Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study
Position Announcement: Funding for Junior Researcher of Color
Graduate Project Assistantship or Postdoctoral Fellowship
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Sociology at UW-Madison, seeks a talented junior researcher of color to join the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study in 2011 as it prepares to enroll its second cohort of students.
The WSLS is the first-ever longitudinal randomized controlled trial of need-based financial aid. It is a mixed-methods study following two cohorts of Wisconsin Pell grant recipients through college and into the workforce. It is led by an interdisciplinary team of researchers, including co-director Douglas N. Harris, and includes collection of administrative, survey, and in-depth interview data. For more information, please see the WSLS website.
Dr. Goldrick-Rab holds a William T. Grant Scholars award for her work on the WSLS. Her project, “Rethinking College Choice in America,” applies ideas and methods from developmental psychology and behavioral economics to examine how college students’ use of time, emotional experiences and amounts of sleep interact with financial aid and affect chances of earning degrees.
The Scholars award includes the opportunity to seek supplementary funding (also from the William T. Grant Foundation) to help Scholars build strong mentoring relationships with students of color. According to the Foundation, “these awards address two issues that receive insufficient attention and resources: how to be a good mentor and challenges facing people of color in research careers.” The Foundation estimates awarding three to four awards in the amount of $60,000 for mentoring doctoral students and $85,000 for mentoring postdoctoral fellows (inclusive of a maximum of 7.5 percent in indirect costs). Funding will begin on July 1, 2011, and end June 30, 2012. Mentors and mentees will come together during annual winter meetings designed to support the mentoring relationships, Scholars’ development as mentors, and Junior Researchers’ development as researchers.
If selected and funded, the Junior Researcher will work with Dr. Goldrick-Rab on her Scholars project and also on an independent inquiry related to the second cohort of students participating in the WSLS.
Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria, according to Foundation rules:
• Junior Researchers of Color may be African American, Asian or Pacific Islander American, Latino, and/or Native American.
• Junior Researchers may be full-time doctoral students or postdoctoral fellows.
• At minimum, students must be in their second year of doctoral studies at the onset of the award.
• The Junior Researcher must be housed at UW-Madison or a nearby college or university.
In addition, per the needs of the WSLS and Dr. Goldrick-Rab’s project, eligible applicants must also possess all of the following qualifications:
• A background in social science coursework, preferably in sociology or anthropology and/or training in a public policy or social work program.
• Prior experience conducting in-depth interviews .
• Statistics skills, include comfort with regression analysis and preferably familiarity with STATA.
• Ability to demonstrate attention to detail, strong writing skills, and the capacity to work independently.
In short, the highly qualified applicant will have already begun to emerge as a skilled mixed-method researcher, or researcher-in-training.
This position is currently in the planning stage. At this time, Dr. Goldrick-Rab seeks interested students who would like to collaborate on an application for either a project assistantship or a postdoctoral fellowship, to begin in July 1, 2011 and conclude June 30, 2012. The final application is due March 2, 2011 and the award decision will be made in June 2011. The applicant is required to jointly prepare the application with Dr. Goldrick-Rab (as the Foundation mandates). To the extent that the student goes beyond the application planning and participates in laying the groundwork for Cohort 2, that work may be compensated on an hourly basis (to be negotiated), regardless of whether the award is granted.
If interested, students should contact Dr. Goldrick-Rab by November 5, 2010. Please send an email that includes a cover letter explaining reasons for interest, along with a CV and contact information for at least two professors who can provide recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest!