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Postdoctoral Fellowship

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The Equity in Early Education Postdoctoral (E3) Fellowship Program trains the next generation of scholars to conduct research toward equitable, impactful, and sustainable early childhood care and education systems.


Application open: Early October 2022
Application deadline: December 1, 2022
Start date: Flexible, summer-fall 2023
Duration: 2 years


Why the E3 fellowship program? 

To reduce racial and economic inequalities in early childhood, the next generation of scholars will need to collaborate with communities and educational partners to co-produce a base of interdisciplinary scientific evidence. 

This program, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and housed at the Stanford Center on Early Childhood, is designed to train fellows to conduct work that is 

  • equity-focused—centering systemic equity as an outcome 
  • interdisciplinary—examining individual development in the context of structural racial and economic inequality using a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches 
  • responsive—centering the needs of children, families, the early childhood workforce, and other community stakeholders to co-develop new and effective practices, programs, and policies

What does the program consist of? 

The program will provide two years of support to four fellows. Fellows will train and work with four core faculty mentors at Stanford Graduate School of Education and have opportunities to collaborate with two faculty affiliates at the Stanford School of Medicine. 

Our postdoctoral fellows will work on active faculty projects examining 

  • the effects of disparities in structural early childhood care and education (ECCE) opportunities
  • heterogeneous effects of ECCE practices, programs, and policies 
  • the importance of children’s and caregivers’ experiences, contexts, and identities 
  • conceptualization and assessment of developmental outcomes. 

All projects are embedded in established education research-practice partnerships and collaborations with community organizations. These partnerships provide fellows with opportunities to learn to collaborate with practitioners and policymakers to identify urgent questions of practical relevance and to design studies to test pragmatic solutions, analyze data, and disseminate findings and implications.  

The program will also provide fellows with training in presenting and publishing their empirical research, communicating their work to policymakers and non-academic audiences, grant-writing, and effective strategies for navigating the job market. Fellows will attend seminars and speaker series and will be able to audit courses offered by the GSE to 

Core faculty

Jelena Obradović, Program Director
Graduate School of Education

 Philip Fisher 
Graduate School of Education

Francis Pearman
Graduate School of Education

 sean reardon
Graduate School of Education

Affiliated faculty

Lisa Chamberlain 
School of Medicine

Ryan Padrez 
School of Medicine

Who should apply?

The goal of the E3 program is to address issues of equity in applied early childhood settings by promoting skills and experiences adjacent and complementary to those that fellows received during their doctoral training.

This program is for you if you have substantive experience working with research-practice partnerships in community settings or developing curricula or interventions but lack rigorous quantitative evaluation methods training. Or if you have demonstrated disciplinary knowledge and a strong background in applied statistics, but lack experience addressing policy-relevant questions, analyzing large datasets, or working in applied settings.

Applicants from non-traditional backgrounds including, but not limited to, first generation students, veterans, and BIPOC students, are especially encouraged to apply. This is a federally-sponsored training program and applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States to be eligible. New postdocs must be in residence at the beginning of their appointment per university policy.

Required qualifications:

  • an interest in expanding research skills and experience to address issues of equity in applied early childhood settings
  • a PhD or EdD in education, developmental psychology, economics, sociology, or a related field within two years of the date of application
  • a track record of successfully completing several quantitative methods or mixed method graduate courses
  • a dissertation or published manuscript that relies on a quantitative or mixed-method approach with a broad focus on equity-related issues in education or early childhood development/education processes

How do I apply? 

Email the following application materials to earlychildhood@stanford.edu.

  • cover letter addressing requirements
  • research statement (2 pages max)
  • curriculum vitae
  • up to three scholarly publications and/or well-developed papers
  • names and contact information for three references

Review of applications will begin December 1, 2022.

Questions about the application process? Email Elizabeth Backus, administrative director of the Stanford Center on Early Childhood at ebackus@stanford.edu.