The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life will award a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Youth Civic Learning and Engagement for the 2021-22 academic year (August 1, 2021- July 31, 2022). This fellowship will be based at CIRCLE's Tufts University office, located in Medford, MA, but could also be transferred under certain circumstances to Washington, D.C., in proximity to our Deputy Director.
CIRCLE is a research-based think tank studying how young people in the United States learn to become active participants in our democracy. CIRCLE studies a broad range of topics, including K-12 civic education, youth organizing, youth and civic media, and community characteristics that promote civic development. The central focus of its work is expanding access to civic learning and engagement opportunities by illuminating and working with others to address systemic inequalities and marginalization.
The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, where CIRCLE is based, prepares Tufts students in all fields of study for lifetimes of active citizenship, and conducts critical national research to build stronger communities and democracy. Tisch College promotes new knowledge in the field and applies evidence-based practices in its programs, community partnerships, and advocacy efforts. Central to the university's mission, the college offers opportunities for students to engage in meaningful community building, gain civic and political experiences, and explore their commitments to civic participation.
Operating under the directorship of Dr. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, CIRCLE is a team of eight individuals representing diverse professional and academic backgrounds, perspectives, and lived experiences. In service of our goal to ultimately eliminate the systemic barriers that keep some young people marginalized from and underrepresented in civic life, we engage in impact-driven partnerships. By consistently seeking out opportunities to learn with and from people and organizations representing marginalized communities, we are able to intentionally iterate our approach to research and aim to achieve equal and just outcomes.
We take a systems-approach to understand and address barriers and widen pathways toward civic learning and engagement, which in turn drives a wide-ranging portfolio. CIRCLE focuses on the following major areas of inquiry through multidisciplinary lenses and a vision of equitable systems:
The postdoctoral fellow will be invited to provide their expertise and knowledgebase in the projects that CIRCLE currently engages in but will select a major project within their area of expertise to co-lead in tandem with a senior staff member. As a sampling of CIRCLE's current work, we currently work in a long-term research practice partnership in Illinois, runs a large longitudinal study of voter registration, a youth-media initiative, a partnership-based research with a company that provides tools for social and civic engagement for youth, and youth election research using a variety of data that CIRCLE has collected in recent years.
A scholar with a Ph.D. in any relevant discipline who is not yet tenured, or an ABD whose defense date is no later than December 31, 2021. The scholar must have authorization to work in the United States for at least 12 months. Tufts University is not able to sponsor a visa for this position.
Desirable qualifications, experiences, and skills include, but are not limited to:
Strong commitment to and track record of advancing equal and just outcomes in a community through research, scholarship or civic action.
Expertise in youth development (including civic and political development and positive youth development), youth voting, education, youth-led media, or youth organizing.
At least one of the following:
Proficiency in cleaning and analyzing quantitative data and ability to interpret and communicate findings to a lay audience.
Proficiency in collecting, organizing, and analyzing qualitative data and ability to interpret and communicate findings to a lay audience.
Understanding of and interest in use of geospatial data and GIS tools for data visualization.
Ability to collaborate with colleagues from varied backgrounds and to interact with practitioners of diverse backgrounds, views, and positions.
Strong interest in pursuing a career that involves partnership with community groups, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following:
developing and validating measures
various program evaluation strategies
partnership with young people through research initiatives (including YPAR)
Capacity to function well in a fast-paced, impact-driven workplace working on several projects at one time. Although the postdoctoral fellow will not have the same expectations of a full-time CIRCLE staff member, they are expected to meet deadlines, partner requests, and expectations in a timely, partner-centered manner.
The postdoctoral fellow will also conduct independent research of their choice within the major topical areas of CIRCLE's work and will have access to many datasets for developing publishable research. The position is currently set up as a one-year engagement but will be renewed for another year pending availability of funds and mutual agreement between the scholar and CIRCLE's Director. This fellowship does not come with a teaching requirement, nor is that something that can be guaranteed.
Please submit the following information:
A cover letter that includes your desired goals during the postdoctoral fellowship term, the reasons why CIRCLE is an ideal placement for you, and 1-3 areas of CIRCLE's work that most interest you (and why). We encourage you to also explain how your scholarship and/or community action embodies your commitment to equal and just outcomes for young people and their communities.
One writing sample; and
Three letters of recommendation which should be uploaded by your recommenders to Interfolio directly.
Opens June 8, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled Questions about the position should be sent to Sarah Keese (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Kawashima-Ginsberg or another staff member will do our best to reply in two business days. No phone calls, please.
Tufts University, founded in 1852, prioritizes quality teaching, highly competitive basic and applied research, and a commitment to active citizenship locally, regionally, and globally. Tufts University also prides itself on creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Current and prospective employees of the university are expected to have and continuously develop skill in, and disposition for, positively engaging with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students.
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