The Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program in the Humanities is a new element in USC’s distinctive contribution to scholarship and academic excellence in the realm of the humanities. The Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars in the Humanities will play a pivotal part in fostering the strengths of these disciplines at USC, and they will link the expertise of our faculty and doctoral students with the knowledge and insights gained from their own research and scholarship.

The program builds on other signature USC programs that champion the importance of the humanities for our academic community. These programs include Visions & Voices, faculty research grants for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and expanded support for outstanding humanities Ph.D. students through Provost’s Ph.D. Fellowships.

Call for Applications

The Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program in the Humanities has two overarching goals. First, we seek to further the professional development of scholars in the humanities by providing time for research and writing, an opportunity to establish an independent teaching portfolio, and faculty mentoring to help scholars prepare for careers as tenure-track faculty. Secondly, we seek to add new voices from other institutions to our conversations within and across disciplines in the humanities, as well as to our conversations about the value and place of the humanities within the university and in society at large.

Appointments are for two years, with a start date of August 15, 2011. Provost’s scholars will teach three courses over four semesters, with one semester free for full-time research. They are expected to reside in the Los Angeles area during the academic year and to participate in the scholarly life of the host department and the university through seminars and other scholarly activities. The salary is $50,000 per year plus fringe benefits, with a research and travel account of $6,000 per year.

Candidates should choose one of the following programs as their proposed host department and explain the choice briefly in their cover letter: American Studies, Art History ,Classics, Comparative Literature, Critical Studies (Cinema), East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, French, History, Linguistics, Musicology, Philosophy, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Spanish.

Applicants will be evaluated based on their prior academic accomplishments, the significance and intellectual merit of the proposed project, and their potential to contribute to the intellectual life of their host department and the community of scholars at USC. Candidates must have received the Ph.D. no earlier than July 1, 2007 and must have the degree in hand by July 1, 2011. Scholars who received their doctorates from the University of Southern California are not eligible for the Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program in the Humanities, but are encouraged to determine their eligibility for the USC College Postdoctoral Distinguished Teaching Fellows program. The provost expects to make five to eight postdoctoral awards per year in order to maintain a full cohort of approximately 10 scholars.

Application materials

Applicants should submit the following items as .pdf files by November 15, 2012, 12:00 pm (noon) Pacific Time:
  • Cover letter including explanation of desired program affiliation
  • CV
  • Writing sample of one chapter or one article (up to 30 pages double-spaced)
  • Research proposal describing applicant’s plans for the period of the grant. This may include revising the dissertation for publication and/or plans for the candidate’s next academic project (up to three pages double-spaced)
  • Teaching statement (up to two pages double spaced)
  • Names, institutional affiliations, and email addresses of three faculty members who can supply letters of reference directly to USC. Referees will be contacted by email and should submit letters of reference electronically by Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:00 pm (noon) Pacific Time.


Recipients of the USC Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar awards will be notified in mid April 2011.

For information regarding postdoctoral policies and benefits, look under the heading “postdoctoral research associates” at Inquiries about the USC Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program in the Humanities should be directed to Vice Provost Sarah Pratt at