The Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations (LPO) in Peabody College at Vanderbilt seeks candidates interested in developing their knowledge of rigorous, applied quantitative education policy research in Career and Technical Education (CTE) for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship.

The fellow will be hired in conjunction with the Institute for Education Sciences funded CTE Research Network ( The Network is tasked with expanding the pool of high-quality education research related to CTE, aggregating and synthesizing what is known, and training the next generation of policy analysts, policy makers, and academics to perform CTE research. The fellow will work with co-PI, Shaun Dougherty, as part of several ongoing projects related to the CTE Network and will also be able to participate in reviewing existing and ongoing research and developing training materials.

The Fellow will participate in all aspects of the research process, including design, IRB administration, analysis, and presentation. They will collect, compile, and analyze data; design surveys; participate in research planning; write papers; present results at seminars and professional meetings; and participate in the supervision of research assistants. Fellows will have the opportunity to leverage Peabody’s role in the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA), as well as other existing state partnerships, to develop research and to communicate results to non-technical audiences, including policymakers.

The fellow should expect to spend about a third of their time completing research related to their dissertation, half of their time working on ongoing research projects related to the CTE Network, and the remaining time building new collaborations at the university. The fellowship does not include any teaching responsibilities, but will include participation in research trainings that take place across the calendar year, including summer.

The fellow will receive direct mentorship from Professor Shaun Dougherty, and may have the opportunity to work with others doing CTE-related research in the department. LPO and Peabody College are part of a dynamic university environment at Vanderbilt, which also affords opportunities for cross-college and inter-disciplinary participation in seminars and trainings. This is a 2-year fellowship beginning in the summer of 2021 with competitive salary and benefits plus funds for research expenses and related travel. Funding for the fellowships is provided by the Institute of Education Sciences CTE Network grant R305N180005.


Applicants must have completed their PhD in a relevant social science discipline prior to August 31, 2021 and have academic research experience in public policy, economics, education, quantitative methodology, or other similar fields. Applicants should also have a substantive interest in Career and Technical Education, or the connection between educational trainings and transition to the workforce. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Applicants should not have been supported previously by either a predoctoral or postdoctoral training grant through the United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.

Application Process and Deadline

Applications should be submitted to Dr. Shaun M. Dougherty. Complete applications include a 2-page statement of interest, writing sample (job market paper or recent publication authored / co-authored by the applicant), CV, and a list of three individuals who can serve as confidential recommenders. We will begin reviewing applications on January 15th, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled.

The mission of the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations (LPO) is to understand and improve the political, economic, organizational, and social contexts in which human learning takes place. The department embraces a range of disciplinary traditions and encourages multiple methodological approaches in the study of education policy and practice. The department operates highly regarded masters, Ed.D., and Ph.D. programs in K-12, international, and higher education leadership and policy, and houses the top-ranked program in educational administration and leadership in the United States.

LPO is building a diverse community committed to a multicultural environment. Vanderbilt University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified candidates, without regard to race/color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.