Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies supports a transdisciplinary postdoctoral research training fellowship program funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. The Center is committed to supporting the professional development of research scientists, preparing them to conduct rigorous and relevant research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge, theory and methodology in the field of early childhood studies.

Our fellowship program provides core competencies and apprenticeships and offers a variety of research areas for specialization training in early intervention and early learning in special education.

“I especially appreciate the individualized mentoring, attention and support that I received from Dr. Snyder, whom I consider my ‘academic mother.’ Dr. Snyder has always made herself available to support my research interests and projects, my future career and me.”


Li “Emily” Luo

Ph.D. in Special Education and
Early Childhood Studies, 2017

Program Requirements

The fellowship program has been designed for those who have recently received the Ph.D. or are early-career scholars who are interested in augmenting their training in early childhood studies as well as receiving advanced training in quantitative methods and applied measurement. The fellowship carries a competitive stipend, full-time benefits, including health insurance, funds for professional travel and research start-up costs.

Interested applicants should send the following materials to Principal Investigator and Training Director, Dr. Patricia Snyder, at

  • A letter of interest (including a summary of research interests and career goals)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Doctoral program transcripts
  • At least two publications or working papers
  • Three letters of recommendation

Program Completion:

~2 Years

Accepting Applications:


Degree Required:



Competencies and Apprenticeships

Postdoctoral research fellows are supported through an individualized situated learning and apprenticeship approach to accelerate initial career trajectories by augmenting and extending their knowledge, skills and interests. At least two faculty members mentor each fellow: one with substantive expertise in early intervention and early learning in special education and one with expertise in research methodology and measurement.

Core Competencies

Three interrelated core competency areas are provided:

  • Policies and practices in early intervention and early learning in special education
  • Theories, conceptual frameworks and theories of change that guide investigations and inform measurement developments in the field
  • Advanced research methods, analyses and applied measurement in focused content areas

Programs of research available to the fellows include, but are not limited to, these areas:

  • Professional development interventions to support implementation of evidence-based practices in natural and inclusive early learning settings
  • Early interventions to support young children’s social-emotional competence and address challenging behavior
  • Learning of young children with disabilities, including autism
  • Development and validation of early intervention assessment measures
  • Perinatal risk, promotive and protective factors in relation to early childhood social, behavioral and developmental outcomes
  • Applications of advanced research designs, methods and applied measurement, including methods to strengthen causal inference in longitudinal analyses with large nationally representative datasets and statistical inferences from multilevel analyses in cross-sectional and longitudinal datasets
Training Apprenticeship

Mentorship and apprenticeship activities will be conducted within the context of the research projects being conducted by core fellowship faculty. The roles fellows assume in these projects are guided by an individualized fellowship training plan (IFTP). In addition, fellows participate in biweekly postdoctoral research group meetings attended by fellows, core faculty and doctoral students.

Fellows have opportunities to access courses and seminars, participate in specialized trainings and participate in field-based experiences across the three core competency areas that relate to their IFTP. Fellows will be supported in the second year of their program to submit competitive applications for research funding from the Institute of Education Sciences or other relevant sources.