The Visualization & Geoscience Education Research Lab at NIU seeks a post-doctoral researcher to support a NSF-funded project investigating students’ conceptual understanding of geoscience processes (NSF #1835950.) This mixed-mixed methods study investigates aspects of students’ spatial thinking and understanding associated with surface processes (i.e. weathering, erosion, and deposition) and hydrologic processes (i.e. groundwater and river systems). The ideal candidate will be interested in working at the intersection of education and geoscience. The PIs would be equally excited to work with trainees from a range of discipline – those with expertise in the geoscience content and interest in researching student learning, or those trained in education/psychology research methods and interest in learning about geoscience- specific challenges.

Primary Responsibilities include:

  • Collecting and analyzing qualitative interview data involving introductory undergraduate students’ understanding of visual and temporal representations and models in geoscience contexts,
  • Analyzing quantitative data from a multi-institutional classroom study,
  • Developing and publishing of manuscripts independently and as part of the lab group,
  • Coordinating logistics of the project, including grant project meetings.

This is a one-year position funded by NSF #1835950, with the possibility of an additional 6 months of funding. The position includes the opportunity for a week-long residency at the Research in Spatial Cognition Laboratory at Temple University and offers the opportunity to develop other research projects based on candidate interests. NIU offers several opportunities for collaboration with a growing community of STEM education researchers and serves a large number of under-represented students. Opportunities to collaborate on other funded research projects involving persistence in STEM are possible.

Minimum Qualifications:
1. A Ph.D. (or ABD or equivalent) in a physical sciences discipline, the learning sciences, cognitive or educational psychology, science education, or discipline-based education research.
2. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a productive team
3. Demonstrated expertise in either geoscience-specific content or education/psychology research methods

Annual salary for this position is $50,000 plus benefits (in accordance with NIU benefits) and travel support for two conferences. For more information, interested candidates should contact Nicole LaDue ( To apply, submit a cover letter describing how this position aligns with your background and goals, a CV, and contact information for three references. Application review for this position will begin March 15, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. Preferred start date is June 1, 2020, but start date is negotiable.