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Department: Research, Exhibits, and Programs

Research Associate (Community Partnerships)

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NYSCI is seeking a post-doctoral level research associate to join our multidisciplinary and collaborative research and development team. This Research Associate will lead the development of a new program of research focused on NYSCI's community engagement programs. With core funding from the Simons Foundation, NYSCI is working closely with local families, schools, and community organizations to engage children and adults in STEM learning that is personal, relevant, inspiring and empowering. Over the next five years, NYSCI staff will be expanding and deepening this body of work, including the creation of a new after-school program for elementary-grade youth, new family programs, and a partnership with a new, STEAM-focused public preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds located on NYSCI's campus.

The Research Associate will be a member of NYSCI's research and development team, within the Research, Exhibits and Programs department (REP). The R&D team builds collaborative relationships with educators, designers, and community members to create and study innovative and empowering pathways into STEM learning for people of all ages and backgrounds. Our goal is to develop evidence-based strategies that help children, youth, and adults explore complex STEM ideas, build confidence with tools and materials, and use STEM as a tool to create change in their communities.

REP also includes three other teams: Education Services, Exhibits, and the Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists, which supports youth development through NYSCI's Science Career Ladder and other initiatives. These teams work in a variety of collaborative structures to study, create and implement high-quality, inclusive and innovative informal STEM learning experiences for our audiences.

This position is an opportunity to develop a collaborative research agenda that cuts across community-based learning contexts and taps into the expertise and perspectives of families, informal and formal educators, and the cultural and academic resources of Queens and all of New York City. The research associate will work closely with other researchers, museum staff, and community-based and city-wide organizations to build knowledge about the educational needs and cultural assets of families in Corona, and the roles that NYSCI can play as a creative and material resource for children, youth, and adults in the local community. The goal of this work will be to identify potential impacts of NYSCI’s community work, both for community members and for the institution, that can be further developed and studied in collaboration with community partners. The position will require a focus on equity and inclusion in STEM education and an understanding of culturally responsive approaches to working with families in Corona, many of whom are first-generation immigrants from South and Central America and East Asia.


The Research Associate’s primary functions will include:

1. Developing and implementing research plans

  • a. Bringing colleagues and external stakeholders together to develop and define a research agenda
  • b. Tracking on relevant external research to inform project work
  • c. Building and maintaining relationships with internal and external collaborators
  • d. Developing conceptual frameworks, identifying data collection strategies, and planning for data collection focused on community needs, assets, and STEM learning experiences for children, youth, and adults in Corona.
  • e. Conducting and/or overseeing data collection and analysis
  • f. Leading interpretation and write up of findings.

2. Project management

  • a. Monitoring budgets, paying invoices
  • b. Establishing and maintaining systems for project documentation and collaboration
  • c. Establishing processes for compiling, updating, and sharing community-level data with internal and external stakeholders
  • d. Establishing and maintaining project timelines and deadlines

3. Proposal development and research publication

  • a. Contributing to conceptual frameworks, literature reviews, and development of research plans and designs
  • b. Identifying publication opportunities
  • c. Leading writeup and publication process for articles for both research and practitioner audiences
  • d. Planning for and delivering conference presentations
  1. Conceptualizing and articulating a creative, rigorous, and collaborative research agenda focused on NYSCI's community engagement initiatives.
  2. Developing consensus across departments and with external partners about the goals and practices of the research
  3. Cultivating connections between NYSCI's research and other relevant projects and initiatives.
  4. Sharing the process and outcomes of this work through journal articles, conference presentations, and other venues.
  5. Contributing to the development of proposals to funders to expand the program of research.

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 ongoing work processes, providing regular performance feedback, and conducting annual performance reviews. Prior supervisory experience is not required.


This position requires disciplinary and methodological expertise; ability to communicate effectively in Spanish; experience working with children and adults outside of school settings; genuine interest in issues of educational practice; experience collaborating with Latinx families on community-based STEM learning; and a commitment to collaborative, creative approaches to designing and implementing research.


A PhD in community or environmental psychology, museum studies, sociology, educational policy, or another field relevant to the study of STEM learning across community contexts (completed or near completion) or alternative, equivalent experience is required.


A minimum of five years’ experience contributing to the development, design and conduct of research on informal STEM learning and/or community engagement is required. This may include field experience during graduate school. Experience working directly with families and/or staff at cultural or community-based organizations is preferred but not required.


  • Fluency in Spanish;
  • Knowledge of best practices for developing partnerships across departments and with external partners;
  • Experience collaborating with families, informal educators, and other community advocates to build strong STEM learning ecosystems for children, youth, and/or adults;
  • Experience developing ideas in partnership with diverse teams of researchers and practitioners;
  • Ability to guide a groups or individuals to accomplish complex, multistage tasks;
  • Ability to integrate issues of equity and inclusion into research frameworks and data collection activities;
  • Strong communications skills with the ability to express ideas;
  • Experience contributing to proposals to public or private funders to support research initiatives;
  • Commitment to the philosophy and mission of the New York Hall of Science;
  • Evenings/Weekends: Ability and willingness to participate in events outside the workday schedule, including evenings and weekends, based on project needs.

Commensurate with education, skills and experience; salary range is $70k-$75K.


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 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.


Please send cover letter and resume to 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. If there are preparations we can make to help ensure you have a comfortable and positive interview experience, please let us know.


Senior Research Associate


Professional Full Time