Postdoctoral Scholar


For University of California Grant period: September 2019 through June 2020

First application deadline: by 5:00pm (PDT), Saturday, June 29, 2019 (there will be a second postdoc with an application deadline of December 2019)

Salary varies by UC campus

Open to any scholar who has earned the PhD within the past five years (fall 2014-2019), or who will hold the PhD by September 2019, engaged in research relevant to the development of Critical Mission Studies.

The UC Critical Mission Studies project invites applications for two postdoctoral scholars to be hosted at two of four UC campuses, UCLA, UCSC, UCSD, or UCR for academic year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Salary varies by campus.

Eligible Recipients:

Requirements include a PhD in a relevant field awarded between fall 2014 and September 2019

Application Materials and Process:

The application consists of a three to five-page narrative describing current research, its relevance to the theme of Critical Mission Studies, and plans for the project to be undertaken during the funding period, its importance, and the deliverable(s) to be produced. The applicant should forward a current CV to be included as part of the application, and arrange for 2 letters of reference: 1 from the committee chair, 1 from the proposed faculty mentor at the participating campus.

 Other Requirements:

Proposals will incorporate the Critical Mission Studies research protocol posted in the tab above. Please see the posted list of subject areas for research of interest to California Indian tribal nations also available on this site.  Stated grant “deliverable/s” in keeping with the purposes of the grant may include: a publication, a performance, a museum exhibition, creation of new curricular materials, collection of oral histories, conducting a workshop, among others. Recipients of Critical Mission Studies funding will participate in one or more dissemination activities to raise public and community awareness, a major goal of CMS. Potential dissemination activities include public conferences, workshops, as well as publications. Meaningful collaboration between the UC and California Indian research partners, institutions, or organizations is encouraged. Proposals focused on the experiences of CA Indians require substantial partnership with CA Indian people, institutions, or organizations.

All grant recipients will be required to submit a final report on their project.

Evaluation Criteria:

Does the applicant possess the qualifications to complete the proposed project?

If the project is focused on the experiences of California Indians, does the study involve multiple missions, tribal collaboration, or other type of collaboration?

For projects focused on topics related to the California Indian experience, a letter of support from tribal government will strengthen the application.

Does the project make contributions to the history of the missions, to understanding of the missions today, or to the contemporary/ongoing impacts of the mission system?

Are the timeline and budget realistic?


 Please address questions to Charlene Villaseñor Black, or

Funded by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), Critical Mission Studies is a two-year initiative (Jan 2019-Dec 2020) that seeks a new critical engagement with our state’s history through the lens of the missions, vastly mythologized and profoundly understudied. Through reconsideration of the missions as both physical sites and foci of interpretation, we pursue new research that surfaces both Native and Mexican/Mexican-American voices in the history of California and the US. Reflecting trends in public history over the last decade, our research will foster more complex, multidimensional public engagements with difficult histories. California’s 21 missions are an imperfect, partial, yet essential lens to access California’s various histories and engage in nuanced and frank encounters with the past, particularly with the genocide of California Indians, with UC scholars at the helm, producing data-driven studies.

“Critical Mission Studies at California’s Crossroads,” University of California Multicampus Research Program Initiative (MRPI):