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Job Opening - Postdoctoral Research Fellow

June 07, 2022

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford SPARQ

Department of Psychology, Stanford University

SPARQ is a behavioral science “do tank” at Stanford University, located in the Department of Psychology. SPARQ builds research-driven partnerships with industry leaders and changemakers to combat bias, reduce disparities, and drive culture change. We work in the areas of criminal justice, economic mobility, education, health, and media. Our Faculty Co-Directors are Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt and Dr. Hazel Rose Markus; our Managing Director is Dr. MarYam Hamedani. Read more about SPARQ and our work here:

The Position

The SPARQ Postdoctoral Research Fellow will play a key role in managing and advancing the center’s projects on the criminal justice system and public safety. These projects include examining the role of race in public perceptions about crime and safety, exploring community needs for reimagining public safety, developing and testing trainings and interventions to improve police-community relations and innovate policing, and collaborating with SPARQ’s research partners in linguistics and computer science to leverage body-worn camera footage to better understand and improve police-community interactions.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will report to the Associate Director of Criminal Justice Partnerships Dr. Rebecca Hetey and will work closely with the SPARQ team to design, execute, and disseminate the results of these projects and oversee project teams. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will also work as a core part of the SPARQ team to support special projects and initiatives that further the center’s overall mission.

We are seeking candidates who love to be out in the world just as much as in the lab, are ready to roll up their sleeves to tackle complex social issues, and who thrive working as part of a collaborative team. The ideal candidate is a recent graduate of a Ph.D. program in social psychology who is looking for experience conducting research in real-world settings and in partnership with practitioners. We are looking for creative bridge builders who thrive in both academic settings and in diverse spaces beyond the university bubble.


  • Contribute to the progress of multi-year, multi-disciplinary research projects; collaborate with practitioner partners

  • Design and conduct needs assessments, experiments, surveys, field studies, interview studies, content analyses, and interventions that pertain to the criminal justice system and perceptions of crime and safety; especially outside of the lab in real-world settings, such as police departments and community-oriented spaces 

  • Analyze data in R and apply advanced predictive modeling, including longitudinal analyses and multilevel models 

  • Work with and analyze large and diverse datasets, including video footage and transcript text 

  • Prepare research reports, summaries, and articles for practitioner partners, peer-reviewed journals, and other outlets

  • Present research findings in both researcher- and practitioner-oriented venues and engage in translation of results for lay audiences

  • Manage large, multi-disciplinary research projects to deliver results on time and on budget

  • Mentor junior SPARQ staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students


  • Ph.D. in social psychology or other experimental social science

  • Experience in applied research and/or intervention science strongly preferred

  • Excellent written, visual, and oral communications skills

  • Experience with diverse methodologies and proven ability to design and conduct randomized controlled trials, analyze and interpret data, publish results in top-tier journals, and present results at national conferences; experience with survey design, interview studies, content and text analyses, and field experiments is a plus

  • Experience and proficiency in R

  • Proficiency with advanced statistical modeling, including experience with multivariate regressions, longitudinal analyses, and structural equation modeling; data science background is a plus, as is familiarity with or interest in learning more about machine learning methods and natural language processing 

  • Ability to work well and thrive as part of a team conducting applied social psychological research in an array of complex environments, under changing conditions, and with people from a range of industries and diverse backgrounds; creativity and enjoyment of the iteration process are a must

  • Experience working with multidisciplinary teams preferred

  • Passion for people, dedication to learning, and commitment to SPARQ’s mission

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter, CV, graduate school transcript (unofficial is fine), and 2 writing samples to The CV should contain contact information for at least two academic references. The academic references should be ready to submit letters, if requested. Applications received by July 15 will receive first consideration; others will be reviewed on a rolling basis.