Posted: Sep 30, 2021

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Salary: Monthly
Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2021

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC)

Michigan State University

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 and exhibited interest in education policy. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will need to have completed their doctoral studies or be on track to successfully defend their dissertation prior to beginning the position. The Research Associate will work with Professor Katharine Strunk and other EPIC faculty affiliates and researchers on empirical research in education policy, the economics of education, and policy evaluation and analysis, using both descriptive and quasi-experimental econometric approaches.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will contribute to and, in some cases, lead projects using large-scale state administrative panel data, and survey data collected from students, teachers and principals across the state. EPIC has many exciting ongoing and funded longitudinal studies on which the postdoc may work. These include studies of: Michigan’s Read by Grade Three early literacy policy; patterns and trends in Michigan’s educator labor markets and the impacts of policies intended to improve educator recruitment and retention; Michigan’s Partnership Model of school and district turnaround; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of education and student and educator outcomes and efforts towards learning recovery; and innovative instruction pilots in classrooms, schools and districts.

The exact project(s) on which the postdoc will work will depend on their interests and expertise as well as current EPIC staffing. In addition to engaging in EPIC research, the Postdoctoral Research Associate will also be asked to establish 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 reports to state and local partners, and present research at national conferences and to policymaker partners in Michigan. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will also gain experience in managing a team of doctoral student research associates and staff researchers.

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 associates, and doctoral students.

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 position beginning September 1, 2022 (although the start date is flexible and we welcome candidates who can start earlier) with the potential for one or two additional year 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.

Michigan State University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

Required Degree

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
  • 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.
  • 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. Review of applications will occur on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Special Instructions
Applicants must apply online at: Posting available at:   

Questions can be directed to Dr. Katharine Strunk at [email protected].

Review of Applications
Rolling from November 1st, 2021

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.