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STEM Education Organizational Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: Collaborative Research in Informal STEM Learning Environments

October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2026 | Public Programs

The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), will recruit and support two postdoctoral fellows, who will spend 24 months conducting research in residence with NYSCI's diverse staff, audiences, and local community. This fellowship program is designed to support the postdoctoral researchers as they develop and pursue independent lines of research on equitable and inclusive informal STEM learning experiences. Research training will emphasize practices for conducting research with culturally and linguistically diverse audiences and collaborative research methods that directly engage STEM practitioners and/or community members in the research process. Fellows will be mentored by both research professionals and informal STEM practitioners, including educators and program developers, exhibit designers, museum facilitators, and curriculum developers. Through mentoring and peer-to-peer collaborative relationships, postdoctoral fellows will have rich opportunities to generate new knowledge about effective, inclusive practices in STEM education, as well as to develop the skills needed to build and sustain productive, mutually beneficial partnerships with practitioners in informal STEM learning environments. Postdoctoral fellows will leave the fellowship equipped with strategies for conducting culturally responsive and practice-relevant research that they can apply to future careers.

Advancing knowledge about how to support STEM learning for diverse audiences and in diverse contexts depends upon researchers methodological and theoretical expertise and on their ability to work competently and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders within informal STEM environments. Mastering both sets of competencies is critical to enabling early career researchers to become leaders in field-wide efforts to produce more practice-relevant and accessible forms of research. Within complex, real-world settings, the practice-based knowledge of educators, designers, and facilitators, as well as the lived experiences of community members, are integral to the success of educational environments and interventions. Training in research approaches that honor diverse perspectives and ways of knowing across cultures, disciplines, and roles within educational institutions can support early career researchers in developing lines of research that address issues of equity in STEM learning in responsive and impactful ways. Postdoctoral scholars will be invited to locate their existing research interests relative to two broad areas: STEM learning in informal learning environments, and broadening participation in informal STEM learning.


Funding Program: STEM Education Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (STEM Ed PRF); Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 2329473
Funding Amount: $1,245,879.00


  • Katherine McMillan
    Principal Investigator
    New York Hall of Science
  • Susan Letourneau
    Co-Principal Investigator
    New York Hall of Science
  • Resource Type: Projects | Project Descriptions | Projects
    Discipline: General STEM
    Audience: Learning Researchers | Museum/ISE Professionals
    Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs

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