Postdoctoral Researcher in Game-Based Learning and Assessment

Dublin, Ireland
24 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
07 Jul 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Education, Psychology
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Research Centre: Centre for Assessment Research and Policy in Education (CARPE), Institute of Education
Level of DCU Framework: Level 1
Post Duration: Fixed-Term Contract up to 2 Years

Dublin City University www.dcu.ie is a young, ambitious and vibrant University, with a mission ‘to transform lives and societies through education, research, innovation and engagement’. Known as Ireland’s ‘University of Enterprise and Transformation’, it is committed to the development of talent, and the discovery and translation of knowledge that advances society and the economy. DCU is the Sunday Times Irish University of the Year 2021.

The University is based on three academic campuses in the Glasnevin-Drumcondra region of north Dublin. It currently has more than 18,000 students enrolled across five faculties – Science and Health, DCU Business School, Computing and Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences and DCU Institute of Education. DCU is committed to excellence across all its activities. This is demonstrated by its world-class research initiatives, its cutting-edge approach to teaching and learning, its focus on creating a transformative student experience, and its positive social and economic impact. This exceptional commitment on the part of its staff and students has led to DCU’s ranking among the top 2% of universities globally. Over the past decade, DCU has also been the leading Irish university in the area of technology transfer, as reflected by licensing of intellectual property.

DCU Institute of Education

The DCU Institute of Education is the newest faculty of Dublin City University. It is based in a €70 million purpose built facility on the DCU St Patrick’s Campus in Drumcondra in Dublin. Established in 2016 as Ireland’s first University faculty of Education, it has a staff of more than 140 full-time academics and a student body in excess of 4,000. The Institute brings together students of education across all sectors from early childhood, to primary and post-primary and further and higher education. As well as providing a range of undergraduate programmes in education, the Institute offers a rich menu of taught and research-based post-graduate programmes, at doctoral, masters, diploma and certificate levels. As a centre of expertise and excellence in teacher education and education more generally, the Institute hosts a range of research centres in key areas of priority and has an ambitious and growing programme of research.

Centre for Assessment Research and Policy in Education (CARPE

In 2016 DCU established the Centre for Assessment Research Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE) at its Institute of Education and, in partnership with Prometric, appointed a Chair in Assessment to provide academic and research leadership in the area of assessment.

Role Profile

The Post Doctoral Researcher will, under the guidance of the Prometric Chair, engage in research related to game based learning (GBL) and assessment using MinecraftEDU * as well as other research on assessment of interest to the educational community more broadly.

*Minecraft: Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment.

As part of this role the researcher will be required to participate in the DCU Research Career Framework (http://dcu.ie/hr/ResearchersFramework/index.shtml).

This framework is designed to provide significant professional development opportunities to researchers and offer the best opportunities in terms of a wider career path.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will work with:

  • the Prometric Chair together with the Co-ordinator of Digital Learning (Primary) in relation to GBL and assessment research using MinecraftEDU;
  • the Prometric Chair and others within the Centre for Assessment Research and Policy in Education (CARPE) on research projects relevant to education.

Reporting to the Chair in Assessment, the duties of the Postdoctoral Researcher will include:

  • Research related to game based learning (GBL) and assessment using MinecraftEDU.
  • Research solutions to assessment problems pertinent to the education community in Ireland and internationally.
  • Contribute to the production of top-quality journal and conference publications.
  • Identify and write proposals for research funding.
  • Participate in CARPE activities, such as research showcases and annual reviews.
  • Provide advice to PhD students working on similar topics.
  • Report on progress at meetings and in writing.
  • Assist in identifying and developing future research and funding initiatives.
  • Engage in the dissemination of the research results.
  • Partner with Microsoft to maximise PR opportunities in relation to MinecraftEDU research through DCU’s communications and marketing departments.
  • Maintain an up-to-date research and professional profile on the DCU/CARPE website.
  • Contribute constructively to the team-based ethos within CARPE.
  • Engage in appropriate training and development opportunities as required by the Prometric Chair or the University.
  • Liaise with both internal and external stakeholders, including Microsoft.
  • Carry out administrative work associated with the programme of research as necessary.

Minimum Criteria

Applicants should have a PhD/EdD in education, educational assessment, psychology or related fields and be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of principles underpinning the theory and practice of game based learning and assessment, research design and data analysis.

In addition to the above, applicants should also have:

  • High level proficiency in written and oral communication;
  • The interpersonal skills necessary for productive collaborations;
  • An ability to bring initiative and imagination to independent work.

Candidates will be assessed on the following competencies:

  • Discipline knowledge and Research skills – Demonstrates knowledge of a research discipline and the ability to conduct a specific programme of research within that discipline.
  • Understanding the Research Environment – Demonstrates an awareness of the research environment (for example funding bodies) and the ability to contribute to grant applications.
  • Communicating Research – Demonstrates the ability to communicate their research with their peers and the wider research community (for example presenting at conferences and publishing research in relevant journals) and the potential to teach and tutor students.
  • Managing & Leadership skills - Demonstrates the potential to manage a research project including the supervision of undergraduate students.