Postdoctoral (Scholar or Fellow) Position Open at the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health.

Area of expertise: Developmental Psychology

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to work on a project that aims to create the next iteration of a tool, the Scale of Parent/Provider Expectations And Knowledge (SPEAK), that has been developed and validated at the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health. The SPEAK is a clinical and research tool that fills a critical, previously unmet need in the early childhood field. Given the pivotal role that parents and caregivers play in shaping young children’s cognitive and language development, it is necessary to assess what they know and believe about that process. As part of the TMW Center’s commitment to investing in cutting-edge R&D to develop scalable, evidence-based interventions and tools, the TMW Center is developing a version of the SPEAK that uses computer-adaptive testing, called the SPEAK CAT. This version will streamline assessment by adapting to the individual responding to the questions and issuing new questions based on the level of knowledge they’ve displayed. The results of the SPEAK CAT will provide a more complete and useful picture of respondents’ knowledge and beliefs about child language and cognitive development, which can be used to more precisely target information and interventions for maximal individual and population-level impact.

The postdoc will, in close collaboration with the Principal Investigator, Dr. Dana Suskind, and the Principal SPEAK Researcher, Dr. Dani Levine, as well as internal and external research partners, support all aspects of research development for the SPEAK CAT project. This position will build and expand on literature reviews for the SPEAK CAT test domains and write and develop survey items. The postdoc will also contribute to the cognitive interviews of new survey items, plan for and test the item bank, perform statistical analysis of testing data, and define feature specifications for the technology of the SPEAK CAT. The postdoc may contribute to publications and presentations, and present results from the SPEAK CAT at early childhood, education, and public health conferences and symposiums.

A PhD is required in psychology, child development, or a related field, and 0-2 years of postdoctoral experience. The ideal candidate will have familiarity with survey research methods, experience supervising research assistants, and research experience in one or more of the following domains: language development, socioemotional development, cognitive development, early literacy, math/spatial development, dual language learning, screen media use, and neurodevelopment.

This postdoc position is available to begin immediately in a remote capacity, and the appointment is initially for 1 year with possibility of annual renewal, depending on needs and performance.

Interested candidates should submit a curriculum vitae and a statement of research goals to Dr. Dani Levine at . Compensation in the Biological Sciences Division follows the NIH NRSA Stipend scale. Additional information on benefits and being a postdoc in the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division can be found at

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All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status or status as an individual with disability. Job seekers with a disability in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should contact the Employment Office by calling 773-702-8900 or by emailing  with their request.