Postdoctoral Training Program in Research on School Leader Effectiveness and Career Pathways - Vanderbilt University

The Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations (LPO) of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College invites applications for its Postdoctoral Training Program in Research on School Leader Effectiveness and Career Pathways, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. The postdoctoral fellowship is a two-year training opportunity aimed at building research design, analysis, and implementation skills alongside deep substantive content knowledge in the field of education leadership. The fellowship will also offer opportunities to participate in collaborative scholarly communities and in research/policy/practice partnerships.

We are seeking postdoctoral scholars to begin the fellowship for fall 2018. Postdoctoral scholars will work closely with Peabody faculty Jason Grissom, Ellen Goldring, and Gary Henry, each of whom is leading large-scale, grant-funded research projects in the area of school leadership.

Potential candidates for the postdoctoral training program are Ph.D. graduates with an interest in becoming independent researchers who focus on school leadership—and leveraging leadership to improve outcomes for schools, teachers, and students—in academic or professional research organizations. Previous background or coursework in education leadership is not required.

We aim to recruit scholars with some grounding or background in quantitative methods who have a desire to extend their quantitative research training and gain skills and experience in mixed methods. Candidates whose past research or areas of study have focused on teacher quality, effectiveness, labor markets, or other areas of education policy are encouraged to apply. We anticipate that successful candidates will come from the fields of education, economics, management, political science, public administration, or public policy, though we encourage applications from researchers with social science training in other fields.

A goal of this postdoctoral training program is to expand the diversity of researchers studying leadership effectiveness and career pathways. We especially encourage applications from scholars of color, scholars who have been the first in their family to pursue postsecondary or postgraduate education, and scholars whose doctoral programs may have provided fewer opportunities in quantitative policy analysis and related approaches to education research.

Postdoctoral scholars will be afforded a unique set of experiences, connections, and tools to conduct rigorous, mixed-methods research in the field of education leadership through access to well-developed, large-scale data systems, and opportunities to conduct original field research within the context of ongoing research projects led by faculty mentors. This work will occur in a highly collaborative environment with multiple researchers, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and district/state partners. The fellowship will provide numerous opportunities for postdoctoral scholars not only to develop as independent researchers but to learn to participate in research teams and build connections with researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. Postdoctoral scholars will be encouraged and mentored to develop a research agenda that leads to published products for academic, policy, and practice audiences.

Review of applications will begin April 1, 2018 and will continue until the positions are filled. Fellows are required to relocate to Nashville, Tennessee. IES-funded postdoctoral fellows are required to be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to have completed their doctoral programs prior to the beginning of their fellowships.

Applicants should submit: a cover letter addressing their qualifications, interest, and fit with the description of the position; curriculum vitae; 1–2 writing samples; and the names and contact information of three academic references.

Please send all application materials to Tammy Eidson at

For more information about the position, please contact Jason Grissom at

The mission of the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations (LPO) is to understand and improve the political, economic, organizational, and social contexts in which human learning takes place. The department embraces a range of disciplinary traditions and encourages multiple methodological approaches in the study of education policy and practice. The department operates highly regarded masters, Ed.D., and Ph.D. programs in K-12, international, and higher education leadership and policy, and houses the top-ranked program in educational administration and leadership in the United States.

LPO is building a diverse community committed to a multicultural environment. Vanderbilt University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified candidates, without regard to race/color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.