Reports To: Senior Research Associate
Family Learning Research Associate
NYSCI is seeking a research associate with an interest in early STEM learning and prior experience collaborating with educators and community members. The position is a learning opportunity for individuals early in their careers to explore multiple facets of family learning research and community partnerships. The associate will contribute to a research-practice partnership that brings together museum educators, caregivers, and pre-K educators at a new, STEAM-focused public preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds located on NYSCI’s campus. Working with stakeholders across the partnership, the associate will work with a collaborative project team to study how educators across sites approach the process of identifying and centering families’ knowledge and cultural practices, and the evolution of children's learning and caregivers' involvement in shared family learning experiences across community contexts. The associate will advance this line of work by gathering research evidence with various community members, and examining current educational practices and community resources to identify key insights and directions for further study. At NYSCI, the Research Associate will work closely with two Director-level researchers and one or more research assistants to conduct this work.
The associate will work with individuals with a wide range of perspectives and areas of expertise, including designers, educators, and community members, to identify shared questions and needs, gather data in complex real-world settings, and synthesize knowledge from both research and practice. Experience communicating about research with nonexpert audiences, and familiarity with practices for using research evidence to guide the iterative development or improvement of learning experiences, will be essential. In addition, ability to communicate in Spanish is essential to the role, as NYSCI’s local community includes many first-generation Spanish-speaking households. The work schedule for this position will be hybrid in-person/remote.
The research associate will also contribute to institution-wide efforts to develop equitable practices for supporting STEM learning. NYSCI is committed to continual improvement and learning, and all of our work is a sustained investigation of how best to support our highly diverse audience as they explore science and engineering concepts and practices. Observing, talking with, and learning from visitors and community members across a wide range of ages and identities is a core professional practice for this position.
The primary functions for the Research Associate are project management, conducting qualitative research to understand and strengthen the research-practice partnership, communicating research findings with various audiences, and contributing to grant-writing efforts to further develop lines of research on early STEM learning. Each of these functions is described in further detail below.
The Research Associate will be a collaborative and family-focused researcher who is able to:
• Sustain and strengthen relationships with colleagues across departments and with external partners
• Use research processes to understand and address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in early STEM learning and family engagement
• Work with teachers, caregivers, and NYSCI staff to identify promising directions for future studies that build on emerging research findings, promising educational practices, and current theories in the learning sciences, child development, and related fields.
The associate will contribute to multiple aspects of the partnership, as described below, with training and support from supervisors provided to further develop these skills and take ownership over portions of project work.
- Soliciting input from colleagues and community stakeholders to guide project activities
- Establishing and maintaining systems for project documentation and collaboration
- Establishing and maintaining project timelines and deadlines
Developing and implementing research plans
- Maintaining collaborative relationships with internal and external collaborators
- Conducting and/or overseeing data collection for studies involving children, caregivers, educators, and other community stakeholders
- Conducting and/or overseeing data analysis, with an emphasis on qualitative and case study analyses
- Leading interpretation and write-up of research findings
Dissemination and communication
- Identifying publication opportunities
- Contributing to writeup and publication process for articles for both research and practitioner audiences
- Planning for and delivering conference presentations
Grant-writing and development of lines of research
- Contributing to theoretical frameworks, literature reviews, and research plans for grant proposals
- Identifying promising directions for future research projects, with support from supervisors
The research associate may supervise 1-2 research assistants as the scope of this body of work grows. Supervisory responsibilities will include providing structure and guidance for participant recruitment, data collection, and data analysis. Prior supervisory experience is not required.
This position requires disciplinary and methodological expertise; ability to communicate effectively in Spanish and experience working with teachers and/or Latinx families; genuine interest in issues of early STEM educational practice; and a commitment to collaborative, creative approaches to designing and implementing research.
Education: Applicants may possess either:
- A Master’s degree in education, psychology, child development, the learning sciences, or another field relevant to the study of early STEAM learning in formal/informal settings, with 1-2 years of work experience (as detailed below).
- A Bachelor’s degree in any relevant field, with a minimum of 3-4 years of work experience (as detailed below).
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
Prior experience conducting research on early STEM learning and/or family learning is required. This may include research/field experience during undergraduate or graduate school, experience with community organizations focused on early childhood, and/or experience working in preschool classrooms.
Other relevant skills include the following:
- Commitment to the philosophy and mission of the New York Hall of Science;
- Experience collaborating with diverse teams of researchers, practitioners, community members and advocates;
- Ability to accomplish complex, multistage tasks with support from supervisors;
- Ability to integrate issues of equity and inclusion into research activities;
- Commitment to building strong STEM learning ecosystems for young children and/or families;
- Strong communications skills with the ability to express ideas clearly to non-expert audiences;
- Experience contributing to proposals to public or private funders to support research initiatives;
- Ability to communicate in Spanish (spoken and written);
- Evenings/Weekends: Ability and willingness to participate in occasional events outside the workday schedule, including evenings and weekends, based on project needs.
Experience working directly with families and/or with staff at a preschool or other family-focused community organization is preferred but not required.
Commensurate with education, skills and experience; salary range is $65,000-70,000
NYSCI strives to be an inclusive and equitable place to work. We work to foster diverse voices and perspectives, empower staff as problem solvers, and support professional growth for all.
The New York Hall of Science also offers generous benefits and perks for all regular full-time employees.
These currently include:
- Health, dental and vision insurance options
- Flexible spending accounts for healthcare, dependent care and commuter benefits
- Pension plan and 401k plan
- Free life insurance coverage
- Paid vacation and sick leave
- 13 paid holidays off
- Flexible, hybrid work schedules
- Employee Assistance Program
- Free onsite parking
NYSCI is New York City's science center, a place where everyone is invited to explore how science and engineering shape our world, and how we can use scientific tools and ideas to answer questions and solve problems. Visitors pose questions, design solutions, explore phenomena, and work together to make amazing things happen.
Located in Queens, one of the most diverse counties in the U.S., NYSCI welcomes 400,000 visitors annually, including families, students on field trips, and camp and after school groups. NYSCI also works with thousands of teachers each year to make classroom science more relevant, exciting and meaningful to students, and conducts innovative research about how science learning happens through everyday experience.
Our exhibitions, programs, and products are informed by strategies of engagement called Design, Make, Play. The defining characteristics of Design, Make, Play — open-ended exploration, imaginative learning, personal relevance, deep engagement and delight — are the ingredients that inspire passionate STEM learners.
How to Apply
Please send cover letter and resume to email@example.com. Please include job title in subject line.
No phone calls.
The New York Hall of Science is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering an inclusive and innovative environment with the best employees. We provide employment opportunities without regard to age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, military service, marital status or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law. We support a drug-free workplace.