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Postdoctoral Scholar in Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Sentencing

Job Description


  • CURRENT PENN STATE EMPLOYEE (faculty, staff, technical service, or student), please login to Workday to complete the internal application process . Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

  • CURRENT PENN STATE STUDENT (not employed previously at the university) and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the student application process . Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

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The Criminal Justice Research Center (CJRC) and Department of Sociology and Criminology at The Pennsylvania State University invite applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar in sentencing position to begin August 2022, or as soon as practical thereafter. The successful applicant will collaborate with the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing (PCS) on research related to disparities in the criminal justice system, particularly as they relate to race/ethnicity, the calculation of prior criminal record score, pretrial release, sentencing, resentencing, recommitment and parole decisions.

Applications are encouraged from both current Ph.D. candidates (an appointment to the position is contingent on completing all requirements for the degree by the appointment date) and scholars who have already completed the Ph.D. A Ph.D. in criminal justice, criminology, sociology, psychology, economics, public policy, or a related field is required. Preference will be given to candidates with research interests in courts, sentencing and the study of racial/ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system, and to candidates that advance staff diversity. In addition, successful candidates must either have demonstrated a commitment to building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community, or describe one or more ways they would envision doing so, given the opportunity.

Responsibilities may include data collection and/or management; data analyses; preparation of grant proposals, manuscripts and conference presentations; and participation in graduate student mentoring. The scholar will work in a team-based environment at the PCS on research and evaluations as directed by legislative mandates and on original research.

The Postdoctoral Scholar will have access to comprehensive statewide data on sentencing, resentencing, and parole practices in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to collaborative projects, the scholar will have access to exceptional resources to facilitate their independent research. The CJRC has an outstanding portfolio of faculty affiliates, seed funding resources, and externally funded ongoing research projects. The Department of Sociology and Criminology is ranked among the top in the nation and provides graduate and undergraduate programs focused specifically on crime and criminal justice policy.

This is a limited-term appointment for one year from the date of hire with the possibility of reappointment, contingent on satisfactory performance and the availability of funding.

To apply and be considered for this opportunity, please submit a letter of interest, CV and diversity statement. If selected as a finalist for the position, recommendation letters will be requested.

Penn State is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

For more information about the position, please contact Professor Megan Kurlychek (


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here .

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. 


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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University Park, PA

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