Research Associate-Fixed Term

Michigan State University

Job Description

Back to search results Apply now Job no:832112
Work type:Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Education
Department: Education Policy Center 10014017
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location:East Lansing
Categories:Education/Training, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union, Remote-Friendly

Position Summary

The Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) at Michigan State University (MSU) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who is skilled in quantitative research methods and has an expertise in K-12 education policy, with a specific interest in policy and program evaluation. EPIC is a policy lab located within the College of Education at Michigan State University. EPIC partners with state and school district leaders to produce rigorous and objective multi-method research with consequence that strengthens evidence-based decision making for practice and policy in Michigan, with implications for historically disadvantaged students throughout the country. The EPIC team includes Dr. Katharine Strunk, EPIC staff researchers, EPIC-affiliated faculty, several postdoctoral research associates, and graduate and undergraduate students.

EPIC is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work with an interdisciplinary team of scholars including Dr. Katharine Strunk and other EPIC faculty affiliates and researchers (including Dr. Tanya Wright and faculty at the University of Michigan) to evaluate the impacts and implementation of Michigan’s early literacy policy, the Read by Grade Three Law. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be tasked with using large-scale state administrative panel data and survey data collected from students, teachers, and principals across the state of Michigan in both descriptive and quasi-experimental econometric analyses.

There will also be opportunities for the Postdoctoral Research Associate to engage in research regarding teacher labor markets, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of K-12 education and student/educator outcomes, and efforts towards learning recovery. In addition to engaging in EPIC research, the Postdoctoral Research Associate will be supported in establishing their own research agenda within EPIC’s major focus areas.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work with other EPIC researchers to conduct appropriate and rigorous quantitative analyses, co-author peer-reviewed publications and present research at national conferences and to policymaker partners in Michigan. In addition, the Postdoctoral Research Associate will gain valuable experience working with agency partners, interfacing with state officials and stakeholders, and providing them with evidence to inform policymaking and program implementation. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will also gain experience with project management and leading a team of doctoral student and staff researchers.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will need to have completed their doctoral degree. Preference will be given to candidates with strong econometric skills, experience working with large administrative datasets, facility with analyzing survey data, and strong evidence of writing capability. Because EPIC is a collaborative and fast-paced center, we are seeking a person who is excited to be a member of a dynamic and motivated group, and who is driven by a desire to produce both rigorous and policy-relevant research aimed at driving improvements in educational outcomes for Michigan students.

The position, which includes benefits, is a fixed-term annual, 100% time beginning September 1, 2023 (although the start date is flexible and we welcome candidates who can start earlier) with the potential for renewals in the College of Education. We anticipate that the Postdoctoral Research Associate will stay with EPIC for two years with the option for a third should interest and funding permit.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Economics, Public Policy, Education or another related field

Minimum Requirements
  • A Ph.D. in economics, public policy, education or another related field;
  • Expertise with econometric research methods, particularly quasi-experimental design and panel data methods;
  • Significant research experience working in STATA;
  • A track record of publication, or evidence of strong potential;
  • Ability to work collaboratively;
  • Interest in pursuing independent and collaborative policy-oriented research in the field of public education;
  • Interest in producing applied research in partnership with and of relevance to policymakers; and
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication.

Desired Qualifications
  • Potential for developing a substantial research and publication record and scholarly recognition in the field;
  • Interest in education policy and reform implementation;
  • Experience with survey design and analysis;
  • Experience working on large-scale team-based projects;
  • Strong organizational skills and experience coordinating data collection and analysis activities across a large team; and
  • Experience mentoring early-stage graduate or undergraduate researchers.

Required Application Materials

Interested candidates should send: 1) a letter of application stating qualifications for and reasons for interest in this position; 2) current curriculum vitae; 3) a writing sample (publication or draft manuscript); and 4) the names and contact information for three references. 

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions

We will begin reviewing applications on February 1st , 2023, and will continue until the position is filled.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Katharine Strunk at kstrunk@msu.edu .

Review of Applications Begins On


Remote Work Statement

MSU strives to provide a flexible work environment and this position has been designated as remote-friendly. Remote-friendly means some or all of the duties can be performed remotely as mutually agreed upon.



MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Advertised:Dec 5, 2022 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:Dec 5, 2024 Eastern Standard Time

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