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Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

The Learning Partnership
Illinois, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted date
Nov 17, 2021

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Position Type
Jobs Outside Academe, Non-profit & Government Organizations
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Learning Partnership is now accepting applications for its Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program. The mission of The Learning Partnership is to promote STEM equity and educational excellence by building school district capacity for continuous improvement to engage, inspire and elevate all students ( For two decades, we have engaged in long-term partnerships with schools, districts, and community organizations to collaboratively engage in rigorous research that both informs solutions and contributes to educational theory. We offer Postdoctoral Research Fellowships to encourage independence early in the Fellow's career through supporting their research and training goals. The research plan of each Fellowship must address important scientific questions that also meet the needs of our school district partners in Chicago or Milwaukee within the scope of The Learning Partnership’s Research Areas (below). Refer to The Learning Partnership’s publications page for examples of our research ( This fellowship is ideally suited for researchers who want their research to make a difference for the lives of teachers and students. Postdoctoral fellowships at The Learning Partnership have led to a variety of career pathways, including tenure track faculty, full-time research at The Learning Partnership, and practice positions in schools.

The Learning Partnership Research Areas

Professional Development. Teaching quality and school leadership are the most important factors in raising student achievement. That is why we support and study professional development tailored to the needs of school districts, teachers, and student populations. Effective professional development enables educators to develop the knowledge and skills they need to increase student learning. Research in this area can focus on any aspect of professional development, such as professional development design, teacher learning, and impact on classroom instruction.

Meaningful Science Learning. To cultivate interest and motivation in science, we help students see how science is a meaningful part of their everyday lives. Rather than studying hypothetical systems, we engage students with authentic scientific problems in connection with specific scientific communities. That means, investigating real world issues affecting their communities and studying actual systems that are part of ongoing research by specific communities of scientists. Research in this area can focus on any aspect of meaningful science learning, such as instructional design, classroom implementation, assessment, and student learning.

Computational Thinking. Computational thinking involves defining problems in ways that computers can help us solve them. It has become an essential skill for every discipline. At the heart of computational thinking are data practices, modeling and simulation practices, computational problem-solving practices and systems thinking practices. The Learning Partnership has been supporting the Milwaukee Public Schools and the Chicago Public Schools in the development of computer science pathways. Research in this area can focus on any aspect of computational thinking and computer science, such as broadening participation, classroom implementation, assessment, and student learning.

Spatial Reasoning. Spatial reasoning plays a very important role in the learning and practice of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful way to develop spatial reasoning. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified geospatial technologies as one of the three fastest growing careers in the technology sectors. Despite the evidence supporting the benefits of geospatial technologies, spatial reasoning has not made significant inroads to the core subjects in K12. The Learning Partnership supports projects to promote the integration of GIS into core subject areas. Research in this area can focus on any aspect of spatial reasoning, such as instructional design, classroom implementation, assessment, and student learning.

The postdoctoral fellowship is a two-year, grant-funded, 100% FTE position with The Learning Partnership under the mentorship of Dr. Steven McGee. The successful candidate will eventually be required to work in Chicago, IL or Milwaukee, WI. The successful candidate must be authorized to work in the United States.

The Learning Partnership offers a rich variety of benefits, including up to three weeks of vacation, medical and dental insurance, a generous retirement plan, and short-term/long-term disability insurance.

To Apply

Please submit your application to, including the following elements:

  1. 500-word summary of your proposed research, which includes the target research area, a research question, summary of study design, and potential impact on school partners.
  2. a research manuscript that is related to your research summary
  3. curriculum vitae
  4. a list of three professional references
  5. a proposed fellowship start date, between February 1, 2022 and July 1, 2022.

The Learning Partnership will host informational webinars. For details, email

Application Deadline is December 17, 2021.

The Learning Partnership is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any characteristic protected under applicable law.

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