2 Postdoctoral Researchers in ERC project EFFORT (3 years)

The research project «Effort and Social Inequality – Advancing Measurement and Understanding Parental Origin Effects» (EFFORT) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) is recruiting two Postdoctoral Researchers with a PhD in sociology, economics, psychology or similar. The project will be located at the Carlos III Juan March Institute (IC3JM), which is affiliated to the Department of Social Sciences of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). The positions are offered for three years, starting between March and September 2018.

The EFFORT project aims to understand the role of effort in the reproduction of social inequality. Specifically, the project addresses three research questions:
1) To what extent do children’s effort levels differ by parental socioeconomic background? (descriptive component)
2) Can existing disparities in effort by social background be explained by (a) the intergenerational transmission of effort from parents to children and (b) varying motivations and differential susceptibility to incentives? (analytical component)
3) What are the best techniques to measure cognitive effort and what are the strengths and weaknesses of measures routinely used in different scientific disciplines? (methodological component)

The project will develop and exploit cutting-edge methods of effort measurement. Effort dispositions will be further analyzed using existing (inter)national surveys. The project builds on collaborations with the Department of Economics of UC3M, the Department of Basic Psychology II of Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Two PhD students and an administrative assistant will also be part of the team.

Tasks to be carried out in the project include:
A. Designing and running economic and psychological experiments in Madrid and Berlin
B. Developing survey questionnaires
C. Coding and analyzing the collected data as well as secondary data sets such PISA, SOEP and NEPS
D. Publish the findings in international peer-reviewed outlets
E. Managing tasks, coordination and communication with stakeholders
F. Diffusion activities and social media outreach

Candidates are expected to have:
a) PhD in sociology, economics, psychology or a related field (or close to acquiring such a degree)
b) Publications in impact journals on topics related to the project themes (e.g. social stratification, intergenerational mobility, educational inequality, non-cognitive skills, cognitive psychology)
c) Interest and willingness to engage in interdisciplinary research
d) Previous experience with at least one the research methods used in the project (laboratory experiments, psychophysiological measurement, survey design, quantitative data analysis)
e) Working proficiency (minimum B2) of two out of the three languages used in the project: English, Spanish, German.
f) Flexibility, social skills and ability to work in an international team

Further valuable qualifications:
– Software skills: fluency in Stata, R, z-tree or E-Prime
– Experience in working with children
– Knowledge of data protection legislation, (bio)ethics or responsible research and innovation
– Theoretical economic modeling

Why apply? What is offered?
– The opportunity to work in an innovative research project funded within the prestigious ERC framework, the European Commission’s flagship program for excellent science
– Becoming a member of a new international and interdisciplinary research group
– Entering a young and growing research environment in state-of-the-art facilities (further information on the IC3JM and the Department of Social Sciences)
– Access to a novel data set offering a range of applications and avenues to high-profile publications
– Remuneration is competitive. Funds for research and conference travel are also available.
– No teaching obligations (but if desired, limited teaching on suitable courses can be arranged)
– Spending time in two of Europe’s most exciting cities (Madrid and Berlin)

The application should include a motivation letter describing the applicant’s own research interests in the field and how they relate to the project, a CV including a list of publications and manuscripts under review, and two writing samples (articles, thesis chapters or manuscripts). Two reference letters, or alternatively, the names of two referees should also be provided.

Further details are available upon request from Principal Investigator Jonas Radl (jradl@clio.uc3m.es) or Associate Professor Jan Stuhler (jstuhler@eco.uc3m.es). Applications must be submitted by 15 January 2018 via email to effort@clio.uc3m.es. Reference letters shall also be sent to the same address.