Company Name:

The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administr


Chicago, Illinois

Approximate Salary:

Not Specified

Job Category:


Work Setting:

University/4-Year College

Position Type:

Full Time

Date Posted:

March 19, 2019

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Research Associate

The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA),, in collaboration with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago (Chapin Hall), an affiliated policy research center invites application for the Harold A. Richman Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This program is aimed at strengthening the intellectual and research qualifications of scholars interested in applied research careers focusing on child, youth, and family well-being.

The successful candidate will serve for two years under the joint mentorship of two nationally recognized researchers, one faculty member at the SSA and one researcher at Chapin Hall. The mentoring pairs are individuals whose scholarship aligns with respect to aim and content. For this announcement, mentoring pairs are available in two content areas: 1) services for infants, young children, and their families and 2) incarcerated women and their children.

The selected candidate will receive advanced research training through participation on SSA and Chapin Hall research projects and in other learning opportunities at the University of Chicago and Chapin Hall. The selected candidate will be provided with time and resources to explore and develop independent research ideas and with mentoring by nationally recognized research leaders. The candidate is expected to conduct work leading to publication in refereed journals.

This is an in-residence, two-year, benefits-eligible appointment. The successful candidate will hold the title of Research Associate. The salary is $55,000 per calendar year. Moving expenses are the responsibility of the individual.


PhD in public policy, social work, economics, human development, psychology, family science, education, policy, statistics, epidemiology or a related discipline received between January 1, 2016 and August 31, 2019 required. Individuals who will have successfully defended the dissertation and fulfilled all requirements for the Ph.D. by August 31, 2019, but who have not received their diploma, are eligible. The successful candidate must be able to begin the position between September 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020. A minimum of three years of research experience (dissertation-related research is acceptable) and experience conducting empirical research in the context of child, youth, or family policy strongly preferred. The successful candidate will have demonstrated a potential for success in publishing and obtaining research grants.

Topical Areas and Mentors

Infants, young children, and their families. Julie Spielberger (Research Fellow, Chapin Hall) and Sydney Hans (Frank P Hixon Distinguished Service Professor, SSA) are available to jointly mentor a Research Associate whose interests are in programs for infants, young children, and their families. Julie Spielberger is evaluating an infant/early childhood mental health consultation model being used across early childhood systems in Illinois, including home visiting, childcare, and early childhood education. Sydney Hans is working on a randomized controlled trial examining the role of doulas within home visiting programs in Illinois for young mothers and their infants. The investigators foresee opportunities within and across these projects for a research associate who wishes to gain skills in intervention science and in mixed methods research concerning young children and their families. Link to bios for Drs. Spielberger and Hans: |

Incarcerated mothers and their children. Gina Fedock (Assistant Professor, SSA) and Amy Dworsky (Research Fellow, Chapin Hall) share an interest in the impact of incarceration on mothers and their children. They currently co-lead a project that aims to inform the development and implementation of policies and practices in Illinois to address the needs of incarcerated mothers and diminish the harmful impact of incarceration on their children. They anticipate that the next phase of this collaboration will involve linking child welfare data to correctional system data to examine childhood and adulthood child welfare system involvement among incarcerated mothers and child welfare system involvement among the children of incarcerated mothers. These projects provide opportunities for a postdoctoral researcher with quantitative skills who is interested in learning how to analyze administrative data or a researcher who wants to utilize qualitative skills analyzing interview data. Link to bios for Drs. Fedock and Dworsky: |

Required Application Materials

Interested candidates must submit the following application materials by April 19, 2019 Notice will be given to the successful applicant no later than July 1, 2019.

  1. Cover letter that briefly introduces the candidate and briefly summarizes main research interests, how those interests are related to policies or programs that impact children, youth, and families, and how those interests are related to interests of potential mentors. (approximately 300 words)
  2. Curriculum Vitae (not to exceed 10 pages)
  3. Personal Statement (5-6 pages, 1.5line spacing, 1” margins, references as appropriate) outlining:
  • Completed research (including dissertation)
  • Work in progress
  • Statement of scholarly aspirations
Scholarly writing sample (not to exceed 30 pages)Letter of recommendation from academic mentor (should be addressed to the Selection Committee and be sent by the mentor directly to and contact information for at least two additional individuals (not including academic mentor/primary advisor) who can be contacted for letters of recommendation.

Only online applications are accepted. Please apply online to Posting Number 04086 at the University of Chicago website using the following link:

For more information on this position, please contact

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 at Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call (773) 702-0287 or email with their request.

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