The SSRC seeks a Program Officer/Director for its new Digital Culture program. The program engages the opportunities and challenges presented to the social sciences, and scholarship more broadly, by the digital revolution. In the program’s first phase, the Program Officer/Director will oversee the engagement of these issues through working groups, a new digital forum, the development of a research agenda, and the exploration of new techniques in digital social science.
The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, international, nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of interdisciplinary research in the social sciences through a wide variety of workshops and conferences, fellowships and grants, summer training institutes, scholarly exchanges, research, and publications.
The SSRC invites applications for the position of Program Officer/Director for the new Digital Culture program. The program engages the opportunities and challenges presented to the social sciences, and scholarship more broadly, by the digital revolution. Opportunities for the production and dissemination of social knowledge are, in many ways, unprecedented. The digital tools and sources of information now available include digitized archives, journals and books; massive data sources of new kinds; enhanced capacity to search; the explosion of software for the organization, investigation, and display of knowledge; radically innovative techniques for data visualization; and a growing commitment by an array of scholarly institutions to extend these means to advance research, teaching, and publishing. The challenges these changes pose to the generation, quality, and availability of knowledge are equally pressing and include the hollowing out of crucial institutions, the privatization and commercialization of data, the frequent absence of gatekeeping and guardianship of standards, and stark inequalities of access.
The Digital Culture program’s first phase will engage these issues through the mobilization of working groups on the curation of scholarly knowledge, the digital social sciences (including, but not limited to, questions surrounding big data), and the reliability of social science. A new digital forum will publish ideas and generate public discussion on these and related topics. The program will also use its first phase to develop a research agenda that brings a range of social science thinking to key questions regarding digital knowledge. Lastly, it will explore and experiment with new techniques in digital social science. The Program Officer/Director will design these activities in collaboration with a program advisory committee and oversee their implementation with the support of the Digital Culture Program Assistant. This is a two-year position with the possibility of renewal.
The best-qualified candidates will have a PhD in one of the social sciences, the humanities, information science, or interdisciplinary fields such as communications and media studies. Strong candidates will also have demonstrated achievements as researchers, as well as experience in the design and managing of digital scholarship. Competitive candidates should demonstrate experience in collaborative work, the organization of events, and/or connection and outreach to a range of constituencies in academia, publishing, and media. The ability to communicate effectively is crucial, and experience engaging both researchers and nonacademic constituencies, including funders and policymakers, is likewise critical. Familiarity with grants administration and budgeting is desirable. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively and to manage multiple priorities and projects effectively.
- Manage the continued development and implementation of the Digital Culture program in collaboration with the program’s advisory committee and in consultation with the SSRC’s President and Executive Program Director. This includes the development of funding proposals to support program activities.
- Engage with key members of the program’s network, especially its advisory committee and working groups, to facilitate strategic planning and oversight of program activities.
- Oversee planning for upcoming events, including conferences, workshops, and other meetings, and manage program budgets.
- Oversee the development of the program’s digital forum, and help curate its content in consultation with an editorial board and editorial advisors.
- Oversee the process and quality of publications emerging from the program as well as its online presence.
- Facilitate connections between the program’s scholars and relevant policy and media communities.
- Develop models of “digital social science” that the SSRC could implement and/or promote.
- Liaise and coordinate with other SSRC departments and with partner organizations.
- Handle additional responsibilities and projects as directed, depending on interest and capacity.
Terms, Salary and Benefits
Annual salary will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits include health, dental, vision, disability, life, and gym reimbursement; outstanding pension plan and tax savings programs; generous vacation and sick leave; and more. Provisions are made for professional staff to continue their development as social scientists while at the Council.
For further information or to apply, please send a cover letter that includes your thoughts on how the Digital Culture program might proceed, a curriculum vitae, one writing sample, and the names of at least three professional colleagues who can serve as references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Digital Culture PO/PD” in the subject line.
The Social Science Research Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer.