The CORE Lab (Conceptual Organization, Reasoning and Education Laboratory) in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University

The CORE Lab (Conceptual Organization, Reasoning and Education Laboratory) in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University invites applications for a unique two-year Postdoctoral Research Associate position in Cognitive Science with an emphasis in Biology Education. Preferred start date is July 1 2016. This position, funded by a National Science Foundation Education Core Research award, will be under the direct supervision of Dr. John D. Coley at NU, with extensive opportunities for collaboration with and supervision by Dr. Kimberly Tanner, Director of SEPAL—the Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory—at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

The Postdoctoral Research Associate, along with an additional Postdoc at SFSU and PIs Coley and Tanner, will form the core of an interdisciplinary research team that will collaboratively investigate relations between intuitive biological thought and formal learning of scientific biological concepts.



  • Collaborating in designing measures of intuitive biological thinking and scientific misconceptions,
  • Collecting data from populations including undergraduate biology majors, non-majors, and faculty,
  • Supervising data coding and entry,
  • Conducting analyses to gauge the relations between intuitive thinking and biological misconceptions, and
  • Co-authoring publications.






In addition, the Postdoctoral Fellow will have opportunities to pursue other professional opportunities at Northeastern, including participating in the intellectual life of the department, mentoring undergraduates in cognitive science research, and developing and pursuing related lines of independent research.




  • A Ph.D. in cognitive or developmental psychology, cognitive science, or a related field,
  • A strong interest in developing excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship and research at the intersection of cognitive science and STEM education,
  • Ability to prioritize tasks, engage in long- and short-term planning, collaborate with stakeholders, and handle a variety of demands simultaneously, and
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule, including occasional travel, weekends, and extended hours during periods of intense activity.






  • Experience developing measures of conceptual understanding,
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis skills,
  • Experiencing supervising and mentoring undergraduate researchers,
  • A successful record of publishing graduate research, and
  • An in-depth knowledge of the literature on intuitive biological thought.






We seek self-motivated, creative, curious individuals who have excellent communication skills (interpersonal, written, and public speaking), and who can work both independently and as part of a team.

To Apply

To apply for the CORE Lab Postdoctoral Research Associate position, please submit the following to PI John Coley via email (


  • A letter explaining why you’re interested in the position, what you could contribute to the project, and what you hope to gain from the experience (no more than 2 pages),
  • A current curriculum vitae,
  • A statement of general research interests (no more than 2 pages and need not be specific to the projects described above),
  • A statement of teaching philosophy (no more than 2 pages), and
  • Names of three professional references, including their current position, relationship to you, and phone and email contact information.






Application Review Timeline

Review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled.


Questions about the position should be directed to John D. Coley, Associate Professor of Psychology and Principal Investigator, Northeastern University, (