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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Emerson College

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Social Sciences, Anthropology & Archaeology
Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
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Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Join our community and experience Emerson College!

The postdoctoral research fellow will contribute to the design and execution of a research agenda connected to the Transforming Narratives of Gun Violence Initiative (TNGV). In collaboration with the PIs, and a range of community partners, the research fellow will define research questions, design methodology, and develop research tools, with the goal of creating a participatory research process that has clear value for the diverse set of stakeholders. The position will work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary research team composed of faculty, students, and community partners focused on art based public health interventions, and they should be experienced in participatory, mixed-methods, research, and have the ability to manage a large, complex research agenda. The fellow will work in the Engagement Lab at Emerson College in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital's Gun Violence Prevention Center under the guidance of principal investigators:
● Eric Gordon, Professor of Media Arts and Executive Director of the Engagement Lab
● Dana Edell, Assistant Professor in Performing Arts

The ideal candidate should be familiar with the social and political debates around gun violence in the United States; they should have experience in evaluative research; and they should be trained in a humanistic or social scientific discipline, including but not limited to Education, Arts Education, Communication, Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work, and Public Health.

About Transforming Narratives of Gun Violence (TNGV)
It is an initiative, begun in 2021 at Emerson College, formed as a partnership between the Engagement Lab at Emerson College, the Gun Violence Prevention Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and community organizations including the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, the Center for Teen Empowerment, and Boston Uncornered. Through this collaboration, students and faculty at Emerson join individuals and organizations deeply connected to the issue of gun violence locally, to explore together the impact of dominant narratives and to co-create story-based solutions through arts, media, and communications.


List Responsibilities in descending order of importance using bulleted format. The less time and essential the functions are, the lower on the list it should be.
  • Execute on and contribute to the research agendas established by the principal investigators, whether gathering information independently or finding interviewees/participants.
  • Create research design and plans for specific studies
  • Draft and submit IRB application, based on yearly requirements
  • Identify research participants and execute on qualitative research, including but not limited to interviews, observations, and focus groups.
  • Evaluate and conduct measurements of learning and engagement among Emerson students and partners, sharing end results with principal investigators and other stakeholders.
  • Evaluate and conduct measurements of narrative impact via changes in media messages, perceptions of community about availability of messages
  • Participate in Engagement Lab fellowship and administrative meetings, including leading on sharing research findings while taking direction from principal investigators on any further action.
  • Participate in monthly MGH research meetings, and meet regularly with MGH mentor sometimes leading the meeting and other times observing.
  • Contribute to scholarly publications, research presentations, and future grant proposal opportunities.

QUALIFICATIONS - Qualifications are deemed required or preferred and represent what is needed to effectively perform job.
  • Must have completed a PhD in a relevant humanistic or social science discipline (including, but not limited to, education, communications, political science, public health, applied theater, applied media studies, anthropology, and sociology) prior to August 31, 2023
  • Must have academic research experience in public policy, education, narrative storytelling, qualitative methodology, participatory action research, quantitative survey methodology, critical race theory, intersectionality, community violence, arts & social justice, or other related approaches
  • Must have experience with large participatory studies and collaborating with diverse populations is required
  • Experience in research related to and/or people directly impacted by community violence is preferred

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES - May be representative, but not all-inclusive, of those knowledge, skills, and abilities commonly associated with the job.
  • Knowledge of qualitative research methods
  • Ability to design and implement large qualitative study
  • Experience with collaborative research, including Community-based Participatory Research, Action research, co-design, etc.
  • Knowledge of trauma informed approaches to research and pedagogy
  • Familiarity with anti-violence interventions, gun control policy debates, and restorative justice models
  • Familiarity with anti-racist research design
  • Ability to prioritize attention among various projects happening simultaneously
  • Ability to alternate between autonomy, observation and taking specific direction
  • Must have strong interview skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Attention to detail

PHYSICAL ABILITIES - Activities commonly associated with the performance of the functions of this job. The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
  • Requires ability to lift and move objects that are light
  • Requires ability to move materials occasionally

WORK ENVIRONMENT - Environmental or atmospheric conditions commonly associated with the performance of the functions of this job.
  • Usual Office Conditions


Starting salary for this position will be between $56,484 - $63,852 ​ annually, commensurate with experience.

This position is primarily a hybrid role with mandatory days in the office as needed. The hybrid arrangement will be made upon hire. Candidates must reside within a reasonable commuting distance of the Boston campus in order to ensure operational effectiveness.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, current CV, writing sample, and list of three references. We will begin the reviewing applications on June 9. If you have any questions about the job or the application process, reach out to Eric Gordon (

Grade of Position: 23-07E

Scheduled Weekly Hours: 36.25

In addition to a competitive salary, Emerson College is committed to the health and well-being of our employees and family members. We offer a generous benefits package to regular staff scheduled to work 20+ hours per week.

Benefits include outstanding health plans with limited out-of-pocket expenses, dental plans, generous time-off programs, and a 403(b) retirement benefit with a 9% employer contribution once eligible. Additional benefits such as life and disability coverage as well as commuter offerings are available.

Please refer to our benefits website for a full list of benefits and eligibility requirements.

To apply, please visit:

About Us
Emerson College is the nation’s only four-year institution dedicated exclusively to majors in communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. Its main campus is located in the center of the dynamic multicultural city of Boston, in close proximity to major publishing houses, arts institutions, and research centers. The college also has campuses in Los Angeles and the Netherlands. Emerson College enrolls over 4,300 graduate and undergraduate students from more than 70 countries and all 50 states.

Diversity Statement
Emerson College believes diversity enriches the educational experience by providing students with the opportunity to learn from individuals who may have different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Engagement with diversity in the curriculum, in our co-curricular offerings, and all other aspects of the College enhances the personal and intellectual growth of all members of our campus community. Emerson is committed to strengthening communities, including our workplace, by fostering the development of the intercultural competencies necessary for meaningful citizenship in an increasingly complex, pluralistic society. Emerson College does not discriminate on the basis of sex/gender in its educational programs or activities. Emerson has designated the Associate Vice President, Title IX, and Clery Coordinator to respond to inquiries regarding the College Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Title IX Coordinator may be reached at 8 Park Plaza, Transportation Bldg, Room 230 Boston, MA 02116; Telephone: 617-824-8999; email:

Annual Clery Report
In accordance with the federal Clery and Campus SaVE Acts, Emerson College commits to providing all current and prospective students and employees with access to the annual campus security reports for each of our campuses. This report may be accessed from the Emerson College Police Department website.

Grade Ranges
Information on Emerson College staff grade range

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Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and the Commonwealth's State House, in the heart of the city’s Theatre District and bordering its Chinatown neighborhood, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning.

Emerson College is the nation’s only four-year institution dedicated exclusively to majors in communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. Its main campus is located in the center of the dynamic multicultural city of Boston, in close proximity to major publishing houses, arts institutions, and research centers. The college also has campuses in Los Angeles and the Netherlands.The College has 5,100 undergraduates and graduate students from  58 countries and all 50 states.

For more information, visit

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