Post-doctoral Fellow in IT Education & Homelessness (Southern Methodist University)

Post-doctoral Fellow in IT Education & Homelessness (Southern Methodist University)

Requisition Number: SIM00000160Salary Range: Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

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 classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

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

About the Position:

Seeking a full-time postdoctoral fellow, based at SMU in Dallas Texas, to conduct research at the intersection of homelessness, education, and IT workforce development. 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 leverage scalable learning for STEM workforce development among people experiencing homelessness.”

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

Ideally, an applicant should have relevant research exposure in one or more of the areas of: education policy and leadership, IT, computer science, computer education, learning sciences, teacher education, and workforce development. We prefer that the successful applicant have demonstrated expertise conducting semi-structured interviews and/or focus groups, coding and analyzing qualitative data, and disseminating findings from qualitative data. Content knowledge around homelessness and/or working with marginalized groups is also ideal. The successful postdoctoral fellow should be committed to educational equity and be highly motivated and self-driven.

Irrespective of methodology and content focus, we expect an applicant to have strong research ability demonstrated by publications and/or presentations in relevant fields.

The Fellow will benefit from faculty mentorship and graduate student colleagues across three universities and will have opportunities to collaborate with partners from the technology industry and anti-poverty community. Fellows will receive targeted mentoring by project PIs towards achieving a tenure-track appointment at a research college or university or other research-focused position.

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

Essential Functions:

The Fellow will be expected to take a leadership role in research project management in conjunction with an NSF-funded project. This includes the research process, communications, and relationships related to research and the maintenance and management of data.

The Fellow will participate in qualitative data collection (e.g., conducting qualitative interviews with people experiencing homelessness, shelter staff, and industry partners) and analysis of surveys, interviews, documents, and other data. Active contributions to collaborative scholarly dissemination, grant-related and SMU/Bush Institute reporting, and other dissemination efforts are features of the role.

We encourage the Fellow to also define their own research agenda; they may have other research opportunities with Dr. Pavlakis or the project team as desired and fitting. The Fellow will also provide mentorship to graduate students and build relationships with community partners

Skills:Required Qualifications:

Applicants must have earned a doctorate in education policy or educational leadership, teacher education, computer education, learning science, qualitative HCI, sociology, social work or related fields within the past five years or have proof of completion by start date.

Evidence of scholarly activity or potential is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

Clear equity focus

Content knowledge, ideally evidenced by publications and/or presentations, around homelessness/poverty, race, and/or marginalized groups, adult education, computer science/IT education, or workforce development.

Experience in managing the research process, including communications and relationships related to research and maintenance and management of data.

Strong organizational skills and ability to collaborate effectively as well as work independently.

Knowledge of and experience with qualitative methods and proficiency in a qualitative software analysis program (such as NVivo).

Comfortable with (or with learning) project technology platforms and software packages including Qualtrics, Canva, Zoom, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Classroom, and other programs as needed.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Bend
  • Reach above shoulders
  • Carry/lift 25 lbs.
  • Handle objects (dexterity)
  • Stand
  • Push/Pull

Deadline to Apply:

Review of applications will begin immediately.

This position is open until filled.

For full consideration and in addition to the online application, please include:

  • Current CV
  • A cover letter outlining a clear statement of applicant’s research interests, relevant content/subject area, and data collection, analysis, presenting/publishing, and/or management experiences. The cover letter should also connect back to the Work-Learn project and outline why this opportunity is a good fit for the applicant.
  • Up to 3 samples of academic writing (publications preferred)
  • References may be requested and contacted. References will only be contacted for candidates meriting further consideration.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array 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 outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array 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 you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn’t just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Southern Methodist University will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.