Post-Doctoral Fellow

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: FullTime

Please make sure to read the job posting in its entirety as it reflects both the University roles and responsibilities, followed by the specific description.

13760 Urban Crime Labs

About the Unit
The University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab are faculty-driven research centers that try to improve social conditions in American cities by partnering closely with local, state and federal government agencies to carry out the highest-quality scientific studies. The labs are led by Jens Ludwig and Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago, Jonathan Guryan of Northwestern University and Pat Sharkey of New York University, and carry out research projects in collaboration with a national network of leading experts in fields such as economics, public policy, sociology, behavioral science, and computer science. Examples of some of our past projects include: several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of behavioral science interventions to reduce crime and dropout in Chicago (Heller, Shah, Guryan, Ludwig, Mullainathan and Pollack, 2017, Quarterly Journal of Economics), the results of which were cited by the Washington Post as one inspiration for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative; a RCT of a large-scale summer jobs programs for disadvantaged youth in Chicago (Heller, 2015, Science), which has helped inform Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s anti-violence initiatives; and a study that highlights the potential for improving the criminal justice system using machine learning methods, but also the new social science-type challenges that arise in exporting those tools to policy applications (Kleinberg, Lakkaraju, Leskovec, Ludwig and Mullainathan, 2018, Quarterly Journal of Economics), which has led to a partnership with New York City government to build a new citywide system to help judges make bail decisions. We have a full-time staff of nearly 70 in offices located in downtown Chicago (across from city hall) and New York City, which includes PhD-level research directors, data scientists, and program managers. We are funded by research grants from foundations such as the Arnold, Joyce, MacArthur, McCormick, and Pritzker foundations, federal government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Education and US Department of Justice, and private individuals, as well as ongoing core operating support from the University of Chicago. Previous Crime and Education lab projects have been featured in national news outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, PBS News Hour, and National Public Radio. The Crime and Education Lab is part of the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs, a set of highly synergistic labs focused on undertaking inquiry and having impact on five areas of urban life: crime, education, health, poverty, and energy & environment ( We also are able to capitalize on the unique intellectual environment of the University of Chicago itself, which has been one of the world’s leading research universities since its founding in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller with over 90 former students and faculty having been recipients This position is located in New York, NY.

Job Family

Responsible for all aspects of research projects and research facilities. Plans and conducts clinical and non-clinical research; facilitates and monitors daily activities of clinical trials or research projects. Directs engineering and technical support activities to develop and maintain tools and computational methods needed to gather and analyze data.

Career Track and Job Level
Research Professional

Facilitates and promotes a research project or contributes to the scientific direction of a research resource.

P2: Requires knowledge and experience in own discipline; still acquiring higher-level knowledge and skills. Builds knowledge of the organization, processes and customers. Solves a range of straightforward problems. Analyzes possible solutions using standard procedures. Receives a moderate level of guidance and direction.

Role Impact
Individual Contributor

The job facilitates and promotes a research project or contributes to the scientific direction of a research resource. Receives a moderate level of guidance and direction.

1) Serves as a resource for collecting data and performing analysis. Contributes to facilitating and promoting a research project by providing scientific or intellectual information., 2) Reviews laboratory protocols and training on new techniques. Manage complex data sets for research., 3) Leads the contributions to scientific writing and publications, including protocols and grants., 4) Trains new laboratory personnel., 5) Performs other related work as needed.

Unit-preferred Competencies

1) Advanced knowledge in relevant scientific field.

2) Advanced knowledge of research techniques or methods.

3) Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment.

4) Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to maintain positive relationships.

5) Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

6) Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgment.

7) Strong time management skills with a proven ability to multitask and to prioritize activities to successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision.

8) Knowledge of content areas – Crime and Education.

Education, Experience, and Certifications
Minimum requirements include a PhD in related field.

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


1) Applicants should have a PhD degree in public policy, economics, criminology, education, data science, computer science, statistics or other relevant field with substantial policy and research experience or defended your dissertation by Spring 2020.

2) Applicants in the final stages of dissertation review will be considered.


1) Expertise in research design, methods, and evaluation of research projects in the area of social policy.
2) Ability to write and review code in Stata and/or R.
3) Familiarity with machine learning algorithms.
4) Ability to write and review code in Python.

Required Documents

1) Resume 
2) Cover letter  
3) Writing sample  
4) Transcripts

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.

FLSA Status

Pay Frequency

Pay Grade
Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours

Benefits Eligible

Drug Test Required

Health Screen Required

Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity /Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form .

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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