Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Work Unit:
College of Health and Human Development
Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center


The Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) invites applications for a Postdoctoral appointment that will support the evaluation of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC; The RPC is an approach for facilitating partnerships between researchers and congressional officials in ways that are thought to support policymakers’ use of research evidence. This program presents an opportunity for a postdoctoral researcher to enhance applied evaluation experience through involvement in a mixed-methods, randomized controlled trial investigating policymakers’ use of research evidence, researchers’ policy skill and engagement, and collaborative interactions between researchers and policymakers. Specifically, the selected scholar will collect in-depth qualitative data from researchers and congressional staff involved in the RPC via semi-structured interviews and field observations. Successful candidates for the program will be selected on the basis of their research experience; those with independent investigative experience (e.g., designing and conducting qualitative research methods) and breadth or depth of knowledge and experience related to using evidence in public policy will be given preference. In addition to the ethnographic work core to this position, this work may involve quantitative surveys and deductive coding of legislative documents. Furthermore, the qualitative results from the RCT must be integrated with insights gleaned from a concurrent quantitative evaluation that will provide rich information about collaboration processes and RPC implementation. Therefore, candidates with mixed-methods research experience will be given preference, as well as those who have experience interpreting legislation. The Postdoc will have two research mentors who support the postdoc’s professional growth of evaluation and qualitative research methodology skill. PSU will appoint a recent recipient of a Ph.D. degree as a Postdoctoral Researcher for a one-year term appointment beginning December, 2018 or earlier, with a research faculty appointment in the second year contingent on performance. The Postdoc will receive a competitive stipend, health benefits, and $5,500 for travel, preparation of scholarly work, and technology needs. The postdoc will also be provided access to university resources, including the library. In-depth interviews with congressional staff and observed congressional meetings will take place in-person, in Washington DC; therefore, the selected scholar will need to be within commuting distance to Washington D.C. Eligibility: Eligible applicants will have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. at the time of appointment; applicants may have their degrees from any department, but social science degrees will be particularly good fits for the program. Applicants must have the ability to work independently and as a team; therefore, good communication skills as well as qualitative research skills (e.g., transcribing and analyzing interview and observation data) are required. Application Instructions: Full consideration will be given to those applicants that completely submit all materials online. A complete submission will consist of: Cover Letter describing research interests, qualifications, and relevant experience (1-3 Pages); Curriculum Vitae; Three letters of Reference; Writing Sample (preferably samples of qualitative work; 1-2 samples, 35-page cumulative max). Review and Selection: Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Penn State is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The position will start in December, 2018 or earlier. General questions regarding the program may be addressed to: Taylor Scott, Research Assistant Professor,, Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, College of Health and Human Development, 314 Biobehavioral Health Building, University Park, PA 16802.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088