Cornell University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Position ID:Cornell-Ecology and Evolutionary Biology-POSTDOCASSOC [#14057, WDR-00019934]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Area: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Appl Deadline: finished (2019/07/16, finished 2020/07/19)
Position Description:   URMs  

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

As part of the university's comprehensive vaccination program, all Cornell employees are required to have and provide proof of an FDA-or WHO-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine and booster or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption, regardless of their role and work location.

New hires are required to provide documentation showing full vaccination status (that is, completion of two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one shot of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) before their first day of work. If a new hire's vaccination is not complete or information is not received by their start date, the first day of work will be delayed. It is possible in some cases that an offer of employment may be withdrawn.

For additional information on Cornell's Vaccination/Booster Compliance Program click here.

Postdoctoral Associate: Development of a new critical thinking assessment in ecology 

Applications are invited for a fulltime post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at Cornell University. The successful candidate will take a leading role in the design and evaluation of a new assessment for students’ critical thinking skills in ecology lab and field courses. The assessment is modeled after an existing instrument for physics labs (Physics Lab Inventory of Critical thinking or PLIC). The successful candidate will collaborate with Dr. Smith (in EEB) and Dr. Holmes (in Physics) to carry out the work. 

The primary duties and responsibilities include interviewing students, requesting feedback from faculty at multiple institutions, piloting the assessment instrument in multiple classrooms, analyzing open-response data, and conducting statistical validity and reliability tests.  The postdoc will also disseminate the results through publications, presentations at meetings, and an online assessment portal.  

Discipline-based education research is growing at Cornell, with faculty and collaborators in physics, biology, and other STEM fields, as well as a number of new postdocs, graduate and undergraduate student researchers. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to mentor and work with many individuals and participate in weekly education journal clubs and research meetings with the larger EEB and Cornell community.


Preferred qualifications include:

  • Ph.D. in biology education research, ecology, or closely related field
  • Experience with relevant literature and education research methods: expertise in quantitative research methods and statistics, and/or qualitative research methods
  • Knowledge of and experience with the field of ecology
  • Ability and desire to work collaboratively, mentor graduate and undergraduate students, and to also work independently
  • Project leadership, time management, communication, and writing skills

To apply: applicants should submit their cover letter, CV, a 2-3 page research statement including relevant background and experiences, as well as the names and email or phone contacts of three professional references to Review of applications will begin on September 15, 2019.

Please contact Dr. Smith ( or Dr. Holmes ( with any questions.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Cornell University
Corson Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853