• Postdoctoral Associate OR Graduate Student in

Auburn University


A postdoctoral position and 1-2 graduate positions are available in the lab of Cissy Ballen at Auburn University to study biology education. The focus of the lab is STEM equity, and they conduct investigations of the causes and consequences of gaps in science literacy, and how educators can design their courses to minimize barriers to success. By developing an integrated experimental and theoretical research program the lab explores how classroom and social influences shape student learning, personal and professional development, and educational and career trajectories. See website: https://balle027.wixsite.com/cjballen

Some examples of broad questions addressed in the lab are:

  • What geographic, cultural, or institutional barriers predict patterns of attrition among historically underserved students in STEM at the undergraduate level?

  • What types of scalable teaching strategies can instructors employ to reduce gaps in performance and participation?

  • How do research experiences impact developing scientists’ personal and professional development and career trajectories?

  • How can we use measures of physiological reactivity to study engagement in an undergraduate STEM classroom setting?

Auburn is a fantastic, affordable college town, and DBS is a vibrant and collaborative setting for discipline-based education research. Auburn has great resources here to study education, offering a wide range of opportunities for expanding your skill set.

FOR POSTDOCS: Postdoc applicants should have a PhD in any area of biology, biology education, statistics, or other related field. To apply, please send mjb0100@auburn.edu a cover letter detailing your interest in biology education research, CV, and the names of three references. The position is for 1 year with the option to extend for another year. Although funding from the lab itself is available, mjb0100@auburn.edu will be particularly interested in applicants interested in seeking external funding. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS: Auburn supports a large community in our Department of Biological Sciences (http://www.auburn.edu/cosam/departments/biology/index.htm). Students can apply at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. level. While a background and course work in statistics is preferred, it is not required. Applicants should have a strong biology and analytical background, as demonstrated through transcripts, recommendation letters, or publication record.

Several of the DBS faculty are interested in a co-mentoring model where part of the dissertation would be focused on biology education research and part would be focused on a biology laboratory or field research question. If you are interested in this approach, please contact mjb0100@auburn.edu and indicate which additional mentors are of interest to you.

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