Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Stanford Impact Labs is launching a postdoctoral fellowship program, beginning in fall 2021, in partnership with social science labs across Stanford University. We are seeking a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join a team-based, collaborative community that values the different skills, expertise, and perspectives necessary to design, conduct, sustain, and disseminate public impact research. 

This year’s postdoctoral positions are available with the following labs addressing some of the most challenging social problems, including:

  • Polarization and Social Change Lab, led by Robb Willer, Professor of Sociology, Psychology, and Organizational Behavior, to co-design and lead research projects on how to most effectively promote depolarization in the context of stark polarization in the United States, as well as the lab’s broader research agenda on political polarization; framing, messaging, and persuasion; political dimensions of inequality; social movement mobilization; and online political behavior. 
  • Poverty, Violence, and Governance Lab (POVGOV), led by Beatriz Magaloni-Kerpel, Professor of Political Science, which generates foundational action-oriented research to provide solutions to lawlessness and violence, and enhance the transparency and democratic accountability of law enforcement and criminal justice systems and constrain human right abuses. POVGOV is also starting new projects on the analysis of Temporal Worker Programs and their promise to simultaneously combat poverty and violence.  
  • VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab, led by Shelley Correll, Professor of Sociology and Organizational Behavior, to join a team-based, collaborative community working to understand the specific barriers faced by women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds in the workplace, and implementing and evaluating interventions to increase women’s representation, persistence, and inclusion in male and white dominated learning and work environments.

One postdoctoral fellow will be selected into each of the three participating labs, and will work across a portfolio of research projects in conjunction with the lab, alongside their own research. Core to the mission of Stanford Impact Labs, and this program, is that postdocs meaningfully integrate and contribute to the research goals of the lab in which they are working. The purpose is to enable fellows to engage in collaborative, impact-focused research, and to publish in competitive journals to elevate their own scholarship and public impact scholarship more broadly. 

In addition, our goal is to create a diverse community of scholars who are committed to producing research that has a positive impact on society. Postdoctoral fellows will have the opportunity to engage with other fellows and with the broader Stanford Impact Labs (SIL) team and community, and will be invited to participate in select activities (approx. 10% total effort), as guided by each fellow’s particular interests and in coordination with the host lab and Stanford Impact Labs.

Qualifications for all applicants:

Reviewers will evaluate candidates according to their scientific record and potential; their commitment to pursuing scholarship with the potential to impact public policy or social outcomes; their potential contribution to the respective impact lab, as well as the postdoctoral fellows program and the educational activities of Stanford Impact Labs; and their potential for scholarly careers that will contribute to addressing inequities and advancing diversity through their research, teaching, and service.

To apply: To be ensured of full consideration, please upload the following materials in a single PDF document to before March 1:

  • CV: Provide a curriculum vitae of no more than 5 pages
  • Letter of interest explaining your motivation to become a postdoc with the respective research Lab through the Stanford Impact Labs fellowship program (500 words max)
  • Short responses to the following three prompts, in 300 words or less for each:
    • Please provide a short description of your dissertation research and broader research agenda.
    • How does your research training and expertise prepare you to make progress towards understanding and identifying practical solutions to social problems? 
    • In what ways have you contributed towards and/or demonstrated a commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity through your academic career, and how do you plan to advance these commitments professionally?
  • One representative writing sample


  • Review of applications will begin on March 1, 2021.
  • Those advancing will be notified by March 15, and may be asked to submit additional materials (e.g. 2-3 writing samples and 2 letters of recommendation), and/or invited to interview.
  • Final selections will be made by early April 2021.

For any questions, please contact Karina Kloos, Stanford Impact Labs:

Stanford is an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution, and welcomes applications from all qualified applicants. Consistent with its obligations under the law, Stanford prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.