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University of Utah
The Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Social and Cultural Transformation


Fellowship Start Date: August 1st 2024, Fellowship End Date: July 31st 2026
Application Deadline: April 1st

STEM education research on inclusive environments and interdisciplinary STEM research is growing. As the field continues to reflect dynamic communities and community research priorities, this novel post-doctoral program seeks to bring to the center critical frameworks. Through a thematic of “Queering STEM Education” we propose to bring together a cohort of STEM education and science studies scholars who take seriously critical frameworks of queer, decolonial, transnational, and / or intersectionality. To queer is to offer a critique, to contest the “naturalization of the categories of normal and deviant sexuality and binarized notions of sexed anatomy, gender identity, sexual desire, and sexual identity” (Thinking with Kristina Gupta and David Rubin 2021). To bring to the center analytics that are historically on the margins of STEM research, is, so to speak, a queering endeavor. Therefore, to queer STEM is truly an interdisciplinary and methodological complex undertaking. That is, to queer is to contend with the norms with how one does research, the modalities of research, the subjects in research, and the research questions asked that further how we come to know what counts as STEM. As conveyed by Jin a queer methodology “only works if we know where we stand, where we are trying to go, and whom we are trying to take with us” (Haritworn 2017). As fields of STEM seek to diversify, it is ever more pressing through a cohort model of scholars that we also to take seriously how research is done, and how a next generation of scholars are supported and trained to cross disciplines.


Who Should Apply: This program will support the training of three postdoctoral fellows. Ideal candidates include individuals who graduated in the past 4 years, and whose research includes:

  • Discipline-based education researchers (DBER) interested in queering their methodologies or bringing into their research queer analytics.

  • Science studies scholars who bring into their research queer methods or frameworks.

  • Interdisciplinary scholars who bring to the center of their research STEM related fields.


Program overview

This two-year program will train fellows in formal queer frameworks in science education, with research rotations with critical studies and science education scholars, that will lead to the completion of a research project during the two-year fellowship.


Development and training. Postdoctoral fellows will work with the Co-PIs on their individual academic plan. The program will include a speaker series bringing in experts from across the country, a special journal edition on queering STEM, paid attendance at three conferences, and a final symposium. Fellows will participate in professional development curriculum to learn about applying to faculty jobs, professional networking, grant writing, time management and more. The goal is to prepare future faculty in queer methodologies to be more inclusive and expert scholars. Fellows will be in residence in Utah during the program and work in person. Opportunities to mentor undergraduate researchers and teach, available to postdoctoral fellows who individual academic plan reflects desires to teach and mentor as part of their development.


Research. Fellows will have the option to: (1) investigate a small piece of a Utah faculty member’s project while applying a queer lens or (2) bring their own project, with data already collected, to queer. Prospective fellow application materials should specify whether they want to work on a faculty member’s project or bring their own data from their dissertation work or beyond (Information on the potential faculty mentors and projects are below). Postdoctoral fellows will also experience mentoring opportunities from the project’s advisory board.


Total Compensation: $79,940 ($70,000 salary, $9,940 in retirement), healthcare and vacation annually

Travel Support: Three conferences paid for, two with research mentors and one of the fellow’s choice


In addition to compensation, fellows will receive $3,000 in research funds for their project as well as the opportunity to mentor an undergraduate assistant. The program will also support the postdoctoral fellow with travel to three conferences (two with research mentors).

Reporting structure. The fellows will report to both (1) Dr. Ramón Barthelemy (physics and astronomy) and (2) Dr. Annie Fukushima (Ethnic Studies) as well as their rotation and permanent mentors.


Faculty Mentor Projects

Dr. Andrea Baldwin, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies

My projects are grounded in Black and decolonial feminist epistemology: (1) Black feminist aliveness and Black feminist ecological thought - for this project I use brackish (as in brackish water) as a metaphor to think about Black aliveness - largely defined,, (2) Posture portraits project - Interdisciplinary/artist/technological project that chronicles the untold stories of the historical practice of taking nude and semi-nude photos of students at universities and colleges as part of orientation. Anyone interested in the body and racist eugenics might be interested in this.


Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima, Associate Dean, School for Cultural & Social Transformation

I am a decolonial feminist scholar whose research navigates a range of subject matters that are priorities for race and gender studies: racialized and gender-based violence, needs, labor, and citizenship/immigration. I teach transdisciplinary methodologies to graduates and undergraduates. I am creating state-wide alliances that foster STEM diversity through mentoring and change theories.


Dr. Claudia Geist, Associate Professor, Sociology and Gender Studies

I am exploring attitudes regarding gender and sexual diversity among faculty and practitioners in Medicine and STEM, along with exploring approaches to capture sexual and diversity in populations that don’t have inclusive cultures.


Dr. Jordan Gerton, Professor, Physics

Students in a reformed introductory physics lab course work in groups to develop and conduct their own investigations, and to analyze and defend their results.  We collect and analyze audio-visual recordings to study student sensemaking in this environment, attending to various factors such as group dialogue and interactions with teaching assistants.


Dr. David Stroupe, Director, Usable STEM Research and Practice Hub

Research interests in ambitious and equitable teaching, epistemic justice and how teachers learn from practice. His work uses methods from Science, Technology and Society as well as History and Philosophy of Science.


Dr. Lynne Zummo, Curator, Learning Sciences

Drawing on sociocultural theory of language and identity, my research uses mixed methods to study learning around contentious issues in science, such as climate change, in a variety of contexts, including museums, classrooms, and the digital space.


Dr. Ramón Barthelemy, Director, Physics Education Research Group

Uses gender and queer theories to investigate the experiences, lives, and educational pathways of students in physics and STEM. Currently has significant data on LGBTQ+ and Women PhD physicists for analysis.


Advisory Board

Moroni Benally, Government Affairs Consultant, Navajo Nation

Dr. Darius Bost, Associate Professor, Black Studies, University of Illinois, Chicago

Dr. Geraldine Cochran, Associate Professor, Physics, Ohio State Univesrity

Dr. Martin F Manalansan IV, Professor, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Rutgers University

Dr. Allison Mattheis, Professor, Applied and Advanced Studies, California State University, Los Angeles

University of Utah

The School for Cultural and Social Transformation (Transform) is a recently formed interdisciplinary college committed to cutting-edge thinking about shifting sexualities, changing genders, Black feminist theory, dynamic migrations, and emergent struggles against racist thought and action: In addition to the Division of Ethnic Studies, Transform houses the Division of Gender Studies and programs in Disability Studies and the Mellon Foundation Grant-funded Pacific Island Studies Initiative.


The College of Science was established in 1970 and is a national leader in education and research. Today the College of Science is one of the largest colleges within the University of Utah, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics and astronomy, plus specialized degrees such as a doctorate in chemical physics.


The University of Utah is the flagship institution of the Utah System of Higher Education. It has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation among research universities with the “highest research activity.” The university has a range of centers committed to creating inclusive environments including the LGBT Resource Center, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and its centers supporting Black, Indigenous, Native, Pasifika, and Latinx/e communities. The University is in Salt Lake City, the center of a metropolitan area with about 1.25 million residents (about half the population of Arkansas). Salt Lake City is home to sizable Latinx and immigrant populations (21.5% and 11.5% of residents, respectively). Per capita, Salt Lake City has the 11th largest LGBTQ population in the U.S. The city’s proximity to the Wasatch Mountains, world-class ski resorts, and national parks makes it an ideal location for outdoor recreation. The Salt Lake City International Airport is a Delta Airlines hub with direct flights to most U.S. cities and direct international flights to many major cities. SLC has extensive arts and cultural activities. The area has received international recognition for its new light rail system, foodie culture, Sundance Film Festival, downtown revitalization, and increasing diversity. I


How to Apply

Applicants with a PhD earned in the past 4 years are encouraged to apply, with candidates from STEM, social sciences, education, science and technology studies, and humanities strongly considered. This fellowship is designed for recent graduates with an interest in faculty careers at research intensive universities. 


To be considered submit: a cover letter, curriculum vita, a writing sample, and a reference list of references who we will contact separately. Applications cover letters should include a description of which mentor(s) and why this mentor, or a description of project/data to be analyzed during the fellowship. Submit materials here. Questions? Connect with Ramon.S.Barthelemy@Utah.Edu and


The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, status as a person with a disability, genetic information, or Protected Veteran status. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities. To inquire about the University’s nondiscrimination or affirmative action policies or to request disability accommodation, please contact: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Circle, Rm 135, (801) 581-8365.


The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds, and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.

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