Postdoctoral Associate

Postdoctoral Associate


Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.


We seek a colleague interested in investigating the transformative influence of community engagement and public service on individual’s life choices to join a vibrant community as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Communication/Human Development at Cornell University. Working closely with Dr. Richard Kiely in the Office of Engagement Initiatives and a steering committee that includes: Dr. Anthony Burrow, Director of Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Dr. Katherine McComas, Vice Provost for Public Engagement and Land Grant Affairs and staff and alumni from City Year, the postdoctoral associate will play a leading role in an exciting new initiative to understand the impacts of alumni participating in national service with City Year or community-engaged learning activities at Cornell University. This engaged research initiative represents a unique partnership between City Year, a leading national youth/community service organization, the Office of Engagement Initiatives at Cornell University, and Einhorn Collaborative, a foundation dedicated to addressing America’s growing crisis of connection.

Job description:

This research project will help City Year, Cornell and the broader youth development field understand how and under what circumstances would their alumni, who bring significant diversity in terms of backgrounds and experiences, show-up as educated global citizens who practice respect and empathy, seek collaboration and cooperation, and embrace differences and diversity in all aspects of their lives.  Working in collaboration with faculty, staff, students and alumni representatives from City Year, Cornell’s Office of Engagement Initiatives, and Einhorn Collaborative, the postdoctoral associate will play a leading role in the design and implementation of an effort to evaluate the impact on individuals of participating in national service with City Year or community-engaged learning programs at Cornell University. This research will include the formulation of a theoretical framework for the project, the development of research protocols, the implementation of the research effort, and the analysis of data related to program outcomes. Working with the larger team, the successful applicant will be expected to develop a theory-driven research plan, oversee analysis of existing data, collect new data as needed, conduct data analysis, and disseminate findings in peer-reviewed outlets and conferences, and work with City Year to share findings with those most affected by the work through presentations and tools for practitioners. The research will inform the design of programs, as well as deepen the understanding of stakeholders and thought leaders interested in how diverse populations of young adults are impacted by participation in civic engagement, national and community service.  The position will be based in Ithaca, NY; however, there will be a stipend to allow the postdoc to travel to City Year cities for research purposes.


  • Ph.D. in social sciences field with expertise in program evaluation
  • Experience working with diverse groups of people and with the use of inclusive and equitable research practices
  • A strong and shared cultural fit with the partners’ values, missions, and community.
  • Working knowledge of literature in community-engaged learning/experiential learning, community service and volunteering
  • Strong background in quantitative and qualitative research methods, including methods of analysis and statistics
  • Ability and desire to work collaboratively and independently
  • Willingness to mentor undergraduate students in research
  • Strong thinking, theorizing, and writing skills required to leading first-author papers
  • Experience managing complex projects requiring strong time management and communication skills
  • Enthusiasm to learn (because this project will involve many moving pieces that require working with a team of representatives from multiple organizations, integrating and applying many different research areas, ability to grow surpasses extensive experience in any one of the above areas)
  • Desirable but not required: Experience with City Year or similar program and community-engaged learning.

This is a full-time, 12-month academic position for two years, with the potential for an additional year of support, depending on successful performance, funding, and available work. The desired position start date is August 2021, subject to negotiation.

Application deadline is April 15, 2021. Applications received after April 15 will be reviewed if the position has not been filled.

To apply, visit and submit the following materials:

letter detailing interest in this position, including how this position relates to career plans Curriculum vitae Statement of Contributions to Diversity Names and email contacts of three professional references

If you have any questions about this position, please contact Dr. Richard Kiely (  


Employment Assistance:

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For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting.

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EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.


About Us

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. With our main campus located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the Cornell Tech campus located on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.

We offer a rich array of services, programs and benefits to help employees advance in their career and enhance the quality of personal life, including: employee wellness, workshops, childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave, flexible work options.