Research Fellow

10 Nov 2020 12:55 PM | Anonymous

[Listing expires 11/30/2020]
Organization Name:  NC African American Heritage Commission
Organization Website:

Research Fellow for Africa to Carolina: Next Steps in the Journey

A project of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission

About the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources:

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) vision is to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries, and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

About the NC African American Heritage Commission:

The North Carolina General Assembly created the NC African American Heritage Commission (AAHC) in 2008 to "assist the Secretary of Cultural Resources in the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of African American history, arts, and culture." The commission works across the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the state, and region to achieve the mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting North Carolina's African American history, arts, and culture, for all people. Key to fulfilling this mission is sharing and supporting inclusive stories and information to a broad, diverse audience. As such, the AAHC strives to serve audiences and constituents through a variety of means, including technical assistance, literature, digital media, public programs, and traveling exhibitions.

Africa to Carolina: "Next Steps in the Journey Project:

Africa to Carolina, an initiative of the AAHC, serves to identify, acknowledge, and mark each site in North Carolina where enslaved Africans disembarked directly from the African Continent. Next Steps in the Journey, a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, aims to develop an exhibit centered on this history, to be housed at state institutions across North Carolina. The project will also yield a web portal designed to share resources and information about North Carolina’s relationship to, and role in, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, as well as stakeholder convenings to shape future possibilities for physical statewide commemoration of this legacy.

The Research Fellow will create the project exhibition, support the development of the project web portal, and connect stakeholders to this work.

Research Fellow Duties:

  • Perform secondary source research to gain a comprehensive understanding of North Carolina’s relationship to, and role in, the Transatlantic Slave Trade; the lived experiences and legacies of enslaved North Carolinians; and slavery’s impact on North Carolina.
  • Compile past and recent research on the slave trade in the colony of North Carolina.
  • Perform academic research on North Carolina disembarkation sites as needed.
  • Create 5-6 panel exhibition on North Carolina’s relationship to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Research Fellow shall work independently to craft and curate content (copy and images) and will collaborate with an internal team to shape exhibit design.
  • Work with project web developer to conceptualize design for project web portal.
  • Gather relevant research and educational resources related to the Transatlantic Slave Trade in North Carolina and the United States; upload this content to the project web portal.
  • Collaborate with AAHC staff to design, organize, and facilitate one stakeholder convening to determine next steps for the project.
  • Contribute to project reports, including interim and final grant reports.
  • Present work at professional conferences.

Candidate Requirements:

  • Knowledge of African American history.
  • Demonstrated experience conducting academic historical research. Must have the ability to analyze and interpret primary and secondary source materials in various settings.
  • Demonstrated experience developing exhibitions for diverse public audiences.
  • Must have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with diverse stakeholder groups, including state agency staffers, museum professionals, constituents, academic historians, and public humanities professionals.
  • Must have the ability to work both independently and as a member of a small team; demonstrated experience working in a dynamic, flexible environment necessary.
  • Must be detail oriented and have the capacity to think expansively and creatively.
  • Must have excellent time management skills and demonstrated project management skills.
  • Must be flexible and adapt well to change and re-direction.
  • Valid driver’s license, ability to travel within the state of North Carolina and work some evenings weekends, for meetings, research, and events as required.

Management Prefers:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of North Carolina African American history.
  • Graduate student with demonstrated experience studying the 18th century U.S. history, African American history, Africana Studies, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the 18th century Atlantic World or Material Culture of the Middle Passage, Public History, anthropology, archaeology or Maritime Studies.
  • Knowledge of and experience researching African American history and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
  • Experience working with or for African American cultural institutions.
  • Familiarity with developing content for the web, especially for the Drupal platform.

Minimum Education & Experience Requirements:

A bachelor's degree in history with one year of experience in a related graduate program; or a bachelor’s degree in history with two years of progressive experience in a historical agency that has included research experience.


An equivalent combination of training and experience.

Nature of Supervision Given:

  • Research Fellow will report to AAHC Director.

Hours & Compensation:

  • This is a contract position, the duration of which is 24 months (January 2021-December 2022).
  • Research Fellow will be compensated $40,000 total ($20,000/year), to be paid in increments through contract duration.
  • Approx. 80 hours/month. Fellow will be required to track and manage time against tasks/duties.
  • Project’s budget will provide additional funds for project-related travel, outreach, and conferences.

Sketch Project Timeline:

January 2021 Onboarding

January-March 2021 Research review, review of existing project content, performing additional research

April-May 2021 Craft exhibit development plan and aligning exhibit framework, performing additional research

June-August 2021 Craft first draft of exhibit; work with internal design team to support exhibit design work

September 2021 Craft second draft of exhibit

October-December 2021 Final draft of exhibit, and exhibit design, finalized

January 2022 Exhibit installed at host sites

January-February 2022 Collaborate with project web developer to conceptualize design for project web portal

March 2022 Gather relevant research and educational resources related to the Transatlantic Slave Trade in N.C. and the U.S.

April-September 2022 Continue to gather research and resources; upload this content onto project web portal

July-September 2022 Design and organize stakeholder convening to determine project next steps; facilitate convening

October-December 2022 Contribute to project final report


Submit resume/CV and letter of interest to

Please use subject line “Africa to Carolina Research Fellow”.

Application Deadline: 6:00 p.m. on November 30, 2020.

Hiring Salary Range:  $20,000/year

Apply via the following Email Address/URL:

The North Carolina Museums Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
PO Box 2603, Raleigh, NC 27602-2603
Copyright 2018 - present.

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