The North Carolina Education Futures Initiative (EFI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications for a postdoctoral position in education policy. Applicants should have strong mixed-method research skills and an interest in K-12 education policy, with a particular focus on organizational decision making and budgeting processes in public education.
The successful candidate will join a dynamic team of scholars intent on: (1) conducting timely and rigorous empirical work on K-16 educational policy and practice in North Carolina; (2) translating that research and expertise into action and practices through partnerships and technical assistance; and (3) dissemination efforts targeted to state, local, and institutional leaders.
The postdoctoral fellow will contribute to and, in some cases, lead research projects stemming from a research grant to analyze organizational decision-making and school district spending priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fellow will participate in all aspects of the research process, including design, IRB administration, analysis, and presentation. The fellow will help organize and compile both qualitative and quantitative data; participate in research planning with the wider team; supervise research assistants at the graduate and undergraduate levels; and participate in the broader academic life of the initiative and University. The fellow will be a part of a developing partnership with state district leaders and policymakers. The fellow will co-author peer-reviewed studies, write policy briefs, and present findings at seminars and professional meetings.
Initial research projects include compiling and analyzing documents and budgets on school district spending priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic and conducting interviews with district leaders about decision-making during this period. The fellow should expect to spend about 70% of their time working on ongoing research projects at EFI, while splitting the remaining 30% between building new collaborations focused on p-16 educational policy issues (e.g., educator labor markets, compensation, educational attainment and post-college success) and their own ongoing research that fits within the major focus areas of the initiative. The fellow will not have any teaching duties.
The postdoctoral scholar will need to have completed their doctoral studies by Fall 2022. The postdoctoral scholar will work with Professors Ethan Hutt (PI), Thad Domina (co-PI), and Matthew G. Springer (co-PI) as well as other EFI-affiliated faculty, research associates, and graduate students on education policy evaluation and analysis.
Preference will be given to candidates with strong mixed-methods research skills and strong evidence of writing capability, ability to manage competing demands, and experience working with messy administrative data. Because EFI is a highly collaborative research group, we seek an individual who is excited to be a member of a dynamic team, and who is driven by a desire to produce rigorous research aimed at driving improvements in educational outcomes for North Carolina students.
Education and Experience:
* Experience to develop a substantial research and publication record and scholarly recognition in the field * Interest in education policy and program evaluation * Experience with and managing data systems, particularly school budgets * Experience working on team-based projects * Experience working with policymakers and practitioners on research projects * Exceptional interpersonal, verbal, and written communication * Strong organizational skills and experience coordinating research and other grant-related activities across a large team * Experience mentoring early-stage graduate or undergraduate researchers
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