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Civil Rights Project seeks Post-doctoral Scholar

Date Published: July 13, 2020

The Civil Rights Project seeks a 100% Postdoctoral Scholar to partner with the co-principal investigators (UCLA Professors Patricia Gándara and Gary Orfield) and lead a future-oriented project that generates policy research on key educational and civil rights issues in the next generation impacting California’s African American, Latino, American Indian, English Learner, and low-income students in the educational system.


“Developing a Civil Rights Agenda for the Next Quarter Century” will contribute to racial equity and civil rights policy and research in California education, and make specific contributions in the areas of language minorities, immigrant children’s education, segregation, removing obstacles to the preparation of nonwhite and bilingual faculty, and using choice and integration strategies to improve college preparation and access for students of color.

The project will commission new studies from leading scholars that not only consider educational and social inequities but also key civil rights legal issues. These research papers and convening(s), which provide a forum for engagement of scholars and policy makers on the research findings, are integral to the project’s larger strategy to forge a new generation of civil rights scholars and scholarship that California so critically needs. California is the bellwether for the nation’s great demographic transition; the work accomplished here will be of great interest and widely disseminated across the U.S., including innovative use of media. The model of interdisciplinary analysis concerning the implications of a state’s increasing diversity could well stimulate similar efforts elsewhere.

More About the Post-Doctoral Civil Rights Scholar Position:

This position will be initially hired under a one year appointment with the intent of a second year reappointment. In the first year, the civil rights post-doctoral researcher will review existing research and assume day-to-day charge of the research program under the direction of the Project’s senior staff. This work will require staying up to date on research being produced and planned by the project. The scholar will help coordinate the paper commissions, including monitoring progress, reviewing drafts, providing helpful commentary, and keeping researchers on track to meet paper deadlines. The scholar will also work with project staff to plan and organize public events associated with the research agenda. Authors will be expected to include policy recommendations in their studies and ways that these recommendations can be measured for impact.

Tracking the recommendations forged by the researchers and various stakeholders, and measuring their progress is a core element of the project. The second year of the project will be dedicated to measuring the impact and progress on these policy recommendations by tracking outcomes of the studies, as manifested by the scope of their dissemination, their visibility in policy discussions and their uptake/implementation. Recommendations may be taken up as new policies, as litigation, as adoption of new programs or practices, as pilot programs or as the focus of further advocacy, training, and research efforts. The Postdoctoral Scholar will have the opportunity of carrying out related research and writing and participating in the concluding statewide conference(s).

Senior staff will partner with and be available to supervise and mentor the post-doc scholar. We expect that the scholar will gain substantial knowledge and wide contacts with leading scholars from the experience, and become an on-going resource for CA and the CRP on the issues developed during the research period.


● PhD in education or related social science discipline or economics with a strong academic record; applicants with joint social science and law degrees are welcome;
● Demonstrated skill and experience in quantitative and qualitative research related to K-12 and higher education policy;
● Ability to understand and evaluate the research and methods presented by the commissioned authors;
● Ability to collaborate with commissioned researchers, including conducting independent review of the research papers and providing feedback about the work;
● Deep interest in civil rights research, with a long-term commitment to the field;
● Record of research on and interest in educational equity & related issues;
● Demonstrated writing, speaking, and listening skills that enable effective communication with colleagues, the research and practice community, and the general public;
● Demonstrated skill in preparing, writing and editing research summaries, portions of project reports and other key documents for publication (preferred);
● Adherence to professional standards and practices that reflect and advance the values and guiding principles of the Civil Rights Project.

Salary level based on experience and will follow standards for postdoctoral scholars at UCLA. Salary Scale can be found at:

Anticipated Start Date:
September 21, 2020 approximately or January 2, 2021 (can be arranged)

Please contact Laurie Russman at for any questions regarding this posting.

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, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy.


Los Angeles, CA or Remote


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter/Letter of Interest - Please address the following items:

    What are your current research interests and how do they relate to the purpose of this project?
    Do you have experience in research groups and/or managing research?
    What methodological training and/or experience do you have?
    How will your expertise contribute to the project?
    How will this position further your research and career goals?

  • Writing Sample - Only provide sample(s) for which the applicant is the main author.

  • (Optional) Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - An EDI Statement describes a faculty candidate’s past, present, and future (planned) contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion. To learn more about how UCLA thinks about contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, please review our Sample Guidance for Candidates and related EDI Statement FAQ document.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

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