Postdoctoral scholar positions are available to pursue digital health research on behavioral interventions and health behavior change in The Motivation Lab, Department of Kinesiology at The Pennsylvania State University. The lab is currently funded by NIH and NSF to develop and evaluate just-in-time behavioral interventions for promoting physical activity and fluid intake. Our goal is to make health behavior change more enjoyable, less effortful, or both. The scholar will have opportunities and to publish from existing and new datasets, design and conduct pilot studies, and collaborate on grant writing (including submitting their own grants). Candidates should have (a) obtained a PhD or equivalent degree in a relevant field (e.g., exercise psychology, behavioral nutrition, bioinformatics, or developmental methodology), (b) published at least one peer-reviewed paper as first author, (c) interests in intensive longitudinal data and optimization, and (d) experience with interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary collaboration. Interested applicants should upload (a) a cover letter describing their relevant experience, research interests and professional goals, (b) a current CV, and (c) the names of three professional references. Scholars will be appointed for one-year with renewal possible based on performance and availability of funding. Applications should be addressed to Dr. David Conroy (email@example.com). Review of applications will begin following approval and posting of the position and continue until the position is filled.
Funded Graduate Student Position Available
A 12-month graduate assistantship (stipend + tuition) is available to fund a new PhD student with psychosocial/behavioral interests. Research responsibilities involve working on externally-funded research projects (see Projects page) but student will have support to develop her/his own dissertation topic in collaboration with Dr. Conroy. Learn more about the graduate program in Kinesiology. Write to conroy[at]psu.edu to discuss your interests and ask any questions.
There are no official application deadlines but I encourage applicants interested in starting in the fall semester to complete their application in mid-January. Please include the following information in your personal statement: motivation for graduate study, relevant previous experience (e.g., research, teaching, coaching), career goals (e.g., educational goals, post-graduation employment goals), and specific research interests for graduate school. I place a lot of weight on students' personal statements when making admissions decisions. A fantastic essay on the personal statement appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Bast, 2004). There is no recipe for a perfect personal statement because each must be personalized. Invest some time and thought so yours represents you and your goals well.
Research experiences are extremely valuable opportunities for professional development while you are an undergraduate student. Students who work on research in the lab can gain experience with participant recruitment/enrollment, data collection, data management, and a variety of administrative tasks within the lab. Students who demonstrate exceptional commitment to their work and make an intellectual contribution to a project may be invited to present findings at research conferences or to be co-authors on publications.
These experiences typically last 1-2 semesters but some students have worked in the lab all four years of their undergraduate careers. A limited number of spaces are available in the lab each semester. All students are welcome to apply but preference will be given to conscientious students who have a GPA > 3.0, a strong interest in graduate school, and demonstrated interpersonal/communication skills.
Interested students should complete and submit an application (with a resume and unofficial academic transcript). Space is often limited so interested students are encouraged to apply early to ensure that they receive full consideration. Students who are accepted into the lab will need to complete the online IRB Basic Training on the Protection of Human Participants.