Erb Institute, Center for Positive Organizations Post-Doctoral Fellowship Opportunity – University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

The Opportunity

Erb Institute, Center for Positive Organizations Post-Doctoral Fellowship

The Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise (Erb) at the University of Michigan, in partnership with the Michigan Ross Business School’s Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) seeks a post-doctoral scholar to help develop and lead a two-year research effort focusing on business sustainability change agents. Specifically, the post-doctoral scholar will conduct research on questions relate to the following topics:

  1. What tactics help change agents influence companies towards sustainability impact and thriving organizational culture? This may include advocating for new products and services, policies, or practices.
  2. How do change agents build their psychological resilience and maintain their motivation?

A key focus of this research will be on the development of theoretical frameworks and the generation of empirical findings that are translated into both academic publications and practical approaches, practices, interventions, and/or tools to be implemented in real-world corporate sustainability settings. This research will be conducted as a partnership among the Erb Institute, CPO, and a subject company committed to offering a research site and interested in applying the research findings within their own organization.

Supervision, support, and mentoring for this project will be provided by a consortium of faculty members affiliated with the Erb Institute and CPO – including Drs. Andy Hoffman, Jerry Davis and Sue Ashford – along with company partner(s), and the Erb institute and CPO staff members. The company partner(s) will provide guidance on the relevance of the research questions, secure access to the company leadership and enable data collection.

The post-doctoral fellow is responsible for designing and implementing an ambitious research plan, and connecting with company partner(s). The post-doctoral fellow will prepare and submit manuscripts for both peer-review academic outlets and practitioner outlets.  In addition, the post-doc will be expected to ensure dissemination of their research by sharing their research through various channels, such as speaking engagements at conferences, teaching opportunities, and publication of short blogs and videos.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows are appointed for two years They are expected to be in residence during the academic years of the fellowship, participate in the intellectual life of both the Erb Institute and CPO, and devote time to their independent research. If desired, classroom instruction may be included in the agreement, pending the availability of suitable teaching opportunities. Additional details about the expectations and responsibilities of post-doctoral fellows in the Erb Institute may be found here.

The annual stipend will be $65,000 based on an academic year, September 1 – August 31; a modest discretionary research fund will also be provided in addition to funds required for direct research expenses. Fellows are eligible for University employee benefits programs including health and life insurance options.

Required qualifications:

A PhD degree in organizational studies, psychology, business administration or a related subject area is required. Applicants must be at the beginning of their academic careers, having received their Ph.D. or comparable degree between September 1, 2016, and August 31, 2019. Individuals holding current academic positions at a rank above post-doctoral fellow are not eligible to apply. Fellowships are open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens providing they are eligible for an academic visa in the United States.

About the Erb Institute

The Erb Institute sits between the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School for Environment & Sustainability. The Erb Institute is focused on addressing the world’s sustainability challenges, broadly defined, by challenging and shaping markets and the private sector to become sources of positive solutions. The Erb Institute emphasizes through research, and champions through teaching and engagement, a leadership role for the private sector in bettering our world and our society. Researchers in the Erb Institute are global in their approach, think in terms of systems, and adopt a view of broad sustainability.

To Apply

Until February 1, 2019, applications will be accepted from scholars who have a demonstrated ability and potential to conduct high-quality and interdisciplinary research that is responsive to opportunity outlined above.

To apply, applicants must submit a single, collated PDF document by 17:00 ET on February 1, 2019 that includes:  

  • A brief cover letter (maximum two pages), which provides a summary of the applicant’s PhD research and career goals, and outlines how this post-doctoral fellowship will advance their career in sustainability research. For applicants who are currently doctoral candidates, please indicate the anticipated schedule of completion. A PhD or comparable degree is a prerequisite for this appointment;
  • A proposal (maximum five pages) outlining the research the applicant plans to conduct while in residence; the proposal must directly address the research opportunity outlined above. Please keep in mind that proposals will be read by scholars, practitioners, executives, and managers. Proposals that involve more than one discipline approach are especially welcome;
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae. As an addendum, applicants are asked to provide a list of courses taken while a graduate student (a transcript is not required); and
  • Two short (manuscript-length) examples of your written work.  One of these examples should reflect applicants’ dissertation research; however, applicants are asked to not send a copy of their dissertation.

Separate from these application materials, applicants must arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to the selection committee care of the email address below.  

Recommendation letters must be from individuals qualified to write about the applicant’s aptitude for the position.  Without exception, letters of recommendation must also be received by the deadline on February 1, 2019. Incomplete applications, including those with missing recommendation letters, will not be reviewed.

Application materials, including letters of recommendation, should be sent via email to: erb-cpo-postdoc@umich.eduOnly electronic submissions will be accepted.

Interviews will take place, and offers will be made to successful candidates in early 2019.

For more information:

About the Center for Positive Organizations

The Center for Positive Organizations, based at the Michigan Ross School of Business, is a world-class research center that brings transformational research to students and leaders through articles, books, events, tools, teaching, and organizational partnerships.

Since 2002, the Center has been the hub of research on Positive Organizational Scholarship. Our domains of research are Positive Culture, Positive Ethics and Virtues, Positive Leadership, Positive Meaning and Purpose, Positive Practices, and Positive Relationships in an organizational setting.

In 2010, The Academy of Management presented the Center for Positive Organizations with the Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award for opening up a new field of inquiry in management science. In 2012, The Academy presented the Center with the Research Center Impact Award in recognition of its extensive influence on management practices.

Our mission is to inspire and enable leaders to build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people.