Join the IPL team at Stanford as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Data Science)

Interested in contributing to our mission of advancing immigration policy worldwide? Read on for more details about our new position.                                                                           

About the Lab

Stanford University is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Data Science) to join the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL). IPL conducts research that employs field and natural experimental methods to quantify the impacts of immigration and integration policies throughout the world. Using large datasets, creative research designs, and modern analytical tools, we bring new evidence to bear on the urgent problems practitioners face. By guiding the people who set public policy, as well as those who serve immigrant communities, our research can generate solutions and ultimately improve lives. IPL reorients academic training by placing postdocs in a hub of experiential research activity. Working side by side with faculty and professional staff, postdocs are fully immersed in an innovative research model that combines the efficiency and rigor of an academic lab with the energy and innovation of a civic-tech startup.


We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with extensive experience and training in data science to join our team and help grow our exciting portfolio of digital tools related to immigrant and refugee integration in the United States, Europe and other regions throughout the world. The principal job of the data scientist postdoc will be to lead data analysis for research projects and develop innovative digital tools related to immigration policy, programs, and services under the guidance of Professors Jens Hainmueller, David Laitin, and Jeremy Weinstein. She or he will be involved in all aspects of the research, but with a particular emphasis on data science, causal inference, machine learning, statistical analysis, and programming. For instance, the postdoc will help drive a global effort to support refugee integration by developing matching tools for various countries using machine learning. The post doc will also work on data analysis for projects examining the impacts of immigration related policies and programs. The postdoc will have the opportunity to co-author papers envisioned to appear in top journals that report on the results of the studies, work with an array of affiliated faculty from top institutions, and develop independent projects and tools related to immigration policy evaluation. 

IPL is a highly collaborative environment, and postdocs will have the opportunity to develop new lab projects with other team members as well as join existing ongoing projects. The postdoc will have the opportunity to co-author papers envisioned to appear in top journals that report on the results of the studies and work with an array of affiliated faculty from top institutions. While the majority of the postdoc’s time will be dedicated to collaborative lab projects, there is also an opportunity to work on independent research.

The initial appointment will be for one year (with potential to renew for a second year). Start date is flexible (no later than August 2021) and the position is currently remote (subject to university, county, and state COVID-related policies). Salary is standardized based on Stanford University guidelines. Benefits are provided.


The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will have completed a Ph.D. in a social science, statistics, computer science, or related program, with a preference for candidates who have demonstrated training and skills in both data analysis and programming. Previous experience conducting research on immigration issues is valued but not required. 

She or he should have a range of statistical skills including graduate level knowledge of program evaluation methods, data management, statistical inference and modeling, and machine learning. Experience or skills in data visualization and optimization methods are also highly valued.

In addition, she or he should also have significant programming experience. Proficiency in R is required. Experience working with a general-purpose programming language (e.g. Python, Java, C++) and/or with SQL is also a plus. Demonstrated ability to develop user-friendly digital tools, apps, or programs that leverage data and statistical methods in novel ways is highly valued.

Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer. It welcomes nominations of, and applications from, women and members of minority groups, as well as others who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research missions.

Application Requirements

Applications should include a cover letter, CV, graduate school transcripts, a writing sample, contributions to diversity statement, and at least two letters of recommendation. The “Contributions to Diversity Statement” should describe any past efforts, as well as future plans, to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion as a postdoc at Stanford and IPL community member. Additional papers may be requested at a later date. Applicants should be prepared to complete a research design and data analysis exercise as part of the interview process. 

Applications will only be accepted through (ID17288). We will begin reviewing applications on November 15, 2020. Applicants who have questions about the position may contact the executive director of the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University, Duncan Lawrence, directly (, Subject: Immigration Lab Postdoc (Data Science) 2020).

* Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Ready to apply? Submit your application here.