The Adult Literacy Research Center (ALRC) at Georgia State University is excited to announce the first postdoctoral fellowship training program in the country specifically designed to support Ph.D. graduates interested in adult literacy.
Why Adult Literacy?
Assessment of U.S. adult skills indicates that roughly 50% of our adult population (16-years old+) may struggle to read text to perform daily tasks, with about 20% of these adults performing at the lowest ends of proficiency. Deficits in reading skills can be a barrier to an individual’s educational, occupational and personal goals. To build their knowledge and skills, these adults may enroll in adult education programs, GED or high school equivalency programs or community college and technical training programs. However, these programs may not have the curricula, assessments, technologies or other innovations that adult learners with low basic skills need.
We need a new generation of highly skilled researchers who understand the adult learners’ heterogeneous needs and the educators and programs that aim to support them, who have expertise in theory and methods, who are well-rounded communicators and collaborators, and who are trained to conduct research on the adult learner population across a wide array of educational settings.
About the Fellowship
Our postdoctoral fellowship program will develop a new generation of researchers who will conduct and communicate high-quality scientific research in areas that are important to policymakers, practitioners and other researchers. The focus of the fellowship will include the following five areas, as they pertain to adults 16-years and older:
- Reading comprehension
- Distinct student skill profiles
- Proficient academic reading
Many projects will include an intersection of these areas, allowing our fellows to build expertise in multiple domains concurrently. Fellows may also merge their existing interests with one of the above domains.
Our fellows will develop
- broad and deep working knowledge of the population, settings, and research issues relevant to the field
- experience with advanced research methods and statistics
- practical experience obtaining and working on research grants
- hands-on experience collaborating with and disseminating knowledge to a range of audiences (technical and non-technical)
With these skills, fellows will be well-prepared and highly competitive for jobs in education research including academic positions and non-academic positions (e.g., contract firms, state education agencies) and will be pioneers in an education research field that is receiving ever more attention.
Funding for the fellowship is provided by the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), Training Grant #R305B200007.
Doctoral students from a variety of educational backgrounds are welcome to apply for the fellowship. We are particularly interested in training researchers who come from non-traditional pathways (e.g., doctorate-holders currently practicing in applied settings with an interest to return to research) and those who may bring a unique lens to the issues (e.g., researchers from traditionally under-represented communities or from alternative academic fields). Specific eligibility information is listed below:
- An interest in understanding and improving literacy outcomes for adults (16-years old+) with skill gaps
- A doctoral degree in fields relevant to adult learning and literacy, such as educational/developmental/cognitive psychology, linguistics, adult and life-long learning, and statistics/research methods
- U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status
Salary: The postdoctoral fellowship includes a stipend ($60,000 per year), a stipend of up to $2,200 for fringe benefits (including health and dental insurance), a travel budget (to include annual meetings in Washington, D.C.) and a research support stipend to cover independent projects, dissemination work, supplies, etc.
About the ALRC
Our fellowship program will be housed in the ALRC in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State. The ALRC has a diverse group of 18 affiliate faculty and 25 student members who represent disciplines of Educational Psychology, Psychology, Nursing and Health Professions, Learning Sciences, Economics, Applied Linguistics, Evaluation and Research, English and Public Health. As a result of the multidisciplinary nature of the ALRC, fellows will receive interdisciplinary training as they are developing their competencies to design and conduct research on adult learners.
Dr. Daphne Greenberg
Greenberg is a distinguished university professor in the Department of Learning Sciences at Georgia State. She is a leading expert in adult literacy, principal investigator of the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy and the director of the Adult Literacy Research Center. View Dr. Greenberg’s profile for more information.
Dr. Elizabeth L. Tighe
Tighe is an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Georgia State, has a joint appointment in the Department of Learning Sciences, and is the assistant director of the Adult Literacy Center. Dr. Tighe specializes in the assessment and reading skills of struggling adult readers. View Dr. Tighe’s profile for more information.
Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Carlson
Carlson is an assistant professor in the Department of Learning Science at Georgia State. She specializes in the psychological foundations of education, learning and cognition, and the cognitive processes of reading comprehension through various aspects of assessment. View Dr. Carlson’s profile for more information.
Dr. Scott Crossley
Dr. Kathryn McCarthy
About Georgia State University
The training program will occur at Georgia State, which is the Southeast’s urban research university and is ranked among the nation’s top 108 public and private universities in the Carnegie Foundation’s elite category of Very High Research Activity. Research awards have surpassed the $150M milestone, a 75% increase since FY11. Research expenditures also reached ~$150M, a 77% increase since FY11. Federal sponsorship accounts for 70% of the total research volume. Georgia State offers a well-equipped environment in which to support this project’s activities. Georgia State’s College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) maintains a research bureau that provides support for pre- and post-award activities.
To apply, please submit:
- Academic transcripts
- Curriculum Vita
- Three letters of recommendation
- Two-page (single-spaced) personal statement addressing research background, career goals, knowledge of adult learner population, and interest in topics relevant to adult literacy and adult learners.
- example of a scholarly paper
Please submit your application to GPAL@gsu.edu. Selected applicants will receive follow up information about virtual interviews and depending on pandemic conditions, a potential on-campus interview.