Posting Snapshot:  Post-Doctoral Research Associate position in Educational Psychology to work on an NIH-funded study examining contextual supports for undergraduates’ science motivation and persistence in science careers. 

Position Summary:  Dr. Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia ( in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education ( seeks a post-doctoral research associate to work on a NIH-funded study examining contextual supports for undergraduates’ science motivation and persistence in science careers. As part of this ongoing longitudinal study (now in year 12 of data collection with more than 4,500 participants), we are following undergraduates at two post-secondary institutions from their first year in college through seven years post-graduation. Data collection includes self-report surveys, institutional data, and qualitative interviews. Additionally, we are collecting survey and interview data from a new sample of ~900 participants at a third, minority-serving institution. The post-doctoral research associate will have the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Linnenbrink-Garcia and with her co-PI, Dr. Tony Perez at Old Dominion University. The project primarily focuses on addressing two key open questions: (1) What developmental patterns of motivational beliefs are adaptive for persistence in biomedical career pathways and do adaptive patterns vary across students from gender, socio-economic, and racial/ethnic groups historically underrepresented in the sciences?, and (2) How can we improve contextual supports during college, focusing on motivational beliefs as a mediating mechanism, in order to retain more individuals on biomedical career pathways, especially those from underrepresented groups? We will also pursue an alternative approach for addressing persistence in biomedical fields by examining how training future faculty to support student motivation and engagement in the context of enriched curricular opportunities relates to their later approaches to supporting student motivation and engagement.

Dr. Linnenbrink-Garcia’s lab is part of a collaborative motivation research group known as Michigan State Motivate along with the labs of Drs. Cary Roseth and Jennifer Schmidt. This provides a dynamic and supportive environment for post-doctoral research associates and ample opportunities for collaboration and mentorship with the PIs as well as with approximately 10 graduate students and 10 undergraduates. The post-doctoral research associate will also have the opportunity to interact with other post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and faculty that are part of the highly-ranked Educational Psychology and Educational Technology Ph.D. program.

The position is a one-year position, with the possibility of a two additional years contingent upon successful performance during the first year. The start date of the position is flexible, but we desire an individual to begin work in the summer of 2022 and prefer someone who can begin by June 1, 2022.


  • Conduct advanced statistical analyses (e.g., growth models, latent profile analyses, etc.) examining the impact of undergraduate enrichment experiences on motivation and subsequent engagement, achievement, and career aspirations/choices in science.
  • Coordinate survey data collection, processing, and analysis of survey and institutional data
  • Participate in analyses of qualitative interview data
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate research associates
  • Contribute to writing manuscripts for publication

Required Degree:  Applicants should have an earned doctoral degree in educational, developmental, or social psychology or a related field or provide evidence that the requirements for the doctoral degree will be completed prior to the start of the appointment.

Minimum Qualifications: Experience conducting psychological and/or educational research using longitudinal and/or experimental designs; knowledge and expertise in the use of statistical programs such as SPSS, R, and MPlus.

Desired Qualifications:  Background in motivation, especially as applied to understanding engagement and persistence of students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields; interest in statistics, including structural equation modeling, longitudinal data analysis, and/or person-centered data analysis; some familiarity with qualitative and/or mixed methods research.

Required Application Materials: (1) cover letter detailing qualifications for the position, including a clear statement of research interests and description of relevant analytical and data management experience, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) up to two representative publications or writing samples, and (4) names and contact information for three references.

Special Instructions to Applicant:   Please submit all application online at (position # 770674). Review of applications will begin on April 27, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. Late submissions will be considered if suitable candidates are not identified by the deadline. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.  MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity.  The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. If you have any questions about the position, please contact Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia (