Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 2021-02-04T00:00:00Z

The Policing Project at New York University School of Law seeks applicants for a postdoctoral research fellowship to contribute research and topical expertise to a portfolio of projects focused on reimagining public safety. This is a one-year position with the possibility of renewal for a second year based on funding and satisfactory performance. Candidates will have recently completed (or will complete by Summer 2021) a doctoral degree in public policy, criminology, economics, statistics, sociology, or other related fields, and have a demonstrable interest in some of the following areas: public safety, racial justice, urban science, economics of crime, violence prevention, public health, or other related issues. We are particularly interested in candidates who possess a strong background in quantitative analysis and research methods.

About the Policing Project

The Policing Project partners with communities and police across the country to promote public safety through transparency, equity, and democratic engagement. We bring an innovative and creative approach to this area, one grounded in democratic values.

In pursuing our mission, we work in close collaboration with groups from across the ideological spectrum and with stakeholders that often find themselves at odds, including policing agencies, community organizations, government agencies, and other non-profits. 

Broadly speaking, our work has three focus areas:

1.Front-End Voice in Policing: In a democratic society, the public must have a voice in how it is policed. This is particularly so for communities of color, who historically have been under-served and over-policed.

2.Regulation of Policing Technology: As law enforcement increasingly relies on technology—from social media monitoring to face recognition—it is essential to ensure that these technologies are used responsibly, and with minimal impact on civil rights and civil liberties.

3.Reimagining Public Safety: It is past time for a national conversation about what public safety for everyone looks like, and how it is best achieved. We are developing ways to help communities address social problems without a law enforcement response, and in so doing reallocate resources in ways that benefit everyone.

In pursing these goals, we use a variety of tools to do our work, among them social science research, direct engagement with private companies and law enforcement agencies, cost-benefit analysis, drafting model legislation and testifying, and litigation.

You can learn more about our work—past and present—at 

Job Description and Responsibilities

The postdoctoral fellow will be a core member of our Research team and will focus on projects primarily in the Reimagining Public Safety portfolio. Our research agenda is rapidly expanding, and we are specifically interested in candidates who are passionate about applying their skills to generate research that supports jurisdictions seeking to move away from unnecessary enforcement and towards the provision of vital services that actually address community needs. Through the course of the fellowship, you will play a critical role in the development and implementation of projects relevant to the mission of the Policing Project and have the opportunity to propose and work on independent projects. 

The fellow will receive mentorship and be supervised by our Faculty Director Barry Friedman and our Research Director but are expected to work collaboratively with our other postdoctoral fellow and staff members across the organization. Approximately 80% of the postdoctoral fellow’s time will be spent on Policing Project-related work and 20% will be allocated to their own, related research.

Desired Experience, Skills, and Qualifications.  

Applicants must have successfully completed their Ph.D. by Summer 2021 in public policy, economics, statistics, sociology, or a related field. We prefer candidates willing to reside in the tri-state area but will consider other situations on a case-by-case basis.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in public policy or applied social science research and an interest in one or more of the following: public safety, racial justice, urban science, violence prevention, economics of crime, public health, or other related policy areas. In addition, we seek the following skills and qualifications: 

•Advanced knowledge of causal inference techniques and experience working in applied research settings.

•Ability to work independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced work environment.

•Strong attention to detail with exemplary analytical and organizational skills.

•Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present data, methodology, research findings, and implications for practice in a simple and straightforward way for non-technical audiences.

•Desire to learn and work on a range of projects throughout the fellowship.

•Strong interpersonal skills.

•Knowledge and experience of relevant focus areas.

Required Application Materials


•Cover Letter

•1-2 research papers (working papers and drafts are acceptable)

•Contact information for 3 references

To apply, please submit your CV, cover letter, 1-2 research papers, and reference contact information to Please indicate “Postdoctoral Research Fellowship” in the subject line of your email. Cover letters should include when you are available to start. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, and candidates will be contacted if selected for an interview.

We offer competitive compensation, which includes an excellent benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision. Further information regarding benefits can be found here: 

The Policing Project heartily welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. NYU is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its recruitment and hiring process without regard to age, alienage, caregiver status, childbirth, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, partnership status, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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