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Postdoctoral Scholar - Race and Postsecondary Inequality–AY 2021-22 and 2022-23

Application Window

Open date: January 22nd, 2021

Last review date: Monday, Feb 22, 2021 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: Wednesday, Jun 30, 2021 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

The Higher Education Race and the Economy (HERE) Lab in the Department of Sociology ( at the University of California, Merced is seeking two qualified Postdoctoral Fellows to collaborate on projects funded by Arnold Ventures. The projects are focused on: 1) racial student loan debt and repayment disparities and 2) predation of marginalized students in the online delivery of higher education. Qualified candidates with a Ph.D. in Sociology, Education, or other related fields are invited to apply. We are specifically seeking Fellows who have extensive quantitative training, an understanding of race and racism, and the ability to think organizationally about educational inequalities.

The Higher Education Race and the Economy (HERE) Lab is led by Assistant Professor Charlie Eaton and Professor and Chair Laura Hamilton, who are involved in multiple research projects broadly focused on the unequal racial and class distribution of resources and risk in higher education. Successful candidates will be expected to work in collaboration with the principal investigators to: (1) link relevant postsecondary and socioeconomic datasets, (2) conduct computational analyses, (3) author and issue briefs, papers, and code to disseminate results, and (4) consult and engage with relevant policy actors. Fellows will be encouraged to also develop their own research agendas and will enjoy professional development and incorporation into departmental life at UC-Merced. These are full-time, 24-month academic positions with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2021.

Required Qualifications
• Ph.D. in Sociology, Education, or other related fields.
• An ability to work in Stata.
• Strong methodological and data analysis skills.
• A demonstrated the ability to conduct independent and collaborative scientific research.

Preferred Qualifications
• Fluency in R or Python.
• Prior research on race and/or racial disparities in the US context.
• Training in organizational and/or economic sociology.
• Familiarity with national postsecondary education datasets.
• Willingness to mentor and supervise undergraduate and graduate research assistants.
• Experience working on team-based quantitative research.

Salary and benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience per University of California Postdoctoral union salary scales.

Why the University of California, Merced?
Idyllically situated between San Francisco, Monterey, and Yosemite National Park, UC Merced opened September 2005 as the tenth campus of the University of California and the first American research university of the 21st century. The beautiful campus is first in the nation for sustainable research and campus infrastructure. UC Merced boasts a diverse faculty who are committed to social justice and who work to empower underrepresented students. UC Merced has been recognized as first in the nation for student outcomes and seventh for social mobility and has earned the prestigious Carnegie Classification for commitment to community engagement.

For more information, please contact Charlie Eaton at ( or Laura Hamilton at (

1) Cover letter: Include a brief description of your relevant experience, training, and career goals.
2) Curriculum vita
3) Research Statement: Two pages, single-spaced (1-inch margins)
4) List of 3 professional references with contact information including mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address (reference letters will be automatically requested upon application submission)
5) 2 writing samples (publications, dissertation chapters, or policy briefs)

The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered 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: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter - Include a brief description of your relevant experience, training, and career goals.

  • Statement of Research - Two pages, single-spaced (1-inch margins)

  • Writing sample #1 - Publications, dissertation chapters, or policy briefs

  • Writting sample #2 - Publications, dissertation chapters, or policy briefs

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)