Senior Human Learning and Cognition Researcher

Dayton, OHThe Human Learning and Cognition Core Competency is looking for an experienced researcher to provide leadership and technical direction for a portfolio of research focused on learning technologies. DR-03/04

Job Overview

This announcement will be accepting candidate submissions until 21 June 2023.  

The Learning and Operational Training Core Research Area of the 711th Human Performance Wing within the Air Force Research Laboratory (711 HPW/RHW) seeks to hire a highly qualified and experienced individual to lead in the advancement of state-of-the-art science and application within the space of learning and operational training and human performance for the United States Air Force and Space Force.  This requires significant focus on watching, leveraging, and leading in the development and application of research and commercial tools in order to maximize Warfighter performance in Joint domains.

The Learning and Operational Training Core Research Area emphasizes learning and understanding in the context of evolving technology. This includes research to establish an ecosystem that maximizes mission effectiveness while minimizing costs by matching technologies to learning and performance needs; supporting high resolution human and system measurement and quantitative, proficiency-centric readiness assessment and prediction at the individual and team levels; and exploring how to enable human and machine co-learning to support mutual adaptation, mutual understanding, and more flexible intelligence in human-machine teams.


Position Duties include, but are not limited to: 

  • Serves as the senior technical leader for a portfolio of research in the broad area of Learning and Operational Training, such as Core Technical Competency Lead or Core Research Area Lead.
  • Serves as principal investigator and co-investigator on mission-driven research projects advancing knowledge and technical capabilities in support of US Air Force and US Space Force priorities.
  • Provides technical guidance to research and/or scientific teams to foster collaboration, promote synergy, encourage innovation, and ensure scientific rigor.
  • Cultivates and sustains a professional atmosphere of cooperation, cohesion and teamwork.
  • Helps the workforce advance and traverse through change, and continuously improves the organization's ability to contribute to the AF and Space Force missions.
  • Facilitates communication and collaboration with HQ AF, MAJCOMS, COCOMS, HQ AFRL, AFRL TD's, other services, universities, and industry both nationally and internationally.
  • Directs and reviews authoritative technical reports, articles, papers, and presentations presented to internal and external senior leaders and officials, as well as, at professional conferences. 
  • Responsible for advising and providing counsel to employees regarding policies, procedures, and directives of senior leadership.
  • Mentors and proactively promotes career development and training. 



Yes, this position is eligible for telework opportunities; as determined by agency policy

Maximum Telework Flexibilities: The duty location for this position is listed below, however, this position is eligible for maximum telework flexibilities. Telework options can be negotiated and implemented after entrance on duty.

Wright Patterson AFB, OH

Remote Work (CONUS)

No, this position is not approved for remote work.

Required Qualifications

  • United States Citizenship
  • These are Acquisition Professional Development Program (APDP) positions and require a Level 2 certification (Practitioner). The selectees will have 24 months to meet APDP requirements or a waiver must be obtained.
  • These positions may be filled as a 5-year Flexible Length and Renewable Term Technical Appointment (new government hires, current government term employees, etc.) with the option to later convert to a permanent appointment.
  • Security Clearance:  The incumbent of these positions must possess or be able to obtain a Top Secret security clearance.  
  • Applicants must have at least one (1) year or 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to DR-02/DR-03 in the Federal service or equivalent in an alternate pay system. 
Applicants must also meet the Basic Qualification requirements for at least one of the following series:  0180, 0801, 0854, or 1550. To view the Individual Occupational Requirements for this position click on the following links:

Desired Qualifications

  • MS or PhD in cognitive science, psychology, computer science or related field, and demonstrable work experience OR MS or Ph.D. in cognitive science, psychology, computer science or related field; with a focus on formal (computational or mathematical) modeling of human and/or artificial intelligence, intelligent tutoring, adaptive systems or human-machine interaction and demonstrable work experience
  • Comfortable in multidisciplinary research environment with a demonstrable experience on an interdisciplinary team or in a multidisciplinary research environment
  • Excellent writing and communication skills; Excellent time and project management skills with a demonstrable publication record
  • Experience with psychological research in education, cognition and/or behavior in mixed initiative systems or human-machine teams is beneficial.
  • Experience applying instructional theory in adult learning use cases (andragogy; specific emphasis on constructivist learning theory, problem-based learning, experiential learning theory, simulation-based training, and/or intelligent tutoring systems) OR Experience in knowledge tracing, model tracing or related techniques for assessing, teaching, and aligning knowledge representations in humans and/or intelligent agent
  • Experience with experimental design and control and statistical analyses in the context of comparisons between education, training, or tutoring efficacy
  • Experience applying psychometric principles for valid and reliable assessment (performance standard setting experience preferred)
  • Experience designing, managing, and leading sponsored research with demonstrable track record meeting reporting requirements.

(Req. No:  61670)