The University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) and Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE) has an opening for a post-doctoral researcher interested in how motor experience/mobility, cognition, and communication interact in child development. We are focusing on how access to self-initiated mobility technology (adapted ride-on cars, power wheelchairs) may impact early learning, linguistic and other communication, and brain functioning in children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy (CP), down syndrome, or genetic conditions. This individual will work closely with a team of psychologists, neuroscientists, rehabilitation professionals, and engineers from I-LABS and CREATE to improve evidence about and access to mobility technology for children ages 1-3 years, using a combination of DIY mobility devices, commercial powered mobility devices, and developmental outcome measures.

For this donor-funded research, the primary responsibilities of the post-doctoral researcher will be to engage in testing and tracking the impact of various mobility interventions on cognitive, linguistic, and social skills of the children, with the possibility of later assessments of brain changes brought about by mobility interventions. We are looking for candidates who have a passion for multidisciplinary research have (i) deep expertise in the developmental outcomes (cognitive, communicative, social, and eventually brain) of mobility technology deployment in children with disabilities, as well as (ii) an interest in the technical aspects of mobility devices. You will be working closely with children with disabilities and their families, psychologists, rehabilitation professionals, and other scientists throughout the research project. This research is led by Dr. Patricia Kuhl and Dr. Andrew Meltzoff from I-LABS, Dr. Heather Feldner from the UW’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Disability Studies Program, and Dr. Kat Steele from the UW’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Kuhl will directly supervise the postdoc and all four faculty will provide mentorship.

The overarching mission of I-LABS is to understand the mechanisms of human learning, especially in early development. More information about I-LABS can be found at: (

The overarching mission of CREATE is to make technology accessible, and make the world accessible through technology. We take a need-based, human-centered approach to accessibility research and education, work closely with stakeholders in disability communities, and apply knowledge and skills across computer science, rehabilitation medicine, engineering, design, and disability studies to improve access and quality of life for diverse populations. More information about CREATE can be found at:


Applicants should have a PhD in a field such as developmental psychology, speech and hearing sciences, or neuroscience. Experience working with children and families, and experience with a variety of developmental measures and assessments of children with disabilities is preferred. Strong oral and written communication skills and the ability to work as an effective member of a multidisciplinary team are critical for the success of this research. Candidates from underrepresented groups, including candidates with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.

Application Instructions

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations Website.

Applicants should provide (1) a cover letter clearly describing your interest and relevant background for this project, (2) a CV, (3) copies of two representative publications, (4) contact information for three references, and (5) statement describing past and/or potential contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Application materials must be submitted via Interfolio.  For any project questions, please email Patricia Kuhl at .

The application period is now open. Application review will begin on March 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. Start date is flexible; spring or early summer 2021 is preferred.