Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Posting Details

Job Code/Title PD - Post Doctoral Position Number P00001 Working Title Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department History Organizational Overview

At VCU, we Make it Real through learning, research, creativity, service and discovery — the hallmarks of the VCU experience. A premier, urban, public research university nationally recognized as one of the best employers for diversity, VCU is a great place to work. It’s a place of opportunity, where your success is supported and your career can thrive. VCU offers employees a generous leave package, career paths for advancement, competitive pay, and an opportunity to do mission-driven work.

Recruitment Pool All Applicants Anticipated Hiring Range $47,476 Campus Monroe Park Campus Position Type Post Doc Hours/Week 29 per week Normal work days Monday-Friday Normal work hours 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Job Category Research Does this position provide patient or clinical services to the VCU Health System? No Does this position require a pre-placement medical assessment? No Is any portion of this position grant-funded? No Sensitive Position No Resource Critical Yes Description of the Job

We invite applications for a postdoctoral research fellowship in the humanities, to support the work of the East Marshall Street Well Project and its two implementation committees.

The East Marshall Street Well Project is a VCU initiative designed to work with the community in addressing the discovery of human bones and artifacts from the 19th century in an abandoned well uncovered during construction on Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV Campus. The work has involved a community process that encouraged learning about the human remains discovered near East Marshall Street and sought community input in the formation of the Family Representative Council. The Family Representative Council served to represent the “descendant community” and made recommendations on behalf of those individuals whose remains were discovered to support appropriate study, memorialization and reburial with dignity. For additional information on the project, please see:

Within the EMSWP, the Memorialization and Interment Implementation Work Group is focused on ensuring that the EMSW Ancestors receive proper memorialization and reburial. Plans currently in progress include creating physical memorialization sites in the VCU Kontos Education Building, as well institutionalizing an annual EMSW remembrance to be observed by all VCU medical and pre-health students taking an anatomy class. In addition, this group will establish guidelines for University policy, to address future discoveries of human remains on campus, and, in collaboration with the EMSW Research Implementation Committee, will develop (via cross-institutional and interdisciplinary RFPs) the first formal studies of the historical legacy of slavery in the University and mechanisms for redressing that legacy. Ultimately, an interment ceremony will be planned and designed with input from funerary experts in West African traditions. This public event will be intentionally inclusive, honoring a variety of faith traditions (including African indigenous practices) and engaging the diverse Richmond community in the longer-term civic project of combatting structural racism and health disparities.

Reporting to the co-chair of the Memorialization & Interment Implementation Committee, the EMSW Postdoctoral Research Fellow will play a critical leadership role in galvanizing two transdisplinary, trans-institutional research teams: 1) Biocultural Ancestry and Health; and 2) Public History and Community.

Specific responsibilities will include:
>Devising and completing research on the long-term implications, impacts, and relevance of the East Marshall Street Well site history for contemporary African American medical experiences. Relevant research questions could include (but not be limited to):
• What were the most likely African ethnic and cultural backgrounds of individual EMSW Ancestors?
• What do we know about the material or physical quality of their living circumstances?
• What more is there to be learned through further historical investigation of the EMSW site?
• How does the story of the well fit into a broader investigation of medical exploitation of African Americans?
• How can study of the EMSW site contribute to an even broader understanding of enslaved and free African American life in 19th-century Richmond?
• What are the long-term and contemporary implications of the practices surrounding the well for generations of African American Richmonders, e.g., in terms of medical distrust, health decisions and outcomes? What have been the implications for VCU / MCV ?
>Participating in a transdisciplinary research team of graduate, undergraduate and faculty researchers;
>Drafting assigned portions of a formal report for the two implementation committees, the Family Representative Council and VCU senior leadership, at the direction of the Work Group co-chairs and the project manager;
>Other duties related to EMSW research and programming as assigned. (Fellow may have opportunities to contribute to the initiative’s public academic and community programming, as available.)

Required Qualifications

The successful candidate will possess:
•a relevant doctoral degree;
•subject matter expertise in a humanities-relevant discipline, including fields such as African American Studies, Anthropology, History (with an emphasis on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries), History and/or Sociology of Science and Medicine; Public History; Media Studies (including documentary film making);
•Experience performing archival and/or oral history research and strong English language writing and speaking skills;
•Ability, experience and willingness to work closely, respectfully, and effectively with members of the community as well as internal and external faculty, staff, and students;
•Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a staff member at VCU .

Preferred Qualifications Job Open Date 10/22/2020 Remove from posting on or before Open Until Filled Yes Special Instructions to Applicants

To apply, complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume addressing the specific position responsibilities, experience, related research interests, and qualifications.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin W. Allison, Ph.D., Professor, Psychology, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and Senior Executive for Special Projects, Office of the President

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Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter/Letter of Application
  2. Resume
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