Part-Time Research Assistant, Allegheny Project Teen Reading Lounge

Posted by Pennsylvania Humanities Council on June 9, 2014

Part-Time Research Assistant
Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s Teen Reading Lounge in Allegheny Project

Organization Overview
Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) is a 40-year old nonprofit organization and a federal/state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. PHC champions the humanities through original programming, advocacy, and direct grants.

The mission of PHC is “to build and lead a vibrant network of individuals, organizations, and communities that champions the humanities and empowers Pennsylvanians to think critically, grow, and engage in their communities.” PHC supports diverse programming that exemplifies the humanities and shows why the humanities are important in everyday life, work, and community building in a 21st century global society in Pennsylvania

PHC has a $1.4 million annual operating budget, with a strong senior leadership team and an engaged Board of Directors from across the state. PHC is well-known for exceptional programming nationally among state humanities councils. Additional information on PHC can be found at

Project Overview
The Research Assistant is a temporary, part-time position to support program development of PHC’s series of humanities-based book discussion program for teens, Teen Reading Lounge (TRL). Offered in partnership with public libraries, TRL engages teen audiences in out-of-school time learning in the humanities which foster 21st century learning skills. It also increases the capacity of libraries to conduct public humanities programming for teen audiences. The project aims to modify Teen Reading Lounge so that PHC and partnering libraries can more effectively advance out-of-school-time learning by youth from lower income communities. The project will be conducted in partnership with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. For more on TRL, see

Position Summary
The Research Assistant is responsible for working with program staff to identify, collect, and analyze research studies and expert recommendations. The position reports to the Director of Programs and Special Projects. The hours anticipated are 1 to 2 days per week from July through the end of September. The position may become a long-term part-time position after the project ends.


Background research:
• Conduct a scan of research studies that are relevant to the project and provide a foundation for the revisions to TRL.
• Identify and conduct interviews with appropriate experts to get their recommendations about serving lower income youth.
• Summarize key findings for sharing with staff and partners.

Program content research:
• Conduct a scan of best practices in out-of-school time learning for lower income youth.
• Identify appropriate programming advisors and coordinate their participation in program development.
• Support program staff in organizing a day-long program development meeting in Pittsburgh and assist at the meeting.
• Conduct interviews with advisors who cannot attend the meeting in Pittsburgh.

Required Education/Experience
• An M.A. in urban education or other related field, with coursework in reading, writing, and literacy
• Work experience with older youth, grades 6 to 12
• Undergraduate major in the humanities preferred

Knowledge and Skills Requirement
• Strong knowledge of urban education and the humanities that allows candidate to identify issues for further study and investigation
• Strong research skills
• Ability to organize, analyze, and synthesize information in a way that is understandable to different audiences
• Ability to communicate clearly; can write quickly
• Ability to collaborate and work in teams
• Ability to operate independently; self-starter can initiate next steps
• Must be organized and dependable

Application Procedure
E-mail cover letter and resume to Celeste Vargo at

More in "Job Opportunities/AmeriCorps Opportunities"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.