Postdoctoral Fellowship

CREATE, the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, the College of Engineering, and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine have an opening for a Postdoctoral Scholar.

The goal of this fellowship is to train leaders in accessibility research who can harness advances in physical computing and fabrication to enhance community living and participation with people with disabilities. Specifically, we seek applicants who are interested in developing their skills and expertise investigating how fabrication technologies (e.g., 3D printing and machine knitting) and physical computing technologies can be used to address challenges in rehabilitation technology and accessibility. Applicants from technical backgrounds (e.g., computer science or engineering), rehabilitation medicine (e.g., physical or occupational therapy), or disability studies are encouraged to apply. Multiple postdoctoral fellows with complementary backgrounds will be recruited to collaborate and advance multidisciplinary innovation. Each postdoctoral scholar will be mentored by at least two faculty from the CREATE leadership.

CREATE’s mission includes ensuring that people with disabilities are able to participate in the research process; and CREATE’s faculty and students include people with disabilities. CREATE also has funding to help address accessibility concerns above and beyond the support offered by the UW Campus disability offices. CREATE’s mission also includes a focus on racial equity and representation across intersectional identities.

Postdoctoral scholar appointments are full time, with a 12-month service period. Reappointments may be possible, inclusive of all postdoctoral experience at other institutions. Anticipated start is January 2022. This individual will work closely with a team of computer scientists, engineers, rehabilitation professionals, disability studies scholars and human computer interaction experts from CREATE to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

For this NIDILRR-funded research, the postdoctoral fellows will engage in 70% research, 20% didactics, and 10% community engagement. The primary responsibilities for each fellow will be to propose and execute an accessibility research project that uses physical computing and fabrication applications to improve community living for people with disabilities including scholarly publications and presentations; engage in coursework and seminars that supplement existing knowledge in areas of engineering, rehabilitation, and disability studies; engage with community organizations that serve disability communities in the Western Washington region to identify participation and technology needs; and facilitate a community-based physical computing workshop.  

We are looking for candidates who have a passion for multidisciplinary research and have expertise in one or more of: the technical aspects of accessibility; rehabilitation technology; disability studies; and fabrication/physical computing technologies. You will be working closely with people with disabilities, engineers, rehabilitation professionals, and other scientists throughout the research project. This training grant is led by Dr. Jennifer Mankoff from the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, Dr. Heather Feldner from the UW’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Disability Studies Program, Dr. Kat Steele from the UW’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Anat Caspi, Director of the Taskar Center within the Paul G. Allen School.

The overarching mission of CREATE is to make technology accessible and make the world accessible through technology. We take a need-based, human-centered approach to accessibility research and education, work closely with stakeholders in disability communities, and apply knowledge and skills across computer science, rehabilitation medicine, engineering, design, and disability studies to improve access and quality of life for diverse populations.

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.


Applicants must have a Ph.D. or foreign equivalent in engineering, human centered design, or rehabilitation science. Other life sciences may be considered. Rehabilitation professionals should be licensed or eligible for licensure in their respective discipline in the State of Washington. Strong oral and written communication skills and the ability to work as an effective member of a multidisciplinary team are critical for the success of this research. Candidates may have no more than 48 months of prior postdoc experience in order to fulfill the initial 1-year appointment period.

Application instructions

Applicants should provide (1) a cover letter clearly describing your interest and relevant background in this project, (2) a CV, (3) copies of two representative publications, and (4) contact information for three references. Project and application questions may be submitted via email to create-jobs@uw.edu.

Application deadlines

The application period is now open. Application review will begin on August 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. Start date is flexible but Winter 2022 is preferred.