Monday, December 28, 2020

The International Writing Program will be hiring a program assistant for the Summer Institute in 2021.

International folks and those U.S. Americans with international experience are especially encouraged to apply, whether presently in the U.S. or abroad. 

  • Department: International Writing Program 
  • Jobcode: Temporary Employee
  • Working Title: Summer Institute Assistant


The International Writing Program seeks to hire a Program Assistant for the Summer Institute (SI), a two-week cultural exchange and creative writing program for college student writers ages 18-22. Each summer, the program brings together young writers from diverse backgrounds to explore their distinct histories, languages, and cultures while also approaching world literature and writing as a dialogue that leads to empathy. There will be one virtual session concluding during the spring of 2021 and one virtual session during the summer of 2021, both focusing on the historical and contemporary narratives, realities, and peoples in and between Pakistan, India, and the U.S. The position start date is flexible (January to early February), and the position is approximately 6-7 months in duration. For more information about the program, please visit:

Summer Institute dates: 3-17 July 2021


The SI Assistant will work under the SI Program Coordinator, beginning on or near 15 January 2021, and should be available until at least 31 July. Weekly hours will vary and are flexible. Total hours approximately 350. During the Spring 2021 semester, the anthology project for the current session and the participant recruitment/application review for the new 2021 cohort will require more hours; during the summer months leading up to the SI 2021 session, hours will be lower; the week prior to and during the SI session may require up to 30 hours per week; during the two weeks following the session, approximately 10 hours per week will be required. Must be available as needed when SI is in session in July.

The SI Assistant will perform administrative tasks including but not limited to:

  • Assist with completion of 2020-21 program (concludes 31 March 2021), including producing final anthology project
  • Assemble files and maintain general databases and spreadsheets, hard copy and computerized files, account records, and a variety of other office records
  • Assist with planning, organizing, and overseeing application review, including the application review committee and selection of participant-candidates.
  • Produce and compile program materials, such as the official booklet and the final anthology project
  • Work with program mentors and instructors to secure curriculum and Zoom classroom needs
  • Operate office equipment such as computers, copiers, calculators, and facsimile machines
  • Answer the telephone and respond to programmatic inquiries via email and social media; be able to communicate effectively and professionally with partner organizations, embassies, participants, and possible parents
  • Manage program social media
  • Be a team player who is outgoing and feels comfortable acting as a leader for SI participants

The SI Assistant must submit to a criminal background check. All employees at the University of Iowa who have contact with students as part of their responsibilities must undergo a criminal background check. This requires filling out and signing a “Notification and Authorization for Release of Information for Criminal Background Check” form, which will be sent to you by the Program Coordinator.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ability to organize and prioritize tasks, collect data, and keep accurate records
  • Ability to follow detailed oral and written instructions accurately
  • Willingness to work closely with aspiring creative writers ages 18-22
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with professionals and university populations via email and in-person conversations
  • Attention to detail and ability to multi-task
  • Passion for diversity and respect for cultural differences
  • Knowledge of office routines and equipment, institutional and unit policies, processes, and forms
  • Knowledge of online LMS such as Canvas as well as Zoom and Google Docs
  • Flexible schedule and commitment to the goals of SI

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience living and/or working in another country, and/or extensive travel and familiarity navigating other cultures; interest in working with diverse populations, especially from Pakistan and India
  • Experience with creative writing, university, and cultural exchange programming

For more information about the Summer Institute, please visit us on the web:

Rate of pay is dependent on status within the university ($14 per hour for graduate students; $17.40 for staff or adjunct faculty). Rate of pay for individuals outside the university is $17.40 per hour.

Contact: Dr. Peter Gerlach

Application Instructions:

To apply, please send a resume AND cover letter to

 Ad end date: 15 January 2021