NPS Postdoctoral Fellowship in Women's History in the Pacific West

National Park Service and National Park Foundation
California, United States
Competitive Salary
Jun 04, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

National Park Service

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Women’s History in the Pacific West


Applications due June 30, 2021

The National Park Service (NPS) and the National Park Foundation (NPF) invite scholars who are no more than three years beyond receipt of their doctorate to apply for a two-year National Park Service postdoctoral fellowship. The Postdoctoral Fellowship in Women’s History in the Pacific West will begin in October 2021.

The NPS commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution through an extended effort that encouraged a comprehensive examination of the suffrage movement as well as the triumphs, struggles, and stories of those excluded. As part of this effort, the NPS, in partnership with the NPF, funded over 25 grants to parks and regional offices to research, document and interpret the stories of women associated with the units or programs of the National Park System. This fellowship is intended to build on the research, interpretation, and education programs funded by these grants and individual park efforts within the Pacific West, including oral histories, resource guides for interpreters, and biographies of women representing the region’s diversity of cultures. In addition, as the National Park Service has begun preparations to mark the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2026, the stories of women related to themes exploring the meaning of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as it has evolved since 1776 will be a focus for the Fellowship. The struggle for civil rights, for example, has many stories associated with park units and National Historic Landmarks in the Pacific West.

This fellowship, funded by the NPF, will be jointly directed by the Cultural Resources (CR) and Interpretive, Educational and Volunteers (IEV) programs of the NPS regional office for Interior Regions 8, 9, 10, & 12, located in San Francisco, CA. The scope of the project includes parks from Washington to Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawai'i, portions of Arizona and Montana, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Fellow’s research will assist national park units and programs in the Pacific West to document and tell more effectively the rich inclusive histories and stories of women. NPS is committed to developing effective audience-centered interpretation and K-12 educational programs and materials to engage visitors in these stories, both in person and virtually, even when those stories can be uncomfortable.  

The Fellow will work with NPS advisors representing the CR and IEV programs and must further identify and engage a faculty member to serve as an additional academic mentor. The Fellow will work with their NPS and academic advisors to develop research priorities and interpretive and educational materials based on that research. There are four project outcomes expected:

  1. Research.
    • Baseline summary: The Fellow will assess and summarize current relevant scholarship and interpretation of women’s history in the West, including research and interpretive programs in the parks of the Pacific West. The specific focus of this fellowship will be on the stories of women in pursuit of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as they relate to park units and National Historic Landmarks. This information will provide guidance for developing the Fellow’s research priorities and products. At the conclusion of the fellowship, the Fellow will provide an updated summary of scholarship and programs, and in turn make recommendations to the NPS for further research that would support stewardship, interpretation, and educational needs pertinent to these themes.
    • New or applied research: The Fellow will undertake research relevant to the theme of the fellowship in consultation with NPS and academic advisors. Such research should be broad enough in scope to apply to multiple parks or programs by bringing greater understanding to the experiences and contributions of women in the Pacific West region. A detailed vision of this new or applied research should be presented.                                                           
  2. Online seminars.
    • The Fellow, as a research resource, will make presentations to NPS staff service-wide via quarterly online seminars to foster discussion, engage outside scholarship, and disseminate new content. Other presentations might include hosting of book clubs, development of scholarly panels, or introduction of archives or resources for Parks.
  1. Interpretive or educational products.
    • The Fellow will collaborate with NPS IEV staff to develop education and interpretation resources to fill identified needs of parks within the Pacific West region. These resources will stem directly from the scholarly research of the Fellow. Funding is included within the budget for this fellowship for this collaboration.
  1. Career-focused research and product.
    • The Fellow may dedicate up to 20 percent of their time to pursue career-centered research. This research must be documented as part of the Fellowship application.

Applicants must possess US citizenship and have a Ph.D. in the humanities or humanistic social sciences by December 20, 2021 (history, museology, archaeology, philosophy, ethnic studies, women’s studies, American studies, anthropology, or related disciplines). Applicants must demonstrate comfort with working collaboratively and across disciplinary boundaries; possess excellent research, writing, and communication skills; exhibit flexibility and the capacity to learn quickly; and hold a strong interest in public scholarship/digital humanities. Selective factors include the merit of scholarship, commitment to the public humanities, and capacity to complete research successfully. Fellowship is contingent upon a successful security background check.

Academic Advisor: The application must identify an academic advisor to join the NPS mentors in supporting and guiding the Fellow’s research. The advisor should possess expertise in areas related to the focus of the fellowship as well as understanding the role of public history in the programs of the NPS. A stipend for the academic advisor will be available as part of the fellowship. A letter of commitment and description of research support from the academic advisor must be included in the application.

Application: Applications must be submitted in pdf format by email only to with the subject line: last name, first name – Womens’ History in the Pacific West. For best consideration, apply by June 30, 2021.

Include: 1. Cover letter stating interest and vision for the fellowship (letters may include a summary of dissertation research, a statement of personal research interests and plans, discussion of past engagement with public humanities, discussion of willingness to participate fully in NPS research and education programs); 2. Comprehensive curriculum vitae; 3. Writing sample accessible to the general public; 4. Confirmation of Ph.D. award by December 20, 2021; 5. Letter of commitment from academic advisor; and 6. Three letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation should be sent directly by the recommender to with the subject line: LETTER last name, first name – Women’s History in the Pacific West.

The two-year Fellowship begins October 1, 2021 and ends September 30, 2023. The location is San Francisco, CA. Due to the pandemic, NPS will work with the Fellow to determine how the Fellow will conduct their work, either on-line, stationed in at NPS offices in San Francisco, or a hybrid arrangement.

Compensation: The Fellowship is administered by the National Park Foundation. Compensation is $63,500 annually. Additional annual funding includes: $7,000 allowance for health benefits; $10,000 for research and travel costs (conferences, publications, and NPS meetings); and $12,500 annual stipend for the academic mentor. If the Fellow relocates to San Francisco prior to the start of the second year, a one-time allowance of $2250 will be provided for moving expenses. On acceptance of the Fellowship, the NPF will provide an initial grant including a salary increment and the health benefits. Travel must be approved by NPF and NPS. Subsequently, compensation will be provided in two-month increments following submittal of an invoice for work completed. The Fellowship may not be held concurrently with any other fellowship or grant, or employment (part-time or full-time).

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