Postdoctoral Researcher

Position Title


Dr. Lorna Quandt

Title of Immediate Supervisor


Reporting to the Project Director of “New Dimensions of ASL Learning: Implementing and Testing Signing Avatars & Immersive Learning (SAIL 2)”, the Postdoctoral Research Scholar will provide support for SAIL 2, a new NSF-funded project to be led by Dr. Lorna Quandt and Ms. Melissa Malzkuhn. This project launches from prior work on the NSF-funded Signing Avatars & Immersive Learning (SAIL) project (video here). SAIL yielded a working prototype of an immersive sign language learning environment in virtual reality. SAIL 2 will expand past the prototype stage into a fully-fledged ASL learning experience. The postdoctoral research scholar will be a part of a research team that will develop a more complete system where users enter virtual reality and interact with signing avatars who teach users ASL vocabulary. The Postdoctoral Research Scholar will enjoy close ties with both the Action & Brain Lab and the Motion Light Lab, both part of the Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2).



Leads the sign recognition/feedback components of the SAIL 2 system, by integrating hand tracking into the built virtual environment, working with colleagues to assure functioning of the system, testing and programming to support hand tracking capabilities, testing and programming to develop user feedback.

Participates in regular SAIL 2 team meetings and leadership on project implementation.

Leads IRB-approved usability testing of the SAIL 2 system.

Assists with cognitive neuroscience and behavioral experiments to the extent desired.

Pursues own related research questions regarding the development of virtual learning environments or related topics.

Conducts project dissemination in the form of conference and journal papers, posters, and/or talks, independently and in collaboration with staff members and external collaborators.

Works with the team on drafting future research grant proposals.

Works with the project team for daily project operations.

Assists with training and supervising undergraduate and/or graduate student assistants.

Establishes and maintains a positive and supportive working relationship with co-workers and supervisor.

Shows a genuine commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and participates in activities and workshops to foster continuous learning.

Serves as a mandatory reporter under Title IX; and commits to completing Title IX training and other compliance requirements on an annual basis.

Performs related and other duties as assigned.


Required Qualifications (When the candidate’s resume meets these qualifications, it will be screened in):

Doctoral degree in computer/information science, virtual reality, computational linguistics, data science, human-computer interaction, or related fields.

A minimum of one year of experience with human-computer interaction design, development, and/or testing.

Experience in building interactive software in one of the following programming languages: Javascript, C++, C#, Python, Matlab.


Preferred Qualifications (While not required, it is an advantage for what the position needs):

Experience working with deaf or hard of hearing populations.

Experience conducting research with human participants.

Peer-reviewed publications and/or grant applications in the field of emerging technology and/or accessible technology.

Fluency in American Sign Language.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (Qualities that will help the incumbent be more successful in the position):

Familiarity with computer graphics engines such as Unity or Unreal.

Familiarity with programming for virtual reality.

Familiarity with accessible computing.

Strong ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary research team and carry out tasks autonomously.

Demonstrated ability to work with and across University departments, outside constituents and groups.

Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.


Other Important Information:

This appointment is for two years, with reappointment after the first year, based in part on the availability of funding, organizational needs, and satisfactory performance.

The starting date for this position is October 2021 – Jan 2022 or until the position is filled (applications received before September 30th will receive full consideration).

This is an on-site position, with some remote work available upon ad hoc approval.

All employees are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be required to submit their vaccination record prior to entering campus or by 45 days of employment, whichever is earlier.


Required Application Materials:

A curriculum vitae.

A cover letter that provides sufficient, brief, and relevant information about your qualifications as related to this position.

Electronic copies of 1-2 scientific publications.

Names of two potential references.


See online application portal here, search for job #312

Direct questions to: