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University of Massachusetts Amherst Post Doctoral Research Associate - Sociology in Amherst, Massachusetts

Post Doctoral Research Associate - Sociology

Apply now ( Job no: 521711

Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)

Location: UMass Amherst


Union:Post Doc

Categories: Faculty, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Description

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to engage in a large-scale multimethod project aimed at better understanding the pathways and challenges experienced by diverse STEM higher education leaders. The goal of the project is to understand how racialized and gendered organizations lead to differential access to leadership by race, gender, nationality, and other factors.

The postdoc will work closely with the team to develop the sample, field and analyze a nationally representative survey, develop the interview protocol, and code and analyze the interview data. The person hired for this position will also play a key role in mentoring the graduate research assistants on the project. We offer professional development opportunities, including through a detailed postdoctoral mentoring plan, workshops provided by the Office of Professional Development, as well as mentoring around supervising student researchers and project management. The postdoc will have opportunities to present findings at academic conferences and to publish in academic journals, as well as for publicly engaged communication.

Essential Functions

  • Participate in weekly meetings with the PI team and graduate research assistants. Help train and supervise graduate research assistants.

  • Develop a sample frame using IPEDs data that is stratified by region and institutional type. Randomly sample colleges and universities from this sample frame.

  • Help to develop communication materials to encourage university administrators to participate in the study.

  • Work with the PI team to revise and further develop the survey instrument in Qualtrics, conduct pilot tests of the survey, and field the survey.

  • Supervise and mentor the RA to clean and recode the survey data, implement the analysis, and make tables and figures.

  • Create brief reports to communicate key results to university administrators and faculty.

  • Work with the PI team to develop protocols for interviews with STEM administrators.

  • Code and analyze the qualitative data and link the qualitative and quantitative findings.

  • Revisit literature in order to contextualize the findings.

  • Write journal articles and popular press reports that summarize key results and describe interventions to support transitions into leadership.

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.

  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the project.

    Minimum Qualifications

  • have a Ph.D. in Sociology or closely related field.

  • have been academically active for no longer than 2 years post-PhD.

  • have experience with quantitative and/or qualitative analysis.

  • have a background in the area of race and gender inequalities.

    Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with both qualitative and quantitative, including linear regression and logistic regression. Willingness to learn additional quantitative methods as necessary.

  • Experience with survey and interview data collection.

  • Skills with quantitative software, STATA preferred.

  • Skills with qualitative software, NVivo or DeDoose preferred.

  • Background in the area of higher education, as well as in organizational theory and status expectations theory.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment

Work Schedule

  • Full time position 40 hours a week, Monday - Friday, with occasional weekend/evening conference meetings. Flexible hours, though must be available for meetings during the work week.

Additional Information

  • The anticipated start date will be July 1, 2024. The hire date is negotiable and contingent upon completion of the Ph.D.

  • This position is grant-funded with a one-year initial appointment, with renewal for two additional years subject to satisfactory performance.

  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid or fully remote work schedule.

    Application Instructions

Candidates should submit an application via PageUp and include a CV, cover letter, research statement, diversity statement, and a list of three professional references. References will only be requested for finalists.

The search will remain open until filled.

Questions about this can be directed to Joya Misra via email at

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Dec 15 2023 Eastern Standard Time

Applications close: