LEO Pre-Doc

  • United States of America
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LEO is looking for a research assistant who desires to be part of solving one of the most critical issues our nation faces today – poverty. The Pre-Doc will support research projects of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) and the new population center initiative at the University of Notre Dame.   

Who we are:

The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame is a research center dedicated to reducing poverty and improving lives in the United States through evidence-based programs and policies

 Who we need:

The Pre-Doc will work closely with Dr. Melissa Kearney and other senior researchers affiliated with LEO to initiate and carry out evaluations, and take significant ownership of projects, from independently coordinating project logistics to data analysis and dissemination of results. The Pre-Doc will also work alongside affiliated faculty of the University's population center, a new initiative with the goal of bolstering population-related research in the social sciences. 


Project Management:

·      Drive a portfolio of developing and active research projects forward

·      Work closely with social service agencies to integrate evaluation into their programs’ everyday operations

·      Act as the lead research assistant to and project manager for Dr. Melissa Kearney on her portfolio of LEO projects focused on economics of the family

·      Document and describe interventions for research and policy audiences

·      Liaise between researchers and agency staff, clarifying concerns and handling logistical questions

·      Assist in the composition of research grant proposals

·      Carry out IRB procedures for assigned projects

Data Analysis:

·      Write data sharing agreements

·      Coordinate data exchanges

·      Maintain program data on Notre Dame’s secure servers

·      Analyze data and present results to researchers and agency partners


·      Support research teams in writing up results for academic articles 

·      Conduct webinars, draft policy briefs and other materials for LEO audiences

·      Present results at conferences and other venues as needed

·      Identify key audiences for population science research produced by the University’s population center

This is a 1-year appointment, renewable for a second term. The ideal candidate will commit to 2 years in this role. The appointment serves at the discretion of the Associate Director for Research Operations and the Managing Director of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities. This position is located at the University of Notre Dame. 


The ideal candidate will be able to commit to 2 years in this role, have strong coding skills, and experience with statistical programming (STATA or R).


·      A deep commitment to the mission of both LEO and the University 

·      Undergraduate degree in Economics, Mathematics, or related social science field

·      Training in econometric and statistical techniques employed in randomized evaluations

·      Statistical programming experience (STATA, R, SAS)

·      Highly organized with ability to juggle multiple demands simultaneously

·      Strong written and oral communication skills

·      Self-directed, with willingness to take initiative over project tasks and explore potential evaluations 


·      Experience working for economic researchers as a research assistant 

·      Experience working for or with social service providers