About the Institute for Research on Women


Mellon Fellows at the IRW

At the forefront of feminist research for over thirty years, the Institute for Research on Women (IRW) advances cutting-edge, interdisciplinary scholarship on women, gender and sexuality. Part of the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the IRW was founded in 1977 by faculty and administrators seeking to expand feminist scholarship and activism beyond the university’s fledgling Women’s Studies program. Today, the IRW supports a broad range of programming designed to stimulate research on women, gender and sexuality within and across the disciplines, throughout and beyond Rutgers. Promoting faculty and student connections and building intellectual community are also central to the IRW’s mission. Affiliate members of the IRW currently include almost 900 faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates drawn from a wide range of disciplines at the New Brunswick, Newark and Camden campuses.

Mellon Fellows are fully integrated into the IRW’s intellectual life. Fellows join the IRW seminar, one of the Institute’s core programs organized around an annual theme. The IRW Seminar brings together faculty, visiting fellows and advanced graduate students to discuss works-in-progress from a wide range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Past participants in the seminar have described it as a “collegial” but “rigorous” space for interdisciplinary engagement which is “warm and receptive to different perspectives and fields.” The IRW strives to create a supportive, intellectual home-away-from-home for all seminar participants.

Fellows also have the opportunity to meet the individual lecturers talking in the IRW’s Distinguished Lecture Series—and, of course, to attend the lectures themselves. The Distinguished Lecture Series, an integral part of the IRW’s annual programming, showcases innovative research by prominent scholars working on women, gender, and sexuality. Talks explore the annual theme in depth and are followed by lengthy, engaged, and occasionally contentious discussion—adding richness and complexity to the continuing conversations at the IRW.

Opportunities for fellows to benefit from professional advancement and mentoring are plentiful at Rutgers, and include several programs specifically organized by the IRW. The annual Negotiating Basics Workshop is a prime example. This workshop features panelists of different ranks from the sciences, social sciences and humanities discussing best practices for women negotiating for faculty positions or promotions. The workshop seeks to demystify the negotiation process for women in the academic job market, informing participants about the kinds of resources and perks that can be asked for and describing how these vary by discipline.

Fellows are also able to take advantage of the many informal networking and mentoring opportunities available on campus, and especially at the Women's Scholarship and Leadership Complex, where both the IRW and the Women’s and Gender Studies Department are housed. With dedicated office space in both locations, Mellon Fellows are ideally situated at the hub of feminist scholarship at Rutgers, and able to maximize the possibility for exchanging ideas with faculty members, graduate students, and other visiting fellows.

In short, Rutgers is an ideal place to situate scholarship on women, gender and sexuality. The IRW provides members of the lively, interdisciplinary feminist community at Rutgers—residents and fellows alike—with an intellectual home.


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The School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University are pleased to announce a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Women's and Gender Studies, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The selected fellow will receive a stipend of $50,000 each year as well as an annual research allocation of $2,000 and Rutgers University health benefits.  The fellow will pursue research and teach three courses in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department during the two-year term of her/his appointment.  The fellow also will participate in seminars and other activities organized by the IRW.

Women’s and Gender Studies has a rich history at Rutgers University. Inaugurated as a department in 2001, Women’s and Gender Studies has grown from offering a few courses at the University in 1973 to becoming one of the strongest interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs in the United States. Department faculty include 30 core, 117 graduate, and 75 affiliate members whose expertise in Women’s and Gender Studies is enriched by specializations in the Arts, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Sociology, Political Science, and Comparative Literatures in English, French, and Spanish.

The IRW’s seminar, organized around an annual theme, brings together faculty and advanced graduate students to discuss works-in-progress from a range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives. The IRW also hosts a Distinguished Lecture Series, which invites well-known scholars working on women, gender, and sexuality to come to Rutgers to share their research with our faculty and students throughout the year, and offers professional development workshops and mentoring opportunities, such as the Negotiating Basics Workshop. For more information on these programs, please see: http://irw.rutgers.edu/MellonFellowsattheIRW.html.

The broad interdisciplinary nature of both the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and the IRW will allow the selected fellow to become fully integrated into the life of the university. Rutgers is an institution with a deep commitment to scholarship on women, gender, and sexuality.  Both the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and the IRW are part of the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL), a consortium of nine different Rutgers units focused on women and gender, constituting the most extensive collection of resources on these issues at a university in the United States. Rutgers, therefore, is a unique and stimulating environment in which to situate feminist research.

The search committee encourages candidates to apply whose research areas are in related fields: new media, arts and technology; feminist visual culture; trans studies, sexuality and the history of the body; carcerality and gender; and gender and poverty studies, but welcomes applications from all scholars who feel that their work would benefit from affiliation with Women’s and Gender Studies and with the IRW.  Candidates must have received the Ph.D. after August 31, 2009; applicants must have finished all requirements for the Ph.D. by July 1, 2014.

Applications consisting of a CV, a 2500-word statement and 3 letters of recommendation, should be submitted electronically through Interfolio at http://apply.interfolio.com/23049. 

Applications must be received by January 6, 2014.  The statement should address the following: (1) the significance of the candidate's research and the specific project that will be developed during the two-year fellowship, (2) a brief description of some of the courses the candidate could offer, and (3) how and why Women Studies and the IRW at Rutgers can advance the candidate's areas of research.

Rutgers University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to diversity. Women, minorities, and members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.