Photograph of Aswin Punathambekar, Ph.D. and Jing Wang, Ph.D. looking at a computer screen
Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication

How to Apply

The Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) produces and promotes scholarly research on global communication and public life. As an institute for advanced study dedicated to global media studies, we revisit enduring questions and engage pressing matters in geopolitics and communication. Our vision of “inclusive globalization” recognizes plurality and inequality in global media, politics, and culture. Our translocal approach fuses multidisciplinary “area studies” knowledge with theory and methodology in the humanities and social sciences. This synthesis of deep expertise and interdisciplinary inquiry stimulates critical conversations about entrenched and emerging communicative structures, practices, flows, and struggles.

We explore new ways of understanding and explaining the world, including public scholarship, algorithmic culture, the arts, multi-modal scholarship, and digital archives. With a core commitment to the development of early career scholars worldwide, CARGC hosts postdoctoral, doctoral, undergraduate, and faculty fellows who collaborate in research groups, author CARGC Press publications, and organize talks, lectures, symposia, conferences, and summer institutes.

The Postdoc at CARGC

CARGC postdoctoral fellows work on their own research, typically a book manuscript, while also participating in and leading ongoing research projects within CARGC. During the fellowship, they present their work as part of a postdoctoral colloquium and work closely with the Senior Research Manager on a plan for publishing their research. Fellows are provided a stipend of $60,000, a research fund of $3000, health insurance, a workspace, a computer, and library access. In addition, CARGC will cover up to $1000 in domestic relocation expenses and up to $2000 if moving internationally.

CARGC Fellows integrate primary sources and regional expertise in theoretically inflected, historically informed, comparative, translocal, and transnational analyses of media, technology, geopolitics, and culture. Candidates challenging normative paradigms and incorporating non-Western theories, sources, and contexts, are especially welcome. Ongoing research groups focus on theory and history in global media studies; media industries and cultural politics; media environments and the climate crisis; media, migration, and diasporas. We recommend that applicants familiarize themselves with CARGC's mission and research activities listed on our website. Please note our research themes are currently being updated and will be posted on the website in December 2022. We are particularly interested in candidates whose work centers on the Global South.

This is a residential fellowship. CARGC strives to be an inclusive community of scholars driven by intellectual curiosity and exchange, rooted in the life of the Annenberg School, the University of Pennsylvania, and the city of Philadelphia. To foster mentoring and collaboration at all levels, we expect fellows to be fully engaged in the life of the center. Postdocs are therefore expected to work at our beautiful sixth-floor premises—CARGC’s “World Headquarters”—on the Penn campus at least three days a week.


We welcome applications from early career scholars with Ph.D. awarded by an institution other than the University of Pennsylvania. The appointment typically starts on August 15.

Submitting Your Application

A complete application consists of:

  1. Cover Page – Include your name and contact information, dissertation supervisor's name and contact information, defense date (if degree not awarded), and a 100-word abstract of your project. 
  2. Research Proposal (not to exceed 1000 words) – Include research questions, topic significance, theoretical framework, methodological design, clear description of primary sources and necessary language skills, and work plan with a projected date of manuscript completion and publication. 
  3. Statement of institutional fit (not to exceed 250 words) – Explain how your project aligns with CARGC’s mission, fits with one or more CARGC research themes listed above, and contributes to the field of global media and communication studies.
  4. CV (not to exceed two single-spaced pages, minimum font size 11) – List degrees, peer-reviewed publications, academic non-peer-reviewed publications, public scholarship, invited talks, conference papers, other relevant qualifications, specific research and language skills.
  5. Project bibliography (not to exceed one single-spaced page, minimum font size 11) – Include primary and secondary sources.
  6. Letters of recommendation – Three are required, including one from the dissertation supervisor, stating unequivocally the expected date of Ph.D. defense (if degree not yet awarded). 
  7. Up to two publications (not to exceed 50 pages in total) – Published peer-reviewed articles preferred.


All materials except reference letters must be sent as a single PDF document to by February 1, 2023. Because of the volume of applications, we are unable to read drafts of submissions. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Applicants should arrange for their letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address by the same date. We expect to contact finalists for Zoom interviews by the end of February and make final decisions shortly thereafter.

Additional Information

If you have additional questions, please email us at Kindly do not contact CARGC staff individually.

The University of Pennsylvania is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Learn More from Penn’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs.