Postdoctoral Research Associate - Education Policy and Quantitative Methods - Michigan State University

The Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) at Michigan State University (MSU) is seeking a post-doctoral research associate who is skilled in quantitative research methods and has an expertise in education policy, and in particular in evaluating the implementation and efficacy of education policies, programs, reforms and interventions.

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 postdoctoral research associate will join the EPIC team to work on one or more externally-funded EPIC research projects. The EPIC team includes Drs. Katharine Strunk and Josh Cowen (EPIC co-directors), EPIC staff researchers, several other postdoctoral associates and doctoral students.

The postdoctoral research associate should have deep experience conducting quantitative analyses, and in particular econometric analyses using administrative panel data and survey analyses, and a substantive interesting in understanding the implementation and efficacy of education initiatives, policies and interventions.

The primary project on which the postdoctoral research associate will work is an externally-funded study of the implementation, evolution and efficacy of an instructional reform (competency based education) pilot taking place in seven Michigan school districts. This postdoctoral research associate will also be asked to work with EPIC co-directors to establish their own research agenda within EPIC’s other major focus areas. Current EPIC research projects include studies of patterns and policies related to educator labor markets, school choice and student mobility, school and district turnaround, and innovative instruction in classrooms, schools and districts.

In addition to pursuing their own research programs, duties for the postdoctoral research associate may include:

  • providing leadership on the design of a study to understand school- and district-level implementation of instructional reforms in seven Michigan school districts;
  • assisting with the development of surveys that effectively measure practices and beliefs of students, teachers and principals;
  • analyzing survey responses and modeling relationships in the data;
  • analyzing state and district administrative panel data to assess the efficacy of education policies and interventions throughout Michigan;
  • assisting with oversight of a team of doctoral student research associates;
  • assisting with the developing and writing of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals; and
  • participating in the academic life of the center and the college.

The postdoctoral research associate will join a large team of doctoral student, postdoctoral and staff researchers at EPIC. 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 a driving improvements for Michigan students.

The positions, which include benefits, are fixed term annual, 100% time position beginning June 1, 2019 (although the start date is flexible) 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 at least two years.

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: Ph.D.

Minimum Qualifications:

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

Desired Qualifications:

  • interest in education reform implementation;
  • interest in curricular and instructional interventions intended to improve student outcomes and decrease achievement gaps;
  • experience with survey design and analysis;
  • experience working on large-scale team-based projects;
  • excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication;
  • strong organizational skills and experience coordinating data collection and analysis activities across a large team.

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 begin on April 1, 2019. We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Special Instructions to Applicant: Applicants must apply online at: Posting available soon. Questions can be directed to Dr. Katharine Strunk at