The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

FundingJob Opportunities

New York Botanical Garden Humanities Institute Research Assistant (apply by 2/26)

The Humanities Institute, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and located within the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Garden, is excited to expand its innovative programming with a Food Studies Initiative. This initiative will advance the Institute’s environmental humanities research by engaging and empowering local communities in the Bronx. This new Food Studies Initiative aims to create opportunities for the Garden’s Bronx neighbors to share their stories and cultural traditions around growing and preparing food by documenting and archiving these untold food narratives. In addition to capturing oral histories, the Food Studies Initiative will present public lecture programs, including conversations with chefs, online seminars, workshops, and symposia.

Additionally, this position supports, through actions and conduct, NYBG’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility initiatives, and helps to build and maintain an inclusive organizational culture throughout the institution.

The New York Botanical Garden is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work environment, and further recognizes that diversity in our workforce fosters excellence in our mission of advocating for the plants of the world. Leveraging the strong foundation of existing policies and practices, NYBG will advance inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility through a number of institutional initiatives presented through this plan. Our aspiration is to continue to cultivate a workforce and institution that is as diverse as the communities we serve and the audiences we engage.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

We seek a candidate with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated experience with community-based projects involving communities from diverse cultural backgrounds, recruiting people for interviews, and knowledge of oral history best practices, interviewing techniques and theory, as well as ethics in working with human subjects and potentially sensitive cultural information. Background in oral history, anthropology, and/or the social sciences desirable. A facility in Spanish strongly preferred. Under the supervision of the Director of the Humanities Institute, the Research Assistant will work with NYBG staff to support the initiative, including the personal narratives project and public lecture programs.

The personal narratives project requires the Research Assistant to conduct one-on-one interviews outdoors and virtually. The interviews with all their formatted components (audio, transcriptions, photos, and other media) must be edited and curated to be shared publicly on an accessible community archive. Important historical collections in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library and the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium will be taken into consideration to develop the narratives and broaden their long-term cultural value.

The Research Assistant is also responsible for assisting in the organizing and facilitation of several Workshops on food and culture and the annual Foodways Symposium.


Current graduate student, or recent post-graduate (no more than five years since official graduation date). Students from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.  Ability to solve problems, work independently, and make efficient use of resources.

Research Assistant Position:

To help coordinate the Food Studies Initiative, the Humanities Institute is pleased to offer a Research Assistant position for a current graduate student or recent post-doctoral student. Candidates are invited to apply for the Food Studies Initiative – Oral Histories on our website

Period of position:

Twelve months; 35 hours a week. This one-year position is scheduled to begin in March/April 2021 and presumes a safe reopening of programming or a Zoom Meeting system to record the food narratives.

How to apply:  

Applications should include:

  • Complete curriculum vitae of education, professional experience, honors, awards, and publications.
  • Copy of your Graduate transcripts (electronic copies will be accepted).
  • Two letters of recommendation (PDF) to be sent by the recommenders directly to


The deadline for all job application materials, including letters of recommendation, is February 26, 2021.

If you require an accommodation for any part of the application process, please notify the Human Resources department at

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