PACS news / May 22, 2024

Pre-doctoral Research Fellow in Organizational Sociology and Social Innovation

Supervisors: Christof Brandtner (emlyon business school) and Woody Powell (Stanford University)

Timeline: Starting in summer or fall 2024.

The InvEnt Research Center on Innovation & Entrepreneurship at emlyon business school, in collaboration with the Civic Life of Cities Lab (CLC) affiliated with the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, seeks to hire a dedicated, highly motivated, and analytically minded full-time Pre-doctoral Research Fellow to contribute to our dynamic research on organizational sociology, social innovation, and urban studies.

This position is full-time, fixed-term appointment for 1 year (potentially extensible to a second year), and an exceptional opportunity for those aspiring to a career in academia, specifically in sociology, organization theory, management, or sustainability. If you want to pursue an academic career in either of these fields, this position is for you!

Through research on nonprofits and the communities they serve, CLC brings together scholars from around the world to understand the organizational building blocks of a vibrant civil society. Our researchers include scholars at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, the Universities of Hawaii, the University of Memphis, WU Vienna, UNSW, HKUST, CUHK, and emlyon business school. The lab’s research has included work of the highest quality on the transformation of the nonprofit sector, strategic management in mission-driven organizations, digitalization and transparency, professional expertise, urban integration, resilience and sustainability in the nonprofit sector, cross-sector collaboration, and organizational hybridity, among others. For more information, see

The position is geographically located at emlyon business school, a mission-driven business school with a focus on sustainability, located on a brand-new campus in the heart of Lyon, France. While the presence in Lyon during the entire period is appreciated, the role accommodates remote working and flexible scheduling to facilitate collaboration with our global partners and a travel budget. The French temporary work contract (CDD) is visa eligible.

What we are looking for


  • Assist in designing and implementing research on the transformation of the nonprofit sector globally, with a focus on global metropolitan areas.
  • Conduct comprehensive literature reviews for papers and grant applications.
  • Handle data-related tasks, including supplementary data collection, cleaning, and coding of interviews.
  • Administrative support for the lab, including scheduling monthly meetings and managing a data repository.
  • Other duties may be assigned. There are opportunities to develop individual research projects and co-author studies as well.


  • Completed undergraduate or master’s degree by the start date and a proven interest in social science research, including sociology, management, urban studies, political science, and economics. This position does not require a PhD.
  • You must effectively communicate in written and oral English; French language skills are not mandatory.
  • A high level of reliability and at least some proficiency in project and data management.
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and collaborative skills.
  • Ability to engage in complex research activities and data analysis. Quantitative research skills in Stata or R are appreciated but not required.


  • A decent salary commensurate with the cost of living in Lyon.
  • Work on emlyon’s brand-new Gerland campus in the heart of Lyon—a scenic, walkable, and affordable city renowned for its culinary excellence.
  • Collaborate with leading scholars from emlyon business school and other research-intensive institutions including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, the University of Hawaii, the University of Memphis, WU Vienna, UNSW, HKUST, and CUHK.
  • Mentoring and support for applying to top Ph.D. programs in sociology, organization theory, management, sustainability, or related fields.

If you are passionate about learning about and contributing to meaningful research that bridges organizational sociology, social innovation, and urban studies, and you seek to learn more about research in an intellectually stimulating environment with a global reach, we encourage you to apply.


Please send a cover letter explaining your motivation and fit with the position, your CV or resumé, (unofficial) academic transcripts, and names of 2 academic (preferred) or professional references to, with the subject line “2024 CLC pre-doc application”. A writing sample (e.g., thesis or essay for a class) is encouraged but not mandatory. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Review of applications begins on May 28, and shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview. The position will be filled as soon as possible.