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Michigan State University, Department of Anthropology
East Lansing, Michigan
Closing date
Dec 17, 2023

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Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Job Details

The Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University encourages applications for the MSU College of Social Science Dean’s Research Associate (Postdoc) Program. While the position is open to all of the social sciences, we are encouraging applicants from all areas of anthropology to apply. This College of Social Science Program specifically seeks to promote “an inclusive scholarly environment in which outstanding scholars in the social sciences support the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academy.” This is a Postdoc position with the possibility of transitioning to a tenure track line.

Department specific questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Department Chair Dr. Todd Fenton at We welcome you to visit our department website at

College of Social Science Dean’s Research Associate (Postdoc) Program

Michigan State University actively promotes a dynamic research and learning environment in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives and cultural backgrounds pursue academic goals with mutual respect and shared inquiry.

Program Description

The College of Social Science (SSC) Dean’s Research Associate Program at Michigan State University was established in 2018, as a major College initiative aimed at promoting an inclusive scholarly environment in which outstanding scholars in the social sciences support the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academy. The Dean’s Research Associates will have a minimal teaching load, will be mentored and supported, and will participate in a SSC Dean’s Research Associate Development Institute, with the goal of possibly transitioning them into tenure-system positions at Michigan State University.


Appointments will be made to applicants who show promise for tenure-track positions in Michigan State University’s College of Social Science in accordance with MSU academic hiring process. Each appointment is for a minimum of 9 months, renewable for an additional year, contingent upon a demonstration of meeting the performance expectation in research and teaching, with an emphasis on demonstrated research productivity. The selected candidate will receive a salary that is comparable to that of a starting Assistant Professor in the Research Associate’s discipline, plus benefits, and a budget for research and travel. Transitioning into a tenure-track faculty position at Michigan State University will require a series of structured, merit-based evaluations, which will include substantial peer input. MSU’s academic hiring process will be followed in appointing the candidates that advance into the tenure-track.


Applicants who have attained a PhD degree from an accredited university no later than July 2024, and no earlier than May 2021, with degrees and research interests in areas covered by the College’s Departments and Schools.


To apply, submit application materials online through Search for posting 901426 and electronically attach the following: (1) a 3 page statement addressing how your research, teaching, and service, contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) an academic research paper; (4) a 3 page research proposal outlining research interests and plans for the fellowship year(s); (5) a ½ page statement describing  your teaching philosophy, and the course(s) you could teach during the fellowship period; (6) three letters of reference which should address your potential for employment as a faculty member at MSU. Review of applications will start on October 31, 2023, and will continue until positions are filled. Questions concerning the search may be addressed to Nwando Achebe, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Social Science (

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

MSU is located in East Lansing, MI, with easy access to the state capital, Lake Michigan, and great school districts The University is proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career couples, both inside and outside the University.  Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at


The Department of Anthropology is a highly interconnected, diverse, theoretically engaged and practice-oriented research and teaching program at Michigan State University, the nation’s leading land grant institution. Our collective approaches are grounded in participatory fieldwork and a comparative perspective that aim to advance knowledge regarding the biological, cultural, and environmental interplay of the human experience. Our work contributes to the creation of knowledge within the discipline, makes a difference in the lives of people locally and globally, and prepares students at all levels and abilities to face the challenges of a globalized complex world.

We conceptualize anthropology as the humanistic science of cultural and biological diversity across time and space. This definition encompasses tensions that have characterized and animated anthropology since its inception as a discipline with commitments in the humanities and in science, which engages both cultural and biological diversity simultaneously and in relation to one another. As the discipline incorporates humanistic and scientific studies of societies across millennia and around the world, anthropologists utilize an extremely broad range of theoretical approaches and draw on sources and types of data that vary enormously.

In the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University, we believe that the strength and vitality of our discipline lies in our ability to approach fundamental issues concerning cultural and biological diversity from multiple perspectives, rather than the achievement of consensus. Our faculty specializes in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, medical anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. However, many of the research themes we address cross these areas of subdisciplinary specialization, and our research and teaching benefit from consideration of the multiple vantage points we bring to bear on these themes.

The following information is provided by the employer in accordance with AAA policy. AAA is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of these statements. They are not part of the actual position description submitted for publication by the employer.

  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/preference.
  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.
  • This employer does offer health insurance benefits to eligible partners.
  • This employer does not appear on the AAUP list of censured institutions.

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