Research Associate, History (Term)

Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
Sep 16, 2020
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Research Associate, History (Term) - (2000882)

The Research Associate in History is an integral member of the executive communications function supporting the Chancellor and other leadership. The position will have a dual reporting structure, with a primary reporting line to the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations and a secondary reporting line to the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chancellor.

The Research Associate in History will be responsible for conducting extensive research on the history of Vanderbilt University as well as more generally on the history of higher education in the south. The Research Associate will produce position papers, as well as other written materials, that will help to inform leadership about the university’s history and the region’s history and help inform executive-level decision making, communication strategy and messaging. For 25% of their time, the Research Associate will pursue research and/or acquire additional training in their chosen fields and areas.

Please note, applicants are required to submit a vita, writing sample, and a cover letter describing your experience and interest in this role. 

Please note, a term-limited position for two years. Although a position may exist for a specified or indefinite period, staff who accept term positions are not guaranteed employment for the entire period; they are employed for indefinite periods within the limit of the appointment. There are no guarantees of continued employment, either within the term or when the term ends.  

Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Conducts extensive research on the history of Vanderbilt University as well as more generally on the history of higher education in the south as assigned by the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations, the Chief of Staff to the Chancellor and/or as identified by the Research Associate.
  • Analyze historical research and provide analysis on how to learn from, understand, reconcile with, and honor the university’s history as the institution moves forward.
  • Produces position papers, as well as other written materials, for leadership on historical analysis as well as implications for the future.
  • Advises leadership on issues related to the research conducted.
  • Works alongside those preparing for the university’s Sesquicentennial in 2023 and providing support and information as appropriate.
  • Collaborates with the Division of Communications to ensure that content and messaging reflects research findings.
  • Participates in the development and execution of executive communication plans.


  • A Master’s degree in a related field is required; however, a Ph.D. is preferred.
  • At least three years of comparable experience.
  • Candidates should submit a vita and cover letter describing your experience and interest in this role. A writing sample is also required.
  • Demonstrated ability and evidence of outstanding research skills are necessary.
  • Demonstrated evidence of excellent writing skills and the ability to prepare research reports are required.
  • The ability to understand the current issues and challenges facing higher education is necessary.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise judgment and think strategically is essential.
  • Strong interpersonal and excellent communication and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents are necessary. 
  • Experience of working with qualitative and quantitative data and the ability to present data effectively are necessary.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are.  We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Please apply online at

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

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