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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Computer Science (PEP) - 50888
University of Washington in Seattle, Washington
Date Posted 03/10/2021
Employment Type FullTime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Post Doc Instructions

Please do not submit an application to this posting.  To apply for this postdoctoral research opportunity, follow the directions below in “Applicant Special Instructions”.

Job Type/Schedule

This position is full-time and works approximately 37.5 hours per week.  Position hours are generally Monday through Friday.

Department Name/Job Location

This position is in the Department of University College. This position is for the Danforth Campus.

Must have reliable transportation and be willing to work part-time (20 hours per week), from the Potosi Correctional Center, one hour south of St. Louis, with additional trips to Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, Vandalia Correctional Center, and other facilities as needed.

Essential Functions


Seeking a computer science post-doc to support an innovative prison education project in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Washington University has secured a grant from the Mellon Foundation to work with a local non-profit organization named LaunchCode and a team of incarcerated coders to build an offline Learning Management System to support digital educational access in correctional environments.

The post-doc will be supported by the Department of Computer Science at Washington University, and working with LaunchCode and the incarcerated coders, give material support and guidance to the project.

The refined LMS system will support Washington University’s prison education project courses, as well as support a variety of other educational programs within the Missouri Department of Corrections. The goal of this project is to develop a multi-functional Learning Management System that can operate without internet access through a “store and forward” architecture, to allow campus faculty to effectively manage in-prison education programs, and for incarcerated students to access course content in manner similar to that of on-campus programs. In addition to this class management functionality, the LMS will serve digital educational content of a variety of formats to students outside of core education programs.

In addition to high-quality research facilities, career and professional development training for postdoctoral researchers is provided through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Career Center, Teaching Center, and campus groups. Additional information on being a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis can be found at postdoc.wustl.edu/prospective-postdocs .

Research Applications:

The postdoc will be assigned a primary faculty mentor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The research conducted by the postdoc could be directed either to technical or pedagogical areas, focusing on either system design and human/computer interaction, and/or the delivery of education in prison and the pedagogical implication of technology in prison education. There is also potential to partner with the Washington University Social Policy Institute in their research on the impact of computer science education among incarcerated students.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree in computer science or a related field (must hold at the start date of the position).
  • Strong competency in software development with experience writing production level code on professional applications in Python, Ruby, Javascript/React, and Java. 
  • Experience with DevOps, including server maintenance & architecture, and managing Docker instances. 
  • Experience working with Learning Management Systems (particularly Canvas preferred). 
  • Experience working on open source projects & in open source communities, developing and deploying applications under open source licenses.
  • Experience working on Agile development teams to deliver projects, and managing/coaching junior developers. 
  • Experience designing applications to meet security specifications, including experience conducting application security audits.
  • Strong interest in improving education access for incarcerated individuals.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience volunteering or teaching in prison education programs.

Salary Range

Base pay commensurate with experience.

Pre-Employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.


This position is eligible for full-time benefits.  Please click the following link to view a summary of benefits:  https://hr.wustl.edu/benefits/ .

Applicant Special Instructions

Applicants should apply by sending a cover letter, CV, and the names of three references via email to:

Rob Henke
Professor of Drama
Washington University
St. Louis, Missouri USA
Email: rhenke@wustl.edu

Applicants will be considered until the position is filled. Inquiries may be made by email.

EOE Statement

Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

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