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Postdoctoral Scholar- California Policy Lab -Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE)

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Salary range: $70,000 - $90,000
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Expected start date in July 2022.
Position duration: The initial appointment will be for two (2) years with the possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

Application Window

Open date: November 3rd, 2021

Last review date: Saturday, Jan 1, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Thursday, Mar 31, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Department Overview

The California Policy Lab (CPL) at University of California, Berkeley creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our mission is to improve the lives of Californians by generating evidence that transforms public policy. We do this by forming lasting partnerships between government and California’s flagship public universities to harness the power of research and administrative data. We work on California’s most urgent issues, including homelessness, poverty, criminal justice reform, and education inequality. We facilitate close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at the University of California to help evaluate and improve public programs through rigorous empirical research and technical assistance. CPL recognizes the value of having a diverse staff at all levels of the organization.

Description of Duties

The post-doctoral researcher will work closely with faculty at UC Berkeley and with government partners of the California Policy Lab on data-driven projects related to criminal justice, education, social safety net, employment, and/or housing and homelessness. The post-doctoral researcher will be involved in every aspect of the research, from research design to data analysis and reporting. The position will give this early career scholar a chance to build their research portfolio by taking advantage of CPL’s existing partnerships with California agencies, including the Franchise Tax Board, Department of Social Services, the Community College system, the Department of Justice, and the Health and Human Services Agency, as well as several local partners.

The post-doc would develop project leadership experience and gain extensive practice working with large administrative data sets. Duties will include research design, intensive data analysis, and assisting with the creation of presentations, internal reports, and academic articles for publication. The post-doc will also be responsible for project management, communicating with agency partners and mentoring graduate students and other staff who are assisting with projects. The post-doc will be expected to spend 50% of their time on CPL projects (some of which would lead to co-authored papers) and 50% of their time will be spent on independent research projects, subject to PI review and approval, that can draw on CPL's data infrastructure. The postdoctoral scholar will be assigned a mentor from among CPL’s faculty affiliates with aligned research interests, who will provide mentorship and guidance. The position does not include teaching obligations.

With a mission to improve the lives of California’s diverse population, CPL recognizes the value of having a diverse staff at all levels of the organization and we encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds and identities, including from groups that are underrepresented in academia.

Principal Responsibilities

● Under the mentorship of your faculty sponsor, design rigorous research projects that answer policy-relevant questions, in collaboration with government partners
● Play a lead role on research projects, including project management.
● Manage the work of research associates and/or graduate students, who provide analytic and relationship support on some projects.
● Be the primary point of contact with government agency partners. The postdoc will manage those relationships, provide deliverables on time, attend and organize meetings with stakeholders, and keep engagement active and bidirectional.
● Prepare applications for funding.
● Act as a subject matter expert and project manager for other CPL projects.


This position will report to Professor Jesse Rothstein.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Possession of PhD or Enrollment in an accredited PhD or equivalent international degree program.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
  • Possession of PhD or equivalent international degree.
  • No more than three (3) years of post-degree research experience.
Preferred qualifications
  • A commitment to  advancing racial equity and inclusion through research as well CPL’s internal and external relationships.
  • Possession of PhD, or international equivalent, in Economics, Public Policy, Political Science, Sociology, or related field.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong facilitation and collaboration skills.
  • Ability to interact with a diverse population and engage diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to take initiative and manage projects with minimal supervision.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team to effectively implement projects and events.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement on Contributions to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at Berkeley (for additional information go to

  • Writing Sample - One or more illustrative examples of the candidate’s research – a “job market paper,” a manuscript, or other research product suitable to the candidate’s field. The candidate should be the primary author.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
Apply link:

Help contact: JosePadilla@Berkeley.Edu

Campus Information

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

In searches when letters of reference are required all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letter.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)

Job location

Berkeley, CA