Postdoctoral Fellowship Position Announcement

Penn Identity & Conflict Lab

AY 2021-2022

The Penn Identity & Conflict (PIC) Lab, led by Professor Nicholas Sambanis at the Department of Political Science of the University of Pennsylvania, seeks exceptional candidates for a one-year, full-time, renewable, residential appointment as a postdoctoral research fellow.  The Lab is dedicated to addressing a broad range of critical questions focused on inter-group conflict.  The Lab prioritizes research in three key areas: how social identities shape individual behavior, how conflict affects identities, and what interventions are effective in reducing inter-group conflict.  Both violent and non-violent forms of conflict are considered, ranging from bias, discrimination, and protest to ethnic violence, secessionism and war.  The Lab’s recent work has focused on appeals to shared norms and normative change as strategies for conflict reduction; and on the cultivation of shared civic and national identities as instruments of peace-building. The Lab seeks to integrate knowledge across the social and behavioral sciences to better understand these topics.

Fellows will split their time between their own research and work with Professor Nicholas Sambanis on different projects developed in the PIC Lab.  Fellows will be expected to work on one or more ongoing projects in three broad areas: conflict and cooperation between native and immigrant populations; normative change and conflict behavior; and nation-building and state-building in conflict-affected countries.  Innovative new project proposals by fellows can also be considered and funded by the Lab. 

Requirements and Application Information

Job responsibilities will vary depending on the strengths and interests of the successful applicant but will include some combination of conducting research and co-authoring papers and reports with the PIC Lab Director and affiliated faculty; assisting with grant proposals; providing support with data collection, management, and analysis for ongoing projects; and managing the Lab website and seminar series.

Successful applicants will have excellent training in quantitative methods with an emphasis on statistical analysis, survey methods and experimental methods.  Programming skills are highly desirable.  Applicants should have outstanding organizational and communication skills and prior experience using large databases and different statistical software (including Stata, R, and Qualtrics).  Applicants should be intellectually curious, ambitious, energetic, and self-motivated; they should be able to work independently, but also as part of a team; and be open to travel for fieldwork if conditions allow. Training in behavioral economics and/or social psychology is a plus.

There is no formal teaching requirement.  Fellows will be expected to help organize the PIC Lab workshop, which will meet bi-weekly; they will give at least one presentation on their research at the workshop and/or as part of the Perry World House Seminar Series; and will be expected to help organize the Lab’s annual conference.

Compensation and General Information

All postdoctoral fellow positions pay a stipend of $54,000 plus relevant fees and health insurance. The position also provides $2,000 in research support.

Applications are welcome from scholars who have received their Ph.D. or equivalent degrees since June 2019, or who expect to complete their degree by June 2021.  Applications will be reviewed starting January 4, 2021.  To receive full consideration, applications and letters of recommendation should be received by that date.

To apply, please go to: Applicants will be asked to upload a cover letter, CV/resume, one-page research statement, writing sample, and unofficial PhD transcript (only required for current graduate students).  We will also ask for the name and email address of a letter writer who can submit a letter of recommendation.

The University of Pennsylvania is strongly committed to Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence and to establishing a more diverse community at Penn (for more information see: 

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).

If you have questions, please email