Applied Research Fellowship

The deadline for the Second Cohort (2024) has passed.

Housed within the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, the Collaborative for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) is an alliance of educational, philanthropic and research institutions aiming to provide improved data and scholarship relevant to the practical needs of American Jewish educational and communal institutions.

CASJE annually recruits fellows for its post-doctoral training program in applied research. This program prepares individuals to conduct applied social scientific research related to contemporary Jewish education and Jewish communal life. Individuals with earned doctorates are welcome to apply at any stage in their career.


Learn more about the Applied Research Fellowship >


The fellowship program, led by CASJE at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, aims to prepare scholars to meet the research needs of American Jewish educational and communal organizations, to thereby expand the pipeline of researchers positioned to conduct critical, high-quality applied research in Jewish education and contemporary Jewish life.

Fellowships run for two years. Fellows will receive an annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits.


Candidates for the fellowship hold completed doctorates and bring an interest in learning to conduct applied studies in American Jewish education and Jewish communal life. Fellows must have training in and facility with social science research methods from fields including education, sociology, psychology, political science, or economics. Fellows must be legally permitted to work in the USA.

CASJE especially encourages applicants who are from or whose research focuses on traditionally under-represented Jewish communities.

Faculty Mentors

Fellows will be matched with distinguished mentors who will advise and help guide their work. In Year 1, fellows work up to 12 hours a week on a mentor’s existing projects. In Year 2, fellows dedicate their attention primarily to conducting an original applied research project in conjunction with a Jewish organization, under the guidance of the fellowship director, with additional input from the fellow’s faculty mentor.

The following mentor placements are available for the 2024-2026 cohort:

  • Briana Barocas, New York University (in-residence or remote)
    • Areas of Expertise: The study of violence, trauma, resiliency, and recovery, gender relations, restorative justice.
    • Active projects: Studying a restorative justice approach, the Circles of Peace model, to address domestic violence and other crimes; Evaluating how crime victims experience perceptions of healing when engaging in restorative justice.
    • Facets of applied research mentor can support: Randomized controlled trials, qualitative studies, mixed methods research design, evaluation, studies using secondary sources of data.
    • Requirements: Candidates should have basic methodological training (qualitative or quantitative).
  • Amy Berman, Deputy Director of the National Academy of Education (NAEd), (in residence or remote)
    • Areas of expertise: Civil rights law, education civil rights law, education policy.
    • Active projects: The current research projects at the NAEd include: Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs; Educating for Civic Reasoning and Discourse; The Implementation and Use of Balanced Assessment Systems; Addressing Educational Inequities in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
    • Facets of applied research mentor can support: Consensus building with stakeholders, designing research for strategic impact, developing shared research agendas, communicating with educational leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders, literature reviews, interviews and focus groups.
    • Requirements: Candidates should have basic methodological training (qualitative or quantitative).
  • Eric Grodsky, University of Wisconsin-Madison (in-residence or remote)
    • Areas of expertise: Education, social stratification, social demography, quantitative methods.
    • Active projects: Projects currently under development with the Madison Metropolitan School District, one on the design and effects of a tutoring intervention for middle school mathematics and another on professional development for preschool teachers.
    • Facets of applied research mentor can support: Educational policy, anything with quasi-experimental designs applied to secondary data.
    • Requirements: Candidates should have some basic understanding of statistics (ideally at least through least squared regression).
  • Eitan Hersh, Tufts University (in-residence or remote)
    • Areas of expertise: Elections, civic engagement, antisemitism
    • Active projects: Political role of business leaders; studies in antisemitism; civic/religious attitudes of young adults; voting rights.
    • Applied research skills mentor can support: Surveys, administrative data analysis.
    • Requirements: Candidates should be proficient in data analysis using Stata or R.
  • Michal Kurlaender, UC Davis (remote preferred, in-residence possible)
    • Areas of expertise: Educational pathways, access to and success in higher education
    • Active projects: Middle school to college/career pathways; expansion in dual enrollment opportunities across California high schools; community college student success; evaluation of state policies addressing inequities in college access and degree attainment.
    • Facets of applied research mentor can support: Policy studies, descriptive studies, quasi-experimental designs.
    • Requirements: Candidates should have basic methodological training (qualitative or quantitative).
  • Rebecca Lowenhaupt, Boston College (In-residence is preferred; remote is possible)
    • Areas of Expertise: Educational leadership and policy in practice, with a focus on immigrant education.
    • Active projects: Evaluating design features of the research-practice partnership with a local public school district; setting up data systems for analyzing outcomes of the initiative, and integrating youth leadership in this systems-level initiative; A study of district leadership practices to support immigrant-origin students; A study of school principals navigating conflict and social change in polarized contexts, specifically looking at practices to promote equity in the face of resistance from community, family and even staff members.
    • Facets of applied research mentor can support: Critical policy analysis, social network analysis, school staffing survey methods, in-depth case study and interview analysis, mixed-methods research design.
    • Requirements: Candidates should have basic methodological training (qualitative or quantitative).

Outline of Program

The program offers fellows financial support, mentorship, a cohort learning experience and the opportunity to conduct original applied research that engages with timely and critical Jewish educational and communal questions.

The second fellowship cohort will begin in July 2024 and run through June 2026. They are full-time,12-month positions. Appointments are initially for one year with renewal for a subsequent year based on satisfactory performance.

Key elements of the fellowship program:

  1. Applied research project: In partnership with a Jewish community-based organization, fellows design and carry out an applied research project, guided by the fellowship director.
  2. Cohort-based learning: Fellows participate in a seminar and practicum focused on conducting applied research responsive to the questions of Jewish communal organizations.
  3. Advancing research capacity: Individually tailored opportunities to further develop research skills, designed with a faculty mentor and the fellowship director. Year 1 includes up to 12 hours a week supporting mentor research.
  4. Annual in-person workshop: Every year the fellows and mentors gather for 2-day meeting on George Washington University’s campus.


Applicants must have an earned doctorate before the application deadline or a signed letter from the advisor specifically stating they are on track to defend no later than March 1, 2024 (The letter should include milestones and timeline for completion.) Note: this position cannot be offered to a candidate without documentation of a successful defense by March 1, 2024.

Candidates who hold a doctorate outside of the social sciences must demonstrate in their application the skills and capacities to conduct applied social science research.

Fellows must be US-based. They must be legally permitted to work in the USA. All research must be based in the USA. CASJE will not sponsor individuals for visas.

Submitting the Application

Please note: The deadline for the second cohort (2024) has passed.

Please email [email protected] with your intention to apply. We will provide information to access the GW application portal.

Following, applicants should submit the following documents via the GW application portal:

  • CV
  • Statement of Interest (max. 3-5 pages) in this fellowship program. Include in your essay a response to the following prompts:
    • Explain your interest in developing applied research skills regarding American Jewish education, culture, and communal life and how it relates to your own professional goals.
    • Share your understanding of and approach to applied research.
    • Identify an issue or challenge faced by a particular American Jewish organization or program. Describe a study that could be undertaken to address this particular concern specifying its focus and methods.
    • Indicate which mentor/s you would like to work with and what you hope to gain by working with them.
  • An academic writing sample of no more than 30 pages
  • Letters of recommendation:
    • Submit 2 confidential letters of recommendation that speak to the candidate’s research capacity. These should be emailed to: [email protected].
    • Please instruct recommenders to include the applicant's LastName_FirstName FELLOWSHIP2023 in the subject field.

All materials, including recommendation letters, must be received no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, December 17, 2023.

Selected candidates will be notified in late January 2024 and invited for a virtual interview. Selection of fellows will be made by April 2024.

For any uploaded documents, please use 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced with one-inch margins.


CASJE (Collaborative for Applied Studies in Jewish Education) is an alliance of researchers, practitioners, and philanthropic leaders dedicated to improving the quality of knowledge that can be used to guide the work of Jewish education. Our mission is to ensure that the field of Jewish education has the capacity to develop, use and share research-based evidence to fuel improvements in teaching and learning. CASJE works with partners who see the value of research-informed evidence to guide investments in Jewish communal life. Founded at Stanford University, CASJE’s programmatic home has been in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University since 2016. CASJE’s work is guided by an Advisory Board that includes Jewish educational leaders with a deep understanding of the diverse arenas in which Jewish education happens today and scholars of education from Boston College, Brandeis University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Vanderbilt University.

The CASJE Applied Research Fellowship in Jewish Education is sponsored by a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation.