Causal Inference in Education Policy Research​

Postdoctoral Training Program at the University of Michigan​

Our IES-sponsored postdoctoral fellows include Rachel Rosen, Daniel Kreisman, and Steven Hemelt (from left to right).

Alumni of our IES training program include Rachel Rosen, Daniel Kreisman, Steven Hemelt (from left to right), Katherine Michelmore and Sarah Cannon (not shown).

This is a 2-year research fellowship beginning in the summer of 2021 with competitive salary and benefits plus funds for research expenses and related travel.

Applications include A) a completed application form; B) 2-3 page statement of interest, CV and writing samples (job market paper or recent publication authored/co-authored by the applicant) needs to be attached to the application. C) three confidential letters of recommendation sent directly from references should be emailed to edpolicyford@umich.edu with POSTDOC2021 marked with applicants LastName_FirstName in the subject field.

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IES Postdoctoral Fellowship at EPI

Position Description

Full description of position

We train fellows to estimate the causal effects of education policies and practices on student outcomes, emphasizing the use of state and district longitudinal data. 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 working with UM faculty to build new collaborations at the university. They will devote about a 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.

Fellows receive close mentorship from professors Brian Jacob, Susan Dynarski, Kevin Stange, Christina Weiland, and have the opportunity to work with cross-disciplinary faculty. U-M 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.

Originally established in 2011, the Postdoctoral Training Program in Quantitative Methods for Education Policy Research at the University of Michigan is supported by grant R305B170015 from the United States Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences.

Research Projects

Most of our projects involve working with education partners in evaluations that exploit administrative datasets. Methods employed include randomized trials, regression discontinuity, and instrumental variables. Examples of projects that the fellows may contribute to include:

Early Education

K-12 Education

Postsecondary Education and the Labor Market

Other Topics in Education Research

  • Early Adverse Events, Juvenile Justice, and Education Outcomes – Jacob

Example of research questions to which fellows may contribute:

  • What is the effect of Boston’s universal pre-kindergarten program on children’s academic and schooling outcomes? How do these effects vary across schools? What are the malleable factors that promote sustained pre-kindergarten impacts?
  • What is the effect of Michigan’s policy to retain third-graders who do not meet reading proficiency standards?
  • Does career and technical education improve a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school, enrolling in postsecondary education, and their labor market outcomes?
  • At what critical points do Michigan’s college students fall off the track to degree completion? What academic and financial stand in the way? How does this vary by higher education institution, student demographics, and socioeconomic status?

Qualifications

Applicants will have completed their PhD in a relevant social science discipline prior to August 31, 2021 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

Applications include A) a completed application form; B) 2-3 page statement of interest, CV and writing samples (job market paper or recent publication authored/co-authored by the applicant) needs to be attached to the application. C) three confidential letters of recommendation sent directly from references should be emailed to edpolicyford@umich.edu with POSTDOC2021 marked with applicants LastName_FirstName in the subject field.

Full position description

Current and Past Fellows