Posting Snapshot: Post-Doctoral Research Associate position in Educational Psychology to work on an NSF-funded study to develop a professional learning approach for middle school science teachers aimed at helping teachers support student motivation and engagement in NGSS-based ambitious science instruction.

Position Summary:  Dr. Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia ( and Dr. Jennifer Schmidt ( in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education ( seek a post-doctoral research associate to work on a NSF-funded collaborative project called Motivation – Planning Lessons to Activate eNgagement in Science (M-PLANS, The goal of M-PLANS is to develop a professional learning model that helps in-service teachers support middle school students’ motivation and engagement in the context of science instruction aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The PI team includes Dr. Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia and Dr. Jennifer Schmidt from MSU; Dr. Gwen Marchand from University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Dr. Christopher Harris from WestEd. The post-doctoral researcher will work with the full project team. The project team has developed M-PLANS collaboratively with a team of middle school science teachers and district level science coordinators in Michigan and Nevada and has collected two rounds of implementation data. The post-doctoral research associate will have the opportunity to analyze qualitative and quantitative data collected as part of the two implementation cycles, further refine the M-PLANS toolkit, disseminate results and materials, and support efforts to seek additional funding to continue the project.

Dr. Linnenbrink-Garcia and Dr. Schmidt are also part of a collaborative motivation research group known as Michigan State Motivate along with the lab of Dr. Cary Roseth. 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 additional years contingent upon additional funds becoming available and 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.


  • Aid in the oversight of the project at MSU, including mentoring graduate research assistants and overseeing management, processing, and analysis of qualitative and mixed-method data, including videos, interviews, and surveys.
  • Coordinate communication with the collaborating middle school science teachers and science coordinators for Michigan
  • Conduct qualitative and mixed-method analyses on the effectiveness of M-PLANS in changing teacher behavior/beliefs and student motivation, engagement, and learning.
  • Participate in the further refinement of the M-PLANS professional learning approach based on data collected in both rounds of implementation and plans for next steps
  • Contribute to manuscript preparation, grant-related reporting activities, and other dissemination efforts.

Required Degree:  Applicants should have an earned doctoral degree in educational psychology, learning sciences, 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 or training in motivation research; experience conducting psychological and/or educational research in school settings; knowledge and expertise in the analysis of qualitative data and the use of SPSS and Excel.

Desired Qualifications:  Background in science education; experience working with practicing K-12 teachers to develop and/or implement new curricular or pedagogical approaches; prior K-12 teaching experience, especially in science.

Required Application Materials: (1) cover letter detailing qualifications for the position, including a clear statement of research interests and description of relevant data analysis and/or 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 # 770675). 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 (