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Position Details

Exploring in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative (EDEFI) Postdoctoral Research Fellow The Vanderbilt University Department of Teaching and Learning is pleased to invite applications from qualified candidates for a one year postdoctoral research position in our department. This is a full-time, 12- month appointment with regular working hours, benefits, etc., optimally beginning in September 2017. EDEFI (pronounced “edify”) investigates the institutional, technical, social, and cultural factors that affect decision-making, career choices, and career satisfaction for engineering and computing doctoral students, candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty who have been marginalized by race and/or gender. EDEFI also looks at ways those factors contribute to the current underrepresentation of these marginalized groups in engineering and computing faculty positions. We pay special attention to increasing the numbers of Black faculty in these positions. Visit our website at:

VU Department of Teaching and Learning

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow, under the guidance of the Principal Investigators (Dr. Ebony O. McGee and Dr. Monica Cox, Professor and Department Chair at The Ohio State University Department of Engineering Education), will play an active role in every aspect of research, from project design to disseminating findings in publications and presentations. Specific research activities include to varying degrees: instrument development, identifying and synthesizing project-related scientific literature, data collection, data processing, coding, analysis, and dissemination. Duties may include co-supervising undergraduate and graduate research assistants, project management, data entry, transcription, library, and administrative work as project needs warrant. Teaching responsibilities include co-teaching a graduate level course. Periodic domestic travel for data collection or other research activities may also be required.

For the successful candidate, the thrust of the work during this fellowship will utilize both quantitative and qualitative research methods to examine persistence in and attrition from the engineering faculty pipeline at the doctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels. In particular, we will examine the meaning of, salience of, and origins of an (academic/professional) engineering identity; how this identity may interact with other important social identities (e.g., racial, gendered); and the ways in which underrepresented doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty in engineering and computing persist in spite of racism and race-gender biases.

Applications are sought from candidates with doctoral degrees in higher education or one of the social science disciplines (e.g., sociology, psychology, economics, and education). We would also consider applicants with doctoral degrees from a STEM discipline who have expertise in social science research methodology. A desired proficiency with both qualitative (NVivo) and quantitative (SPSS) data management software, experience in the analysis of qualitative interviews and focus-groups, and the ability to integrate secondary quantitative data are highly desired. A working knowledge of the literature on engineering identity, career development, and vocational preferences as well as some experience (e.g., an undergraduate degree) in a STEM discipline are useful backgrounds for this position.

Review of applications will begin on August 31, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications should include: (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) the names and full contact information of three references, (3) a writing sample consisting of either a dissertation chapter or an article, and (4) a cover letter situating your past/current work in relation to the central aims of the project.
Applications should be submitted electronically as an email attachment to

Drs. Ebony McGee and Monica Cox (c/o Monica Ridgeway)
Phone: 615-322-8100
2017-08-28 09:33:45

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