The Missouri Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Research and Training in Education Sciences

The Missouri Prevention Center and the Department of Educational, School & Counseling Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Missouri offer the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Research and Training program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. 

We are recruiting one fellow to begin in the fall of 2017-18.  Completed and ongoing research projects that Fellows may interface with depending on skills and interests include two group randomized evaluations of classroom management training programs, a developmental project focused on a web-based teacher consultation model,  measurement development projects, development of tools for using propensity score methods with complex survey data, and a county-wide school mental health surveillance and intervention model. The positions will also afford the fellow opportunities for mentoring and training in prevention and education sciences, grant-writing and administration, and publishing. Opportunities for clinical experiences and supervision from licensed psychologists are possible for interested Fellows.

Qualifications:

  • An earned doctorate in School Psychology, Research Methods, Special Education or related field at the time of appointment
  • Candidates must be citizens of the United States to be eligible for the fellowship.

Responsibilities:

  • Developing/enhancing an independent program of research relevant in research methods
  • Mentoring graduate students
  • Attending weekly training seminars
  • Participating in research projects that align with their interests
  • Co-authoring data-based publications
  • Developing grant proposals

Candidates will be evaluated on the following factors:

  • Ability to develop and sustain an independent program of scholarly research
  • Openness to learning
  • Skills in participating in research projects and generating research ideas
  • Ability to co-author publications and grant proposals
  • Experience with educational and behavioral research methods.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Research interests that align well with faculty mentors.

**When applying to a postdoctoral fellowship, please specify a primary and secondary mentor from the following faculty members. Match between applicant interest and faculty mentor will be considered in recruitment.

Wendy Reinke, Ph.D.
Dr. Reinke is co-director of the Missouri Prevention Center with special interest in advancing education science scholarship in the areas of the prevention of disruptive behavior problems in youth and dissemination of school-based evidence-based interventions. She is the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on grants totaling over $24 million dollars. A primary area of research interest is on altering classroom environments to promote positive youth development in children.  Poorly managed classrooms are a risk factor for the development of academic and behavior problems in children. Targeting this malleable risk factor (ineffective classroom management) for intervention has the potential to impact large numbers of children.

Dr. Reinke developed a widely used teacher consultation model (the Classroom Check Up; CCU) to support teacher implementation of improved classroom practices. An IES Development project is supporting her work in developing an online version of the CCU for widespread use. She has also been working with several researchers across the country adapting the CCU model as a mechanism for increasing fidelity to teacher led evidence-based interventions. Dr. Reinke is also interested in supporting effective parenting and home-school collaboration using effective consultation models such as the Family Check Up. In all of her work she has a primary focus on developing feasible tools that can lead to the dissemination of evidence-based practices on a large scale. A primary example of this is the Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition. In this county-funded project, Dr. Reinke leads a coalition of all six school districts, researchers, and project staff to monitor the emotional and behavior health of all youth in county schools multiple times per year and provide intervention support to schools as they provide services to youth.

In the coming years, she will continue to align her research goals with the prevention of disruptive behavior problems in children using an ecological and comprehensive approach that includes school, family, child, community, and policy domains.  While the field has made significant progress over the past 20 years there continues to be a need for advancement in targeting co-occurring problems, integrating interventions across contexts (home, school), and disseminating and supporting implementation of effective practice.  She plans to be on the forefront of these innovations.

Keith Herman, Ph.D.
Dr. Herman’s research examines the malleable sociocontextual risks for youth internalizing disorders. An overarching framework that connects all of his work is his focus on identifying aspects of nurturing environments at school and family that promote positive development and interrupt youth pathways to maladaptive outcomes. He is PI or Co-PI on five IES projects, including three efficacy trials. Two trials evaluate the effects of classroom management interventions in elementary and middle schools on socioemotional outcomes and achievement. Another focuses on evaluating a Tier II self-monitoring intervention for youth with early disruptive behaviors. Areas of emerging and ongoing research include parent and teacher motivation and engagement in interventions, family involvement in education, and teacher stress and coping.

In particular, Dr. Herman has worked with colleagues across the nation to apply motivational interviewing principles to school based interventions and research in working with teachers, parents, and youth. Much work remains to be done to determine the effects of MI in promoting outcomes for youth in school and to determine optimal training and fidelity approaches in this setting. Additionally, Dr. Herman has several recent studies examining methods for fostering more effective relations between teachers and difficult to engage families. Finally, Dr. Herman has developed and initially tested training materials for fostering teacher coping. Ongoing refinement and evaluation of these efforts will continue in the coming years.

In addition to these efforts, Dr. Herman is also a key collaborator on several well-funded county-wide youth mental health initiatives including developing a model program for school mental health in all Boone County schools and a newly funded project to create a family access center where any caregiver can access assessment and referral for youth with emotional or behavior concerns. These projects will continue to be a focus for research and outreach. Finally, Dr. Herman is co-director of the Missouri Prevention Center, founded in 2007 to reduce the public health burden of youth externalizing and internalizing problems using prevention science methods.

Nianbo Dong, Ph.D.
Dr. Dong’s research program focuses on developing and applying rigorous quantitative methods to evaluate educational policies, programs, and practice. Within the context of randomized field experiments and quasi-experiments, this includes conducting research in quantitative methodology and analyzing data from empirical studies. Dr. Dong’s research grant titled “Power Analyses for Moderator and Mediator Effects in Cluster Randomized Trials” is awarded by National Science Foundation (Collaborative PIs: Jessaca Spybrook and Benjamin Kelcey). This study will advance our understanding of cluster randomized trials by developing power formulas and software for tests of multi-level moderation and mediation, as well as the combination of the two.

His other quantitative methods work includes developing and refining methods to make causal inference in observational studies. While the randomized control trial remains the strongest design for rendering causal inferences, random assignment is often not feasible for a variety of practical reasons. Dr. Dong has received a grant titled “Estimating Population Effects: Incorporating Propensity Scores with Complex Survey Data” as a Co-Principal Investigator (PI: Elizabeth Stuart) awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The purpose of this project is to develop user-friendly software and clear guidelines for using propensity score methods with complex survey data.

In the context of empirical studies, Dr. Dong’s current research centers on the evaluations of the effectiveness of teacher and principal training programs and early child education programs. He is a Co-Principal Investigator on a 4-year, $2.3 million NSF grant titled “From elementary generalist to mathematics specialist: Examining teacher practice and student outcomes in departmental and self-contained models” (PI: Barbara Reys). This study applied cluster randomized trials, propensity score methods, and qualitative analysis to investigate student mathematics learning outcomes at the elementary level in relation to teacher expertise (elementary teachers with math specialist certification versus generally prepared elementary teachers) and school organization (departmentalized versus self-contained mathematics classrooms).More information about Dr. Dong’s research.

Chris Riley-Tillman, Ph.D.
Dr. Riley-Tillman’s research agenda has been guided by a belief that education in general and education in at-risk settings in particular, should be steeped in a data driven problem solving process.  From this guiding principal, he has developed a research agenda that focuses on the analysis of the problem solving model as applied to learning, and the specific development of methods, assessments and interventions to enhance the applied application the problem solving model.

The three core facets of his research agenda include the following:

(1) Developing and validating assessment and intervention methodologies that are both empirically supported and feasible. His interests in this area are best illustrated by an ongoing line of research focusing on the systematic analysis of Direct Behavior Ratings (DBR) that he has conducted for the last decade in conjunction with Sandra Chafouleas of the University of Connecticut. This line of research has been funded with an Institute of Education Sciences grant.  At this time, he is most interested in advanced applications of DBR for a variety of uses and the development of web-based application called DBR Connect to support widespread use of DBR. More information about DBR.

(2) Studying usage of empirical research by practicing school psychologists, and incorporating the resulting knowledge into training programs designed to increase practitioners’ usage of empirically supported practice. This facet of his research program is highlighted by a series of acceptability studies with colleagues that have examined the acceptability of a number of empirically supported activities such as suicide prevention and assessment methods.

And (3) Analyzing consultation and intervention practices with the goal of maximizing generalization, treatment integrity, and effectiveness. Given the critical importance of intervention to the practice of modern school psychology, as well as to education in general, the systematic analysis of the implementation of intervention strategies is necessary to increase the likelihood that they will be successful. A primary example of his orientation to intervention scholarship can be seen in the Evidence Based Intervention Network.

Salary: $53,500 with University of Missouri benefits.

Appointments: Non-tenure track postdoctoral fellow, 12-month appointment beginning August 1, 2017.  The appointment is for one year, with possibility of renewing for one additional year.

To Apply:  Applications will be accepted online at a later date. Submit the following:

  • A letter of application that addresses the candidate’s interest in the Fellows program, overall qualifications for the fellowship, and an explanation of how this fellowship will help prepare the candidate future career interests and professional goals.
  • A statement in which the candidate identifies a primary and secondary faculty mentor.  The statement should include information regarding the shared interests between the candidate and mentors, and identifies how the mentor(s) would help support the candidate’s professional goals.
  • A CV
  • A statement of research interests that describes the scholar’s short-term research agenda, and a proposed research plan for the 2017-2018 academic year

The CV must be uploaded in the Resume/CV and Cover Letter section.

Questions may be directed to:
Search Committee Chair – Dr. Wendy Reinke
Educational School and Counseling Psychology
University of Missouri
16 Hill Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-2190
Phone: 573-882-7890
Email: reinkew@missouri.edu

Beginning Review Date:  Formal review of applications will begin August 1, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.

The University of Missouri is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer: Women, minorities and disabled individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.  To request ADA accommodations, please contact the Dean’s Office at 573-884-7717.