Careers at Virginia Tech

Postdoctoral Associate

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Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: College of Engineering
Department: Dept. of Engineering Education
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
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 Engineering Competencies, Learning, and Inclusive Practices for Success (ECLIPS) Lab. This role will be funded by the National Science Foundation funded project: CAREER: Sustainable Racial Equity: Creating a New Generation of Engineering Education DEI Leaders (NSF# 2144978). This project aims to explore the beliefs, experiences, educational training, and research that supports the development of effective engineering education leaders who are assuming roles focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with Dr. Homero Murzi to coordinate interviews with DEI leaders across the nation, develop and deploy a nationwide survey, develop educational interventions, and lead ECLIPS lab research activities.

Training & Mentoring Opportunities

The Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with Dr. Murzi and will be provided opportunities to take the lead in both coordination and research aspects of the main project, as well as other projects that could be of mutual interest. Part of the goal of the role is for the candidate to receive mentorship needed to be successful in the next stage of their career. In particular, the Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with graduate students in the ECLIPS Lab, thus providing them with opportunity to develop supervisory and management skills. In addition, 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. Regular one-on-one meetings will include in-depth conversations between Dr. Murzi and the Postdoctoral Associate. Mutual expectations will be discussed and agreed upon in advance. The Postdoctoral Associate will also be an active member and leader of the Engineering Competencies, Learning, and Inclusive Practices for Success (ECLIPS) Lab.
• Career Counseling will be directed at providing the Postdoctoral Associate with the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to excel in their chosen career path. In addition to the guidance provided by Dr. Murzi, the Postdoctoral Associate will have access to researchers, colleagues, and faculty members in the department. Furthermore, the Postdoctoral Associate will be able to leverage Dr. Murzi's network at the Graduate School to receive mentorship on career paths and explore different opportunities. Similarly, VT has a postdoctoral affairs office:
• Experience with preparation of grant proposals will be part of the mentoring plan for the Postdoctoral Associate. As part of the work conducted in this grant, the Postdoctoral Associate will lead a follow-up grant to expand this work. The Postdoctoral Associate will have opportunities to learn best practices in proposal preparation including identification of key research questions, definition of objectives, description of approach and rationale, and construction of a work plan, timeline, and budget.
• Publications and presentations are expected to result from the work supported by the grant. These will be prepared under the supervision of Dr. Murzi and in collaboration with researchers at Virginia Tech and beyond as appropriate. The Postdoctoral Associate will receive guidance and training in the preparation of manuscripts for refereed journals and presentations at conferences.
• Teaching skills will be developed by providing support to Dr. Murzi in the development of the training model. The Postdoctoral Associate will be in charge of teaching some of the sessions and lead the incorporation of the results of the grant into the curriculum in courses taught by Dr. Murzi.
• Mentorship skills will be developed by interaction with graduate students in the ECLIPS Lab. The Postdoctoral Associate will be the mentor of one graduate student and will also serve as ECLIPS lab coordinator. Currently, the Lab has 7 Enginering Education PhD students and 1 Higher Education PhD student as active members.
• Continued professional development will be provided on a regular basis in the context of the research work and will include fundamentals of mixed research methods, quality in research, and other standards of professional practice. In addition, the Postdoctoral Associate will be encouraged to affiliate with professional societies such as the American Society for Engineering Education, the Research in Engineering Education Network, and the American Education Research Association. Career & Professional Development Opportunities & Resources are available through OPA.
• Travel to at least one conference annually, with the goal that the Postdoctoral Associate presents a poster or paper at the conference which also will provide an opportunity to expand their network intentionally.

Required Qualifications

• Doctorate in Engineering Education, Higher Education, or 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 using qualitative and quantitative research methods.
• Experience presenting at engineering education or education conferences.

Preferred Qualifications

• Knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion from research and practice perspectives
• Knowledge of a variety of higher education institutional contexts
• Prior experience conducting research on broadening participation in engineering and/or
research focused on the experiences of traditionally marginalized students.
• Experience in publishing in engineering education or education journals
• Project management experience
• Prior experience mentoring individuals

Appointment Type


Review Date

6/12/23; Open until filled

Additional Information

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


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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