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Association of Public & Land-grant Universities
Office of Urban Initiatives
Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU)
District Of Columbia
Posted: 02/12/2021
Graduate Fellow

Title: Graduate Fellow
Department: Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) 
Supervisor: Assistant Director, USU
Status: Temporary, Part-Time; Non-Exempt
Level of Effort/Duration: 15 hours per week; 12-month position (with the possibility of extension)
Level: Associate
Location: Washington, DC
Application Deadline: February 26, 2021

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the US, Canada and Mexico, is seeking a Graduate Fellow for an externally-funded project based in the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU).  This highly motivated individual will provide research and administrative support for the Student Experience Project (SEP), a national network seeking to increase equity in college success by transforming student experience.   The Student Experience Project is translating research on student learning mindsets such as social belonging, identity safety, and growth mindset to design tools and resources that can be applied at scale in higher education.   A successful candidate will be a self-starter who thrives in a fast-paced team environment, has very strong writing and organizational skills, and possesses a keen attention to detail.  This part-time, 12-month position (with possibility of extension) will be based in Washington, DC. 

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.3 billion in university-based research.

The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) is a president-led network of approximately 37 public urban research universities working to drive transformational change throughout their institutions and the communities they serve.  USU is 501 (c)6 organization with its own board, budget and members. USU works in permanent partnership with APLU, shares offices with APLU, and leads a joint urban agenda for the nation’s public universities, centered in the idea of the public urban university as an anchor institution for its neighborhoods. Its priority work areas are student success, health equity, 21st century workforce, and its newest priority -dismantling institutional racism.

The Graduate Fellow will provide project and administrative support for USU’s Student Experience project and other student success-related efforts, including but not limited to: 

Administrative & Grants Management 

  • Assisting with calendaring, tracking correspondence and projects, maintaining contact lists, and planning schedules of the USU team and campus members.
  • Providing meeting support (preparing and sending out background materials, note taking and follow-up).
  • Serving as liaison to university partners for grants management, working with the APLU finance team to execute site contracts and manage invoices or reimbursements.
  • Providing budgeting support.
  • Executing vendor contracts.

Writing and Research 

  • Conducting interviews with campus leaders and/or faculty and writing critical syntheses of campus activities.
  • Designing, implementing, and synthesizing project evaluation and improvement efforts, such as focus groups and surveys.
  • Developing presentation materials for targeted audiences.
  • Preparing, reviewing and editing project reports, data briefs and papers, and other relevant documents, ensuring they are complete, current and stored appropriately.

Program & Convening Support 

  • Providing project management, program support, and communications support for new and emerging SEP initiatives.
  • Gathering information and conducting background research for the design of new initiatives.
  • Identifying and supporting opportunities to elevate work of SEP in higher ed spaces.
  • Providing support for national convening planning (e.g. coordinating hotels, meeting space, and other logistics).
  • Assisting during meetings; may require travel starting Aug 2021.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Coursework towards an advanced degree (MA, MS or PhD) preferred.
  • Administrative support experience. Work experience at a college/university, a higher education organization, a non-profit organization, or a non-profit involved with relevant issues is a plus.
  • Outstanding writing, editing, and analytical skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communications skills; accuracy and attention to details in verbal and written communication.
  • Interest or proficiency in learning and adopting new technologies to support virtual meetings and other forms of online network collaboration
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, exercise discretion, maintain confidentiality, demonstrate sound judgment, participate as an effective team member, cooperate with co-workers and supervisors, and follow through assigned tasks to completion.
  • Commitment to student success by designing student-centered, equitable learning environments.  

To Apply
Please send a letter of interest and resume to APLU’s Human Resources Department at with the subject line USU Graduate Fellow no later than February 26, 2020.  Applications will be reviewed as received and continue until the position is filled. APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.