The Climate Museum’s mission is to inspire action on the climate crisis with programming across the arts and sciences that deepens understanding, builds connections, and advances just solutions.
The Climate Museum seeks applications for a full-time Mellon Foundation Fellow in Climate Humanities and Social Justice who will join the Museum’s team from August 2024 through July 2026.
About the Climate Museum
Contending with the climate crisis at scale requires a transformation of our public culture. The Climate Museum, the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to climate change, mobilizes the power of arts and cultural programming to accelerate this crucial shift toward climate dialogue and action, empowering visitors with the understanding that they can take meaningful action for climate justice, creating community for collective action, and popularizing solutions that emphasize justice and equity. The Museum sees cultural work on climate both as a humanistic end in itself and as a means to inspiring action for climate justice policies. The public trust held by museums situates them as unparalleled spaces for bringing people together to join the fight for a brighter future.
In its public programming to date, the Museum has pioneered an activist cultural approach to community engagement with climate, recognizing that most Americans are worried about the climate crisis but unsure how to take meaningful action. The Museum’s free, accessible exhibitions, art installations, advocacy tools, events, and youth programs have received wide recognition in the cultural sector and beyond, and empowered hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors to exercise their agency in the global climate movement.
Building on its record of success, the Museum has launched an initiative to scale up to year-round space to make its path-breaking work accessible to more people. This vision is being implemented through a series of transit-accessible exhibitions in various locations.
The Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate Humanities and Social Justice will serve on the leadership team responsible for the development and implementation of Climate Museum programming, including exhibitions and art installations, in 2024, 2025, and 2026. They will provide critical scholarly vigor and intellectual depth to enrich a climate humanities and justice framework throughout the Museum’s work. The Fellow will be encouraged to propose and help implement creative new approaches to engaging the public on issues of climate and social justice.
The Mellon Fellowship is open to all candidates who have received or will receive their PhD in any humanities discipline between May 2019 and July 2024 and who have experience in climate and social justice. ABD candidates are welcome to apply, provided that they will be able to demonstrate that they have their degree in hand before August 2024. Although the position is an at-will employment position, it is intended that the Fellow will be in residence at the Museum full-time from August 2024 through July 2026, during which period they will serve as a key member of the Museum’s programmatic team. The Museum’s office is located in New York City; full vaccinations and in-person presence are required.
The Fellowship offers an exceptional opportunity for those eager to work in a dynamic, growing organization at the intersection of culture, climate, and justice and to meet the rising public demand for pathways into climate engagement and action. The position will include hands-on, immersive public humanities experience developing and expanding the programmatic content and public engagement strategy for the first museum in the United States dedicated to climate change.
The Fellowship includes a stipend of $85,000 a year, as well as health and dental insurance. Applications received by midnight Eastern time on March 15, 2024 will receive full consideration. The Fellow will begin work on August 1, 2024. The Museum offers relocation assistance and a modest research budget to the Fellow. The Museum will not sponsor applicants for work visas.
The Fellow will contribute to the Museum’s growing cultural activist leadership through scholarly research and program and exhibition development. They will play a key role in continuing to hone the Museum’s focus on the humanities in justice-centered climate programming, a crucial terrain for grasping the situation we face and fostering solutions. Fellows will have the opportunity to cultivate their curation and public engagement skills and advance the work of an organization at a formative moment of growth potential.
The Fellow will receive an orientation on current best practices in climate communications and the Climate Museum’s approach to curation, pedagogy, engagement, and outreach, with additional topics to be added based on the Fellow’s background.
Fellowship responsibilities include:
- Supporting the development of public programming for the Climate Museum’s 2024, 2025, and 2026 exhibitions;
- Participating in the curatorial team that will develop the Museum’s 2025 and 2026 exhibitions;
- Integrating an understanding of the intersections of climate and social justice throughout the Museum’s work, with a particular focus on public programs;
- Conducting research on best practices for outreach concerning the climate crisis and its intersections with issues of inequality and justice; and
- Co-designing and teaching a seminar for advanced undergraduate and graduate students focused on the practice of humanities at the intersection of climate and justice.
The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow will collaborate closely with members of the Museum’s public engagement team, including its Director, Director of Education and Engagement, Senior Exhibitions Associate, Design and Curatorial Associate, and Operations and Development Coordinator.
All applicants must:
- Be recipients of a PhD degree in the humanities between May 2019 and July 2024.
- Be able to work from the Climate Museum’s New York City office with periodic visits to temporary exhibitions and other programming locations.
- Have a keen eye toward the role of the environmental and climate humanities in expanding public engagement with climate justice.
- Have an academic background in a traditional humanities field and subject-matter expertise in climate, social justice, or both.
- Have a strong orientation towards collaboration and the success of the team.
- Have a flexible, ambitious, and enterprising mindset.
- Be inclined to kindness and humor under pressure.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but no later than Friday, March 15, 2024 at 11:59pm ET.
Application materials should be submitted via the Climate Museum’s application portal on Submittable, and should include the following:
- A cover letter detailing why you are a strong candidate and why this would be a good fit for you as well as the Climate Museum
- A Curriculum Vitae
- A 2-page single-spaced proposal outlining the public engagement work and research you would propose to conduct at the Climate Museum. (This is requested to help us understand your approach to public engagement; we will work together with the successful candidate to define responsibilities more specifically.)
You must also provide two confidential letters of referral. References should email letters of referral to email@example.com with the subject line “Mellon Postdoctoral Reference Letter for [Your Name].” If you have experience doing public engagement work, or work around climate and/or inequality, one letter of reference should come from a person familiar with that work.
The Climate Museum is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of any legally protected characteristic. The Climate Museum highly values diversity and views the climate crisis as, among other things, a social justice crisis. People of color, people with disabilities, and people who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community are encouraged to apply.