Mellon Just Transformations Postdoctoral Fellowship
Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
March 21, 2023
Post date: March 21, 2022

Mellon Just Transformations Postdoctoral Fellowship

Penn State University is in its second year of a 3.1 million dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support its Just Transformations Initiative. This grant allows us to expand existing programs and new initiatives focused on Black studies, racial justice, and diversifying academic communities and pipelines. The College of the Liberal Arts seeks applications from recent PhDs to mid-career scholars who wish to advance their research or expand their digital and public-facing scholarship.

We seek fellows who hail from historically underrepresented racial minority (URM) groups - including African Americans, Latinxs, and Native Americans (as well as those with a deep and demonstrated commitment to diversity in the academy whose research also focuses on the consequences of racial inequities, barriers to racial equality, and democratic social change and transformation). Up to four post-doctoral fellowships will be available for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. Fellowships carry a possibility of a one-year renewal.

As Just Transformations post-docs, fellows will identify a department or research center (as detailed below) with which to affiliate. Please indicate your preferred affiliation in the opening lines of your cover letter and provide any additional materials that may be required for consideration, as described below. Post-docs affiliated with a Center will also have the opportunity to become affiliated with a department. Just Transformations post-docs will enjoy the support of the College of the Liberal Arts' Office of Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship team (including the Initiative's Digital Liberal Arts Designer), and will have access to advanced training in digital methods as appropriate to their scholarly projects. No teaching is required for these fellowships, however teaching opportunities may be made available if the scholar wishes to pursue them.

Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk Fellow Affiliation: The Center for Black Digital Research (#DigBlk) is a public-facing research center that is committed to bringing the histories of nineteenth-century Black organizing to digital life through collaborative scholarship and project-based research. The center is home to the award-winning Colored Conventions Project (CCP), Douglass Day, and the Black Women's Organizing Archive. Postdocs who join #DigBlk will work with an interdisciplinary, cross-institutional team of 25-30 members who meet regularly on collaborative research projects that include digital archive-building, exhibit making, crowd-sourced transcription projects, community-arts partnerships, and scholarly and digital editions. Applicants for #DigBlk are encouraged to explain their interests and experience in working on team-based, archive-building projects that use digital methods to introduce new scholarly and public audiences to the history of Black organizing in the long nineteenth century. Successful applicants will be distinguished by their scholarly excellence, commitment to social justice research and work, and by how their interests align with the central values and work of #DigBlk's mission.

Departmental affiliation: Departmental affiliations are available with the departments of African American Studies, English, History, and Philosophy. Applicants seeking a departmental affiliation should indicate how their scholarship contributes to their discipline(s), connects with the research strengths of the relevant Penn State department, and furthers the goals of the Just Transformations Initiative. Successful applicants will be distinguished by their scholarly excellence, commitment to social justice research and work, and by how their interests connect with those of other scholars in the department at Penn State.

Just Transformations applicants should have their Ph.D. in hand by August 2022. Applications should include (1) a cover page indicating what department or Center you seek affiliation/placement with (2) a CV (3) contact information for two references, and (4) a letter describing your work, how you would contribute to the goals of the Just Transformations initiative, and how your participation in this project would further your professional development. In addition, successful candidates must either have demonstrated a commitment to building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community, or describe one or more ways they would envision doing so, given the opportunity. It is expected that the fellow will be in residence at Penn State for the full academic year and contribute to the Just Transformations initiative by participating in the intellectual life of the campus, working with faculty and students, attending symposia and events, and contributing to Just Transformations or affiliated Center/Department meetings and discussions. The fellowship stipend is $70,000 plus benefits with moving and research fund.

Apply online by April 20
Review of applications will begin after April 20 and continue until the fellowships are awarded.

Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Penn State is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

Apply online at

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Review Begins: 
April 20, 2022

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