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Applications are open for Scholars Strategy Network 2018-2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Posted by on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Announcements .

The Scholars Strategy Network is opening applications for the second cohort of its two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship to support early-career scholars in any discipline who wish to engage in research and public scholarship to improve public policy and strengthen democracy. After an intensive, short boot camp, each fellow will be based at a university in one of SSN’s regional chapters in either Salt Lake City, Utah; Orono, Maine; or San Diego, California . 


Scholars Strategy Network Postdoctoral Fellows will help academics insert research, facts, and scholarly perspectives into local, state, and national policy debates. Successful fellows will build webs of relationships, transforming regional Scholars Strategy Network chapters into powerful research hubs to inform civic leaders, journalists, and policymakers on both sides of the aisle. Fellows will:

  • Meet with scholars to learn about their areas of expertise and interest;
  • Meet with policymakers, civic leaders, and journalists to learn about their interests, policy goals, and research questions;
  • With advice and direction from senior academics, create opportunities for scholars to engage in the policy process by matchmaking and by helping scholars build lasting collaborations with non-academic stakeholders;
  • Work with scholars to prepare two-page briefs that clearly convey their research to non-academic audiences; 
  • Organize at least one significant group project that brings together multiple academic perspectives to synthesizes research and scholarly perspectives in response to a request from a non-academic stakeholder;
  • Help local policymakers, journalists, civic leaders, and member scholars access the expertise of the national Scholars Strategy Network by connecting them to out-of-state scholars and, as appropriate, arranging visits, State House or City Hall briefings, and university talks.

Program Information

Length of Fellowship: The SSN Postdoctoral Fellowships will last for two years, starting in July 2018 and running through June 2020.

Compensation: The SSN Postdoctoral Fellowship pays $48,000 annually. Benefits include health insurance, a modest allowance for approved travel to conferences, and reimbursement of appropriate work-related expenses.

Supervision: For chapter-related duties, the Fellow will report to the co-leaders of their base chapter and SSN’s national Director of Policy and Organizing.


SSN Regional Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to applicants from all disciplines who have completed their PhD within the past three years and are prepared to work for two years starting July 2018. Applications are encouraged from soon-to-be or recent PhDs with experience or a strong interest in community or state-level organizing, public policy, and practical research.

Ideal candidates will be persons dedicated to SSN’s mission and able to grasp how to make use of SSN’s structure as a voluntary, federated network of member scholars. Because SSN’s national office is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, postdoctoral fellows who will be based in SSN regional chapters must show evidence that they are self-starters able to work independently and manage several projects simultaneously. In addition, strong candidates must be able to translate research findings into clear language for public audiences and feel comfortable actively reaching out to a diverse group of external stakeholders. Candidates should have a knowledge of legislative and other government processes.

Fellows must be willing to be year-round residents of the community where their appointment is based for the duration of their two-year fellowship.

How to Apply Fill out and attach the required documents to this Application Form. More details on what is required below. For any questions, email Paola Maynard-Moll at fellows@scholars.organd use "SSN Postdoctoral Fellowship- Your Name" in the subject line.

Each application must include:

Statement of Interest: In 500 words or less, please detail your interest, background, and qualifications for the SSN Postdoctoral Fellowship. You should also state if you have a preference between the Maine, Utah, and San Diego regional chapters. 

  • Resume: Provide a curriculum vitae. Include civic or political engagement experience in your CV.
  • Dissertation Abstract and Date for the PhD: Provide the abstract and table of contents of your doctoral dissertation and (if the PhD is not yet awarded) include a letter from your advisor about the expected date for the degree.
  • Description of Proposed Research: In 1000 words or less, describe the research project you would like to undertake during the two-year fellowship, how you plan to incorporate feedback from non-academic stakeholders, and in what ways you anticipate doing outreach about your work during and after completion of the project. 
  • OpEd: Write a jargon-free OpEd using research to comment on a current event or area of public interest. If you have already published such a piece, please submit it. If not, write a piece in 650 words or less. Find tips for OpEd writing at The OpEd Project.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Provide two letters of recommendation that speak to your ability to be successful in this program. Ideally, one letter should be from an academic supervisor and another from a supervisor or peer outside of academia or from an academic who has such experience.

Each application may also include:

Research Mentor: If you already have a research mentor in mind, and have spoken to that person about working together on the proposed project, you may submit the name and expertise of your proposed research mentor. Ideally, that person will write your academic letter of recommendation.
Personal Website: If you have a personal website, you may include a link.

Timing: Applications are due March 16, 2018 and will be reviewed after that deadline.

SSN is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation or gender identity. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

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