Skip to main content

Postdoctoral Training Opportunity - Learning Sciences

Northwestern University seeks applicants for a postdoctoral research fellow for an 18-month position, starting in January 2022. This is a research fellowship working with Drs. Paula K. Hooper, Shirin Vossoughi and Kavita Matsko.

The research fellow will work on the Building Robust Ecologies for Justice-Oriented Teacher Learning (BREJOTL) project which is rooted in the Learning Sciences Program and the MSED teacher preparation program. BREJOTL is a participatory design research project focused on building equity-centered STEAM/Makerspaces with Black and Latinx middle school youth, out of school mentors and teacher residents/pre-service teachers. Working with a team of community educators, district and out-of-school partners, families, youth, graduate and undergraduate students in Evanston, IL, BREJOTL is working to design and study learning environments that create powerful contexts for teacher development through a focus on deepening teachers’ conceptions of learning, pedagogical design, and youth and communities’ everyday cultural practices. Our research focuses on the development of students, school-teachers, mentors and the partnership itself through cycles of iterative design, collaborative data collection, analysis and writing.

The postdoctoral research fellow will play a lead role in all aspects of the project with the guidance and supervision of Drs. Hooper, Vossoughi and Matsko. Required qualifications include an earned Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences or a related social sciences field (e.g. education, anthropology, psychology, science studies). Preference will be given to a scholar who has experience with ethnography, participatory design-based research and interaction analysis, a strong interest in justice- oriented teacher learning, and a pedagogical background in STEAM and/or critical literacies and the arts. Applicants with extensive educational experience and an interest in helping build robust models of teacher education will be given priority.

The research will take place at Northwestern University and will include collaboration with our partners at UC Boulder. The postdoctoral fellow will utilize and develop expertise in ethnographic research methods, socio-cultural approaches to learning, teacher education research and participatory design. The fellow will participate in research group meetings and ongoing professional development opportunities in the target areas of the project, and more broadly in the intellectual environment at the School of Education and Social Policy and Northwestern University.

This is a full-time, 18-month position with full benefits.

Interested applicants should submit the following materials by Thursday, September 30:

  • A cover letter addressing your qualifications and career history, as well as how the postdoctoral position fits with your goals as a The cover letter should include a discussion of your pedagogical experience/approach to working with youth, and your approach to studying student and teacher learning.
  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • The names and contact information of three scholars who can serve as references
  • Two samples (published or unpublished) of your scholarly work, one of which you identify as a research paper that best represents your expertise and fit with the position.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please send application materials (and any questions) directly to Drs. Hooper and Vossoughi at and

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.