Post-Doctoral Fellow, Social Movement Support Center

Apply now Job no: 492935
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Postdoc / Fellow

The University of Denver Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE: is seeking a postdoctoral research fellow to join an interdisciplinary team of scholars and practitioners for a two-year term from summer 2020 through summer 2022.

Position Summary

The fellow will assist in developing a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary social movement support center connected to the University of Denver. This center will be dedicated to providing research, policy, legal, and communications support to grassroots-led racial justice advocacy campaigns in Colorado and across the U.S. Through deep engagement and partnership with organizing projects led by communities of color, this center will provide rich experiential learning and collaborative opportunities for students and faculty from across the university. The types of campaigns that will be supported include those that seek to address systems of mass criminalization and incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and over-investment in the criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems alongside under-investment in education, public health, and community well-being.

Essential Functions

Research Praxis
The fellow will spend the majority of their time engaged in the development and operation of the interdisciplinary social movement support center. The fellow will be responsible for collaborating with faculty, staff, and students from across the university as well as community partners in developing pathways for engagement in the social movement support center. During their fellowship period, the fellow will also be expected to contribute significant research and advocacy support to the centers community partners, including, but not necessarily limited to, the publication of multiple policy briefs and a toolkit to support racial justice organizing. The fellow will also complete an academic research project related to the development and/or operation of the center. The fellow will receive guidance and support from mentors and advisors in the Sturm College of Law, Graduate School of Social Work, Korbel School of International Studies, and other units of the university as well as community partners.

Fellows will teach one course in their first year and two courses in their second year; each on topics that will satisfy requirements for DU's Critical Race and Ethnic Studies minor. Courses may be cross-listed across relevant departments and/or taught in alternative departments in different terms. Fellows will have access to resources and training, particularly to inclusive pedagogical practices, through the University of Denver's Office of Teaching and Learning and through the Psychology Departments quarterly teaching seminars.

The fellow will work closely with IRISE to develop as a campus leader and to thereby extend the impact of DU faculty and students on issues of racial (in)equity. More specifically, the fellow will collaborate on the vision, design, and implementation of IRISE programming related to their research areas each year while also collaborating in the development of new programming connected to the social movement support center. The successful candidate will also be expected to actively participate in and support IRISE's intellectual life and various other partner initiatives (DU IMPACT 2025 and the DU Grand Challenges) in amplifying their role as a scholar confronting racial inequality in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD, JD, or terminal degree in law, social work, public policy or related fields. Applicants must have completed all requirements for their terminal degree by start date. Candidates must be untenured and within five years of the awarding of their degree.
  • Candidates with a foundation in Critical Race Theory, ethnic studies, or related fields are encouraged to apply. 
  • Applicants must have an advocacy and/or research agenda aligned with social movements, working class organizing, structural racism, and racial justice.
  • Experience with community-based participatory research, community organizing, and working with historically marginalized communities.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in program administration or program coordination.
  • Applicants are ideally trained in both quantitative and qualitative research techniques and analysis.

Additionally, because of the value of lived experiences in the investigation and understanding of inequality, we especially encourage applications from historically marginalized groups.

Application Deadline

Please submit your application materials by 6:00 p.m. MST on March 6, 2020. Applications may be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. Inquiries about this position can be made to Professor Alexi Freeman via email at

Salary Range

The fellowship carries a stipend of $50,004 for the first year and $50,004 for the second year, a professional development and research account ($3,000 per year), access to space and research equipment (including personal office and computer), and a comprehensive benefits package.

Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Statement of personal experience or demonstrated commitment to social justice and racial justice
  4. One writing sample (such as a dissertation chapter, recently published work, conference paper, research paper, policy brief, or policy report)
  5. Names and contact information of 3 individuals that can provide a letter of recommendation

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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