Co-Directorship Vacancy for International Research and Engagement

Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen)

Michigan State University



Michigan State University (MSU) invites applications for the position of Co-Director for International Research and Engagement of MSU’s Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen). MSU is nationally and internationally known for its history of producing knowledge to transform people’s lives, a research and action oriented strategy that GenCen embraces. The university is recognized for its international engagement in research and scholarship. It is home to distinguished scholars and a vibrant and diverse community of undergraduate and graduate students.


The Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen):

Established in 2007, GenCen is located in International Studies and Programs (ISP) which serves as a hub for international programming and research on campus. The Center provides gender and women’s studies expertise and leadership across MSU’s mission of research, teaching, outreach and service. GenCen is unique among U.S. Women’ Studies Centers in being located in International Studies and Programs and in having a strong international focus in its research, teaching and engagement activities. Center-affiliated faculty hold tenure stream positions in colleges across the campus and they actively design and participate in GenCen programs. The Center has over 200 affiliated faculty members in the humanities, social sciences, the physical and biological sciences, agriculture and natural resources, business, law, medicine, the residential colleges, education and other professional programs.


GenCen is headed by Co-Directors. One, focused on Academic Programs, Outreach and Engagement, is primarily responsible for developing and managing the College of Arts and Letters Major and Minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, the Graduate Specialization in Gender Studies, the LGBTQ minor, and outreach to community and women’s organizations. The other Co-Director, focused on International Research and Engagement and described in this position description, is responsible for promoting gender-related research and outreach across the campus and for fostering faculty-led international partnerships with other women’s and gender studies programs around the globe.


GenCen works closely with the area, thematic, service units, and programs in ISP.  Area and thematic units include the African Studies Center, the Asian Studies Center, the Canadian Studies Center, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, and the Muslim Studies Program.  ISP also hosts the Office of International Students and Scholars, the Office of Study Abroad, Visiting International Professional Program, Office of International Research Collaboration, and other programs.


GenCen also actively partners with colleges and other centers located on campus including the Center for the Advanced Study of International Development (CASID) in the College of Social Science and the Center for Global Connections in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Co-Director oversees the Gender, Justice and Environmental Change Graduate Specialization shared by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Social Science, and co-manages the US Department of Education Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Program with the Director of CASID.  The Title VI grant permits the two centers to support graduate student study on gender and international development and less commonly taught languages.


In addition to the two Co-Directors, GenCen is staffed by an Assistant Director/grant writer, a full time secretary, a part-time student advisor, a half-time financial officer and undergraduate and graduate student interns.


For additional information on GenCen and its activities, please consult the Center webpage (, Facebook ( or Twitter (



Appointment and Responsibilities:

The appointment of the Co-Director for International Research and Engagement will be at least 50% and not more than 75% in GenCen, with the remaining percentage in the tenure home academic department. The exact percentages of each appointment will be negotiated between the successful candidate, the ISP Dean, and the candidate’s tenure home academic department. The appointment is on an annual (12-month) basis for a five-year period, with renewal possible.


This Co-Director position works with center affiliated faculty across the campus to advance ISP’s and MSU’s gender related international research focuses on agriculture, food, natural resource management, health and nutrition, and higher education capacity building. In addition, the Co-Director collaborates with similarly oriented women’s and gender studies, international development and global studies programs around the world.  Both GenCen Co-Directors report to the Dean of ISP.


The position requires commitment to strengthening the research and educational missions of the center and university by seeking externally funded programmatic grants and by facilitating interdisciplinary international research and international strategic engagement among faculty teams in the key areas mentioned above. Ability to work collaboratively with faculty and administrators of academic units across the university and with other MSU area studies and international thematic centers to promote international research, education, outreach, and service programs is essential. A background in critical gender and development or gender and global studies in areas related to agriculture, food, environmental sustainability, health and nutrition, and university capacity building is equally essential.  Demonstrated ability to develop relationships with other gender related programs nationally and internationally is preferred.

Specific duties of the Co-Director for International Research and Engagement include:

  • Agenda setting, advocacy and leadership across the university in women’s and gender studies
  • Catalyzing interdisciplinary, international research on priority ISP/MSU topics as they relate gender and women’s studies in one or more of the key research areas – agriculture, food, environmental sustainability, health and nutrition, and university capacity building
  • Expanding and diversifying external funding for GenCen-related international research and programs
  • Working closely with ISP Advancement and the Office of International Research Collaboration on foundation and other grant-related initiatives
  • Developing and supporting strategic country and international partnership initiatives in the areas of gender and women’s studies in line with ISP and wider university priorities
  • Enhancing the student experience through international engagement and intercultural competency
  • Strengthening connections with MSU and GenCen international alumni and friends
  • Strengthening cultural competencies in gender focused international development and global studies and in less-commonly taught languages
  • Overseeing the faculty-led Gender, Justice and Environmental Change Graduate Specialization and Program
  • Supervising the Center’s programs and staff with the Co-Director



Candidates are expected to have a demonstrated record of research and scholarship and experience working in and teaching about gender and women’ studies internationally in one of the key MSU/ISP priority areas of agriculture/food, environmental sustainability, health and nutrition, or university capacity building. They must have an earned Ph.D. and meet the standards for appointment to the rank of tenured Associate or Full Professor in an academic department or school in one of MSU’s academic colleges. Candidates are expected to have demonstrated administrative skills and ability to secure external funding from diverse sources (foundations, government agencies, private donors). Experience establishing and sustaining strategic partnerships with universities and other institutions around the globe is preferred. Fluency in a language or languages in addition to English is also preferred.


How to Apply:

For consideration, please go to, search for posting 2734 and follow the application process. Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, a CV, up to 3 relevant publications. Applicants should also have 3 letters of reference email to the search committee chair, [email protected]. Review of applications will begin on March 09, 2016, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


For additional information about Michigan State University and its extensive commitments in international education and programs, please visit the following website:


Michigan State University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity.  The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.  Job applicants are considered for employment opportunities and employees are treated without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.

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