IRH Accepting Applications for PA Position: Deadline April 17th

Project Assistantship (50%)
Institute for Research in the Humanities

The Institute for Research in the Humanities is offering a 50% project assistantship, approximately twenty hours per week, for twelve months beginning in September 2020. The Institute seeks a graduate student in the humanities who has achieved dissertator status for an annual appointment, September-August, 2020-2021, renewable. This position offers salary, tuition remission, health insurance, vacation time, office space, and other benefits. Some availability in August 2020 for paid training is required.

Position Overview

The Institute for Research in the Humanities is a research institution at UW-Madison that houses over forty fellows from the University of Wisconsin system and beyond. The project assistant is responsible for providing support to ensure the smooth operation of the Institute, including helping with the Institute’s technology, administrative, and event management needs. As part of the IRH staff, the PA will be part of a stimulating, interdisciplinary community of scholars and welcome to take part in weekly events and discussions. This is an exciting opportunity for a graduate student to gain experience in humanities administration and to be part of a supportive intellectual community on campus while completing their dissertation.

Position Description

The PA is mainly responsible for the web and technology needs of the Institute. This includes regularly updating the IRH website; assuring web-based information is archived for further needs and future reference; publicizing seminars, fellowship calls, lectures, and conferences using MailChimp and HTML email; maintaining image databases; and occasionally helping to design event posters or postcards. The PA provides tech assistance for weekly seminars, setting up audio-visual equipment as needed. The Institute also holds fellowship competitions and solicits online applications. The PA is responsible for ensuring the process runs smoothly by designing and managing the online application forms, maintaining the application databases, and publicizing the fellowships through external sites. Finally, the PA serves as the contact person for any of the fellows’ computer or printer issues and refers issues to various IT support contacts as needed.

The PA is also responsible for administrative assistance with the daily operations of the Institute. The PA should be flexible in helping the Assistant to the Director and Director with the many miscellaneous tasks that occur when overseeing several dozen in-residence fellows and receiving hundreds of fellowship applications. This includes meeting scheduling, email inquiries, office maintenance requests, document editing, program research, digital and physical file management, interdepartmental mailings, committee management, and contact list maintenance.

Lastly, the PA is responsible for assisting with all aspects of weekly event management including room set-up, refreshment ordering and preparation, occasional room reservations, as well as post-event clean-up.


For the technology aspect of the position, desired qualifications include: website maintenance experience (WordPress experience required, basic HTML coding knowledge preferred, CSS and Google Analytics experience not required, but valued); a willingness to learn new skills and technologies; experience preparing photos and documents for the web (basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop or similar image editing software required, experience with design software not required, but helpful); familiarity with Audio-Visual equipment; the ability to troubleshoot or triage basic IT problems for both PC and Mac users; and experience with Microsoft Suite (especially Excel and Outlook). Familiarity with online forms and application software or databases (Interfolio, Jotform, Google Forms, Doodle Polls), Custom Wisclists and Google Groups, and shared drives/file-sharing platforms (UW Box, Dropbox, Google Drive) is also helpful. The IRH is happy to provide training for some of the skills listed above if necessary.

For the administrative and event management aspects of the position, desired qualifications include: demonstrated organizational skills; expertise with scheduling and logistics management; experience with event and/or conference planning; professional, timely email etiquette; flexibility and willingness to help out with all aspects of events; and some familiarity with UW financial policy for events and hosted meals.

Eligibility and Application Procedure

The deadline for applications is April 17, 2020.

This position is open to UW-Madison graduate students in the humanities and related fields. In order to meet scheduling requirements and to best take advantage of the IRH intellectual community and office space while serving as a PA, it is required that candidates for the position have already passed their preliminary examinations and achieved dissertator status. Applicants will be reviewed based on their relevant experience and skills and their flexibility to assist with the various aspects of the Institute.

Application Materials (please combine the following 4 items and send as a single PDF file):

  • Letter of application stating interest in the position and highlighting relevant experience
  • CV
  • Transcript (unofficial is fine-this is just to demonstrate dissertator status)
  • Name and contact information of two past work supervisors

Submit application pdf by 11:59 PM CT on 04/17/20
Subject line: IRH PA Application – Last Name, First Name
Inquiries: IRH,, 608-262-3855
(For information about the Institute, see