Careers at Virginia Tech

Postdoctoral Associate

Apply now Job no: 519862
Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: College of Engineering
Department: Dept. of Engineering Education
Location: Blacksburg - Main Campus, Hybrid
Categories: Engineering, Research / Scientific

Job Description

The Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech seeks applications for a Postdoctoral Associate to take on a leadership role within the S-STEM Organizational Partnerships Research Hub. This new research hub funded by the National Science Foundation and based at Virginia Tech will focus on inter- and intra-institutional partnerships that systematically support low-income engineering students. The Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with the VT Hub leadership team (Drs. David Knight, Walter Lee, Jake Grohs, Sarah Rodriguez, and Bev Watford) on overall hub coordination, will help spearhead much of the new data collection and integration around organizational partnerships that support low-income engineering students, and will engage in all analysis and dissemination activities. The Hub’s integrated core activities, each designed to engage the full institutional diversity of NSF’s S-STEM programs with a core element focused on low-income engineering students, will include the following: 1) organizational partnerships community of practice building, with activities including research accelerator grants and summer research institutes, 2) cross-S-STEM program data collection and integration, and 3) broad dissemination of easy-to-access products (e.g., research, policy, and practice briefs) as well as traditional scholarly output (e.g., journal articles). The Postdoctoral Associate will be a key member of our VT Hub leadership team for all of these activities and will join the vibrant, collaborative Department of Engineering Education community.

At Virginia Tech, we recognize the valuable contributions that postdoctoral associates make toward research and scholastic endeavors at the university. We are committed to connecting postdoctoral associates to resources to allow them to thrive during this critical training period and help them launch their careers, post-postdoc. Postdoctoral associates at Virginia Tech are categorized as research faculty and have access to the same retirement, health insurance, and other benefits as other faculty and staff at the university. For more see:

Diversity and inclusion are critical to the success of the Department of Engineering Education, the College of Engineering, and Virginia Tech. The selected candidate will be expected to foster an environment that is supportive and welcoming of all groups.

Training & Mentoring Opportunities

The Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with the Organizational Partnerships Research Hub leadership team at Virginia Tech and will be provided opportunities to take the lead on both the coordination and research aspects of the project. We will provide mentorship needed to position the Postdoctoral Associate to be successful in the next stage of their career. In particular, the individual will participate in all Hub leadership team meetings and will contribute to the ongoing intellectual development of the Hub—they will be given opportunities to serve in a mentoring role to accelerator grant teams and summer institute teams. Also, similar to how the Hub leadership team will serve in a mentorship role for the Postdoctoral Associate, the Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with graduate students from across collaborating institutions to provide them the opportunity to develop supervisory/management skills.
Additional structured mentoring and professional development opportunities include the following:
• Establish and implement an Individual Development Plan; goals and progress will be
reviewed every six months.
• Participate in campus-based seminars, workshops and individual consultations on how to
identify research funding opportunities and write competitive proposals. The Department of
Engineering Education runs a Researcher Development Series for all departmental faculty,
which includes research faculty.
• Participate in campus-based seminars and workshops on teaching and learning and
diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Travel to at least one conference annually, with the goal that the Postdoctoral Associate
presents a poster or paper at the conference.
• Participate in campus-based career development workshops such as how to apply for a
faculty position, career paths outside of academia, tips for negotiating salary and start-up
funds, how to plan an independent research agenda, etc.
• Participate in the Hub leadership team’s ongoing research group meetings, in which
members will be expected to present their research regularly; feedback and coaching will
be given to help all members to develop their communication and presentation skills.

Career & Professional Development Opportunities & Resources are available through OPA

Virginia Tech’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs seeks to support and empower postdoctoral scholars across campus, including supporting their career and professional development. In addition, we work to build a vibrant and engaged postdoctoral community through social and professional events organized by the Postdoctoral Association. 

Learn more about resources for postdocs at:

Required Qualifications

• Doctorate in Engineering Education, Higher Education, or a related field. PhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
• Experience publishing in engineering education or education journals
• Experience presenting at engineering education or education conferences

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience using qualitative and quantitative research methods
• Project management experience
• Knowledge of organizational theory, change, research literature within engineering education
and/or higher education contexts
• Knowledge of a variety of higher education institutional contexts
• Prior experience conducting research on broadening participation in engineering and/or
research focused on low-income and/or minoritized student populations
• Prior experience mentoring teams or individuals

Appointment Type:  Restricted

Salary Information:  62,500/year

Review Date: April 25, 2022; open until filled

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About the Engineering Education Department

EngE ( is home to an outstanding first-year engineering program and a premier PhD program in engineering education. The department currently has more than 20 full-time faculty members, and is home to approximately 2500 general engineering students and 50 PhD graduate students.

The department fully embraces Virginia Tech's Commitment to increase faculty, staff and student diversity; to ensure a welcoming, affirming, safe and accessible campus climate; to advance our research, teaching, and service mission through inclusive excellence; and to promote sustainable transformation through institutionalized structures.   

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Tiffany Cunningham at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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