Shift is hiring!


Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Opportunity


About the Position

Professors Daniel Schneider (Harvard Kennedy School) and David Weil (Brandeis University) are recruiting one full-time postdoctoral research fellow with a PhD in sociology, economics, public policy, industrial relations, or a related field for the 2024-2025 Academic Year. The post-doctoral fellow will contribute to a research project focused on strategic enforcement in the United States.

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.

This is a hybrid position based on our campus in Cambridge, MA.  As a campus-based institution, we place a high value on the in-person experience, cross-team collaboration, and strong community building in order to create a vibrant campus for our students, faculty, staff, and research fellows. The position is required to work in-person on campus a minimum of three days per week during the academic year.


About the Wiener Center

The Malcolm Wiener Center is a vibrant intellectual community of faculty, Master’s and PhD students, researchers, fellows, 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.



The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for working closely with Professors Schneider and Weil on a project focused on developing new tools that could help state labor enforcement agencies more strategically deploy scarce investigative and compliance enforcement resources. The post-doctoral fellow will work with Schneider and Weil to leverage data from the Shift Project merged with rich administrative data to construct predictive models to identify sectors, firms and establishments where workers are at high risk of wage theft, violation of paid-sick leave protections, inadequate breaktime, and inadequate advance notice of scheduling. They will contribute to the development of a proof-of-concept tool for a target low-wage industry and work with collaborating state labor enforcement agencies to field test the methods. In all, this work will involve significant data construction, computational analysis, managing relationships with non-academic collaborators, and contributing to co-authored presentations and papers.



The post-doctoral fellow would work closely with the PIs as well as 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 Weil. The post-doctoral fellow would be encouraged to co-author with Schneider and Weil as well as maintain an ongoing program of independent research.


  • Applicants should have or expect to have a PhD by September 3rd, 2024.
  • Experience designing and carrying out rigorous research using one or more of the following methods: field experiments, quasi-experimental analysis of existing administrative or survey data, computational methods
  • Background in machine learning prediction models and programming experience with R or Python
  • Substantive expertise in topics including labor standards violation, industrial relations, labor economics, and sociology of work
  • Highly organized, professional, and motivated
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication


How to Apply

Send an email to with the subject line “Strategic Enforcement Project Post-Doctoral Fellow Application” followed by your first and last name (e.g., “Strategic Enforcement Project Fellow Application – Jane Doe”).

Attach the following documents as a single PDF:

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


Compensation and Benefits

  • Wiener Center Fellows receive a competitive salary and are eligible for Harvard University’s partially subsidized healthcare options in which an individual can enroll and purchase medical, dental, and vision insurance plans. Other benefits include life insurance, long-term disability, and tuition assistance program (after eligibility of service at Harvard). Fellows are also able to take advantage of a broad array of activities including academic seminars, Forums, networking opportunities and special events.
  • Professor Schneider and Professor Weil value having a diverse research team and encourage applications from individuals from women, people of color and from other groups which historically have been underrepresented in the field of economics, labor studies, and sociology.
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will not be considered complete until all elements are received. Applications must be received by January 8th, 2024 to receive full consideration. Applicants selected to move forward in the recruitment process may be required to complete a technical exercise and participate in multiple interviews.