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Penn Development Research Initiative (PDRI-DevLab) Postdoctoral Fellowships, 2024-2025

University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Nov 5, 2023

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Penn Development Research Initiative (PDRI-DevLab) Postdoctoral Fellowships, 2024-2025

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Open Date: Nov 03, 2023

The Penn Development Research Initiative (PDRI-DevLab) at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship during the 2024-2025 academic year. The initial appointment is for one year with the possibility for renewal up to 3 years given joint interest and performance. Ideally, the postdoctoral fellow would be spending two years at Penn.

Established in 2020, PDRI-DevLab brings together faculty and graduate students from seven schools across campus who have interests in international development. PDRI seeks to foster inter-disciplinary research by harnessing the extensive experience of its affiliates in both basic social science and program evaluation, drawing upon diverse disciplinary perspectives. PDRI serves as a launch pad for pursuing extramurally-funded research that includes, but is not limited to, collaborations with international NGOs, local NGOs, and government agencies while serving as an intellectual community for Penn faculty and graduate students conducting research in development countries settings.

The postdoctoral fellow will work closely under the supervision of Professor Guy Grossman. The postdoctoral fellow will help to design and execute studies, conduct rigorous quantitative analyses using advanced causal inference and data science methods, and contribute to the development of new research projects. Studies will be focused on selected topics in international development, especially in migration and forced displacement, human trafficking, and climate change and related topics, and may include field experiments as well as secondary (observational) data analyses. The postdoctoral fellow will be involved in all aspects of the research, including data analysis and writing (policy reports and academic papers). Additional responsibilities include attending regular PDRI seminars and being involved in PDRI-DevLab's strategic initiatives (e.g., pre-doc fellowship program for candidates from LMICs). About 50% of the postdoctoral fellow's time will be dedicated to PDRI-DevLab collaborative projects, and 50% of their time will be set aside for pursuing their own research. The position does not entail teaching.

Applications are welcomed from social scientists (irrespective of their disciplinary background) with strong quantitative skills. Applicants must have received their Ph.D. (or equivalent) by summer 2024. The position pays a stipend of $65,000 plus benefits.

Preferred Qualifications

■ Strong understanding of causal inference methods;

■ Experience using data science (e.g., machine learning) applications;

■ Experience conducting empirical field-based research (in particular one that involves collecting original survey data) is a plus, but not a requirement;

■ Outstanding written and oral communication skills, with the ability to translate complex scientific findings into accessible, non-technical language;

■ Ability to work well with teams, and communicate effectively with colleagues and faculty;

■ Ability to interact with individuals at all levels in a fast-paced environment, with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality;

■ Experience working with decision-makers in multilateral, developing country government.

Applications will be reviewed starting November 15, 2023. To receive full consideration, applications should be received by that date.

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Research Statement
  3. Writing Sample
  4. Contact information for two Faculty Advisors who can write a Letter of Recommendation upon request

PDRI values interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and collegiality; is committed to promoting a culturally diverse intellectual community; and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, and underrepresented communities.


Application Instructions

To apply, visit

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class. Questions or concerns about this should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, University of Pennsylvania, 421 Franklin Building, 3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).

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