Doctoral Assistant Position in DEI, University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi Division of Diversity and Community Engagement logo

Fall Semester 2021


This Doctoral Assistant assists with the planning, implementation, and assessment of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the University of Mississippi. Reporting to the Project Manager for Diversity Education and Strategic Initiatives in the Division of Diversity of Community Engagement, this position will support the advancement of efforts such as the institutional diversity strategic plan, the campus climate study, external grant applications, and initiatives to support underrepresented faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, the incumbent will apply expertise in advancing the student retention efforts in the Center of Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. This position will apply methodological skills to conduct data collection and synthesizing, report drafting, and written/oral presentations in order to advance these efforts. The Doctoral Assistant will work 20 hours per week, primarily Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm., with some evening and weekend hours required. 


This position will receive a stipend of $14,000 – $15,000, subsidized health insurance, and tuition waiver for the fall and spring semesters annually (August – May each year) for three academic years pending performance evaluations; 4th academic year of funding potentially available pending performance evaluations and budget. 


The successful candidate will be committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in Higher Education. To this end, this individual must work effectively, respectfully, and collaboratively with a diverse range of peers, colleagues, and campus partners. Interested individuals should met standards appropriate to pursing a doctoral degree in higher education. You do not have to apply nor be admitted to the PhD program in Higher Education prior to applying for this position but hiring for this position will be contingent on non-conditional admission and enrollment in the program. To apply, please submit the following information to We are accepting applications until the position is filled. 

• Resume/CV highlighting professional experience and postsecondary education

• Cover letter discussing your commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and your related skills and experiences (no more than two pages)

• Letter of Support from a mentor, professor, or professional supervisor speaking to your potential as a professional and a scholar (only one Letter of Support; no more than two pages)


Students have an opportunity to engage in scholarly experiences with the Department of Higher Education based expertise and interests. These experiences include, but are not limited to, research with faculty, teaching/co-teaching undergraduate courses, co-teaching graduate courses, participating in committees, and other initiatives within the Department of Higher Education. Students will have formal and informal mentorship opportunities with departmental faculty and faculty at the University. 


Division of Diversity and Community Engagement 

The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement supports the mission of UM by transforming people, institutions, and communities through partnership, access, and engagement that fosters belonging, enriches learning and development, enhances research, and creates equitable opportunities for all. To learn more, please visit The University of Mississippi is a National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development Institution which avails resources to scholars at all levels of the institution. 


Department of Higher Education 

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree provides the opportunity to advance a doctoral student’s expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research skills to conduct scholarly research. The degree cultivates advanced knowledge in educational foundations, enabling the student to develop critical perspectives on contemporary policy and practice. Department of Higher Education faculty are regarded nationally as scholars, having active research agendas. Assistantships and fellowships are available for full-time students on a competitive basis. Students pursuing the PhD also have the option to pursue an emphasis area in Gender Studies, which is offered in partnership with the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies. For more information on the PhD program, you can contact Dr. Neal Hutchens at


This Doctoral Assistant position is open to all candidates. We would like to share the opportunities available to all graduate students and graduate students that enhance the diversity of their program, department, and the University. 

Cole-Eftink Fellows. This is the pilot year of graduate scholars from underrepresented communities who receive ~$1,000 in additional funding plus the $3,000 recruitment fellowship (subject to limits for the recruiting fellowship). These scholars will also participate in dedicated professional development experiences and mentorship opportunities.

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Scholars. These are six fully funded doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds. The Doctoral Scholars Program provides multiple layers of support, including financial assistance in the form of a $3,000 scholarship for three years (in addition to the $3,000 recruitment fellowship subject to the limits for that recruitment program) and research funding, career counseling, access to job postings, and a scholar directory for networking and recruiting. Mentoring and advocacy for scholars is crucial, and support continues into early careers as graduates become faculty members. Each fall, a thousand scholars and young faculty members convene to learn and support one another at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.

Academic Excellence. Students who demonstrate superior academic achievement based on factors such as grade point average and GRE test scores. Preference will be given to students who will also be receiving an assistantship from another University source of at least $2500/semester.

Excellence in Inclusivity. In order to advances the benefits of a diverse community of learners, the Graduate School offers this fellowship on the basis that the student advances diversity in their program or to the campus. This is a $1,500/semester award for 8 semesters for MFA and doctoral students. The fellowships are paid during the Fall and Spring Semesters only. To receive this award, must be admitted into a degree program, must be enrolled on the Oxford campus for at least 9 hours of graduate coursework each semester and must not have a full-time job.

Summer Graduate Research Assistantship. The Summer Graduate Research Assistantship Program provides $3,000 for doctoral and MFA students and $2,500 for master’s students in departments that do not offer a doctoral degree. The Summer Graduate Research Assistantship Program is competitive and awarding of the funding is not guaranteed. The funding is offered during the summer (minimum of ten weeks of research). The goal is to provide funds to enable promising graduate students to remain on task and on campus in their pursuit of a degree.