POSITION OPENING: Postdoctoral Associate

Position Title
: Postdoctoral Associate
Location: MIT STL Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab, Cambridge, MA
Start Date: August 2017
Application Deadline: June 10

Please visit stl.mit.edu to learn more about the lab’s program. Interested applicants must submit a CV or resume, cover letter, and three references with contact information to the search committee.

The STL Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab (stl.mit.edu), jointly housed in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the MIT Center for Real Estate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is seeking exceptional candidates to fill two postdoctoral positions. The STL Lab's mission is to pioneer research and education with the goal of creating a new generation of socially responsible entrepreneurs and academics in the fields of land, real estate and urban development, with a special focus on China. 


  • Conduct high-quality research on one of the topics listed below
  • Present research results at international workshops, conferences, and exhibits

  • Co-author articles for publication in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals
  • Coordinate lab’s online education initiatives. Serving as teaching assistant, assist the course production team to prepare teaching materials
  • Update lab’s website and social media by writing, editing, and posting content
  • Manage lab’s working paper series
  • Organize research seminars

Research Topics

1. Estimating Social Costs of Air Pollution in Urban China

Over the last 30 years, China has experienced sharp economic growth and significant local environmental degradation. Air pollution exposure has a direct effect on raising mortality and morbidity risk, reducing workers’ productivity, lowering students’ test performance, and otherwise impacting society in many dimensions. Pollution reduces the enjoyment of everyday life—people are more likely to be unhappy on a polluted day. It discourages outdoor social and leisure activities that can bring enjoyment, promote social interaction, and improve quality of life, which all contribute to the consumption value of cities. Different populations across cities and locations might be impacted differently, which has important implications for inequality. This project will take advantage of emerging location-based “big data” to empirically estimate such social costs, create some visualization tools to show the results to the public, and discuss the policy implications. The outcome of this project will be working papers for potential publication in international peer-reviewed journals.

2. Evaluating the Impacts of Major Land, Urban and Sustainability Policies in China

Today, roughly 700 million people live in Chinese cities. Over the next 30 years, an additional 300 million Chinese people are likely to move to these cities. This project will evaluate China’s recent efforts to achieve the dual goals of urban economic growth and enhanced environmental sustainability. Both growth and “blue skies” have key implications for urban real estate markets.  The project will explore land property rights, urban infrastructure investments, and urban planning, with a focus on the consequences of land policy reform and a set of place-based investments such as subways, highways, high-speed rails, and industrial park construction.  The project will examine how such policies respond to Chinese households’ rising demand for quality of life, and whether such demand creates enough incentive for the central government and local governments to mitigate negative externalities. The outcome of this project will be working papers for potential publication in international peer-reviewed journals.


  • Ph.D in urban planning, urban studies, urban and/or environmental economics, real estate economics, or related field

  • Excellent project management, analytical, problem-solving and organizational skills
  • Proven ability to conduct independent research
  • Leadership skills and ability to thrive in a diverse, team-oriented environment
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of multi-disciplinary teams