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Research Fellow, US Programs

American Council of Learned Societies
New York
$70,000 + benefits
Posted Date
Jul 21, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Humanities, Other Humanities
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Overview of ACLS

Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) takes its name from its work supporting 79 scholarly organizations.  As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS upholds the core principle that knowledge is a public good. In supporting its member organizations, ACLS utilizes its endowment and $34 million annual operating budget to expand the forms, content, and flow of scholarly knowledge because we value diversity of identity and experience.  We collaborate with institutions, associations, and individuals to strengthen the evolving infrastructure for scholarship.  In all aspects of our work, ACLS is committed to principles and practices in support of racial and social justice.

ACLS’s strategic plan outlines four strategic priorities: encouraging scholars and scholarship responsive to diverse audiences; strengthening relationships among our core constituencies within the academy and our partners beyond the academy; lifting the public profile of humanistic knowledge; and empowering staff and partners to work responsibly and inclusively.

Job Summary

ACLS seeks a Research Fellow to provide ongoing support for particular research projects in the US Programs Office. The fellow will report to the Senior Program Officer and collaborate with various members of the US Programs team.

The Research Fellow will bring training and experience in higher education and humanistic scholarship to design and implement research and evaluation projects that will take advantage of ACLS’s resources and networks, representing fields across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. These projects will support our ongoing efforts to understand the factors that shape the paths of scholars working beyond the classroom or in untenured faculty positions, documenting the work publicly engaged scholarship, and highlighting innovations in doctoral training and career support for recent PhDs.

The Research Fellow will collaborate on the development of research plans and execute various aspects of the research and evaluation process, from designing survey and other research instruments to conducting interviews, analysis, and writing up results. The fellow will take advantage of existing department capacity concerning the ACLS’s CRM data, advanced data manipulation and Excel skills, and other resources to develop and implement new opportunities to build knowledge and evidence with an eye toward program refinement and sharing analysis and best practices with our various constituencies.

The research and data accumulated by the Research Fellow will enhance our support for scholars in the humanities while also allowing us to distill and share the experience of our fellows and program partners as they have developed new projects, programs and approaches to enduring and emerging challenges in higher education.

ACLS’s position as a convener of learned societies, scholars, university leaders, and other constituencies affords opportunities to network and learn about the landscape of higher education and the public humanities. The Research Fellow will be supported to attend ACLS events and present their work to various audiences in order to maximize the career development opportunities possible in this role. While the Fellow will focus most of their time supporting ACLS research projects and programs, they will be permitted to spend up to one day per workweek on their own scholarly research. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Coordinating outreach and interviews with individuals and institutions involved in programs advancing publicly engaged scholarship and career development, collaborative research, and other fellowship and grant programs;
  • Conducting quantitative and qualitative research that assists in the analysis and refinement of existing programs and the development of new initiatives;
  • Assessing the impact of ongoing programs and proposing and implementing refinements and new approaches;
  • Compiling and analyzing data, and drafting reports to funders and the ACLS Board;
  • Creating content for ACLS communications and reports on research findings;
  • Supporting ACLS programs and ongoing competitions as needed.


  • PhD in humanities or social science discipline
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to effectively and engagingly conduct individual and group interviews/focus groups
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize long-term projects and short-term assignments in a deadline-driven environment
  • Facility both for working collaboratively with a team and for working independently
  • Analytical and creative problem-solving capacity
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a track record of working effectively on a team
  • Ability to take initiative and respond flexibly to evolving circumstances
  • Proficiency in MS Office, particularly Word and Excel
  • Must be willing and able to travel to multi-day events within the United States a few times per year, and to attend and/or staff infrequent after-hour and weekend events
  • Proactive, self-starting, deadline-oriented, and with strong attention to detail; ability to follow through on multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment
  • Understanding of analytical concepts: hypothesis development, designing tests/experiments, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and developing actionable recommendations
  • Strong ability to plan and manage numerous processes, people, and projects simultaneously
  • Capacity to build and maintain long term relationships with institutional colleagues 
  • Flexible, resilient, and tenacious; able to work in ambiguous situations
  • Problem solving and root cause identification skills
  • Able to work effectively at all levels in an organization

Preferred qualifications:

  • Training and experience in publicly-engaged research, community outreach, and the dynamics of collaboratively-produced research
  • Training and experience with survey design, implementation, and analysis

Office policies and salary

  • ACLS is operating on a mostly remote schedule, but will require in-person presence in our office in Manhattan up to 2-3 times per month, with advance notice. Staff are expected to be available during ACLS’s normal hours of operation, from 9am-5pm ET.
  • Candidates will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated (including booster) against COVID-19 upon commencing employment. Reasonable accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for exemptions to this requirement in accordance with applicable law.
  • Salary: $70,000 + benefits
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