Humanities Policy Fellow

The Humanities Policy Fellowship provides an opportunity for an early-career professional with training in the humanities or humanistic social sciences to learn about a career in public policy and administration. While in residence, the Humanities Policy Fellow will contribute to new and ongoing Academy projects working across disciplines with Academy members, staff, and subject-matter experts.

The Humanities Policy fellow serves as a full-time member of the staff in support of the work of the Academy and its members. The Fellow will work within one or more of the following program areas, based on the current projects and needs: Humanities, Arts, and CultureEducation and the Development of Knowledge; and American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good

Priority consideration will be given to applications received online by Tuesday, February 18, 2020. This position is for a two-year term, starting July - September of 2020 and continuing through June-August of 2022.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”   Academy projects bring together elected members and subject matter experts in cross-disciplinary efforts to produce reflective, independent, and pragmatic studies that inform public policy and advance the public good. 

The Humanities Policy Fellowship program has three objectives:

  • To support and guide an early-career professional who wants to develop expertise on policy issues related to humanities and the humanistic social sciences;
  • To increase the number of humanities professionals who are engaged in substantive discussion of questions about policy related to the humanities, with a broad understanding of their social implications; and
  • To expand the scale of Academy projects and studies focused on challenges facing the humanities and American society.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

  • Work with Academy Fellows and staff to carry out policy and academic studies;
    • Draft and edit reports for internal use and external audiences, including workshop proceedings, white papers, policy briefs, and online content;
    • Gather, synthesize, and edit research findings and technical data;
    • Assemble committees of experts from inside and outside the Academy’s membership and provide guidance and support to those committees and advisory groups in the conduct of their work;
    • Develop agendas and multimedia presentations for committee meetings and project workshops and draft meeting summaries;
    • Work with the program staff to prepare and distribute conference materials and provide on-site staff support.
    • Design and organize outreach activities to communicate the findings and recommendations from Academy studies to external audiences; and
    • Draft and edit grant proposals and progress reports.
  • Work with Academy program staff to identify professional development opportunities that will advance the candidate’s knowledge of cultural and social policy.
  • Help expand the profile of the Academy and its audiences within the academic and policy communities;
  • Assist in the development and implementation of member engagement initiatives as requested;
  • Assist with executive briefings and remarks;
  • Other duties as assigned

Fellowship Eligibility:

  • Applicants must have a Ph.D. in an area of the humanities, humanistic social sciences, or the arts and have some experience or a demonstrated interest in an area related to public policy. The Ph.D. must be conferred prior to starting the position.
  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States without Academy sponsorship.


  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize and summarize research findings and recommendations to a variety of audiences;
  • Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational and meeting-management skills.
  • Ability to display initiative and follow-through skills
  • Ability to work well in a highly collaborative team structure
  • Ability to comfortably and professionally interface with a wide range of constituents, including Academy members, staff, and the public at large.
  • Ability to learn quickly, prioritize tasks, and work accurately under pressure.
  • Ability to creatively problem-solve and be flexible to work in a changing environment.

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