The FIRE program is seeking Assistant Clinical Professors to serve as the Research Educators for innovation and research streams to begin in January 2020. [please apply here]

Research Educator Introduction

Research Educators work in collaboration with stream-affiliated faculty members to design and implement the group research agenda and are responsible for all curriculum, instruction and broad student mentorship. Research Educators will coordinate with a team of undergraduate peer mentors to oversee research operations including student research progress, infrastructure maintenance as well as management of the fiscal budget. The position empowers the individual to develop a strong portfolio of experience in curriculum development, instruction, mentorship, leadership and research group management.

Research Leader Requirements

As the leader of the research mission, the Research Educator drives the research agenda. This involves acting as both the intellectual and physical driver of the research operation. The Research Educator continually refines the research goals and identity of the group while clearly communicating research goals and expectations to their team. Additionally, the Research Educator is the logistical leader of the research endeavor which requires them to document all training methods and protocols. The Research Educator maintains the quality and cleanliness of the research environment and continually addresses resource, logistical, facilities and planning problems. Finally, this role requires the Research Educator to be an accomplished practitioner in their field of expertise. They continually review discipline-specific literature and ongoing progress and redirect the research to achieve the most productive outcomes, develop new lines of research as existing lines are completed, drive the creation of conference presentations and manuscripts, and introduce students to diverse methodological perspectives. The Research Educator creates meaning, the capacity for discovery and ensures the market utility of the experience for students by helping them engage in work that is broadly relevant, has the capacity to generate new knowledge, and that allows for students to receive meaningful training and develop professionally marketable skills.

Educational Requirements

As the lead instructor of all stream-affiliated courses, the Research Educator is tasked with providing an excellent educational experience - both in scheduled course sessions and the research environment. This requires the Research Educator to use educational best practices for formative assessment of student training and summative assessment of student accomplishments. Research Educators use UMD's Learning Management System (Canvas) to its fullest extent possible to help facilitate their courses. This includes the use of announcements, assignments, assessment and lecture related files, grading, peer review and class discussion. Research Educators develop assessments well in advance of deadlines that include rubrics that make it clear how assessments will be evaluated for a grade. They provide students prompt and qualitative feedback on all assessments. Stream curriculum is often designed in a research-sensitive manner that allows for iteration: students engage in work that includes periods of uncertainty, setbacks and unexpected outcomes and have the opportunity to repeat unsuccessful methodological attempts. In scheduled course sessions, Research Educators use pedagogies shown to create effective learning environments.

Mentorship Requirements

As the professional that interacts with each FIRE-participating student, the Research Educator is tasked with providing personal, academic, research and professional mentorship. Research Educators engage in student personal development through the creation of experiences that drive the development of personal capacities such as collaboration, communication, time management, leadership, critical thinking, confidence, self-efficacy, resilience, discipline identity and goal orientation. Academic growth is fostered through both practical advice and the research-centered work that allows other first-year courses to have increased purpose and meaning. Research Educators provide research mentorship by fostering a work environment that encourages collaborative efforts from all students while minimizing conflict and competition, challenges students to learn to act autonomously. Additionally, Research Educators role model by engaging scholarly work within the research environment, continually communicating the big-picture and broader impacts of the research agenda and encouraging students to attend on-campus seminars related to stream research. Finally, professional mentorship is provided to students by engaging in practices that both implicitly and explicitly instruct students regarding behaviors that promotes student professional success. Research Educators learn to mentor and support students of all capacities (struggling, typical, superstar, perhaps disengaged) in the research environment and think of students as responsibilities as opposed to labor or commitments.