Postdoctoral Researcher

Updated: about 21 hours ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS


Bureau of Child Research

Position Overview

This Postdoctoral Research Program at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (JGCP) is recruiting one postdoctoral researcher interested in developing expertise in carrying out community-engaged research to develop and implement evidence-based practices focused on early intervention, early care, and early education settings. The postdoctoral position is a full-time (1.0 FTE), 2 years, research-dedicated fellowship. The start date is tentatively set for June-August, 2021.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will learn and develop new advances in the prevention and intervention of learning and behavior problems in young children. The goal of the postdoctoral fellowship is to support trainees’ acquisition of knowledge, technical skills, and experiences critical for carrying out methodologically rigorous research with high relevance to early intervention practice and policy standards and prepare them with the skills needed to obtain external funding for their own independent research program. During the two-year fellowship, postdoctoral researcher will design and implement independent research studies culminating in peer-reviewed publications and practice briefs, and presentations at professional conferences.

Competencies that are the particular focus of this postdoctoral fellowship program include the following: 

Competencies in Early Childhood Content Areas. Developing knowledge related to the following:
1. Evidence-Based Practice.
2. Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS): Conceptual framework, multiple tiers of intervention support, and measures for screening, progress monitoring, and the use of these tools for intervention decision making.
3. Theory and intervention in language, early literacy, and social-emotional development for children from birth to age 6 across diverse cultural and language groups.

Competencies in Methodological Content Areas.  Developing knowledge and skills for conducting the following:
4. Rigorous experimental single case and randomized-control trial designs.
5. Univariate and latent growth modeling techniques.
6. Systematic research syntheses using rigorous methods.
Professional Competencies.  Expertise will be developed in the following areas:
7.  Research communications (e.g., writing for peer-reviewed journals, grant writing, reviewing for journals, research presentations; dissemination to diverse professional, practitioner, and lay audiences).
8. Research administration and grants management.
9. Collaboration skills (partnering with other researchers, practitioners, policymakers across disciplines and cultures).
10. Career development.

Location and Commitment. The program is housed at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (JGCP), a community-based urban research facility affiliated with the Institute for Life Span Studies at the University of Kansas and the Children’s Campus of Kansas City. Seven researchers and faculty at the JGCP who are collaboratively engaged in early childhood MTSS research will provide mentoring and support for the Postdoctoral Researcher.

This position requires a two-year commitment and location within the Kansas City-Lawrence, KS area. Granting agency requires that candidates for this position be either U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents. The successful candidate must have appropriate authorization to work in the U.S. before employment begins. Please note that all offers of employment are contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background check. Continuation after one year also is dependent on yearly funding and satisfactory annual evaluations. The position is based at JGCP, located at the Children’s Campus of Kansas City in Kansas City, KS ( ).

Please note that though our official work site is located in the Kansas City/Lawrence area, due to COVID restrictions, this position may begin teleworking and may transition to on-site work when deemed safe and necessary.

Job Description

The Researcher will work with faculty mentors as follows:

  • 40% - Affiliate with a Research Faculty Mentor and her/his research program to collaborate with this research team in the conduct of applied research with young children at risk/with delays and from diverse groups. Participation will include attending weekly meetings and conducting a complementary intervention study.
  • 20% - Complete IES grant preparation including literature reviews, pilot studies, and grant applications in order to learn how to write and submit a competitive application.
  • 10% - Produce and submit professional research documents and communications disseminating findings to the larger community of early intervention, early childhood special education, early education, peer-reviewed journals, and national conferences of professional organizations.
  • 10% - Use MTSS relevant measurement tools (i.e., progress and mastery monitoring) to identify, design, and evaluate the impacts of differentiated learning experiences for children at 3 tiers of risk.
  • 18% - Attend/monitor agreed upon courses and seminars to increase content and methodological knowledge that is the foci of the project.
  • 2% - Develop, maintain, and evaluate an annual Individual Fellow Plan (IFP) based on the Postdoctoral Applicant’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests to organize and evaluate one’s individual progress in the program.

Position Requirements

Please note that though our official work site is located in the Kansas City/Lawrence area, due to COVID restrictions, this position may begin teleworking and may transition to on-site work when deemed safe and necessary.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in a discipline related to children’s learning, education, and development such as language/communication disorders, early intervention or early childhood special education, early education, applied behavior analysis, or the psychology disciplines (e.g., quantitative, child, developmental, educational, school psychology, etc.).
  • One-year minimum experience conducting research studies as evidenced by application materials.
  • Excellent writing skills as evidenced by quality of application materials, peer-reviewed publications, dissertation, or writing sample.

  • Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with children with/at risk for developmental delay, language delays, social-emotional problems, and/or delays in early literacy.
  • Experience with statistics and quantitative methods (e.g., growth modeling, Mplus or R).
  • Research experiences with the implementation of a) single subject experimental design studies, or b) randomized control trials developing/evaluating intervention techniques for young children.
  • Interests in the uses of traditional and digital information/communication technologies in research.
  • Publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong oral communication skills as evidenced by work and/or education experience.

  • Contact Information to Applicants

    For questions about the position, please contact Dr. Carta at
    For questions about the application process, please contact Diana Skill at 913 735 2612, .   

    Additional Candidate Instruction

    A complete online application includes a cover letter, vitae, professional writing sample (e.g., publication, dissertation) and contact information for three professional references who can speak to your experiences and qualifications are required.
    In the cover letter, please indicate how you see this particular training experience helping advance your professional skills and goals in early intervention and early care and education.  Also, please include paragraphs describing what you would like to accomplish in each of the following domains: (1) in early childhood content, and (2) methodological content. 

    Review of applications will begin November 16, 2020 and will continue until a qualified applicant pool has been identified.

    Advertised Salary Range

    $60,000 annually

    Application Review Begins


    Anticipated Start Date


    Limited Term End Date


    Primary Campus

    Juniper Gardens Area

    Employee Class

    U-Unclassified Professional Staff

    Work Schedule

    Mon-Fri 8:30 am -5:00 pm

    Conditions of Employment

    Contingent on Funding, Limited Term

    Work Location Assignment



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