Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Education and Program for Leadership and Character

Wake Forest University
Winston Salem, NC

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Job Details

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Job Description Summary

The Department of Education and the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University seek a thoughtful, engaged, and creative scholar to become a Postdoctoral Fellow for two years. The Postdoctoral Fellow will teach 2 courses per year (a 1:1) and contribute to character education research and programming for Winston-Salem TEACH, an inter-institutional collaboration between the Education departments at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, and Salem College, in collaboration with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS). The Postdoctoral Fellow will benefit from course development workshops and mentoring from faculty in both programs. The fellowship aims to equip an emerging scholar and educator to integrate character education in undergraduate teacher preparation and develop resources for K-12 schools who seek to educate character in their contexts.

The two-year fellowship is funded by a grant from the Kern Family Foundation. We welcome recent PhDs or EdDs in education or related fields where the candidate has pursued research and/or teaching related to character, ethics, and/or justice in the context of education. Compelling applicants will demonstrate prior experience with virtue-centered ethics education, culturally responsive pedagogies, and a commitment to excellence in teaching and mentoring undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds, including international students, first-generation students, and those who identify as members of historically-marginalized communities.

Wake Forest University welcomes and encourages diversity and inclusivity and seeks applicants with demonstrated success in working with diverse populations. Wake Forest University is an AA/EO employer and values an inclusive and diverse learning community and campus climate. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Wake Forest University is a private, coeducational institution dedicated to academic excellence in liberal arts, graduate and professional education. Located in Winston-Salem, NC (“The City of Arts and Innovation”), the University is ranked among the top thirty national universities by U.S. News and World Report. The University has a deep institutional commitment to public service and engagement with the world, as indicated by the motto Pro Humanitate (for humanity), which encourages students to develop the qualities of human character needed to serve humanity.

With the aim to educate the whole person, the University has established an innovative Program for Leadership and Character that plans creative programming to help students develop the virtues of character needed to lead in an increasingly complex world. The Program is based on cutting-edge academic research on leadership and character, including research conducted by Wake Forest faculty who are leading experts on the study of character. The Program has established a partnership with the Oxford Character Project and has been profiled as a model for how universities can educate character. The Department of Education’s mission is to engage university students from diverse backgrounds and with disparate personal and professional interests in a dynamic exploration of the theoretical, philosophical, historical, and sociological foundations of education that impact teaching and learning at all levels while developing individuals who are grounded in their respective disciplines for caring and effective service in classroom, school, community, nonprofit, and public policy positions.

For quick facts about the University, see For more on the Department of Education, see For more on the Program for Leadership and Character, see

Please provide a cover letter addressed to the members of the search committee, a curriculum vitae, a teaching statement, and copies of course evaluations (if available). At least three confidential letters of recommendation must be sent via email to [email protected] The position will begin on July 1, 2023. Applications arriving by April 15, 2023 will be given priority consideration.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Kate Allman at [email protected]

Job Description

Essential Functions:

  • Teaches 2 courses depending on program needs and the applicant’s areas of interests.

  • Develops syllabi and teaching resources related to leadership and character in teacher education contexts.

  • Collaborates with the Director of Research and Assessment in the Program for Leadership and Character and the Chair of the Department of Education to conduct research around character education integration in K-12 contexts.

  • Assists with designing and piloting K-12 curricular and co-curricular programming for Winston-Salem TEACH.

  • Works with the Director of Research and Assessment in the Program for Leadership and Character to develop assessment plans for their courses and potentially publishes relevant scholarly research.

  • Contributes to ongoing research on leadership and character within the university context.

  • Participates in course development workshops and ongoing professional development.

  • Works collaboratively with faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows in the Department of Education, Winston-Salem TEACH, and the Program for Leadership and Character to advance the work of all programs.

  • Attends regular meetings of the Department of Education, Winston-Salem TEACH, and the Program for Leadership and Character, as applicable.

  • Assists with other programming and research of the Department of Education, Winston-Salem TEACH, and the Program for Leadership and Character as needed.

  • Presents research findings and represents the programs at relevant academic conferences and educational convenings.

Required Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Ph.D. or Ed.D. in education or related fields.

  • 0-2 years experience

  • Record of excellent teaching and commitment to developing creative and culturally-responsive pedagogies.

  • Excellent writing, research, and communication skills.

  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.

  • Commitment to supporting the intellectual and ethical development of students.

  • Experience with, and sensitivity to, diverse populations and the ability to build inclusive and equitable communities where differences are appreciated and engaged.

  • Sound character, wise judgment, and a strong work ethic.

  • Demonstrated ability to:

    • Work independently with minimal supervision.

    • Set priorities and effectively manage time and resources.

    • Be a constructive and cooperative member of a team.

    • Positively influence colleagues and develop collaborative relationships with a wide range of people.

  • Willingness to learn more about leadership and character development and apply that knowledge to inform curricular design, implementation, and assessment.

  • Knowledge and understanding of academic cultures, rules, and regulations.

  • Openness to feedback and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

  • Ability to represent the programs and the university in a professional manner.

  • Ability to work occasional weekend or evening hours as needed.

  • Ability to navigate between in-person and virtual instruction based on public health determinations.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Teaching experience or research related to character, ethics, and/or justice in the context of education

  • Knowledge of virtue-centered character education.


This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by his/her supervisor.

Additional Job Description

Wake Forest University requires proof of full vaccination with an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine for all positions posted on or after September 13, 2021. Wake Forest University requires that you provide satisfactory proof of full vaccination status to Human Resources within three days of your hire date. You must also maintain full COVID-19 vaccination status, as classified by the CDC, during your employment at Wake Forest University.

Consistent with federal, state and local law, Wake Forest University will consider accommodations for disability- and religious-based reasons unless providing an accommodation would result in an undue hardship to the University.

If you seek an accommodation from the vaccination requirement for disability- or religious-based reasons, you should contact Human Resources.

New employees who are hired into positions posted prior to September 13, 2021, offers of employment made to new employees prior to that date, and employees for positions at Graylyn Conference Center are generally exempt from the vaccination requirement unless the employee’s position is otherwise subject to a vaccination requirement due to the essential components of the position as described in Policy.

Time Type Requirement

Full timeNote to Applicant:This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by his/her supervisor.

In order to provide a safe and productive learning and living community, Wake Forest University conducts background investigations and drug screens for all final staff candidates being considered for employment.

Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce while promoting an inclusive work environment committed to excellence in the spirit of Pro Humanitate. In adherence with applicable laws and as provided by University policies, the University prohibits discrimination in its employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability and veteran status and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.


Wake Forest University, formed in 1834, has experienced decades of growth and innovation.  WFU is a distinctive university that combines a liberal arts core with graduate and professional schools and innovative research programs.  The University embraces the teacher-scholar ideal, which prizes the personal interaction between students and faculty.  It is a place where exceptional teaching, fundamental research and discovery, and the engagement of faculty and students in the classroom and the laboratory are paramount.

Wake Forest University is a community that seeks the enlightenment and freedom which come through diligent study and learning. Its higher goal, however, is to give life to the University motto "Pro Humanitate," as members translate a passion for knowledge into compassionate service. The community shares a tradition that embraces freedom and integrity and acknowledges the worth of the individual. The heritage, established by the school's founders and nurtured by succeeding generations, promotes a democratic spirit arising from open-mindedness and discourse. Wake Forest fosters compassion and caring for others. Its collective strength and character are derived from the values and distinctive experiences of each individual; therefore, it affirms the richness of human intellect and culture and its contribution to knowledge, faith, reason, and dialogue. Furthermore, it strives toward a society in which good will, respect, and equality prevail. To that end, Wake Forest University rejects hatred and bigotry in any form and promotes justice, honor, and mutual trust.​

The University is comprised of:  the undergraduate college, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Divinity, School of Law, and School of Medicine (located on the Bowman Gray campus with Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center) and today enrolls about 4,846 undergraduates and 2,823 students in graduate programs at its principal location, the Reynolda campus.  Students at Wake Forest University enjoy a great deal of access to and interaction with world-class faculty both in and out of the classroom setting with a student-faculty ratio of 11:1.  Wake Forest employs approximately 2,772 full and part-time faculty and staff.

Wake Forest is a collegiate university offering a vibrant, intellectual community with a rich cultural life, an impressive array of facilities, and a strong athletics program competing in the fifteen-team Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).  Since its founding, the university has adopted the motto “pro humanitate,” which is exemplified by a deep institutional commitment to public service and engagement with the world. Wake Forest has a strong commitment to holistic, eight-dimensional well-being for students, faculty and staff as evidenced in the Thrive initiative.

Winston-Salem, NC

Wake Forest is located in Winston-Salem, NC, a beautiful, mid-sized city centrally located in the Piedmont-Triad region of North Carolina.  Winston-Salem is a family-friendly city with high quality schools, numerous outdoor recreational activities and events, and is known for its vibrant and thriving arts scene.

Winston-Salem residents enjoy close proximity to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains (1.5 hours) and Atlantic beaches (4 hours), a moderate climate with four distinct seasons, a very reasonable cost of living, and an eclectic variety of restaurants, wine bars, and breweries for dining with friends and family.  Winston-Salem offers many of the amenities of a large city but with the sense of community and quality of life of a smaller town (

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