Postdoc position at the University of Pittsburgh

The Parents Promoting Early Learning (PPEL) project at the University of Pittsburgh directed by Drs. Heather Bachman, Melissa Libertus, and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal is currently looking for a post-doctoral fellow to support our interdisciplinary research on home environment influences on children’s early math skills across the SES continuum. The PPEL project is housed in Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, an interdisciplinary center that brings together researchers in the cognitive, social, and educational sciences.

The position involves working collaboratively with a research team and assisting with the data management, analysis, and manuscript preparation for two large, federally funded longitudinal studies of toddlers and preschoolers. The ideal candidate will demonstrate strong skills in generating and testing hypotheses regarding cognitive, social, and parenting influences on math skill acquisition during early childhood. The position entails a leadership role in authorship of research manuscripts, posing and testing key questions, and conducting quantitative analyses using a range of analytic approaches, such as mixed linear modeling, latent growth modeling, and econometric approaches. Additionally, this post-doctoral fellow will assist the PIs in managing a team of Research Assistants in data collection and processing efforts.

Required qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Applied Developmental Psychology, Human Development, or a related field
  • Training in one of more of the following areas including cognition, mathematics development, spatial development, executive functioning, parenting practices, and community-based research
  • Experience working with diverse children/families in research settings
  • Experience with managing and cleaning large data sets
  • Strong analytical skills for quantitative data, including proficiency with SPSS, Mplus, and/or R
  • Excellent scientific writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team in a research environment
  • Desired, but not required: Ability to travel to off-site locations that may not be accessible by public transportation

    Application Instructions

    Please email a letter of interest including a statement of research, a curriculum vita, three representative publications, and names and contact information for three individuals who can be contacted for a reference to Juliana Kammerzell, Project Coordinator for the PPEL project ( Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, with an anticipated start date of January 1, 2021. The position is for one year initially with the possibility of renewal. Salary is commensurate with experience. Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. Questions can be directed to Heather Bachman ( or Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal (

    The University of Pittsburgh is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Child Abuse Clearance, Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, and FBI Criminal Record Check will be required for employment in this position.

    Melissa Libertus, PhD
    Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology
    Research Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center
    University of Pittsburgh
    607 LRDC
    3939 O’Hara Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260

    Phone: (412) 624-7457
    Fax: (412) 624-9149