Associate Researcher - Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD), Lawrence, KS

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2020

KU Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) is seeking an Associate Researcher to support research on self-determination for people with disabilities across the life course. This position will work across projects to assist with developing implementation materials, conducting virtual and in-person trainings, designing and conducting research, and monitoring and communicating study progress. These research projects include focus in the following areas:  

  • Large-scale training and coaching for self-determination intervention to support youth and young adults to engage in goal setting, action planning, and self-evaluation activities
  • Community-based research with young adults and adults with intellectual and development disabilities to support decision making, self-determination, and employment
  • School-based research with students with autism spectrum disorder and/or other disabilities using self-determination instruction and peer supports
  • Technology-focused research involving the development and testing of a web-based app to support transition-aged youth with disabilities in setting goals

The person in this role may directly supervise the work of professional staff (research assistants or aides) and undergraduate students supporting research project goals and objectives. The ideal candidate will have experience working with and supporting people with disabilities, be highly reliable in a fast-paced office, pay close attention to detail, be adept at problem-solving, have experience training/delivering professional development or coaching, and have an advanced degree in education (including special education), psychology (including clinical psychology), health and social sciences, disability studies, or related area.

The University of Kansas, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) is recognized as a leading research center in the field of disability. KUCDD implements and conducts grant-funded projects focusing on (a) applied research on effective assessment and intervention practices with a particular focus on self-determination, transition to employment, supported decision making and (b) interdisciplinary training in the disability field. KUCDD is part of the Life Span Institute (LSI), a leading research unit at the University of Kansas. The KUCDD maintains facilities on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus, at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, and in Parsons in southeast Kansas. As a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the core functions of the KUCDD are: 

  • Community Services (including technical assistance, community education, and direct services)
  • Information Dissemination
  • Interdisciplinary Training
  • Research

KUCDD research staff are expected to actively engage in research projects and disseminate research results through print, online resources, and direct, in-person presentation of information.

KUCDD is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive research and educational environment for faculty, staff and students. In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, KUCDD actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education, including people with disabilities.

Job Description:
40% - Management of Implementation Supports Materials Development 

Use expertise to lead development of training guides and related supports for practitioners and others (e.g., general and special educators, family members, case managers, direct support professionals) implementing interventions related to self-determination. Organize materials development activities such as: (1) generating initial materials including presentation templates, online tools and resources, and video demonstrations, (2) using focus groups, expert feedback, and other structured methods to receive comprehensive feedback for materials improvement, including compliance with accessibility guidelines, (3) recruiting/managing additional support staff as needed to create and improve materials, and (4) meeting all materials development activity timelines, in support of related research project requirements.

30% - Trainings and Presentations
Plan, coordinate, and deliver in-person and online trainings and presentations in support of current or future implementors of interventions related to self-determination and supported decision making. Travel as required to promote KUCDD-developed resources and to provide high-quality customer service to research and community partners during onsite visits.

15% - Research Management
Contribute to the implementation of existing, funded research projects in the areas of self-determination. Ensure Institutional Research Board (IRB) policies are followed for all research involving human subjects related to project activities. Engage and participate in community, state, and national meetings or groups that focus on self-determination, inclusive education, transition, and/or disability research. Support the preparation and submission of progress reports to federal and other funding agencies. Complete other research management tasks as assigned.

10% - Dissemination of Research Findings
Produce technical reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, policy briefs, instructional videos, and additional dissemination products related to research project activities and analyses. Disseminate and present findings and research activities or products at local, state, and national meetings and conferences.

5% - Support additional training or research activities as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Doctorate degree in education (including special education), psychology (including clinical psychology), health and social sciences, disability studies, or related area with minimum of one (1) year of related professional experience, OR Master's degree education (including special education), psychology (including clinical psychology), health and social sciences, disability studies, or related area with minimum of three (3) years of related professional experience.
  2. Excellent written and oral communication skills as evidenced in application materials and interview.
  3. Strong attention to detail as evidenced by application materials.
  4. Strong interpersonal, organizational, and administrative skills as evidenced by application materials and interview.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Experience working with people with disabilities (including autism spectrum disorder) or their families.
  2. Strong interest in research on self-determination or related areas.
  3. Experience working with more than one research project at a time.
  4. Marketing or communications experience.
  5. Excellent student and staff management skills.
  6. Experience with data management or storage systems (e.g., SPSS, MS Access, RedCap).


FTE: 100%

Salary: $52,000-$64,000 annually plus health benefits

Deadline to Apply/Start Date: Application deadline is October 18, 2020. For first consideration, please apply before that date. Anticipated start date: November 16, 2020

Contact Information to Applicants 
Evan Dean, Ph.D.
Associate Director
KU Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) 
[email protected]

Additional Candidate Instruction

In addition to the online application, all of the following documents must be received to be considered for this position:

  1. A cover letter addressing how required and preferred qualifications are met.
  2. Resume.
  3. Contact information for three professional references. At least one of the references must be a current or former supervisor.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


HOW TO APPLY: For full posting information and to apply online, go to

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 and Access, [email protected], Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY 9 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).