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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Michigan-Education Policy Initiative
Michigan, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted date
Nov 10, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Other Education, Special Education, Teacher Education, Professional Fields, Public Administration & Policy
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Postdoctoral Training Program in Quantitative Methods for Education Policy Research
Education Policy Postdoctoral Research Fellow
2022 – 2024

The Education Policy Initiative (EPI) seeks candidates interested in deepening their knowledge of rigorous, applied quantitative education policy research for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship.

EPI is composed of researchers interested in understanding and evaluating education policies at the local, state, and national level. We train fellows to evaluate the causal effects of education policies and practices, emphasizing the use of state and district longitudinal data. Fellows should be interested in investigating topics relevant to ongoing education policy conversations, working with partners in the field, and using rigorous evaluation methods in collaboration with other EPI scholars.

Fellows receive close mentorship from professors Brian Jacob, Kevin Stange, and Christina Weiland, and have the opportunity to work with cross-disciplinary faculty such as Awilda Rodriguez, Deborah Rivas-Drake, Matthew Ronfeldt, Joseph Ryan, Nell Duke, Fabian Pfeffer, Basit Zafar, Robin Tepper-Jacob, and Katherine Michelmore. The University of Michigan (UM) is home to a dynamic community of researchers, with ample opportunity for professional development—via participation in seminars and trainings, as well as through exposure to high-profile speakers.

Fellows engage in ongoing education-related research projects and participate in all aspects of the research process, including design, IRB administration, analysis, and presentation. They collect, compile, and analyze data; design surveys; participate in research planning; write papers; present results at seminars and professional meetings; and supervise research assistants. Integral to our training program, fellows learn how to develop a research partnership with practitioners or public agencies and to communicate results to non-technical audiences. Fellows will devote about a third of their time toward working with U-M faculty to build new collaborations at the university. They will devote another third of their time to existing EPI research projects and products that support the center. Finally, the remaining third of their time may be spent on independent research projects.

EPI strives to foster an inclusive work environment that is home to scholars with a wide range of backgrounds and research interests. We do so by bringing in a diverse set of speakers who do research directly on racial inequality in education, encouraging trainings and collaborations across campus, surveying community members about our seminar culture, and self-evaluating ways to make our research⁠—from start to finish⁠—more equitable. We are interested in recruiting applicants with diverse backgrounds and life experiences and from a diverse pool of academic disciplines and PhD institutions. We welcome fellows who will expand the types of research questions asked by our current community, including questions at the intersection of education policy and social equity, racial inequality and racism, and gender inequality.

Originally established in 2011, the Postdoctoral Training Program in Quantitative Methods for Education Policy Research at the University of Michigan is currently supported by grant R305B170015 from the United States Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. This is a 2-year fellowship beginning in the summer of 2022 with competitive salary and benefits plus funds for research expenses and related travel.

Applicants must have completed their PhD in a relevant social science discipline prior to August 31, 2022, have an interest in researching education and receiving further training in causal inference methodology, and have academic research experience in public policy, economics, education, quantitative methodology, or other similar fields. The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Application Process and Deadline
We will accept applications submitted online. Please visit our website ( for instructions. Complete applications include a 2-3 page statement of interest, writing sample (job market paper or recent publication authored / co-authored by the applicant), CV, and three confidential letters of recommendation. We will begin reviewing applications on November 1 and will continue until the position(s) are filled.

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