Postdoctoral Scholar, The University of Iowa

Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Iowa
Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry: A Grinnell College/University of Iowa Partnership

Position Description

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Iowa welcomes applications for a full-time, twelve-month Postdoctoral Scholar. The two-year residency will begin on August 10, 2015. The position is funded through the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is part of a four-year initiative, Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry: A Grinnell College/University of Iowa Partnership.

The purpose of the grant is to develop humanities-centered collaborations in the digital liberal arts that build on the complementary strengths of a liberal arts college and a research university. We seek to weave the digital humanities more deeply and thoughtfully into the curriculum at both institutions while also building cross-institutional bridges to connect Grinnell College and the University of Iowa intellectually and pedagogically. Our shared mission is to create knowledge with our students, learn what forms of collaboration best serve the humanities, and to share that knowledge, along with emerging scholarly digital projects and digitally energized pedagogy, with colleagues across the country. Therefore, we are especially interested in candidates with demonstrated expertise in using digital technologies and digital pedagogy to enhance teaching and learning.

The Postdoctoral Scholar will work closely with faculty members in the University of Iowa Public Humanities in a Digital World, Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities, and Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. The Scholar will teach one course each semester in University of Iowa’s new Public Digital Humanities Graduate Certificate program. In fall 2015, the Scholar will teach “Digital Humanities Theory and Practice,” the introductory course for the graduate certificate, in collaboration with the director of the certificate program, School of Library and Information Sciences Professor James Elmborg. In the spring semester, the Scholar will teach a course in her or his area of digital expertise that fulfills a requirement for the certificate (which will also be open to advanced undergraduates).

Project Management
The Digital Bridges initiative will include summer institutes, skills-based workshops, faculty development opportunities, and the development of new undergraduate courses. We seek a Postdoctoral Scholar with experience in project management who can work with faculty members to design institutes and workshops during the two years of residency. The Postdoctoral Scholar will also advise faculty and graduate students as they develop digital collaborations.

The Postdoctoral Scholar will have office space, a computer, and staff support at the Obermann Center, and will be invited to participate in the Obermann Fellows’ work-in-progress seminar and in other scholarly activities at the Center.

Professor Elmborg and Obermann Center director Professor Teresa Mangum will work closely with the Postdoctoral Scholar as colleagues and mentors.


This two-year Postdoctoral Scholar position is a full-time, twelve-month salaried appointment. The annual salary is $42,840 plus benefits (described on the University of Iowa Graduate College Office of Postdoctoral Scholars website). The grant includes limited funding for travel to conferences and other research costs for professional activities that both assist the candidate and further the objectives of the grant.

 40% RESEARCH Participate in individual and collaborative research in the digital humanities.

30% TEACHING Develop a course each semester for the Graduate Certificate in Public Digital Humanities.

30% ADMINISTRATION Work with the Digital Bridges organizing committee to plan workshops, summer institutes, and other events.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a related field in hand before August 16, 2015 and must be no more than five years from receiving the Ph.D.
  • Expertise in digital humanities as evidenced by successful integration of digital tools, approaches, and pedagogy in humanities research and teaching.
  • At least 2 years of teaching experience in an academic setting as a teaching assistant or an instructor (undergraduate and/or graduate teaching).
  • Experience in the use and application of one or more DH technologies (e.g., visualization, text-mining, text-encoding, GIS, network analysis, database design, dynamic digital editions, presentation and content management tools) for creating and transmitting scholarship and/or in teaching.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with digital platforms and technologies, especially in the area of teaching.
  • Experiences in a digital working environment, such as a library, digital lab, or center.
  • Experience in project management and/or in organizing workshops or conferences.

To Apply

Applications must be submitted online at:

Please include:

  • A letter of application that discusses areas of research and teaching, along with experience with digital tools and pedagogy. Briefly discuss classes you might be especially interested in teaching at the graduate level. Please be specific in noting the platforms and tools with which you have experience and the level of your experience (no more than three pages).
  • A complete curriculum vitae.
  • A sample of your writing (a published article, dissertation chapter, or online publication).
  • Links to digital projects in which you have played a part with a brief description of your contributions.
  • Also, please send the names of two referees whose letters could address your qualifications for the Postdoctoral Scholar position (but please do not request that letters be sent unless you are requested to do so).

Evaluation of the materials will begin on April 13, and we will contact candidates for online interviews promptly thereafter.

Please direct questions or inquiries to the University of Iowa Digital Bridges organizers, James Elmborg or Teresa Mangum.

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