Research Fellow

May 24, 2017
Position Type
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: Our Focus Concentrated poverty remains an endemic feature of American cities. Residents of low-income communities suffer higher rates of crime victimization and greater exposure to environmental contaminants. Their children experience worse schooling outcomes and limited access to healthy food. Many struggle with irregular employment and unstable housing. The path to social mobility is foreclosed by limited opportunities to gain new skills, and limited availability of affordable financial products. While social enterprises work hard to address these challenges with innovative solutions, policymakers and practitioners struggle to make sustained progress due to a lack of evidence about what works. We launched the University of Chicago Poverty Lab in 2015 to test innovative approaches to addressing the intersecting challenges faced by low-income residents of our cities. We bring the best science and "big data" analysis possible to bear on the problem of policy design, leveraging government administrative data to guide local policy and to generate high-quality evidence about what works. We believe that carrying out this work in very close collaboration with policymakers helps keep us focused on the most important real-world problems, and increases the chances that our findings translate into real-world impact. Who We Are The Poverty Lab is led by Marianne Bertrand, the Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Co-Director of Social Enterprise Initiative at Booth, and Director of the University of Chicago Poverty Lab. Her research, which covers labor economics, corporate finance, and development economics, has been published widely. She is a member of the board of directors for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Our full-time staff currently consists of an Executive Director, Scientific Director and seven full-time staff, including data analysts and program managers at our main office in downtown Chicago. Our constantly evolving portfolio of projects spans workforce development, housing and homelessness, post-secondary education, and income support policies.

Unit Job Summary: The University of Chicago Poverty Lab is seeking a full-time Post-Doctoral Fellow to build and lead a portfolio of applied research projects in association with faculty members and research teams focused on improving educational and labor market outcomes in urban areas. They will report to Poverty Lab Scientific Director Kelly Hallberg and work collaboratively with Marianne Bertrand, other researchers, staff and partner agencies. The Post-Doctoral Fellow will be responsible for contributing to the scientific content of research proposals and will have the opportunity to author or co-author scientific articles. The Post-Doctoral Fellow will assist the Executive Director and other faculty affiliates in supporting dissemination and policymaker outreach activities, and will oversee the work of other research staff. In addition, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will oversee an existing study of a school-based sports program operating in the Chicago Public Schools, and will be responsible for building the Poverty Lab's partnership with the Office of Evaluation Sciences of the General Services Administration. Over time, they will have the opportunity to work remotely from Washington, DC, and oversee a portfolio of projects developed in partnership with OES. The term of this position in 12 months, with the possibility of renewal for up to 24 additional months. Duties and Responsibilities: - Develops long-range plans for research projects and oversees the development of research projects. - Ensures research projects progress according to plan. - Oversees activities related to data collection and analysis. - Supervises staff or researchers. - Prepares grant/funding applications. - Ensures compliance of research activities with institutional, state and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives and mandates. - Authors or co-authors scientific articles as well as reports and manuscripts. - Presents research findings at meetings and conferences. To Apply- Submit resume, cover letter, writing sample, and transcripts.

Unit Education: Doctoral degree in public policy, economics, statistics or other relevant field with substantial policy and research experience required. Applicants in the final stages of dissertation review will be considered.

Unit Experience: A minimum of four years of relevant research experience or the equivalent required. The successful candidate will have expertise in all aspects of the research design, methods, and evaluation of research projects in the area of energy and environmental policy or related area of social policy with a deep understanding of policy efforts to address urban problems.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Strong project management skills with exceptional attention to detail required. Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment required. Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to maintain positive relationships with various stakeholders required. Strong time management skills with a proven ability to multitask and to prioritize activities to successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present data in a simple and straightforward way for non-technical audiences required. Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgment required. Knowledge and understanding of social policy and literature strongly preferred.

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