Postdoctoral Researcher - Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Postdoctoral Researcher Opening
Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities

The Postdoctoral Training Program at the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) is searching for a Postdoctoral Researcher to support research on self-determination for people with disabilities across the life course. This position will work across projects to contribute to the development of new and implementation of existing funded research projects, assist with research grant development, and author or co-author scientific papers or other dissemination products for presentation and publication. 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
  • Research focused on implementing evidence-based interventions, aligned with the tenets of implementation science

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

This position is located at the University of Kansas-Lawrence.

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.

The postdoctoral researcher position at KUCDD will be limited term through August 31, 2022, with the possibility of renewal. This is a fulltime, grant-funded position with a salary range of $50,000 - $55,000 annually, plus benefits, depending on experience and qualifications.

Under the supervision and mentorship of the Director of KUCDD, the postdoctoral researcher will advance their training in research in the disability field, including focus on areas such as: self-determination assessment and instruction; transition to post-secondary education and employment, and/or supported decision making. The postdoctoral researcher will be expected to contribute to the development of new and implementation of existing funded research projects, assist with research grant development, including building their own line of research as well as author or co-author scientific papers or other dissemination products for presentation and publication. The ideal candidate will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and interest in self-determination research and evidence-based best practices, has experience working with people with disabilities, and has previous experience with funded research studies.


Job Description:

40% - Research Project Implementation Support - Contribute and increasingly take on leadership roles related to the development of new and implementation of existing, funded research projects in the areas of self-determination, transition, and/or supported decision making.

  • Manage study activities (e.g., data collection, data management, data analyses) required to meet project objectives under direction of the Director of KUCDD
  • Develop and deliver training protocols and support materials related to interventions around self-determination
  • Assist with conducting analyses of data from research projects that use the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI), the Self-Determined Career Design Model (SDCDM), the Self-Determination Inventory and other interventions and assessments designed to increase self-determination
  • Supervise and provide mentorship for graduate or undergraduate students working in support of research project goals
  • Secure IRB approval for study tasks when appropriate and ensure that research integrity policies are followed for all research involving human subjects
  • Prepare and submit progress reports to federal and other funding agencies

25% - Research Grant Development Support - Assist with and increasingly take on leadership roles related to the development of grant proposals to support research activities relevant to the mission of KUCDD.

  • Develop or edit language for narrative grant components
  • Communicate with established research partners to solicit letters of support as required
  • Coordinate input from resource teams within the KU Life Span Institute (project development, finance and planning, communication) during grant preparation

25% - Dissemination of Research Findings

  • Write technical reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, or other manuscripts related to research project activities and analyses
  • Disseminate and present findings and research activities at local, state, and national meetings and conferences.
  • Develop publications to advance an independent line of research

10% - Service - Provide service to the profession, university, and community/public service.

  • Engage and participate in community, state, and national meetings or groups that focus on self-determination, strengths-based education, transition to post-secondary education and employment, or supports needs assessment
  • Participate in at least one professional association as a member and in association operations
  • Provide service to the field as a reviewer of research publications, and consultant for government agencies and foundations and other funding agencies
  • Provide consultation or educational support to local community groups or agencies
  • Participate in KUCDD team meetings and events

Required Qualifications:

  1. Doctorate degree in education (including special education), psychology (including clinical psychology), health and social sciences, disability studies, or related area.
  1. Two years of research experience with research and publication record in areas such as or related to: self-determination assessment and instruction; transition to post-secondary education and employment, and/or supported decision making.
  1. Demonstrated strong professional writing skills, including research reports, peer-reviewed research articles, other print and electronic publications and experience presenting at conferences and professional meetings as indicated by application materials.

NOTE: To be appointed at the Postdoctoral Researcher title, it is necessary to have the PhD in hand. Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an acting basis.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. One year of project coordination experience for a research project related to areas such as: self-determination; transition to post-secondary education and employment; or supported decision making.
  2. Specific knowledge and interest in self-determination research as indicated by application materials and interview.
  3. Two years of experience participating in and contributing to approaches to training (in-person and virtual) and research that uses interdisciplinary teams and varied perspectives.
  4. Strong organizational and communication skills as demonstrated by application materials and interview.
  5. Experience working with people with disabilities or their families.
  6. Two years of proficiency with software such as Excel, SPSS, SAS, or R.

FTE: 100%

Salary: $50,000-$55,000 annually plus benefits

Deadline to Apply/Start Date: Application deadline is May 23, 2021. For first consideration, please apply before that date. Anticipated start date: August 2, 2021.

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).