2019–2020 Graduate Research Assistant

The application period has closed.

Position Description

Percentage appointment: 50%, 20 hours/week from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Formal title:  Project Management and Research Assistant

The Obermann Center seeks a graduate student to support the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, Humanities for the Public Good (HPG), under the supervision of the Director of the Obermann Center, who is the Principal Investigator on the project.  The ideal candidate be an outstanding scholar-teacher who is interested in conducting and sharing research on the larger ecosystem of the humanities and diverse careers for humanities scholars and learning the skills necessary to be a successful project director as well as scholar. The graduate assistant will work closely with the HPG Advisory Committee to learn about innovative programs across the country and to interview our own Ph.D. alumni to learn about their careers. We also seek a graduate assistant with strong skills in communication and in digital tools for documenting and sharing our discoveries in creative multi-media formats. The director and staff of the Obermann Center will provide mentoring, and the graduate assistant will work closely with a postdoctoral fellow. This is a 50% fiscal year appointment that will run from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Working successfully with a team of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Co-planning bi-weekly advisory committee meetings.
  • Conducting research with and for the advisory committee.
  • Keeping agendas and notes and following through with tasks.
  • Acting as liaison with faculty, staff, and students supported by the grant.
  • Helping to document the work of past and current funded groups.
  • Producing videos, news pieces, and other ways of reporting on the grant.
  • Maintaining digital photography and publicity archive.
  • Loading relevant reports and information on the HPG website.
  • Overseeing social media, including Twitter and Facebook, for the project.
  • Assisting with arrangements and hosting for visiting scholars.
  • Designing posters and digital flyers for public announcements about Digital Bridges events and opportunities.
  • Providing event support, including occasional weekend hours.
  • Organizing and track supplies.


Minimum Requirements

  • Exemplary writing, research, and communications skills, including writing for non-academic audiences.
  • Ability to conduct rigorous research and synthesis information.
  • Ability to initiate, track, and maintain a project—helping participants stay on a timeline and meeting deadlines.
  • Attention to current trends in social media and communications technology.
  • Confidence in event coordination.
  • Ability both to work independently and to collaborate well with others.
  • Creativity and eagerness to learn and experiment with new technologies and methods.
  • High degree of comfort with WordPress.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience making videos.
  • Comfort and experience with some of the following software:
    • Adobe Suite products, including Illustrator and Photoshop
    • Film editing in iMovie
    • Program management software such as Trello
    • Doodle
    • Drupal
  • Excellent proofreading skills.


To apply, log in to Hireahawk/Handshake with your HawkID and password and search for “Graduate Student Research Assistant.” Click the apply button and follow the instructions. You will be asked to include the following:

  • Cover sheet
  • Current CV
  • A letter stating interest in the position and describing experience in organizing projects and using digital tools (no more than 2 pages). The letter should also clarify where you are in your studies and your anticipated date of graduation.
  • Two letters of recommendation. At least one must be from a faculty advisor (or director of graduate studies) in your home department clarifying that you are in good standing and making strong progress in the graduate program.

Review of applications begins March 5, 2019.

Please direct questions or inquiries to Erin Hackathorn (obermann-center@uiowa.edu).