Postdoctoral Fellow in Educational Psychology and Research Methodology

Purdue University

Job Description

Job Title

Department of Educational Studies

Ross-Lynn Research Scholar – Postdoctoral fellow in

Educational Psychology and Research Methodology

Position Announcement

Job Position Description

The Department of Educational Studies at Purdue University invites applications for a full-time postdoctoral researcher position. The appointment is for one year with the possibility of extension to the second year. The postdoctoral fellow (postdoc) will work under the guidance of Dr. Hua-Hua Chang from two perspectives: (1) expanding AI research and application capacity at the College of Education by organizing seminars and workshops and promoting AI-Ready professional development of faculty and students; and (2) engaging in one of Dr. Chang’s current research projects of using AI to help STEM learners at Purdue.


Regarding the first aspect, the postdoc will work with Assoc. Dean Dr. Wayne Wright and Dr. Chang to identify topics and speakers for the workshops, both internal and external, that may be of interest to faculty and students. Through workshops and discussions during and after, the postdoc will work with Drs. Wright and Chang to help the college develop new AI initiatives based on the University's priorities, and work with faculty on project developments and grant submissions.


As for the second perspective, the postdoc can choose one of the genres in Dr. Chang’s current research project which emphasizes computerized adaptive testing (CAT) and AI-driven personalized learning for college-level introductory STEM education. The successful candidate will join a research team working on an existing NSF project to help physics teachers go beyond teaching and deliver instruction to "regular students," often White men, to create differentiated lesson plans that support all learners. The current team members are experienced in developing algorithms for CAT, cognitive diagnostic modeling, and machine learning to support personalized diagnostic assessments regarding students’ progress for hundred physics instructors at 109 institutions nationwide. It will be very interesting to explore the possibility of expanding the research methodology for Purdue University's gateway STEM curriculum and disseminating research findings. Examples of target courses include calculus, analytic geometry, chemistry, physics, and civil engineering.


Organize seminars and workshops, participate in discussions with faculty and graduate students; Oversee data collection and processing, data analysis and scaling; Work with STEM instructors to identify their needs for AI assistance; contribute to manuscript preparation, grant-related reporting activities, and other dissemination efforts.


Minimum Qualifications

This position requires a doctoral degree in educational psychology, learning sciences, STEM education, or other related education fields.


Preferred Qualification

Have a background in STEM education, with preference given to post-secondary STEM teaching and learning; Interest and knowledge in psychometric methods, including item response theory, computerized adaptive testing, structural equation modeling and/or multi-level modeling; Moderate proficiency in programming languages like R or MATLAB.


Dr. Chang’s group specializes in CAT algorithm development, cognitive diagnostic modeling, and other methods in psychometrics, quantitative methods, and learning analytics. Through the interdisciplinary training, the candidate will gain experience in Psychometrics, Cognitive Diagnosis in STEM learning, and machine learning, and will be prepared to apply AI methods to improve the effectiveness and fairness in STEM teaching and learning.


Purdue University’s College of Education and the Department of Educational Studies is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement. Candidates should address at least one of these areas in a separate Diversity and Inclusion Statement indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.


Free and Open Inquiry

Purdue University, the College of Education and the Department of Educational Studies are committed to free and open inquiry in all matters. Candidates are encouraged to address in their cover letter how they are prepared to contribute to a climate that values free inquiry and academic freedom.


This position will be a fiscal year (12-month) appointment at the rate of $60,000.

Starting Date

August 14, 2023

Application Procedure

Applications must include 1) a cv, 2) a cover letter detailing qualifications for this position, including research interests, relevant subject area, statistical analysis, and/or data management experience, 3) up to two publications demonstrating relevant expertise, d) a separate diversity and inclusion statement, and 4) a list of contact information for three references. All materials must be submitted through Success Factors, but addressed to Hua Hua Chang, Ph.D., Department of Educational Studies, BRNG, 100 N. University Street, West Lafayette IN 47907. Direct questions about the position to the Search Committee Chair at chang606@purdue.edu . Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Full consideration will be given to applications received by July 24, 2023.

Background Check

A background check will be required for employment in this position.

Equal Opportunity

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply

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