Skip to main content

Associate Professional Researcher in Community and Labor

Position overview

Position title: Associate Professional Researcher in Community and Labor
Salary range: See Table 13-B for the salary range for this position. A reasonable salary estimate is at a range between $108,400 - 120,000 annually.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: August 1, 2024
Position duration: 3 years, with the possibility of an extension based on available funding

Application Window

Open date: June 3, 2024

Most recent review date: Monday, Jun 17, 2024 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: Monday, Jun 2, 2025 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 UC Merced Community and Labor Center conducts research and education on issues of community, labor and the environment. It is the largest labor center serving a rural region in the US and has four major areas of expertise: rural work, workers’ rights, immigrant rights and the safety net, and equitable economic development.

On behalf of the UC Merced Community and Labor Center, the Associate Professional Researcher will conduct applied labor research on rural work, workers’ rights, immigrant rights and the safety net, and equitable economic development. The Associate Professional Researcher shall develop and oversee a research program consisting of engaging with center partners, writing grant proposals, designing research, leading research teams, conducting data collection/cleaning, writing research findings, and disseminating findings to a broad array of stakeholders. The Associate Professional Researcher will also contribute university and public service.

Research Design, Data Collection and Analysis (70%)

  1. Engage with center partners to discern the most pressing need for evidence-based research and education informing public discussion and policymaking.

  2. Develop grant proposals that advance the center’s applied labor research and public education mission, on community, labor and environmental issues facing low-income workers and residents in the San Joaquin Valley region and beyond

  3. Design time-sensitive research studies utilizing the most practical qualitative (e.g. interviews) and/or quantitative methodologies (e.g. census data, survey data), on rural work, workplace health & safety, immigrant rights and the safety net, and/or equitable economic development.

  4. Lead research teams comprised of center research staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, and (if applicable) center partners (including trainings with grassroots organizations for community-engaged research)

  5. Conduct data collection, cleaning, and analysis in the languages most often spoken by the greatest number of low-wage workers

  6. Write research findings that effectively communicate relevant labor policy implications and recommendations

Professional Competence and Activity (10%)

  1. Disseminate applied research findings—through presentations, interviews, public commentary and meetings—to a broad array of university, community, labor, media, agency, and elected official stakeholders

University and Public Service (20%)

  1. Participate in the review of center personnel cases as needed.

  2. Contribute to center and university policy formulation as needed.

  3. Assist with planning meetings and events with regional community, labor and environmental organizations, to advance understandings of issue areas of interest to regional organizations.

  4. Assist with maintaining and developing partnerships with community, labor and environmental organizations.


Basic qualifications

PhD in Sociology or a related field
Academic publication record commensurate with tenure at the associate professor level
Strong organizational skills and independent decision-making abilities
Ability to work collaboratively in a team

Preferred qualifications

Experience working with a labor union on one or more successful initiatives
Demonstrated strong communication and writing skills in English and Spanish
Experience with several applied research publications
Experience informing the passage of major policy
Experience in course curriculum development
Experience planning and conducting trainings for labor and community organizations

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research

  • Writing Samples - (1) Academic Publication
    (1) Applies Research Publication

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 letters of reference required
Apply link:

Help contact:

About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced is committed to interdisciplinary excellence in research and teaching as well as to diversity, equity and inclusion. Ranked as one of the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, 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 (

The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

Please refer to the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy and the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements. This includes the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs:

Job location