Job Announcements

Postdoctoral Scholar, Criminal Justice Research Center
The Criminal Justice Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University seeks a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar to work with Professor Derek Kreager of the Department of Sociology and Criminology on corrections and reentry research, especially as it operates at the intersection of social capital, stigma and health. Consideration of applications begins immediately and will continue until a candidate is selected, with the goal of start in the spring/summer of 2024. Please see the following link for more information about the position and to apply.
Postdoctoral Scholar in Sentencing Research and Policy


The Criminal Justice Research Center (CJRC) and Department of Sociology and Criminology at The Pennsylvania State University invite applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar position to begin August 1, 2024, or as soon as practical thereafter. The successful applicant will collaborate with the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing on research related to sentencing guidelines, risk and needs assessment (development and validation of tools), pre-trial release, parole, and related topics.

Applications are encouraged from both current Ph.D. candidates (an appointment to the position is contingent on completing all requirements for the degree by the appointment date) and scholars who have completed the Ph.D. A Ph.D. in criminal justice, criminology, sociology, economics, public policy, or a related field is required.

Preference will be given to candidates with advanced training in statistics, experience working with large administrative datasets, and/or an exemplary interest in applied research, and to those with research interests in courts or sentencing and with a knowledge of, or practical experience with, program evaluation.

In addition, successful candidates must either have demonstrated a commitment to building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community, or describe one or more ways they would envision doing so, given the opportunity.

Key responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Scholar will include collaborating with the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing (Commission) staff to address legislative mandates; empirically assessing sentencing policy and/or conducting program evaluations (e.g., examining the effectiveness of state and county sentencing programs); working closely with criminal justice stakeholders; assisting in data collection and data management; preparing grant proposals, manuscripts, and conference presentations; and participating in graduate student mentoring.

In addition to Commission-specific projects, the scholar will have flexibility to conduct independent research related to sentencing, access to sentencing commission data and data from other criminal justice partners (e.g., Department of Corrections; Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts; local probation offices), and opportunities for research collaboration with Penn State faculty.

The Postdoctoral Scholar position is fully funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing ( The Commission on Sentencing is a legislative agency responsible for advancing effective, humane, and rational policies that promote fairer and more uniform decisions at sentencing, resentencing, and parole. The Commission maintains a research and data analysis unit that undertakes research and evaluations of the effectiveness of various criminal justice programs and policies, conducts impact analyses, and serves as a clearinghouse and information center for the collection, preparation, and dissemination of information on Commonwealth sentencing, resentencing, and parole practices.

The Commission is affiliated with the Department of Sociology and Criminology at The Pennsylvania State University (University Park Campus) and maintains an active research partnership with the CJRC. The CJRC ( has an outstanding portfolio of faculty affiliates, seed funding opportunities, and externally funded ongoing research projects. The Department of Sociology and Criminology is ranked among the top in the nation and provides graduate and undergraduate programs focused specifically on crime and the criminal justice system.

This is a term appointment for one year with a possibility of renewal. More information on the benefits offered with this position can be found at

Interested candidates must submit an online application and should include a letter of interest and CV. If selected as a finalist for the position, recommendation letters will be requested. For more information about the position, please contact Dr. Megan Kurlychek (

Penn State is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help then thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

View the job posting here.