CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for African American Studies

at Fisk University (view profile)
Location Nashville, TN
Date Posted November 27, 2019
Category Academic
Job Type Temporary/Term-Limited
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Twitter Handle @FISK1866


Fisk University

2020-2022 CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for African American Studies


Fisk University’s Franklin Library is looking to host a two-year Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies. Funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the fellow will serve under a joint appointment between the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library and the Department of History and Political Science in African American Studies. The fellow will report to the Dean of the Library and the African American Studies Coordinator, with guidance from the Associate Vice Provost for Innovation & Information Technology (CTO), and Discipline Coordinator of Data Science. The fellow will work independently and collaboratively as a team member to assist in the development, planning, and implementation of a new Database for the Julius Rosenwald Fund Collections at Fisk University. He or she will play a key role on the project’s team by creating a new Data Management Plan in the first year by gathering and analyzing all data related to the Rosenwald Rural School program, the Fellowship Program, and the Transportation program. The fellow will have access to harvested data from the current Julius Rosenwald Fund Index Card File Database, the Julius Rosenwald Fund Archives, and other resources. Faculty supervisors will provide the fellow with context into the Julius Rosenwald Fund Archives, Historical Background on African American education in the southeast and additional expertise. The development of a new digital database for the Rosenwald Schools (one of Fisk’s most heavily used archival collections) will strengthen the resources we can provide to local and international researchers, scholars, and projects related to African American studies. Moreover, the work done with the collection’s data will help to provide a greater understanding of the philanthropic impact of the Julius Rosenwald Fund on African American communities in the Southeast and provide the University with a sustainable way to manage data projects.

Additionally, the fellow will teach one four credit-hour course, History 210: Selected Topics in African American History (centered in data from their work with the Julius Rosenwald Fund), which will intersect African American Studies, Data Science, and Data Curation. The Fellow will assist in coordinating a panel on data curation for African American Studies for Fisk University’s Conference on the study of African Americans in the American South (Fall 2020) and work closely with students to develop oral presentations for the 2020 National Association of African American Honors Programs Conference being hosted at Fisk University. At least once a semester, the fellow will participate in monthly African American Studies and Data Science Open Seminar Series or provide and develop training and educational opportunities for data-related topics for Fisk faculty and library staff. Lastly, the fellow will be expected to devote time to independent research to advance their area of focus.


25% Development of Data Management Model

20% Independent Research

15% Collaborative Project Development with partners

15% Professional Development and Training

15% African American Studies Teaching

10% Coordination of African American Studies related events and activities


  • Contribute expertise and knowledge to the design and development of a web-based database for the Julius Rosenwald Fund Project
  • Develop and offer a new course to apply quantitative and computing skills for data management and data curation for African American Studies
  • Develop training and educational opportunities for data-related topics for Fisk faculty and library staff
  • Provide data management plan and analytics for Fisk’s archives and special collections
  • Provide consultation to researchers for grant requirements related to data curation


  • A doctoral degree in African or African American Studies, digital humanities, data and information sciences, history, english, library science or related field received in the last five years
  • Experience working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Education Assistant (EA)
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills - ability to effectively interact with all levels of staff and external contacts. Must be detail oriented and have the ability to follow-through.
  • Knowledge of current issues regarding data curation in the humanities
  • Proficient in related quantitative and computing skills for data management
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Docs
  • Ability to work independently and with teams, effectively managing time and prioritizing workload
  • Good knowledge of African American History



  • Experience working in Special Collections or Archives at a college or university
  • Experience using WordPress, Omeka, Drupal, or WikiBase
  • Familiarity with Metadata Standards, Dublin Core, MODs, EAD, or PREMIS


  • Fellow will receive a salary of $67,500 per year and a full benefits package

Founded in 1866, shortly after the end of the Civil War, Fisk University is a historically black university and is the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville, Tennessee. Fisk’s outstanding faculty and students continue to enhance the University’s national reputation for academic excellence, which is validated year after year by the leading third-party reviewers, as well as, by the pool of talented applicants and the large percentage of alumni who complete graduate or professional degrees and become leaders and scholars in their fields.