Cornell University, Vice Provost Units

Position ID:Cornell-Vice Provost Units-DTRPOSTDOC [#21933, WDR-00031845]
Position Title: Democratic Threats & Resilience Postdoctoral Fellow
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map]
Subject Areas: Social Sciences / Politics
Computer Science
International Relations / Culture and Politics
Humanities and Social Sciences / Economics
Appl Deadline:2022/08/30 11:59PMhelp popup filled (posted 2022/06/15, listed until 2022/08/30)
Position Description:    

*** the listing date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

* this map is a best-effort approximation. Open in Google Maps directly.

The Democratic Threats and Resilience Project at Cornell University aims to cultivate new knowledge and collaborations that advance scientific understanding, scholarship, teaching, outreach, and engagement in ways that generate new insights into critical problems. We wish to provide a stronger evidentiary and theoretical basis for understanding democratic threats and resilience and to place Cornell University at the forefront of regime transition, democratization, and autocratization studies around the world.

The Democratic Threats and Resilience Postdoctoral Fellow will conduct research in the social sciences, including political science, history, sociology, economics, and/or computer science. The Fellow will be selected from a global pool of applicants based on their research’s promise for cultivating dialogue, nurturing collaboration across academic disciplines, and integrating, synthesizing, and building upon existing disciplinary contributions to regime transition research, broadly conceived. The candidates will also be evaluated based on how their research during the fellowship could benefit from and contribute to efforts by the Democratic Threats and Resilience Project to advance Cornell’s position as a global leader in the study of the factors that make democratic institutions vulnerable to internal or external subversion and, more importantly, the conditions under which they are resilient.

One fellowship will be conferred to a post-doctoral scholar who will be housed within the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. While in residence at Cornell, the Fellow will work to generate new knowledge that addresses key themes and concerns: these include but are not restricted to the socioeconomic inequalities and cultural conflicts that empower populist or anti-democratic challengers; the institutional features and political strategies that allow would-be autocratic leaders to capture and subvert regime institutions; the strategies that democratic rivals use to activate and defend checks and balances, and popular democratic support; and, expanding our knowledge of which “bottom-up” movements, civil society institutions, and individuals resist the rise of autocratic regimes. Successful applications will likely identify possible connections across disciplines.

The Fellow will assist the Democratic Threats and Resilience team with ongoing research projects, including attention to empirical indicators of democratic backsliding and autocratization, and factors driving partisan/identity cleavages to serve as inhibitors to regime cleavages that can mobilize pro-democracy coalitions.

Anticipated Division of Time
During semesters when they are not teaching, awardees will split their time roughly between their independent research, and the research of the Einaudi Center Democratic Threats and Resilience Project. When they are teaching, awardees will spend roughly 50% of their time on their independent research, 25% of their time on Democratic Threats and Resilience Project research, and 25% of their time teaching.

Awardees must have earned the doctoral degree within five years of beginning their fellowship. Candidates with more than five years of postdoctoral experience, and those who received their PhD from Cornell are not eligible. Awardees may not simultaneously hold any other paid or unpaid position during the term of the appointment. Prior to the start of their fellowship, candidates will be asked to provide confirmation that their doctoral degree has been conferred.

How to Apply
  • The completed application must be received electronically by the application deadline of August 30, 2022 at 11:59 EDT through Academic Jobs Online (AJO We have a rolling application review, so please submit applications as soon as possible.
  • Applicants must submit biographical information, including the expected (or actual) date that they will receive their PhD degree. Eligible applicants must have their PhD conferred prior to beginning the fellowship.
  • Full CV in PDF format.
  • Description of proposed research (maximum of 2 pages, single spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, PDF format). The proposal should be free of disciplinary jargon such that its significance and contribution towards factors that make democratic institutions vulnerable to internal subversion and the conditions under which they are resilient can be easily evaluated by faculty reviewers representing diverse disciplines.
  • Full name and contact information of three references, one of whom must be the applicant’s doctoral advisor. Recommenders will receive automated messages and can upload their reference letters directly to AJO. Please note that all references must be received by the application deadline on August 30, or as applications are submitted.
  • Applicants being seriously considered for the fellowship will be invited to participate in an interview via electronic conference with the selection committee.
  • Please note that non-U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents who are offered a Democratic Threats and Resilience Fellowship will be required to provide additional information in order to obtain and/or valid visa and work authorization. The Fellowship does not support H1B visa status.
  • Candidates will be notified of selection decisions by mid-September 2022. Start date is flexible depending upon candidate’s PhD completion – between September 15, 2022 – Jan 1, 2023.
 Salary and Appointment Details
  • Democratic Threats and Resilience Fellows are provided an annual stipend of $55,000 plus Cornell benefits.
  • In addition to the annual stipend, Democratic Threats and Resilience Fellows are provided with an annual professional development fund of $2,000 per fellowship year.
  • Democratic Threats and Resilience Fellows are appointed for a one-year term with the potential for a second-year renewal. The second-year renewal process will be led by the Einaudi Center Director in consultation with the Faculty Fellow of the Democratic Threats and Resilience Project.
  • Fellowship start date is negotiable between September 15, 2022 and January 1, 2023.
  • Candidates will be notified of selection decisions in early September, 2022.
The scholar will be housed within the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. The scholar will seek supervision from the Director of the Einaudi Center and the Faculty Fellow of the Democratic Threats and Resilience Project.

Teaching Expectations
Fellows will be asked to teach one class per academic year in a department closely related to their field of study.

As part of the university's comprehensive vaccination program, all Cornell employees are required to have and provide proof of an FDA-or WHO-authorized or approved COVID-19 primary vaccination or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption, regardless of their role and work location.

New hires are required to provide documentation showing primary vaccination status (that is, completion of two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one shot of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) before their first day of work. If a new hire's vaccination is not complete or information is not received by their start date, the first day of work will be delayed. It is possible in some cases that an offer of employment may be withdrawn.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
337 Pine Tree Road
Ithaca, NY 14850