Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Job opportunity for recent PhD: Director of Research, Philosophy Talk at Stanford

Philosophy Talk, the nationally syndicated radio program that "questions everything ... except your intelligence," is seeking a recent philosophy PhD to serve as Director of Research. The incumbent will also have part time teaching responsibilities within the Department of Philosophy. The position will run from September 1st 2011 through August 2012, with the possibility of renewal. This position will report to the Philosophy Talk co-hosts and to the Chair of the Philosophy Department. 

Institution:Stanford University
Location:Stanford, CA
  • Faculty - Liberal Arts - Philosophy
  • Admin - Broadcasting, Radio, and Television
Type:Full Time

Director of Research, Philosophy Talk 
Fixed-term 9/1/2011 through 8/31/2012 

Job Location: Department of Philosophy

In addition to classroom teaching, the Director of Research will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Philosophy Talk's research effort, including supervising a team of undergraduate and graduate research assistants and collaborating with the program's co-hosts, other on-air talent, and production staff in planning, developing and refining all aspects of the program's content, and developing and overseeing grant proposals. The ideal candidate will be an "out of the box" thinker, with excellent communication, teaching, writing, and managerial skills. The successful candidate will also display passion and ability for making abstract philosophical ideas accessible to a broader public. 
Philosophy Talk is a weekly, one-hour, radio series, which originates from the studios of KALW 91.7, San Francisco. The program is hosted by Stanford University philosophy professors, Ken Taylor and John Perry. Episodes take three different formats. Just over half of our episodes are broadcast live in call-in format. But a substantial minority are performed in front of live audiences, at both local venues and venues around the country. Those episodes are recorded and edited for subsequent broadcast. Finally, each year, Philosophy Talk produces 4 "pre-produced," edited special episodes. Now in its eighth season, Philosophy Talk currently airs on about 70 public radio stations around the country, with that number expected to increase substantially in the near term. Learn more about the show by visiting


  • 3 courses/academic year, spread over three quarters. AOC: Open, but the department has special needs in philosophy of mind, philosophy of biology and introductory logic.

Philosophy Talk Related Responsibilities

  • Hire, train, mentor, and supervise team of undergraduate and graduate research assistants
  • Take a leading and pro-active role in long term planning for future episodes of Philosophy Talk, including developing and researching potential program ideas and recruiting, screening, and training appropriate guests.
  • Participate in weekly production conference call.
  • Play a leading role in developing "story arcs" and scripts for upcoming episodes.
  • Pre-interview and coach all on-air guests.
  • Serve as philosophical consultant and mentor to production staff.
  • Consult with on-air talent as to how best to translate philosophical ideas into accessible form.
  • Oversee efforts to spread Philosophy Talk related content via the web and other social media.
  • Take a lead role in developing and writing grant proposals.


  • PhD in Philosophy
  • Evidence of excellence as a classroom teacher.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Ability to motivate and mentor undergraduates and graduate research assistants a must.
  • Familiarity with and past experience working on public radio programming desirable.
  • Must be good at long-range planning and managing complex tasks.
  • Must be a strategic and creative "out of the box" thinker.
  • Passion for bringing philosophy to a wider audience and proven ability to communicate philosophical ideas to lay audiences essential.

To apply please provide a cover letter and resume. Stanford University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Information

Contact:School of Humanities and Sciences
Stanford University
Online App. Form: stId=2gs6xwsl6nch7jcuec7hd42jge&accountId=de85ad313f8598db1c42b567a3df24a00 497ba22&action=viewDetails
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