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Research Associate - Center for STEM Learning TQF Initiative

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

We seek to fill a full-time Research Associate (“post-doctoral” researcher-level) position starting Summer 2020 to work on the Teaching Quality Framework (TQF) Initiative, an institution-wide educational transformation project in the Center for STEM Learning at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder. This position will also work closely with the CU College of Engineering & Applied Science (CEAS). The overall project seeks to create a process and tools for the systemic transformation of the departmental evaluation of teaching. Eighteen departments/units across three colleges are currently engaged in this process, and the project is expanding to work with all departments in CEAS. While this position will largely be focused on supporting the engagement of CEAS departments, the successful candidate will collaborate with a broad group of engaging and nationally renowned faculty, post-docs, and graduate students across multiple STEM and non-STEM departments at CU. There will also be some opportunities for dissemination through research and publication.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The TQF Initiative takes a holistic approach to change, focused on shifting institutional structures and culture around teaching through the development and implementation of improved teaching evaluation. Ultimately, we hope to improve teaching and learning on the Boulder campus, through collective learning and cultural change, and by promoting the use of research-based instructional and assessment strategies. In this effort, we build on decades of research on effective teaching and evaluation of scholarly approaches to teaching. We are establishing a framework for supporting and assessing teaching quality for all instructors across all departments on campus that is grounded in the scholarship of higher education, including the work of Bernstein and colleagues (2002, 2010) and Glassick and colleagues (1997). This framework defines teaching as a scholarly activity like research. It assesses teaching in terms of seven core components of scholarly teaching - goals, content, and alignment; preparation for teaching; methods and teaching practices; presentation and student interaction; student outcomes; mentorship and advising; and reflection, development, and teaching service/scholarship. Additionally, the framework uses three “voices” in teaching evaluation —those of a faculty member, their students, and their peers. The framework also supports improved teaching, by providing mechanisms for assessment to help faculty to improve in their practices. These framework categories are held constant across all departments; however, the interpretation of these categories and their relative weights would be defined at a department-by-department level.

More on the project can be found at:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Facilitate faculty working groups (“Departmental Action Teams” or “DATs”) in CEAS. This includes but is not limited to: running working group meetings, supporting faculty and departments in the change process by helping identify tools and assessments to improve teaching and learning measures in multiple disciplines, and coordinating meeting logistics.
  • Work with the TQF project team to promote and facilitate campus-wide conversations around educational transformation efforts. 
  • Work with the TQF project team to identify and implement both quantitative and qualitative assessments to measure the effectiveness of the TQF Initiative and contribute to the institutional and national knowledge base around educational transformation.

What You Should Know

  • This is an initial one-year appointment, which is potentially renewable, pursuant to university policies and funding. 
  • The ideal start date is June 15, 2020, though there is the flexibility to start earlier or later. 
  • Review of applications will begin April 13 and continue until the position is filled. We will ideally conduct Zoom interviews with top candidates starting the week of April 27th and will request letters of reference at this time, to be submitted by May 11th.
  • For questions about this position, please contact Professor Noah Finkelstein ( or Dr. Sarah Andrews (Sarah.Andrews-1@Colorado.EDU)

What We Can Offer

  • The salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Challenged. Be Innovative. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in a STEM discipline (engineering preferred) and extensive experience in education research, or a Ph.D. in the social sciences with significant experience in a STEM field (engineering preferred).

What You Will Need

  • Quantitative and qualitative social science research skills.
  • Strong facilitation skills.
  • Proven capability of working with a large and complex team.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience with project management.
  • Experience with program assessment.
  • Experience/interest in institutional/organizational change efforts.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  • A current CV.
  • A statement of interest/extended cover letter that addresses the qualifications set forth in “What We Require” and “What We Would Like You to Have” above.
  • During the search process, you may be ask to provide contact information for three references.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Sarah Andrews

Posting Contact Email: Sarah.Andrews-1@Colorado.EDU