Post-doctoral Researcher 
Job Posted: 14 December, 2021
Company: Shift Project, Harvard University
Closing Date: Until Filled
Location: Cambridge, MA


About the Position

Professors Daniel Schneider (Harvard Kennedy School) and Kristen Harknett (University of California, San Francisco) are recruiting one full-time postdoctoral research fellow with a PhD in sociology, economics, public policy, or a related field to start July 1st, 2022, though an earlier start-date may be possible if the PhD has been awarded. The post-doctoral fellow will join The Shift Project and primarily contribute to a field research project evaluating the effects of a company-level change in work scheduling practices on worker and business outcomes.  The post-doctoral fellow may also participate in ongoing collection and analysis of survey data from frontline retail and food-service employees and analysis of administrative data to investigate precarious working conditions, the effects of COVID19, and the role of technology and automation in service-sector workplaces.

This position is based at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA. The appointment term is for one year with the potential for a second year renewal contingent on performance.


The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for working closely with Professors Schneider and Harknett on a field research project evaluating the effects of a company-level change in work scheduling practices on worker and business outcomes. The fellow will be responsible for working with company contacts; acquiring, managing, and cleaning large data sets that include a mix of administrative and survey data; conducting statistical analysis of the data; and contributing to presentations, research reports, and articles. The fellow may also contribute to other ongoing work at The Shift Project.


The post-doctoral fellow would work closely with other team members including graduate and undergraduate students, pre-doctoral fellows, and research staff and participate in regular team convenings and frequent meetings. The post-doctoral fellow would receive both hands-on training through the planned research work and also additional professional and research mentorship from Professors Schneider and Harknett. The post-doctoral fellow would be encouraged to co-author with Schneider and Harknett as well as maintain an ongoing program of independent research.


  • Applicants should have or expect to have a PhD by July 1st, 2022.
  • Experience designing and carrying out rigorous research using one or more of the following methods: field experiments, original survey data collection, or analysis of large-scale administrative data.
  • Highly organized, professional, and detail-oriented
  • Pro-active, hard-working, self-motivated, and creative problem solver
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication
  • Outstanding programming skills in Stata and/or R

How to Apply

Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Shift Project Post-doctoral Fellow Application” followed by your first and last name (e.g., “Shift Project Post-doctoral fellow Application – Jane Doe”).

Attach the following documents as a single PDF:

  • CV
  • Cover letter/statement of interest
  • 2 writing samples (published papers, dissertation chapters, other manuscripts at least one of which must be sole-authored)
  • Names of 3 academic/professional references.  Letters will be requested for finalists.

Review of applicants will begin on January 31th.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who are interested in joining an academic research team that values a diversity of experiences, perspectives, and individuals.  Authorization for work in the US is required.

About The Shift Project

The Shift Project is led by Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett and based at the Harvard Kennedy School. The Shift Project investigates the contours, causes, and consequences of precarious work in the United States, with a particular focus on unstable and unpredictable work schedules.

About the Wiener Center

The Malcolm Wiener Center is a vibrant intellectual community of faculty, Master’s and PhD students, researchers and administrative staff whose mission is to address pressing public policy questions through academic research, teaching and policy outreach. The work of the Center covers the domains of health care, human services, criminal justice, labor markets, education and political and economic inequality. The Wiener Center addresses pressing questions in these areas by carrying out research on important public policy issues, educating the next generation of academics and policy scholars, and ensuring that research and education are closely tied to and draw from policy and practice.