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Postdoctoral Training Opportunity - History of Education and Iranian Studies

Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), in conjunction with the Middle East and North African Studies Program (MENA), is seeking exceptional candidates for a postdoctoral trainee with broad interests at the intersections of history, Iranian studies, and education research. The trainee will be based in Evanston, Illinois and will work under the supervision of Professor Sepehr Vakil on a Spencer Foundation-funded project examining the cultural and political history of an engineering university in pre-revolutionary Iran. The postdoctoral trainee will be fully involved in all aspects of the research including project management, data collection and analysis, and conference and manuscript preparation. Additionally, the trainee will be expected to be an active member of the Steering Committee for the Study of Modern Iran, a SESP-Weinberg cross-school initiative, which may involve co-organizing workshops, mentoring graduate students, and attending community events.

Applicants from all fields of humanities and social sciences are encouraged to apply. They are particularly interested in candidates whose research and teaching engage at least one if not more of the following areas: (1) history and philosophy of education, (2) science and technology studies, (3) Iranian studies, and who have expertise with archival methods, oral histories, and related methodologies in the social sciences. Cultural familiarity and knowledge of Farsi-language is required.

The initial term of the position is one year with the possibility for renewal. The start date is July 1, 2021.


  • PhD in fields including history, education, anthropology, sociology, Iranian Studies, or other related fields
  • Expertise with archival methods, oral histories, and related methodologies
  • Cultural understanding of Iran and ability to read and translate Persian script
  • Project management skills

Applications Should Include

  • cover letter, describing your interest in and qualifications for this position;
  • curriculum vitae (including publications list);
  • 1 published paper, or equivalent writing samples that you are most proud of and which best demonstrate your expertise and fit for the position;
  • one research statement 2-3 pages﴿ that outlines both your research achievements and agenda and your service and outreach activities and
  • the names and contact information of three letter writers;
  • a link to a professional webpage and Google Scholar page (if applicable).

Applications should be submitted directly to Dr. Sepehr Vakil at, with subject header “ATTN: POSTDOCTORAL APPLICATION FOR SPENCER IRAN PROJECT).

Applications will be accepted until April 20, 2021. Candidates are encouraged to get in touch with Dr. Vakil at with questions.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.