Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Occidental College
California, United States
$55,000.00 - $55,000.00
Oct 11, 2019
Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Music
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


The Music Department at Occidental College (OXY) invites applications for a full-time postdoctoral scholar-practitioner in audio/music/sound engineering with an ability to teach applied signal processing at the undergraduate level. Especially welcome are candidates who can teach coding plugins for audio signal processing and/or how to create virtual instruments using sample modeling. The postdoctoral scholar will be a part of a four and a half-year grant funded through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for Arts and Technology in a Cultural Metropolis (spring 2019 through 2022-2023) that will enhance collaboration between our arts departments and computer science, integrate arts and technology, and effectively advance teaching and learning in the digital liberal arts.
The position will begin in August 2020, for a two-year appointment. The successful candidate will be based in Los Angeles, California. The course load will be one course for second-year students to be co-taught with a professor of the practice in the spring semester of each year of the fellowship, plus one first-year seminar in the fall semester of the second year.
Occidental is a nationally-ranked small liberal arts college recognized for its diverse student body, its commitment to academic excellence and equity, and its outstanding undergraduate research programs. With major concentrations that include music production and composition & film scoring, the Music Department has developed a curriculum that is at once embedded in the liberal arts and connected to Los Angeles’s music industry, and many of our music majors double-major in a science, including computer science. Through this fellowship, we are seeking candidates who can enhance support for all music students interested in computer science (especially production, composition, and music theory students) and for computer science students interested in music. For more information about the Music Department, please visit the Music website at The mission of Occidental College is accessible at


The successful candidate will be expected to assist with advising relevant student research projects and internships in the departments of Music and Computer Science. They will also develop cross-disciplinary courses for first- and second-year students in collaboration with arts faculty, organize a summer institute for faculty, and collaborate with existing researchers on campus. The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by an individual assigned to this job:

  • The primary responsibility of the Mellon postdoctoral fellow will be to develop one course for second-year students to be co-taught with a professor of the practice in the spring semester of each year of the fellowship, and to develop and teach one first-year seminar in the fall semester of the second year. These courses will introduce students to cross-disciplinary collaborative techniques, which will prepare them for upper division courses, research, and creative projects that explore connections between music and technology.
  • The fellow will organize summer workshops (the “Music and Technology Summer Institute”) in 2021 and 2022 to help faculty incorporate technologies into existing coursework or to inspire new scholarly projects or collaborations.
  • The fellow is expected to work independently and also collaboratively with faculty in the Music and Computer Science departments.
  • The fellow is expected to prepare for a future career in academia as they are developing their pedagogy and sharing their expertise with the Occidental community. Fellows will maintain disciplinary research and professionalization, and will receive a modest budget for professional development.


A successful candidate will have:

  • a PhD in audio engineering or a related area;
  • familiarity with music applications such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, and Max/MSP/Jitter;
  • a good track record in research and teaching;
  • demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills;
  • ability to think creatively about collaboration and interdisciplinary inquiry;
  • ability to interact effectively with interdisciplinary academic partners and campus partners; and
  • strong interpersonal and decision-making skills.


The deadline for receiving application materials is Monday, January 27th, 2020.
Please submit the following as electronic files to with the subject line “Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow Application” (1) a two-page cover letter that addresses your interest in the position and how it meets the qualifications specified above; (2) a teaching statement that addresses diversity in the classroom; (3) a research statement that addresses how undergraduates might be involved; and (4) your curriculum vitae, including a link to professional work. Please arrange to have at least three letters of references emailed to , one of which addresses teaching.

Salary and Benefits: The fellow will be considered a faculty (9-month) employee of Occidental College with an annual salary of $55,000 plus the standard benefits and leave accrued by employees. Questions about the position should be directed to Search Committee Chair David Kasunic at Occidental College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding or related medical condition, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristic or information, sexual orientation, military and veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by State or Federal Law. We strongly encourage all underrepresented candidates, especially women and persons of color, to apply.

As a condition of hire for a staff position and for appointment to a faculty position, Occidental College requires that all candidates who have received a conditional offer of employment complete an application form (if they have not already done so) and consent to a background check. Satisfactory completion of a background check, along with pre-employment verifications and references are required as a condition of employment, but only as permitted by federal, state, and local law, including the City of Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.
We will consider for employment all qualified Applicants, including those with Criminal Histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.