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Postdoctoral Scholar - History and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Salary range: Annual Starting Salary: See Table 23 for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $64,480 - $ 77,327.
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: 7/1/2024
Review timeline: 4/1/2024
Position duration: 2 years

Application Window

Open date: February 6, 2024

Most recent review date: Monday, Apr 1, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Friday, Jan 31, 2025 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Department of History and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Merced invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship connected with the SlaveVoyages website and the UC MRPI “Routes of the Enslavement in the Americas” Project.

We seek a scholar engaged in research on slavery and/or the African Diaspora in the Americas during the period of the Atlantic Slave Trade. The region of specialization is open, including sites in the Americas and/or Caribbean. Preference may be given to applicants who have used the SlaveVoyages databases in their research and/or whose research has the potential to add new data to those databases. We also encourage applications from scholars whose work engages with the Digital Humanities and envisions new routes for analyzing data related to enslavement and the traffic of enslaved Africans and their descendants.

The postdoctoral scholar will have interdisciplinary and disciplinary homes and faculty mentors at UC Merced. The Department of History and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies fosters interdisciplinary humanities research and produces critical knowledge that explores, analyzes, and interprets the lives of people, communities, and institutions around the world. The scholar will have an office within and pursue an affiliation with the Center for Africana Studies (CAS).

The postdoctoral scholar will be encouraged to develop their own research agenda and enjoy professional development and incorporation into departmental life at UC Merced.

The SlaveVoyages website is a collaborative initiative that compiles and makes publicly accessible records of the largest slave trades in history. It is the product of years of development by a multi-disciplinary team of historians, librarians, curriculum specialists, cartographers, computer programmers, and web designers in consultation with scholars of the traffic from institutions in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. While the website is currently hosted at Rice University, this project is run by a consortium of the following universities and institutions: the University of California; Emory University; Washington University in St. Louis; Rice University; Harvard University; National Museum of African and African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution; The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture; and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

This is a full-time, 24-month academic appointment from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2026, and includes a maximum $1500 allowance for research and/or relocation to Merced.

Work-related duties may include:

● Working on their own research project

● Working on the SlaveVoyages website

● Preparing workshops in consultation with the department and affiliated campus units and participating in relevant workshops or events

● Presenting content online (reviews, interviews, blogs, podcasts) drawn from research, teaching, and outreach

● Participating in weekly meetings of the SlaveVoyages Operational Committee

● Presenting their own research in a works-in-progress series or seminar speaker series in the Center for Africana Studies

● Performing additional tasks as relevant to the position

● There is no teaching requirement for this postdoctoral appointment


Basic qualifications

Applicants from any humanistic discipline are eligible to apply and must have the PhD in hand by June 30, 2024. Preference will be given to candidates who received their PhD in the past five years.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated 3 page C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Research Project Proposal - 1,000-word research project proposal that discusses how the postdoctoral research would engage with at least one aspect of the SlaveVoyages website and/or the themes of “Routes of Enslavement in the Americas”

  • Writing Sample - Writing Sample (approx. 30 pages)

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required
Apply link:

Help contact:

About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced is committed to interdisciplinary excellence in research and teaching as well as to diversity, equity and inclusion. Ranked as one of the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

Please refer to the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy and the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements. This includes the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs:

Job location

Merced, CA