University of Pennsylvania
mmunity and Public Data Curation Fellow

The Community and Public Data Curation Fellow will help the library develop new capacities for supporting community and public data. As a complement to the Data Curation Librarian, whose work focuses on helping Penn faculty and students manage data produced within the University Community, the Community and Public Data Curation Fellow will work on a Penn project that focuses on stewarding data that is produced and published beyond the University walls. Specifically, we have identified two projects that will expand our capacity to care for and curate valuable and vulnerable data that may be beyond the scope of the library’s collections. One project will focus on supporting government publishers, and the other project will focus on supporting community publishers and collectors in Philly neighborhoods. Each project is tied to an ongoing library collaboration with Penn faculty members. In the first project, the fellow will join in and expand on Data Refuge, an effort to support the long-term safety of environmental and climate data published by local, state, and federal governments. In the second project, the fellow will partner with faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education who are building an archive of Black Philly by helping to care for vulnerable data published by members of the Black community in Philadelphia, especially in neighborhoods that are rapidly changing due to gentrification and other forces.

As Community and Public Data Curation fellow, the incumbent will help the library responsibly and creatively build and expand sustainable models for the care of vulnerable collections of data, even in cases where Penn Libraries may not take these collections in for the long term. As partners to the owners and publishers of this data, applicants should have experience working in open public partnerships in a social science, government or scientific context, and facility working within and across institutional boundaries. They should also have a demonstrated commitment to ethical methods in the stewardship of community materials. An understanding of the standards of data curation and management, and of the varieties of digital scientific and open data standards will also be important.


  • Help the Penn Libraries establish the boundaries and understand the level of effort and partnerships necessary for the curation of public open data, and some forms of community data
  • Collaborate with faculty and collaborators in the Graduate School of Education and Africana Studies Department working on the Black Philly project to identify and support the curation of data related to changing neighborhoods in Philadelphia
  • Participate in the continuation of the Data Refuge project through connections with state and local government open data publishers and collaborators
  • Participate in Data Refuge storytelling efforts in collaboration with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities
  • Provide support for the digitization and description of community records that may or may not enter institutional collections
  • Collaborate with community members, bibliographers, and curators at Penn Libraries and other local institutions to identify potential partnerships in the long term stewardship of some materials
  • Collaborate with colleagues in Data Curation Librarian, Library Technology Services, and Preservation to establish appropriate workflows for ingestion of materials into institutional systems where appropriate
  • Support development efforts for new and improved repository and publishing platforms within the Penn Libraries to support community and government created data


  • PhD in relevant field and demonstrated interest in public and community scholarship
  • Understanding of data curation and management basics
  • Demonstrated commitment to ethical methods in the stewardship of community materials

Salary and Benefits

  • Annual salary of $70,000 using 12 month-appointment calendar
  • Competitive benefits package

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.