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Postdoctoral Researcher in Learner Experience and Design Research

Apply now Job no: 503055
Position Type: Staff
Location: Boston Main Campus
Categories: College of Professional Studies

About Northeastern:

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Our world-renowned experiential approach empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond the confines of discipline, degree, and campus.

Our locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant—are nodes in our growing global university system. Through this network, we expand opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research.

Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs— in a variety of on-campus and online formats—lead to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Among these, we offer more than 195 multi-discipline majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.

About the Opportunity:

Northeastern University is seeking a Postdoctoral researcher to lead an externally funded research project that focuses on the identification, implementation and study of learning principles and strategies to support compelling experiential learning experiences, leading to increased motivation, engagement, achievement, and career and life success.


The postdoc appointment will begin on or about 5/1/20 and run through 8/31/21 and is contingent on the ongoing availability of grant funding.

The goals and activities of the research team include:
• Design and test online digital experiential learning platforms
• Advocate for and support the inclusion of learning data collection systems and mechanisms in the design of online platforms and educational practices (i.e., rubrics, performance traces)
• Conduct Design Based Research (DBR) with the goal of iteratively improving these platforms and/or interventions
• Evaluate the impact of the innovative interventions on student learning, engagement, attitudinal measures, achievement, retention and graduation rates
• Advance lifelong learning opportunities across the lifespan for working professionals and post-traditional students: adult learners, veterans, working students, part-time students, low-income, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students.

A key focus of the team is the development, implementation, research and iterative improvement of novel research-based experiential learning models and online platforms to enhance learning, engagement, and attitudinal outcomes leading to increased student retention, achievement, and completion.

The postdoctoral researcher will:
• Contribute to the design of learning research studies in partnership with principal investigator
• Organize and manage the implementation of the research project
• Create and refine appropriate qualitative data collection tools and methods
• Work with team members to collect and perform integration and analysis of data derived from qualitative and quantitative sources
• Prepare and maintain IRB approvals and compliance
• Contribute to proposals, posters, reports and conference presentations
• Publish research results in peer-reviewed venues


Desired skills:
• Ability to work in and lead cross-functional teams integrating a variety of areas of expertise including instructional designers, software developers, faculty, etc.
• Experience conducting qualitative user / learner experience field research
• Excellent communication skills
• Excellent organizational and project management skills
• Experience in project management and IRB protocol development
• Ability to manipulate and analyze quantitative data using SPSS, SAS, Python, or R and present the data to both scientific and non-technical audiences
• Ability to create compelling presentations and reports for both internal and external audiences

The candidate should have an earned doctorate in psychology, education, learning sciences (or a related field) and have substantive knowledge and background in learning sciences, learning technologies, STEM education, experiential education, qualitative and quantitative methods, and/or developmental / educational / cognitive science.

Preferred Qualifications:



Salary Grade:


Additional Information:

Inquiries regarding the position may be directed to Dr. Kemi Jona, Principal Investigator, Northeastern University.

Candidates should submit a cover letter, CV, and references. Selected candidates will be asked to provide 2-3 writing samples as part of the review process.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff.  Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. 

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other  characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

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