Purdue University

Purdue University Research Program On STEM Education (PURPOSE) Postdoctoral Training Initiative in Human Development and Family Studies is seeking FOUR postdoctoral scholars

PURPOSE is a National Science Foundation-funded institutional postdoctoral training program which is hosted through the Center for Early Learning in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. The training program is recruiting four two-year postdocs in the areas of early childhood STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning and development in informal and/or formal learning environments (i.e., home and school environments).

A core focus of this training program will be on the integration of STEM and other school readiness domains, such as language, literacy, social-emotional functioning, and executive functions during early childhood years. You will join a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary department and contribute to the innovative and high-impact research being conducted within the Center for Early Learning.

An increased focus is placed on understanding the development of early academic and cognitive skills, particularly early STEM, during the foundational preschool and primary school years. Though significant advancements have been made in understanding how these domains individually develop, much of the work in this field is siloed within respective domains. Advancing cross-domain research is hampered due to limited opportunities for early career scholars to obtain training in multiple domains. Thus, PURPOSE is explicitly focused on bridging this training gap.


Additional Information on PURPOSE

The PURPOSE postdocs will receive scientific and professional development in the following three areas:

  • Research: opportunities to engage in ongoing projects that focus on advancing equity in early STEM education research with minoritized populations, understanding the cross-domain development of early STEM and non-STEM skills, and developing their own independent projects
  • Practice: providing professional development to pre-, and in-service educators, contributing to practitioner-based publications, developing practices to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in academic communities
  • Policy: learning how education policy affects STEM learning, supporting policy-relevant professional development that incorporates attention to structural barriers

You will also be supported through a foundation of professional learning (e.g., providing explicit training on “the hidden curriculum” of academia and the practices of the scientific process), DEI (in contexts of both their scholarly and professional development), and mentoring (both the provision of mentoring and learning how to mentor). The PURPOSE postdocs will have one primary mentor and one secondary mentor that could include Drs. David Purpura, Valerie Knopik, Cammie McBride, Robert Duncan, Sarah Eason, and Jennifer Finders. The faculty profiles which include the research interests of the faculty members can be found here.