, while both Kansas City and St. Louis are within a 90-minute drive offering the shopping and cultural opportunities of major metropolitan areas. Columbia has high-quality public schools and provides many opportunities for art, music, culture, and film including the acclaimed “True/False Film Festival.” 

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of Missouri is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer: Women, minorities and disabled individuals are strongly encouraged to apply. To request ADA accommodations, please contact the Dean’s Office at 573-882-8524. The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America. For more information, call the Vice Chancellor of Human Resource Services/Affirmative Action officer at 573-882-4256. To request ADA accommodations, please call the Disability Inclusion and ADA Compliance Manager at 573-884-7278.


To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links: