Inequality in America Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow



Title Inequality in America Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow
School Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Department/Area Division of Social Science
Position Description

Social and economic inequality are urgent problems for our society, with implications for a range of outcomes from economic growth and political stability to crime, public health, family wellbeing, and social trust. The Inequality in America Initiative seeks applications from recent doctoral degree recipients interested in joining an interdisciplinary network of Harvard researchers who are working to address the multiple challenges of inequality. This postdoctoral training program is intended to seed new research directions; facilitate collaboration and mentorship across disciplines; develop new leaders in the study of inequality who can publish at the highest level, reach the widest audience, and impact policy; and deepen teaching expertise on the subject of inequality.

Expectations and Conditions

• Each fellow is expected to pursue original research and, in particular, to make substantial progress on new work that is significantly distinct from the dissertation. Fellows are expected to complete a working paper that represents a new line of research by the end of the second year.
• Fellows are expected to be in residence at Harvard for the duration of the fellowship, with the exception of the summer months.
• The fellows will co-organize with the fellowship program director a research workshop that will convene IAI affiliates on a monthly basis for the purpose of presenting and discussing work in progress. Each fellow will present in the workshop at least once per year.
• Fellows are expected to participate in the activities of the Inequality in America Initiative, including but not limited to the research workshop.
• Fellows may be able to extend the postdoctoral fellowship to a non-stipendiary third year, subject to approval of the program director and conditional on the fellow securing funding, potentially through teaching at Harvard.

The Award

The fellowship is a two-year postdoctoral training program, with an optional third year conditional on program director approval and independent funding. The salary is $65,000/year plus fringe benefits, including health insurance eligibility.

The award will include appropriate office space; a one-time grant of $2500 for the purchase of computer equipment; a $10,000 research account to support research-related expenses; and up to $2500 per year reimbursement for research-related travel.

The program director will pair each fellow with two Harvard faculty mentors, including one from outside the fellow’s primary discipline. Over 50 Harvard faculty are affiliated with the initiative, participating in one or more of five major research clusters:

• Mobility and Migration
• Science, Technology, Education, and Health
• Work, Family, and Opportunity
• Governance, Citizenship, and Social Justice
• America Inequality, Globally

See more at

Applicants should indicate on their applications the research cluster that seems most relevant to their work, as this will aid in identifying appropriate mentors. The fellows will have ample opportunity and encouragement, however, to make connections with faculty from across the initiative.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants to the 2018-19 program must have received a doctorate or terminal degree in May 2015 or later; those applicants without a doctorate or terminal degree must demonstrate that they will receive such a degree no later than August 2018.

Additional Qualifications

HARVARD candidates: Those who received terminal degrees from Harvard and postdocs currently working at Harvard are eligible for the fellowship provided their research plans take them in new directions that are significantly distinct from their doctoral research and forge new connections within the University. Harvard candidates should not propose to continue to work with the same professors or lab groups with whom they are currently associated. No candidate should propose to work extensively with his or her thesis advisor.

Special Instructions

The application must include the following:

1. A cover letter that identifies the primary research cluster(s) with whom the applicant would like to work. (See
2. A CV
3. A 2-4-page statement of research interests. The statement should explain the importance and potential impact of this research, and how it connects with the goals of the program.
4. Up to three representative publications, working papers, or writing samples.
5. Names and contact information for two referees. Only after a candidate’s application has been submitted will the referees receive system-generated emails asking them to upload their letters of recommendation.

Applications, including two letters of recommendation, should be completed by January 16, 2018.

Contact Information

Jennifer Shephard
FAS Social Science Division
University Hall 3 South
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138

Contact Email
Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required 2
Maximum Number of References Allowed 2

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Statement of Research
  4. Writing Sample 1
Optional Documents
  1. Writing Sample 2
  2. Writing Sample 3