Post-doctoral Scholar, Homelessness and Housing

About the California Policy Lab

The California Policy Lab (CPL) creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our mission is to improve the lives of Californians by generating evidence that transforms public policy. We do this by forming lasting partnerships between government and California’s flagship public universities to harness the power of research and administrative data. We work on California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and education inequality. We facilitate close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at the University of California to help evaluate and improve public programs through rigorous empirical research and technical assistance.

The role

The California Policy Lab (CPL) is recruiting a full-time post-doctoral researcher for a one- year contract position with an option to renew. The position’s expected start date is July 2020 and is based in Los Angeles, California.

The post-doctoral researcher will work closely with faculty at UCLA and with government partners of the California Policy Lab on data-driven research projects designed to address the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. This includes using machine learning to predict homelessness, and evaluating the causal effect of alternative homelessness programs through quasi-experimental methods and field experiments. These projects may also relate to CPL’s other core research areas: criminal justice, education, social safety net, and labor. The position offers the opportunity to build a research portfolio by leveraging CPL’s existing partnerships with California agencies, including the Department of Public Social Services, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, and the Los Angeles County CEO’s office.

Duties will include writing the scientific and methodological content of research proposals, conducting or overseeing quantitative analyses, co-authoring papers for submission to top academic journals, and assisting in dissemination and outreach efforts. Additional responsibilities may include project management, communicating with external agency partners, and mentoring graduate students and other CPL staff. The post-doc will be expected to spend 50% of their time on CPL projects, 25% of their time on self-generated projects using CPL’s data infrastructure, and 25% of their time on other self-generated projects. The position does not include teaching obligations.

The Post-Doctoral Fellow will report to CPL-UCLA’s Research Director and work collaboratively with Faculty Director Till von Wachter, Executive Director Janey Rountree,other research affiliates of CPL, and other CPL staff. The term of this position is anticipated to be 24 months.

Principal Responsibilities
• Develop a portfolio of research projects that answer policy-relevant questions in homelessness and housing.
• Lead research projects as a co-principal investigator and primary project manager.
• Manage the work of research associates and/or graduate students, who provide analytic and relationship support on some projects.
• Act as a subject matter expert and project manager for multiple CPL projects.
• Serve as the primary point of contact with government agency partners.

Competencies
Required:
• Comprehensive knowledge of homelessness and housing policy issues central to the California Policy Lab’s research in this area.
• Advanced econometrics or other statistical training, including familiarity with methods for experimental and non-experimental causal inference.
• Mastery of data analysis and data management in Stata, SAS, or R.
• Superior verbal and written communication skills.
• Ability to work discreetly with sensitive and confidential data.

Preferred:
• Substantial experience working with large and complex administrative datasets.
• Professional experience working with federal, state, or local government agencies.
• Team management experience.
• Experiencing writing successful grant/funding applications for independent research.

To Apply
All interested applicants should submit the following four items to careers@capolicylab.org:
1) Cover letter
2) Current CV
3) Writing sample
4) Academic transcripts for post-baccalaureate degrees

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled; incomplete application packets will not be considered. Candidates who pass a first round review will be contacted for additional pre-interview screening.

Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.

Job Location
Los Angeles, CA

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