Measuring Liberal Arts:
Creating an Index for Higher Education

The Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences invites applications from PhD or other doctoral-level degree holders for a postdoctoral position for a period of three academic years beginning on September 1, 2018. The yearly renewal of the position is contingent upon funding and performance.

Under the direction of the Principal Investigator (Prof. Peter Bearman), the successful candidate will play an integral role on an Andrew W. Mellon-funded project to support a study about the characteristics of higher education institutions. The primary task will be to support a team of researchers that are creating a numerical index that arrays higher education institutions in the U.S.A. on a variety of dimensions that measure key characteristics of the education offered. The measure will be constructed from college administrative statistics such as sociodemographic data and major offerings, and from additional sources such as school newspapers, yearbooks, course descriptions, and events listings. Candidates should hold a doctoral-level degree in the social sciences or a related field. Ideal candidates will have a background and interest in higher education, computational social science, democratic participation or organizational processes. Strong statistical skills, documented experience analyzing large data sets, knowledge of natural language processing software and background in data visualization, and a record of peer-reviewed publications are highly preferred qualifications. Although the candidate will dedicate most of her/his effort to the project's research activities, she/he will be encouraged to pursue independent research interests.

Application Requirements

PhD in sociology, social sciences or related field is required. The degree must have been awarded between 08-31-2016 and 08-31-2018.  

  1. Cover Letter: Briefly describe your work in relation to INCITE and the project for which you are applying and explain why Columbia University is a particularly good place to pursue your research (two page maximum).
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Writing Sample: One sample equivalent to a single journal article, book chapter, or dissertation chapter. The writing sample may be published or unpublished. It must be in English (maximum 40 pages).
  4.  A list of names and contact details of for three referees familiar with your work

To apply, please send all materials to incite@columbia.edu