Title: Civic Science Fellow, hosted by APLU Supported by the Rita Allen and Kavli Foundations and APLU
Supervisor: Associate Vice President, Research and STEM Education
Status: 18-month fellowship, full time 37.5 hours per week, exempt.
Location: Washington, DC
Fellowship Stipend and Benefits: $80,000 annual fellowship stipend plus a $40,000 half-year fellowship stipend distributed according to APLU’s regular biweekly payroll schedule, plus APLU’s standard benefits package.
Application Deadline: Preference will be given to applications received by August 12, 2021.
Civic Science Fellows Program Background
The goal of the Civic Science Fellows Program is to co-create strong, diverse, and inclusive connections between science and civic life. Civic Science Fellows are emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds, who are hosted by media, scientific, and philanthropic organizations. Host partners work with fellows to catalyze civic science opportunities. The Fellows become a member of a growing network of enthusiastic advocates for science communication, civic science, and public impact research. They gain access to professional development in subject matter as well as leadership skills, and mentoring.
APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research.
APLU project on Modernizing Scholarship
The APLU Civic Science Fellow will help us address:
How to modernize scholarship to provide visibility, reward, and advancement to faculty engaging the public in scientific projects to serve societal needs.
It is an exciting time for science as there are multiple national efforts underway to further public engagement in research to better serve society. However, these efforts are not well connected, and lack a common vision, language, and approach to cultural change. This lack of dialogue and collaboration is seriously diminishing our collective potential to find solutions to modernize scholarship. The APLU Civic Science Fellow will work across research engagement and impact efforts to foster this dialogue and develop tools and resources to help these efforts more closely align.
The Fellow will have access to institutional leaders who have a major responsibility for stimulating, supporting, advancing, and rewarding faculty for their scholarship and service. A major objective will be to draw on leaders from across research engagement initiatives to identify leading approaches and metrics to support, advance, and assess faculty contributions to research based on its impact or degree of public engagement. The Civic Science Fellow will also work with APLU staff who are increasingly attending to the role of academic departments and mid-level infrastructure. This mid-level infrastructure is both from within the institution (e.g. the public affairs office) and external to the institution (e.g. the Civic Science Fellows network and disciplinary societies) that further supports these efforts. We are committed to addressing the rewards system for public engagement with a comprehensive and systemic approach.
Critical to this effort are language, models, and approaches that acknowledge the ways in which diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are or are not evidenced in publicly engaged work. There is significant evidence that faculty from historically underrepresented groups are often highly invested in scholarship that contributes to the public interest, and there is an opportunity to align this effort with the increasing need to diversify our STEM workforce and professoriate. APLU currently leads one of NSF’s INCLUDES alliances, the Aspire Alliance that aims to diversify the professoriate. There is an opportunity to ensure that this work is mutually leveraged.
The potential impact is significant in that this is a project of the APLU Council on Research consisting of the research leadership across about 200 public research universities in every state conducting some 60% of the nation’s academic research (~$47 billion annually). The Fellow will work closely with the APLU Council on Research, which has developed its implementation plan for the Public Impact Research (PIR) Initiative. The work is being undertaken in collaboration with the communications, engagement, academic affairs, and food/agriculture/natural resources/extension councils of APLU. By leveraging these multiple university constituencies across North America, the project could potentially influence and change the systems, structure, and policies of these institutions around research.
The goal of this effort is to increase research benefits to society by catalyzing more PIR/publicly engaged research and engaging more faculty and community members in research design, implementation, and evaluation.
APLU seeks a science-engagement professional for a 1.5 year fellowship made possible through generous support of the Rita Allen Foundation, the Kavli Foundation and APLU’s Office of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources. We are seeking a scientist or engineer who has experiences and/or interest in four domains:
- A commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justic
- Experience in science communication
- Experience with publicly engaged scholarship/civic science/extension
- Understanding of university policies and practices and how those can be a driver for institutional change.
The Fellow will spend approximately 75% of their time (~30 hours/week) on carrying out a project co-designed with APLU staff, and 25% of their time (~10 hours/week) on shared learning and networking activities outside of their direct work with APLU, including periodic convenings, typically on Tuesdays during the Civic Science Fellows term.
Depending on the interests of the Fellow, below are examples of potential foci of a Fellow’s project at APLU:
- Identify leading examples of university policies and metrics to integrate scholarship of engagement into promotion and tenure.
- Identify ways in which universities might better encourage, support and advance faculty who are or who wish to participate in public engagement in research, especially in ways that attend to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Provide guidance on ways universities and funders might work in sync with science societies to modernize scholarship.
- Highlight existing resources and speed the development of new resources that support the planning, implementation, and evaluation of publicly engaged science, including resources that universities and science societies make available to their members.
- Develop a framework and language for how fundamental research intersects with Public Impact Research.
The deliverables may include:
- Survey of APLU members that captures current practice and identifies exemplary institutional approaches to supporting, rewarding, and recognizing publicly engaged research.
- Case studies of exemplary approaches.
- Convening a national summit augmented by smaller focused workshops that focus on:
o how are institutions making progress
o recommended guidance on what institutions could be doing to accelerate this work
o recommendations for the actions that might be taken by different stakeholders on the campus and others, such as disciplinary professional societies in the larger system
- Final report that incorporates the findings and summary from the survey and convenings.
- Earned doctorate from an accredited university in a science or engineering discipline.
- 5 years working in higher education with some experience in science communication, publicly engaged scholarship, and university policies and practices.
- Demonstrable commitment to diversity and justice in science and education by fostering equitable and inclusive environments that support people of diverse backgrounds who have historically been underrepresented in scientific fields and underserved by science outreach.
- A record of scholarly communication (not required to be in scientific or engineering peer-reviewed publications).
- Strong project management skills to meet goals and objectives on time, on scope, and on budget.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, establish priorities and exercise sound judgment in response to complex and sensitive situations.
- Ability to work in a dynamic environment with a diverse, cross-functional team and to establish effective working relationships with employees at all levels of the organization.
Complete the online application, which include three narrative questions, here: https://forms.gle/RsxegSe732b9BmV97. Applications will be reviewed as received. Priority will be given to applications received by August 12, 2021. Stipend is set at $80,000 per year, and $40,000 for 0.5 years, including benefits.
APLU is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, and supports staff with a generous benefits package. If you have questions, you can contact APLU Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is committed to recruiting, employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.