Postdoctoral Fellow in Computer Education and Homelessness with Southern Methodist University

Postdoctoral Researcher in Computer Education and Homelessness

Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Southern Methodist University

About the position

Seeking a full-time postdoctoral fellow, based at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX, to conduct research at the intersection of homelessness, education, and hand development -computer work. The successful candidate will collaborate with Dr. Alexandra Pavlakis and join an interdisciplinary team of researchers and industry partners working on an NSF-funded project, “Work Learn: Examining the use of micro-internships to draw scalable learning for STEM labor development between people homelessness.

The postdoctoral fellow will play a key role in partnering with homeless shelters, anti-poverty nonprofits, and industry partners to understand, implement, and evaluate a micro-internship intervention with homeless people.

Ideally, a candidate should have relevant research exposure in one or more of the following areas: Education Policy and Leadership, Computing, Informatics, Computer Science Education, Learning Sciences, Teacher Education and Development of the work force. We prefer that the successful candidate has demonstrated expertise in conducting semi-structured interviews and/or focus groups, coding and analyzing qualitative data, and disseminating findings from qualitative data. Familiarity with content around homelessness and/or working with marginalized groups is also ideal. The successful postdoctoral fellow must be committed to educational equity and be highly motivated and self-directed.

Regardless of methodology and content focus, we expect a candidate to have strong research ability demonstrated through publications and/or presentations in relevant areas.

The fellow will benefit from the mentorship of faculty and fellow graduate students from three universities and will have the opportunity to collaborate with partners in the tech industry and the anti-poverty community. Fellows will receive targeted mentorship by the project’s Principal Investigators toward tenure-track position at a research college or university or other research-oriented position.

This position is a one-year full-time position with the possibility of extension for an additional year.

Essential functions

  • The fellow will be expected to take a leadership role in managing research projects in conjunction with an NSF-funded project. This includes the research process, research communications and relationships, and data maintenance and management.
  • The Fellow will participate in qualitative data collection (e.g., conducting qualitative interviews with homeless people, shelter staff and industry partners) and analysis of surveys, interviews, documents and other data. Active contributions to collaborative science dissemination, grant and SMU/Bush Institute-related reporting, and other outreach efforts are characteristics of the role.
  • We encourage the fellow to also define his own research program; they may have other research opportunities with Dr. Pavlakis or the project team as needed and as needed. The Fellow will also provide mentorship to graduate students and build relationships with community partners.

Qualifications required

  • Applicants must have completed a PhD in education policy or educational leadership, teacher education, computer science, learning sciences, qualitative HCI, sociology, social work, or related fields during the course past five years or have proof of completion by start date.
  • Proof of scientific activity or potential is required.

Preferred qualifications

  • Knowledge of content, ideally evidenced by publications and/or presentations, on homelessness/poverty, race and/or marginalized groups, adult education, computer science/technology education information or workforce development.
  • Experience in managing the research process, including communications and relationships related to research and data maintenance and management.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to collaborate effectively and work independently.
  • Knowledge and experience of qualitative methods and proficiency with a qualitative software analysis program (such as NVivo).
  • Comfortable with (or learning) project technology platforms and software packages including Qualtrics, Canva, Zoom, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Classroom and other programs as needed.

Physical and environmental requirements

  • Sit for long periods of time; Bend; reach above the shoulders; carry/lift 25 pounds; manipulate objects (dexterity); support; push pull.

The start date is flexible; January 2023 is preferable.

Applicants should submit their documents online at:

About EMS

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 90 countries to take advantage of the University’s small class sizes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international studies, and programs. innovative. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for how it supports students, faculty, and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. On the nation’s finest college campus, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunity – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.


  • SMU offers staff a wide and competitive range of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an institution. outstanding teaching and research.
  • SMU is committed to providing a range of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU’s retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after leaving SMU.
  • The value of learning at SMU is not just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition-related benefits.

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