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Career Advice Opinion

Help Wanted: Seeking Rising Star to Become AEI Research Fellow

By Rick Hess — January 16, 2015 2 min read
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I’ve got a cool new opportunity for someone to join my edu-team at AEI. I’m looking for a research fellow to come and tackle K-12 issues. This is the job that Mike McShane has successfully inhabited for a while now, and it’s like the job that launched Andrew Kelly on a path toward his current position as director of CHER here at AEI. The new Fellow will have the opportunity to work with a program and research team that, I’m firmly convinced, is the most talented, most disciplined, smartest, hardest-working, and nicest in the nation. It’ll be a chance to work with a fantastic team on important questions, and to do so at a phenomenally supportive and intellectually vibrant institution. All in all, a pretty sweet gig for the right candidate.

The new hire won’t have to raise money or sit in committee meetings. What he or she will do is tackle a range of intriguing K-12 projects, dealing with issues like entrepreneurship, higher ed productivity, philanthropy, mobilizing parents, the future of the teaching profession, ESEA reauthorization, technology, K-12 leadership, citizenship, state- and district-level reform, and much else (the mix would be, in part, a matter of interest). The right candidate will be ready to take the reins on a handful of projects, collaborate on research and writing, pursue their own lines of inquiry, collect data, provide incisive editing, write for scholarly and more general audiences, and welcome the chance to become a public thinker and speaker.

We’re open to pre-docs, post-docs, junior faculty, or newish Ph.D.'s currently ensconced in some other setting. We are flexible on disciplinary and methodological background, though comfort with quantitative analysis is essential. The candidate needs to have sharp writing, analytic, editing, organizational, and interpersonal skills and should be a dynamic thinker willing to challenge convention and eager to pioneer new lines of research or analysis.

For more information, you can see the official job description here, and here’s a slightly fuller description from our current Fellow, Mike McShane:

In large part, the job would be what you’d make of it. The vast majority of your time is yours to pursue your individual research agenda. The final product of such research could be white papers (which could be converted to journal articles if you are so inclined), books, book chapters, or a host of other possible media. We have grant writers on staff to help secure funding for whatever projects you’re interested in, ample research assistance in the form of a team of 5 top flight RAs, a media relations team to get your ideas into the public consciousness, and a government relations team to get your ideas on the desks of policymakers. While working on your agenda, you would also be expected to comment on relevant news of the day through blog posts or op-eds. Beyond research, you would play a part in some or all (as much as you want to contribute) of the convenings that we host here, from keynote addresses to private working groups. As your stature rises, you would be asked to participate in panels or be interviewed on television or radio, which you can do as much as you are comfortable.

If this sounds like something for you, or if you’ve got someone to recommend, please contact our offices via my astonishingly competent program manager Max Eden an email at max.eden@aei.org.

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