Graduate Assistantship in Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER)

Applications are invited for a 12-month (renewable) graduate assistantship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the flagship, land-grant institution in the state of Nebraska. The graduate student would join a collaborative team of postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates led by Dr. Cory Forbes in the UNL School of Natural Resources. The successful applicant will also be part of a dynamic and growing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), FANH (food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences), and discipline-based education research (DBER) community at UNL.

The position is part of a new national initiative funded by a Research Coordination Network (RCN) grant through the National Science Foundation’s Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) program. The National Collaborative for Research on Food, Energy, and Water Education (NC-FEW; is an emergent, transdisciplinary community of faculty from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and (FANH) fields, with a shared focus on research-based education grounded in the Food-Energy-Water-Nexus (FEW-Nexus). Over the next 5 years, NC-FEW will serve as a hub for a networked improvement community engaged in sustained network- and capacity-building to enhance FEW-Nexus-focused educational programming and education research nationwide. The graduate assistantship will afford opportunities to not only participate in and help coordinate community activities, but also conduct research on the growth of this community and its participants, including individuals’ development of knowledge and skills, community identity, and collaborative networks. Secondarily, through the NC-FEW network, the individual in this position will be able to explore additional opportunities for DBER on an array of FEW-Nexus focused educational programs in postsecondary, K-12, and/or informal/non-formal contexts (depending on the interests and background of the applicant).

Candidates for this position should possess a strong disciplinary background in STEM/FANH science(s) and STEM/FANH science education, particularly FEW-Nexus-focused education, systemic change in higher education, and faculty development. Preferred credentials would involve some combination of undergraduate and masters-level work in STEM/FANH science(s) and education. Prior experience with STEM/FANH science educational programming in postsecondary, K-12, and/or informal/nonformal contexts is desirable. Moreover, competitive applicants will have a demonstrated history of collaborative work and effective communication skills (both written and oral). The student would pursue doctoral studies through the Ph.D. program in the UNL School of Natural Resources (

This is a fully-funded assistantship with guaranteed funding for four years. The position is initially established for a period of one year. Continuation of this position beyond one year is contingent upon satisfactory performance of assigned duties. Position includes a stipend, health insurance, and tuition remission. The planned start date for the position is January 1, 2020, though a later start date may be possible. Initial review of applications will begin November 1 and will continue until the position is filled.

Please submit inquiries about the position to Cory Forbes at To apply, applicants should email a letter of interest describing their background, interest, qualifications, and future goals, a resume/curriculum vitae, 2 writing samples, and names of 3 references to Dr. Forbes via email.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is committed to a pluralistic campus community through affirmative action, equal opportunity, work-life balance, and dual careers.

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