Grants | 23 April 2024

CFA: THI Communications GSR


Application Deadline: May 8th, 2024

Position Start Date: Anytime after June 1st and no later than September 20th, 2024

Please share in your cover letter when you are able to start in the position. This opportunity is available to start Summer 2024 or Fall 2024, and could be for less hours during the summer, depending on availability. Preference will be given to candidates who are able to at least complete 20 hours of GSR training during the summer, but we understand that some candidates will not be able to start a regular schedule for their position until Fall 2024. 

Role Description

This is an exciting opportunity for a current UCSC Humanities PhD student to join The Humanities Institute team, engage with fascinating research, programs, and events, and grow their professional skills. The Communications GSR reports to the THI Faculty Director, but works closely with the Research Programs and Communications Director and the whole THI team to develop and share research communications through various channels, including a weekly newsletter, weekly web content, and daily social media content. This role involves conducting research on best practices for sharing humanities scholarship with broad public audiences as well as writing original content for the THI website. The GSR is responsible for communicating about humanities research to the UCSC campus, the wider Santa Cruz community, and audiences across the nation, the academic research support and public engagement work of THI and its affiliates. Academic research support includes the variety of THI fellowships for students and faculty that are awarded every year, as well as research clusters, prizes, and additional awards. Public engagement includes a broad range of THI events, from Humanities-specific workshops and talks held in the Humanities building on campus to community-partnered events that are held in venues around Santa Cruz county and the Bay Area. The Communications GSR uses research skills and humanities knowledge to engage and connect broader communities with The Humanities Institute. 


The GSR coordinates communications through three main channels: newsletters, the website, and social media.


The GSR compiles research activities and scholarly events in the Humanities Division and puts together THI’s weekly Spotlight email by: drafting the feature text, sourcing stories, choosing and sizing images, drafting the newsletter in Mail Chimp, revising according to feedback, sending to the mailing list, and following up with analytics about performance.

Time commitment: Approximately 6 – 8 hours per week, depending on the size of the newsletter and additional coordination, emails, and editing required.


The newsletter and social media both draw from THI’s website content, primarily housed on the News page and home page of THI’s website. The GSR will conduct research on humanities communications at institutes around the county to inform THI approaches. They will also be responsible for leading the annual Faculty Series to publish pieces on scholarly research related to THI’s theme. Tasks involve sourcing, drafting, and publishing stories and weekly profiles of THI research fellows. Working with the THI team to identify stories of interest, the GSR will have the opportunity to write event previews, award announcements, news stories, and profiles on faculty, alumni, and students. The GSR will be asked to serve as the primary point of contact for collecting relevant quotes, conducting interviews, and drafting original written pieces. Additionally, the GSR will help repost relevant UC Santa Cruz campus stories on the THI website. There is space for creativity and room to generate new content to highlight Humanities work carried out on campus and translate it to a general audience.

Time commitment: Approximately 6 – 8 hours per week, depending on the type of content being posted and whether profiles are conducted in a written or verbal format.

Social Media

Over the past few years, THI has built up a significant presence on Instagram, and a growing community on Facebook and LinkedIn. Throughout the week, frequent stories and sharing/liking posts continues to build this presence. The GSR will analyze social media activity after posting on different platforms and they will research best practices to advise THI’s team on social media approaches.  As part of THI’s social media strategy, the GSR should plan to post around 3-4 times on Instagram with relevant updates on Humanities research, programs, and opportunities. The GSR will also be asked to update THI’s Facebook and LinkedIn with approximately one post per week and additional stories.

Time commitment: Approximately 3 – 4 hours per week, depending on the type and frequency of content being posted. A larger chunk of time could be dedicated to this.

Additional responsibilities

Additional administrative tasks include: compiling the agenda for and facilitating the weekly communications meeting; participating in other THI meetings as necessary; responding to emails in a timely manner.

Time commitment: Approximately 2 – 3 hours per week. 

Note: While the percentages may change, the GSR tasks will never exceed 20 hours per week.



– Exceptional writing skills, including composing engaging and accurate content as well as copy editing pieces for online publication.

– Strong communicator who works well independently and with a team.

– Ability to communicate complex concepts in understandable language for broad audiences.

– Has a positive and professional approach, and demonstrated passion for the Humanities.

– Highly organized, shows attention to detail, and meets deadlines.

– Creative thinker who can put together compelling written and visual content.

– Ability to work with online tools such as WordPress, Mailchimp, and Canva, and pursue best practices for social media engagement on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


-Experience writing, editing, and publishing content for an online audience.

-Experience arranging, coordinating, and editing articles, essays from contributors. 

-Experience conducting interviews with a diverse range of subjects.

-Familiarity with social media management tools such as Buffer.

-Demonstrated experience working with WordPress, Mail Chimp, and other web-based platforms.

-Experience designing and/or coding WordPress websites.

Eligibility and Compensation

Students must be enrolled in a graduate program in the Humanities Division. The appointment will be made at 50% time, cover in-state tuition, fees, and health insurance for 2024-25, as well as provide a monthly salary following the current GSR rates for UC Santa Cruz.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, writing sample, and resume to


Please contact Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell, Research Programs and Communications Director,