Postdoctoral Researchers



The Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University invites applications to fill three two-year postdoctoral researcher positions. Successful applicants may come from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, communications, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, public affairs/administration, public policy, sociology, and other disciplines that engage international security broadly conceived. Each postdoctoral researcher will be assigned to work with one of our interdisciplinary research clusters. Successful applicants will be expected to devote up to 20 hours per week to cluster-related activities. Postdoctoral scholars will be mentored and supported in pursuing their individual research agendas during their remaining time. Responsibilities to the research clusters may include coordinating and supporting cluster research activities as well as opportunities to collaborate on cluster projects. Applicants must indicate which of the clusters they would like to consider their application, and all are welcome to request consideration by any or all of the research clusters. Applicants should expect to complete their Ph.D. by June 30, 2020. The two year term begins July 1, 2020.

The Research Clusters at the Mershon Center are:

Recovering from Violence

The collapse of societies in the wake of civil violence, international intervention, or war has become one of the most critical issues in international, national, and human security over the past two decades. The Recovering from Violence research cluster seeks to contribute to research and practice geared toward addressing these challenges. We plan to focus on transitional justice and the ways that it intersects with conflict stabilization, human rights, development, collective memory, displacement, psychosocial wellbeing, peacebuilding, and reconciliation — guided by our firm belief that the impacts of violence are multigenerational and interconnected. Our goal is to create a dynamic interdisciplinary forum for sharing knowledge and practices related to the recovery of societies from war and political violence.

Security and Governance

Good governance, democratic decision-making, rule of law, and stability and viability of international institutions and organizations have all become highly contested dimensions of international, national, and human security. The rise of “sharp power” employed by state actors reflects a new, increasingly adopted, modality of security policy targeting governance from the bottom up by driving anti-establishment/anti-expertise populism, nationalism, democratic dissatisfaction, and political and cultural polarization. Citizens, institutions, and organizations at all levels are challenged to manage these new arenas of conflict, as they have the potential to influence and destabilize established national and international institutions and norms that govern security broadly defined.

The Security and Governance cluster especially seeks applicants whose research centers on social media and mis/disinformation from a comparative or international relations perspective.  Proficiency and skills in computational social science, machine learning, text analysis, web scraping, data science, R, and python combined with experience in large-scale, complex data analysis is preferred.

American Foreign and Military Policy

The American foreign and military policy cluster focuses on the study of U.S. foreign relations, U.S. defense policy, and international relations, diplomacy, and war as they affect U.S. foreign policy and military affairs in both a contemporary and historical context. The cluster will examine these elements of power from both American and foreign viewpoints, in order to understand both the domestic drivers of policy and the impact of other nations on it. The cluster will examine foreign and military affairs holistically, along with all elements of power – diplomatic, economic, military, informational, financial, intelligence, cultural, and legal – that have an impact on them.  At present, the cluster is prioritizing U.S. relations with Russia.  This includes research on direct U.S.-Russian diplomacy and on their respective interests and strategies, as well as research on the indirect aspects of U.S.-Russian relations in various regional settings; for example, in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as long as the implications for U.S. foreign and/or military policy are clear.

Each researcher receives an annual stipend of $50,500, a $2,000 research fund, a designated Mershon affiliated faculty mentor, office space at the Mershon Center, and eligibility for university health insurance. 

Application Instructions

To apply for a Mershon Center postdoctoral fellowship, please follow the link to the job posting and submit the following to

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research statement addressing preferred cluster(s)
  • Three- to five-page double-spaced statement elaborating the purpose, method, anticipated products, and significance of the research.
  • Writing sample

Final candidates should be prepared to arrange for three letters of recommendation upon request

The Ohio State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with differing abilities are especially encouraged to apply.