Scanlan Center for School Mental Health
Speaker at 2021 Iowa BEST Summit with audience
Job Opportunities
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Postdoctoral Research Training Fellow

The University of Iowa College of Education and Scanlan Center for School Mental Health seek two (2) applicants for a 2-year postdoctoral research training fellowship position focused on culturally responsive intervention research in education leadership and school mental health. The successful fellow will demonstrate an interest in improving K-12 education systems through enhancing culturally responsive education leadership practices and school mental health programs. The position is for two years, and the stipend will be $60,000 annually with benefits. Candidates will also receive up to $10,000 annually to cover research costs and professional development. Anticipated start date is August 1, 2023.

The postdoctoral research training fellowships are funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) National Center for Education Research (NCER) that will support a total of four fellows for two years each. Over the course of their 2-year positions, postdoctoral fellows will work with their primary mentor on ongoing research projects and engage in independent research and professional development activities. The fellows will participate in an immersive workshop and year-long, college-supported community of practice that focuses on designing, facilitating, and assessing culturally responsive education research. Additional professional development activities focus on building knowledge and skills related to the IES Standards for Excellence in Education Research, advanced research methods in experimental and quasi-experimental, advanced statistical analyses, grant writing and management, and dissemination.

By the end of the training program, postdoctoral fellows will have produced publications and presentations, conducted their own original research project within an active research project in the college and/or Scanlon Center for School Mental Health (SCSMH), and prepared a grant proposal that can serve as a foundation for future IES Development & Innovation research proposals in the education leadership or social and behavioral context for academic learning strands.

We strongly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds and who increase the field’s depth in research that addresses the needs of underserved racial or ethnic groups. As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, the University of Iowa recognizes the power of a diverse community and encourages applications from individuals with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds.

Brief Description of active research projects: Primary faculty mentors include Drs. Saba Ali, Jonathan Templin, Gerta Bardhoshi, and Ain Grooms. Affiliated faculty mentors include Drs. Allison Bruhn, Nick Bowman, Liz Hollingworth, and Megan Foley Nicpon. Fellows will work with primary mentors to identify additional faculty, as needed. Fellows will have research roles in the Scanlon Center for School Mental Health (SCSMH). The primary mission of the SCSMH is to conduct innovative research to assist K-12 schools and school leaders to build capacity to deal with the mental health needs of Iowa teachers and students. Fellows may also be matched with other externally funded research projects with affiliated faculty that focus on developing and implementing professional development (PD) interventions to build educators’ knowledge and skills around K-20 academic, behavioral, and social emotional well-being. Across all projects, fellows will work directly with school leaders and stakeholders to collect data on mental health needs in K-12 settings, evaluate current PD efforts on critical school mental health topics, and pilot culturally responsive PD interventions focused on education leaders’ practice in a variety of settings including underserved rural schools and districts, high need urban schools, and postsecondary settings.

Minimum Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Have earned doctorates (PhD or EdD) in educational policy and leadership or mental-health related fields (i.e., clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, counseling or school psychology, and social work) before the start date.
  • Be a citizen or a permanent residence of the United States. 

Description of Qualified Candidates

Strong candidates:

  • Document relevant experiences in K-12 schools or mental health settings such as classroom teachers, school counselors, school social workers, instructional coaches, school administrators, and mental health private practitioners.
  • Document a commitment to or interest in equity-oriented, culturally responsive research and practice.
  • Document relevant experiences and competencies in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods projects.
  • Demonstrate a record of research engagement through publications, presentations, and other dissemination products related to educational leadership and/or school mental health.
  • Can work both independently and in a collegial and cooperative manner with the faculty supervisor and other team members.

To Apply: 
Interested applicants should send the following information to: Duhita Mahatmya (

(Please email with subject line: IESPostdoc Application [last name])

  1. Cover letter documenting relevant experiences in educational leadership, mental health, and culturally responsive research or practice
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Scholarly writing sample(at least one)
  4. Names and contact information for three references

Review of applications will begin December 15, 2022.