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De Vries Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows

Professor looking at a model of a human bring with three of her students

The de Vries Postdoctoral Fellowship provides an opportunity for newly minted Ph.Ds across various academic disciplines to gain vital teaching experience and participate in an intentional professional development sequence focused on undergraduate instruction and scholarship.

Given the specific mission and identity of Calvin University, this professional development sequence will give sustained attention to questions of connecting Christian faith commitments to every aspect of academic work.

This new Calvin University program is directed by the Provost’s office. It is administered by the de Vries Institute for Global Faculty Development in close affiliation with other Calvin centers and institutes and academic departments and initiatives across campus.

Download the application details 

Teaching Responsibilities

De Vries Postdoctoral Fellows will teach 2/3 of a standard full teaching load in academic departments connected to their area of expertise, but possibly also in university Core Curriculum courses. Specific courses to be taught will be determined by the relevant academic dean and department chairs, in consultation with the Fellow. 

Courses taught will primarily be in undergraduate in-person classrooms. There also exists the possibility of online courses, graduate courses (mostly online), and courses inside Handlon Correctional Facility for the Calvin Prison Initiative. The specific teaching responsibilities assigned will depend on a given Fellow’s particular discipline and the teaching needs in that area.

Faculty Development Opportunities

The remaining 1/3 of Fellows’ work responsibilities will be devoted to their professional development as rising members of the academy. This will include work with an experienced faculty mentor and regular workshops on topics such as teaching, grading, students, scholarship, institutional life, and wise, impactful integration of faith and learning in all of those dimensions of faculty work. This faculty development sequence will occur in a cohort format with other de Vries Postdoctoral Fellows. With careful stewardship of time, there should also be time available for research, scholarship, and writing, with the resources of Hekman Library at the disposal of Fellows.

The faculty development component is an integral part of this Fellows program. Accordingly, it will be a mandatory part of Fellows’ work expectations, though some activities may be designated as optional or recommended.

Program Logistics

Selection Process: Applications are due by January 15, 2022. Screening of applications will be done by relevant academic departments and the Provost’s office. Preliminary interviews will be conducted through video-conferencing platforms, with final interviews conducted on campus.  

Salary and Benefits: https://calvin.edu/offices-services/human-resources/employment/benefits-insurance/ 

Campus Resources: Each fellow will be assigned an office in the proximity of the academic department of their expertise. Modest allowances will be provided for professional travel and books. 

Housing: As this is a short term (i.e., two year) experience, only a modest relocation allowance will be provided. An on-campus apartment will be provided for each Fellow’s use.  

Beginning and End date: August 1, 2022, to July 31, 2024. 

Frequently-asked questions

Click on a question below to see the answer.

  • Is it possible to extend a de Vries Fellows position past two years?

    Highly unlikely, though Fellows would be invited to apply for any open faculty positions in their area.

  • What is the role of centers and institutes at Calvin? What would an “affiliation” with one of them look like for a de Vries Fellow?

    Centers and Institutes at Calvin are hubs for study and engagement related to a particular academic or professional area. Centers and Institutes serve as catalysts in connecting Calvin University to external audiences and partners, as well as in fostering networks across the Calvin campus. The precise nature of their work depends upon the particular center or institute, but it typically involves fostering research, contributing to instruction and work with students, organizing conferences and other avenues for fruitful conversation. Whether an affiliation with one of these study centers within Calvin University is possible for a fellow will depend upon the fellow’s disciplinary and research area and whether there is a natural “fit” with one of the centers or institutes. An affiliation would involve potential avenues for presentation of academic work, collaboration on ongoing research projects, and opportunities for fellowship.  

  • What size classes would I teach at Calvin?

    It depends upon the particular class and department. Some of the larger classes involve 40-45 students; smaller classes 15-20 students; and a typical 100 level course that carries core credit has around 30-35 students.

  • What is 2/3 of a teaching load?

    It depends somewhat on the academic area in question. Typically it means teaching two courses per semester, with the number of credit hours per course (e.g., 3-4) differing slightly by department.

  • The job ad and Calvin’s promotional material mention that Calvin is associated with the Reformed tradition of Christianity. What does that mean?

    The Reformed tradition is one of the major branches of historic Protestantism, with 16th century roots primarily in Switzerland, but then spreading throughout the world (including in churches with the label “Presbyterian”). This tradition emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the goodness of creation, the corruptive effects of sin, and the utter necessity of Christ’s grace, which calls us into the world as faithful participants in Christ’s kingdom-building project. Read more here.

  • Are utilities included in the housing that is provided?

    Yes.

  • Would it be necessary to own a car? 

    Strictly speaking, no. There is a bus line that meets up with Calvin’s suburban campus. And there is a grocery store about 1.5 miles from campus. Practically speaking, however, having a car would make one’s life significantly easier.