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Software Project Manager with the PhET Interactive Simulations Project

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The PhET Interactive Simulations project ( at University of Colorado Boulder has an opening for a full-time Software Project Manager to work with our multidisciplinary team to synthesize priorities, plan and manage the project schedule, facilitate and support workflows, and communicate clearly with all stakeholders. You will have experience working with a distributed team of software engineers (but you do not need to be a software engineer or do any coding yourself). You will bring experience with various project management frameworks, but be flexible enough to adapt to the existing methodologies of the team. You will feel comfortable prioritizing and assigning tasks to team members, but you will also know that the best leaders are also servants. You will bring strong interpersonal skills and a passion for creating an inclusive collaborative environment, where each individual is supported and valued for their contributions. 

 Our mission is to create STEM learning tools that the whole world can enjoy using. As part of that effort, we aim to build STEM simulations that can be used by everyone. We build diversity, equity and inclusion into our work and we aim to cultivate a sense of belonging in our team.

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

Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder is a world leader in the design and use of interactive math and science simulations for advancing STEM education. The PhET team is dedicated to high-quality STEM education for all students, disseminating PhET simulations as open (free) education resources globally and pioneering approaches for making interactive content accessible to all learners. Today, PhET simulations are used more than 225 million times per year globally and translated into more than 90 languages.  

The PhET team is a passionate, creative, and productive group, including STEM education, simulation, and inclusive design experts, education researchers, software engineers, quality assurance specialists, and more. Our project is a blend of an academic research project, an outreach project, and an innovative education technology company, housed within the Department of Physics and working with diverse partners at CU Boulder and around the world. PhET’s work has received numerous international awards, including being named a 2017 WISE Awards Winner, a 2011 Tech Award Laureate, and winner of the 2014 Reimagine Education Award. 

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

The successful applicant will join the vibrant and productive PhET team, working closely with the PhET Director, PhET’s software engineers, sim design specialists, and quality assurance team. The responsibilities will include:
  • Work closely with the PhET Director to understand the project-wide goals, deliverables, and timelines related to simulation development, from the PhET and PhET-iO product lines, as well as deliverables from grants. 
  • Collaboratively create project timelines and quarterly goals, with input from the development team and director. 
  • Communicate and manage priorities, monitor and facilitate progress, respond to developer needs, monitor resource allocation, and communicate information across the larger team.
  • Monitor epics and prioritize issues in Github.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with the development team of ~15 people, including software engineers, simulation designers (pedagogy specialists, sound designers, interactive description designers, and experts pioneering new inclusive features), and quality assurance testers.
  • Represent and advocate on behalf of the development team in project management decisions.
  • Support professional growth opportunities for team members.
  • Manage third-party contractors, including software developers and graphic designers.
  • Manage recruitment, selection, and hiring of software development interns and engineers, with evaluative input from the software engineers. 
  • Remain flexible to take on additional responsibilities as required for the PhET project as a whole.

What You Should Know

  • This is a full-time (40 hours/week) position, but we will consider candidates interested in a part-time 80% position (32 hours/week). 
  • The start date is flexible.

What We Can Offer

  • The annual starting salary range for this position is $75,000-$95,000, adjusted accordingly for cost of living if working remotely. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. 
  • Candidates can work remotely in the United States or relocate to Boulder. Modest relocation funds are available for this position following the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


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 innovative. Be impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 3+ years experience leading projects and programs, preferably in software development, quality assurance, or education product
  • Experience working with various project management frameworks and tools, preferably with distributed teams or with remote team members.

What You Will Need

  • Outstanding organizational skills, with the ability to manage complex projects and competing demands.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, especially servant leadership skills. 
  • Ability to see the big picture and also manage the details.
  • Ability to oversee and facilitate a project from start to finish, including resource planning, anticipating problems, identifying and removing blockers for the team, and managing scope creep.
  • Ability to foster an inclusive and collaborative environment, that values learning, growth, and continuous improvement.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience in STEM education and/or education technology.
  • Experience working with Github.
  • Intermediate or better experience using Microsoft Office and/or the Google Suite, including proficiency with spreadsheets, presentations, and documents.
  • Flexibility to occasionally meet with remote or international team members who have different working hours.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position
  3. List of References
  4. Application Task 1: Please write a short statement (3-4 paragraphs) describing how you approach project management and what you look for and value in a team. 
    • Please include 1-2 examples that demonstrate your leadership style and 1-2 examples that demonstrate how you work with a team.
  5. Portfolio URL/Link (optional)
  6. Transcripts/Proof of Degree (optional)
If you are selected as a finalist for this role, we will also use Skillsurvey to check references. SkillSurvey is an online automated reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee. If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor.  If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version (if applicable) as an optional attachment.

Application review will begin September 1, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs. 

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: