Postdoctoral Fellow (Center for Presidential History)
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas

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The Opportunity

The Center for Presidential History (CPH) at Southern Methodist University invites applications for a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship, to begin in August 2022. The CPH defines "presidential history" in the broadest terms possible, so applicants from all fields, topics, and time periods in U.S. history are welcome, particularly those pertaining to politics, government, the nation, or the presidency.
The Center for Presidential History

The Center exists to research and advance understanding of the history of the American presidency. The CPH pursues this goal primarily through three complementary methods:

  • Research
The CPH produces and supports research on the history of the American presidency, broadly conceived. Through postdoctoral fellowships, on-campus writing fellowships, and publishing volumes based on its own work, the CPH aims to be a hub for the most current and innovative research in Presidential History.
  • Lectures, Conferences, and Events on Presidential History
The CPH regularly organizes and hosts a wide variety of lectures, conferences, and events, all centered on the theme of Presidential History. These events feature educators, journalists, entrepreneurs, current and former policy makers, and historically-minded professionals of all stripes, united in broadening our understanding of presidential history, and its potential for aiding ongoing contemporary debates for our nation's future course.
  • Collective Memory Project
The CPH is conducting an ongoing Collective Memory Project dedicated to enhancing the historical and archival record of various presidential administrations, beginning with the George W. Bush presidency and its times. For these projects, the CPH will film and archive interviews with members of the presidential administration, as well as both public officials and private citizens who played important roles during those administrations. Key subjects this project explores include, but are not limited to: The Election of 2004; The Surge in Iraq; Faith and the Presidency; American Diplomacy: Leaders at Home and Abroad; Judicial Nominations and the Department of Justice; and The First Lady and the East Wing.

For more information on this fellowship,


The Ideal Candidate

The successful candidate will couple their own research and publishing agenda with their participation in the general academic and public life of the CPH. The CPH supports ongoing public engagement through events, podcasts, and education partnerships, and produces the Collective Memory Project, a filmed oral history of the George W. Bush Presidency. Fellows seeking teaching experience may have opportunity to offer courses through the SMU History department in their field of expertise.

Fellows receive a competitive salary and benefits, annual funds to support research & conference travel, and opportunity to host a workshop for their book manuscript. Fellows must be in residence at SMU during the term of the fellowship and must have successfully defended their doctoral dissertation before the appointment begins. Preference will be given to applicants for whom additional time and resources will culminate in the completion of a publishable book-length manuscript. Fellows are officially appointed for one year with full expectation of renewal for a second year.

For full consideration, applicants must submit the following: CV, cover letter of interest outlining applicant's research agenda and proposed engagement with the work of the CPH, and three letters of reference. All documents should be submitted through the website of SMU's online application.

If the writers of the applicants' recommendation letters prefer, they may email letters directly to the Center for Presidential History at
Deadline to Apply:

Full review of applications will begin on November 18, 2021, and continue until the position is filled.

The search committee expects to request writing samples from finalists, and conduct interviews with those finalists via video conference in January 2022.

COVID Vaccination

SMU must comply with President Biden's Executive Order (EO) 14042 requiring those that receive federal contracts and their employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they apply for and are granted an exemption for religious or medical reasons.

For more information regarding this requirement, please visit our website.
EOE Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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