Opportunities for Graduate Students

IRLE offers many opportunities for students to engage with and produce top-level research on labor and employment at UC Berkeley.

IRLE Dissertation Fellowship

IRLE 2017-2018 Dissertation Fellowship

The IRLE Dissertation Fellowship provides funding for doctoral students writing dissertations relating to labor and employment. The fellowship provides a stipend of $16,000 and in-state tuition and fees for the 2017-18 academic year. Recipients must be conducting research related to IRLE’s mission and commit to engaging with IRLE’s activities during the academic year (see irle.berkeley.edu for more about IRLE’s mission and programs). IRLE seeks to promote an interdisciplinary research culture focused on improving the lives of working people, and awards fellowships in a wide range of disciplines.

Application materials should be emailed to IRLE Program Assistant Charlotte Rutty at charlotterutty@berkeley.edu. Recommendation letters should come directly from the advisor. All materials must be received by March 24. Decisions will be announced by late April.

2016-17 IRLE Dissertation Fellows

Caitlin Fox-Hodess

Bio: Caitlin Fox-Hodess is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley.
Research: Her research examines contemporary international solidarity among dockworkers’ unions in Europe and Latin America.
Dissertation Title: Dockworkers of the World Unite: Transnational Class Formation and the New Labor Internationalism


Mathias Poertner

Bio: Mathias Poertner is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at UC Berkeley.
Research: His research interests include comparative politics, political economy, political representation, labor politics, multi-method research, and causal inference. His research analyzes how different types of linkages forged between diverse class-based organizations, such as labor unions, informal sector unions, and peasant unions, and new political parties shape the degree and form of institutionalization of these new parties, i.e. whether they are able, over time, to take root in society, establish stable ties with voters, successfully compete in elections.
Dissertation Title: Changing World of Work, Societal Linkages, and New Political Parties in Latin America

Learn more about Mathias Poertner on his personal website.


Jeff Sorensen

Bio: Jeff Sorensen is a PhD Candidate in Economics at UC Berkeley.
Research: Jeff specializes in labor economics. His research interests include job loss and the role of firms in workers’ labor-market outcomes. He estimates the layoff rules of 4,400 downsizing establishments and find significant trends in layoff rules over time and the business cycle. I then use my estimated layoff rules to test a model of asymmetric employer learning, finding that workers laid off using seniority layoff rules experience smaller earnings losses, since these layoffs do not serve as a negative signal of workers’ productivity.
Dissertation Title: Layoff rules and the cost of job loss: Testing for asymmetric employer learning

Learn more about Jeff Sorensen on his personal website.

Weekly Seminar and Meeting Space

IRLE holds a regular lunch seminar, usually Wednesdays at 12pm, on a variety of topics presented by faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars. We also provide seminar space for faculty and students to hold events. If you would like to use our space contact Charlotte Rutty: (510) 642-3651, charlotterutty@berkeley.edu.

Sign up for IRLE News

To receive updates about IRLE events, funding opportunities, and events on campus related to labor and employment, sign up today: