This job has expired

Postdoctoral Research Scholar, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology

Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts, United States

View more

Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Job Details

Postdoctoral Research Scholar, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology

Tracking Code2755Job Description

The Department of Sociology at Boston University invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Scholar position to work on research related to criminal justice and health. Specifically, the postdoctoral fellow will work on data and analysis for the Pennsylvania Solitary Study (PASS), while continuing developing their own research projects. PASS is an interdisciplinary investigation of the structural determinants of health inequities in the context of incarceration, including solitary confinement, harsh prison conditions, environmental exposures, and other factors, see additional details on the study below. The position is full-time and begins on July 1, 2022. Exact starting date is negotiable. This appointment will initially be for one year, but is renewable for up to one additional year based on satisfactory performance and availability of funding. The Postdoctoral Research Scholar will be expected to regularly work and attend meetings in Boston.

The Postdoctoral Research Scholar will actively participate in program activities related to PASS: managing and analyzing data, conducting literature reviews, contributing to academic publications and policy briefs, and developing protocols for archiving data. The postdoctoral scholar will have numerous opportunities to publish research from the project.

The Postdoctoral Research Scholar will have strong statistical and quantitative skills and experience analyzing administrative panel data, preferably in R or Stata. The Postdoctoral Research Scholar will also have broad understanding of qualitative research methods.

The Postdoctoral Research Scholar will devote eighty percent (80%) of their work hours to PASS and twenty percent (20%) to their own research projects.

Required Skills

Minimum Degree Required

Applicants must have a Ph.D. by date of hire and must have received the degree within the past three years.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in public health, sociology, or related social science discipline
  • Knowledge of U.S. prison system, penal conditions, and solitary confinement
  • Substantial quantitative expertise, including familiarity with econometric methods and other approaches to causal inference
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Record of excellent scholarship and promise for development as research scholar

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience analyzing administrative panel data
  • Understanding of qualitative research methods
  • Candidates with prior experience in criminal legal histories or lived experience relating to the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Ability to work independently on a daily basis to handle complex situations and confidential information with a high level of discretion
  • The candidate is expected to work well in a team and effectively communicate the results of their research orally and in writing

Additional Information

Breaking new ground in research on prisons and inequality, the Pennsylvania Solitary Study (PASS) aims to understand how harsh conditions of confinement may affect health and well-being for incarcerated populations and their communities; identify the effects of solitary confinement on social, economic, and health outcomes after prison release, including physical and mental health conditions; and describe the conditions of living and working in high levels of custody in a large U.S. prison system. PASS is a collaborative, mixed-methods study led by Jessica Simes and Bruce Western (Columbia University), that includes a longitudinal survey of men incarcerated in solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison in Pennsylvania, interviews with incarcerated people and prison staff, a neurocognitive battery administered to incarcerated respondents, and administrative records from the prison and parole systems.

A primary goal of the project is to clean, code, and analyze the rich administrative, survey, qualitative, and neurocognitive data resulting from the PASS data collection. A second goal of the project is to write up and disseminate findings to a broad range of audiences, including academic, policy, and advocacy audiences. A third goal is to drive data-driven prison reform in the areas of solitary confinement and reentry.

Please email the following required materials as separate attachments to [email protected]:

  • CV
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of research interests (2-pages max)
  • Copies of one or two representative publications or preprints
  • Contact information for at least three references

Review of applications will begin on December 1.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

Job LocationBoston, Massachusetts, United StatesPosition TypeFull-Time/Regular


The Difference Is Our DNA

What compelled the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to award Boston University a grant to fight newborn mortality in Zambia? Why did Martin Luther King, Jr. adopt BU as a place where he could hone his message of justice and equality? And what is the catalyst that prompts 32,557 students from 135 countries to call BU their home every semester? It’s in our DNA: an inherent desire in each of our students, faculty, and staff to vigorously and dauntlessly pursue knowledge—and embrace the unlimited possibilities that come with it.

A Community Unlike Any Other

As you can see below, it takes people, ideas, and a little luck (Boston, you’re our town) to make BU what it is today: one of the most dynamic universities in the world.

Celebrated thinkers: On any given day, students will find themselves mesmerized by Nobel Prize winners, a poet laureate, and the first biomedical engineer ever to receive a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award,” among others.

Extraordinary teaching: When a classroom starts to percolate with new ideas, it’s because our faculty of scholars and accomplished practitioners know how to ignite students’ imaginations. That’s why we reward our best teachers with BU’s most prestigious honor: The Metcalf Cup and Prize.

Groundbreaking research: With faculty dedicated to a creative, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, BU has become a leading global research institution—propelled forward by over $350 million a year in sponsored program revenue.

World-class students: Elite students from all 50 states and 135 countries pursue higher education on BU campuses in Boston and at programs in L.A., D.C., and more than 30 other cities on six continents.

A city within a city: Today, 80% of our undergrads live on campus, which could explain the 525 student activity groups alone.

The greatest college town in the world: Boston. ’Nuff said.

You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert