MEERCat, the Mechanical Engineering Education Research Center at Purdue, is seeking a post-doctoral researcher to apply anthropological knowledge and skills to describe, explain, and shape the culture of Mechanical Engineering.
About the MEERCat Center and the RED Grant:
The Center has nearly $6M in funded research grants focused on engineering education research in a mechanical engineering context, with a particular interest in research-to-practice initiatives to support student academic and professional outcomes. One of its projects is its National Science Foundation RED grant (Revolutionize engineering and computer science Departments). The grant considers how Mechanical Engineering departmental culture influences student outcomes, as well as their experiences throughout the undergraduate program. The project has both a research and an implementation component emphasizing significant sustainable changes (e.g., departmental culture, pedagogy, student professionalization skills). Ongoing since 2015, research team members have collected, analysed, and published from the ethnographic and survey database. (See https://www.purdue.edu/meercat/ for more detail.)
We seek a post-doctoral researcher to join the MEERcat Center RED team. The researcher will use his/her background in ethnographic and survey research methods, working with RED team members. The researcher will continue the investigation of Mechanical Engineering’s organizational culture by assisting with the implementation of experimental changes resulting from the research. We are especially interested in improving our understanding of the challenges students face, the conditions under which they are most likely to be successful, and the impact of faculty and staff in influencing the undergraduate experience. Rapid advances will be possible by leveraging the enormous amount of qualitative and quantitative RED data, as well as data associated with other signature MEERCat projects. The researchers will work most closely with Edward J. Berger (Purdue) and Elizabeth K. Briody (Cultural Keys LLC), Co-PIs on the RED grant.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Experience in observation and interviewing
- Expertise in ethnographic and qualitative analyses (e.g., content analysis)
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Initiative, creativity, and flexibility
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
- Experience as a mentor
- Experience leading publication of academic manuscripts a plus
- Strength in statistical analysis, especially using R (regression, factor analysis, etc.), a plus
Anticipated Activities and Responsibilities:
- Collaborate closely with RED team members to prioritize research initiatives and plan their execution, including collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
- Promote the RED project by engaging with relevant stakeholders
- Establish new multi-level theoretical frameworks to understand the evolving organizational culture, including topics related to teaching and learning
- Prepare manuscripts for publication and conference presentations
- Lead communication of research results in a variety of presentation and publication outlets
- Translate research findings into practical and actionable guidelines for organizational change
- Engage in supportive mentoring relationships with MEERCat faculty and team members
Start Date: Preferably by late August 2018, but as soon as we can fill the position.
Post-Doc Duration: At least one year and possibly two years.
Salary and Benefits: Purdue’s policy states that minimum annual post-doctoral employee salary is $47,500; compensation for this position complies with this policy.
Interested? Contact: Prof. Edward Berger, Executive Director, MEERCat, firstname.lastname@example.org, and send him a CV.