Erb Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity – University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

The Opportunity

Erb Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Erb Institute sits between the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School for Environment & Sustainability at the University of Michigan. The Erb Institute is focused on addressing the world’s sustainability challenges by motivating and shaping the private sector – and the markets within which they operate –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.

We are now accepting  applications from talented and creative early-career scholars who will conduct high-quality and impactful research, participate in seeking extramural funding related to their research, write jointly-authored and peer-reviewed articles, and contribute content for a broad array of audiences under the Erb Institute’s research and engagement banners. Review of applications will begin in January 2020, and will continue until the position(s) is filled.

We seek scholars whose research and academic interests sit – from a contextual or theoretical perspective – at the nexus of sustainability and the private or impact (i.e., non-profit) sectors. In addition, we seek postdoctoral fellows who will conduct research, while in residence at the Erb Institute, in areas that are closely aligned with the scholarly work and interests of one (or more) of the Erb Institute’s faculty affiliates, including, but not limited to, Drs. Joe Árvai, Andy Hoffman, Tom Lyon and Sara Soderstrom. Selected postdoctoral fellow(s) will be mentored by one of these professors.

This year, the Erb Institute is particularly interested in recruiting:

  • An applicant with an economics background and strong empirical research skills (and/or strong micro-theory skills), training in environmental and resource economics, and an interest in firm-level environmental performance. Suitable research topics would include – but are not limited to – regulatory compliance and impact, nonmarket strategy (such as greenwashing, the creation of front groups, corporate lobbying, constituency-building), firm responses to social movement pressures, sustainability certification programs, heterogeneity in facility-level environmental performance, and sustainability transition; and/or
  • An applicant with a management and organizations background coupled with strong empirical research skills (qualitative and/or quantitative) and an interest in corporate environmental and social performance. Suitable topics may include – but are not limited to – social movements and organizational change, internal organizational activists, public-private partnerships, and the intersection of sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Applicants must be at the beginning of their academic careers, having received their Ph.D. or comparable degree between September 1, 2018, and August 31, 2020. Individuals holding current academic positions at a rank above postdoctoral 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.

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

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

To Apply

To apply, applicants must submit – in a single, collated PDF document – by 17:00 ET on January 6, 2020:

  • A brief cover letter (maximum two pages), which provides a summary of the applicant’s PhD research and career goals, and outlines how an Erb Institute postdoctoral 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 wishes to develop or conduct while in residence; the proposal must both address challenges or opportunities at the intersection of Sustainability and the private or impact (i.e., non-profit) sectors and align with research interests of one (or more) of the Erb Institute’s faculty affiliates. In the proposal, applicants are asked to indicate with a rationale the professor (Árvai, Hoffman, Lyon or Soderstrom) they envision themselves working with. Proposals that draw on insights from more than one scholarly discipline are 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 the 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 exceptions, letters of recommendation must also be received by the deadline on January 6, 2020.

NB: Incomplete applications, including those with missing recommendation letters, will not be reviewed.

Application materials, including letters of recommendation, should be sent via email to: