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Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Kansas, Juniper Gardens Children's Project-Life Span Institute
Kansas, United States
$60,000.00 - $60,000.00
Posted date
Sep 22, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Special Education
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Postdoctoral Research Training Focused on Autistic Adolescents and Young Adults  


We are pleased to announce a joint postdoctoral position between the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (JGCP; and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD; focused on autism. Drs. Brian Boyd (JGCP Director) and Karrie Shogren (KUCDD Director) are currently seeking one Postdoctoral Researcher interested in developing expertise in school-based interventions for adolescents and young adults. The intervention will primarily focus on improving the self-determination skills of autistic adolescents and young adults. The position will be a full-time (1.0 FTE) research-dedicated fellowship of up to 2 years. The overall goal of the postdoctoral fellowship is to prepare trainees to develop an understanding of the content knowledge, methodological skills, and competitive proposal development skills necessary to conduct the next generation of applied and translational research to advance knowledge related to autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.  


The Postdoctoral Researcher will receive training in grant proposal development, intervention trial design, an evidence-based intervention focused on self-determination, implementation science, and have access to secondary databases containing a wealth of behavioral information and assessments on autistic children and adolescents. The trainee will be expected to contribute to the conduct of ongoing research projects, write manuscripts for publication, submit an external grant to attempt to secure independent funding, and disseminate work at professional conferences and meetings.


The trainee will be primarily housed at the JGCP, a community-based urban research facility affiliated with the Institute for Life Span Studies at the University of Kansas. The trainee will have frequent interactions with and access to co-mentors at the KUCDD to provide an environment that fosters collaboration, provides opportunities for networking, and expands research knowledge and training. The JGCP is located in the Children’s Campus of Kansas City Building, 444 Minnesota Ave, Suite 300, Kansas City, KS 66101.


This position requires a two-year commitment and location within the Kansas City-Lawrence, KS area. Continuation after one year also is dependent on yearly funding and satisfactory annual evaluations.


Funding source mandates that applicants must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The successful candidate must have appropriate authorization to work in the U.S. before employment begins.


Underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.


This position may be a hybrid of on-site work and telework as deemed by supervisor.




Fellows will be tasked with the following responsibilities:


  • 50% - Work with Drs. Boyd and Shogren to design and complete research projects focused on applied and translational research relevant to autistic individuals and those with other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. This could include analysis of existing data from intervention studies, the conduct and implementation of new studies focused on improving outcomes, helping to maintain active IRBs for projects, supervising study personnel, administering clinical assessments, collecting observational data in schools or other community settings, and assisting in database entry and management as well as data analysis.
  • 15% - Assist with grant preparation activities including literature reviews, pilot studies, and grant application submissions in order to learn how to write a competitive application.
  • 15% - Produce professional research documents and communications for dissemination of findings to the larger community of researchers, submit to peer-reviewed journals and professional organizations for presentation at national conferences.
  • 10% - Work with research mentors and other collaborators to prepare and submit a grant application for external funding.
  • 5% - Attend agreed upon courses and seminars to increase knowledge in the content and methods foci of the postdoc.
  • 5% - Develop, maintain, and evaluate an annual Individual Fellow Plan (IFP) based on the Postdoctoral Researcher’s strengths, challenges, and interests that can be used to organize and evaluate individual progress in the training program.



  1. This position may be a hybrid of on-site work and telework, as deemed by supervisor.




  1. PhD in a discipline related to the learning, education, and development of autistic persons such as language/communication disorders, special education, occupational therapy, or the psychology disciplines (e.g., clinical, developmental, educational, school psychology, etc.).
  2. At least two years of doctoral or combined doctoral/postdoctoral experience conducting research related to studies of autism or intellectual / developmental disabilities as evidenced by application materials.
  3. Excellent writing skills as evidenced by quality of application materials, peer-reviewed publications, or submitted writing sample.


NOTE: To be appointed as a Postdoctoral Researcher, it is necessary to have the PhD in hand. Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an acting basis.




  1. At least one year of applied experience with autistic individuals or those with related intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
  2. Experience with advanced statistical software such as Mplus or R.
  3. Experience with the conduct of community-based research (i.e., research conducted in homes, schools or communities).
  4. Doctoral coursework in statistics and quantitative methods (e.g., latent class analysis, growth modeling).
  5. Publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  6. Strong oral communication skills as evidenced by work and/or education experience and interview process.


FTE: 1.0


SALARY: $60,000 annually


DEADLINE: Review of applications begins on October 5, 2021 and will continue until a qualified applicant pool has been identified.


Start date: Earliest start date is July 11, 2022.


HOW TO APPLY: Please submit an online application at Additionally, a cover letter, vitae, professional writing sample (e.g., publication, dissertation) and contact information for three professional references is required. In the cover letter, please indicate how you see this particular training experience helping advance your professional skills and goals in the conduct of research focused on autistic adolescents or young adults. 


CONTACT INFORMATION: For questions about the position, please contact Dr. Brian Boyd at or Dr. Karrie Shogren at For questions about the application process, please contact Diana Skill at


Please note that all offers of employment are contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the background check.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).


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