Paul R. Williams Archive Fellow

University of Southern California (USC) University of Southern California (USC) Employer:
Los Angeles, CA, USLocation:
Tue, Mar 19 '24Posted on:
$66,560 annually Pay:


USC Architecture is a dynamic platform for educating and inspiring future citizen architects and scholars. For over 100 years, USC Architecture faculty and graduates have pushed beyond the field's traditional boundaries to pioneer many paradigm-shifting, new practices of architecture. The School is both deeply rooted in the city of Los Angeles and intensely connected to global concerns. With over 700 students, 100 faculty, three accredited professional degree programs, and two graduate post-professional degree programs, the School is one of the largest and most diverse in the country. 


Paul Revere Williams, born in 1894 in Los Angeles, was one of the most prolific architects and Black architects of the modern era—with an architecture career spanning six decades. Discovering architecture in high school, he sought employment with local architects and studied at USC and the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design before opening up his own practice. In 1923, Williams was the first Black American admitted to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He was subsequently elected to the AIA’s College of Fellows (1957) and posthumously awarded the AIA’s Gold Medal in 2017. Williams was a pioneer for the Black American community—a man who broke racial barriers, sought to foster and improve his community, and believed it was important to be involved and give back. 

In 2020, the USC School of Architecture and the Getty Research Institute (GRI) acquired the Paul R. Williams Architecture Archive from the Estate of Paul R. Williams. It includes over 37,000 plans, including 10,000 drawings, blueprints, project diazo types, hand-colored renderings, vintage photographs, written correspondence, and other ephemera and materials—comprising Williams’ entire professional career. Williams’ career and works coincided with a variety of iconic Modernist architects in Los Angeles and nationally. He collaborated with architects Hilyard Robinson, A. Quincy Jones, Welton Beckett and many others. The Archive joins other works in the Getty Research Institute’s African American Art History Initiative and coincides with renewed scholarly interest in the works of Black architects working in the modernist era.


The PRW Archive Fellows Program will support one designer- or scholar-in-residence per academic year. Applicants are to be recent graduates who wish to pursue careers in academia, and have a demonstrated interest and are developing work related to social, racial and cultural conditions within American cities (see below for degree types). Fellows are expected to reside in the Los Angeles area during the academic year and participate in the scholarly activities of the host department and university. Accepted fellows will enjoy all the benefits of being at an R-1 university, including faculty mentorship and office accommodations.

During each year-long program, all Fellows are expected to engage in research using the co-owned PRW Archive and teach or co-teach one course (design studio or seminar) related to the social dimension of architecture and the work of PRW. The teaching component is meant above all to contribute to the junior scholar’s professional development and to help them prepare for successful careers as faculty. 

At the end of each fellowship year, participants are required to submit a written report, scholarly paper or exhibition on their activities and reflect on the potential impact of working with PRW Archive on their practice or scholarship. Fellows are encouraged to seek support from external agencies if it appears that such grants will enhance their scholarly and creative work during or after this program. While Fellows may apply and be granted additional employment at USC or elsewhere following the fellowship program, such employment is not guaranteed.


USC Architecture invites applications from graduates of B.Arch or M.Arch degree programs, plus any of the following: Ph.D. or Post-Professional Master Degrees in affiliated disciplines related to the built environment. Fellows should provide evidence of demonstrated design, scholarly and/or creative work that is related to the social, racial and cultural conditions in the American city. Fellows should possess the capacity to teach in the USC Architecture program. Fellows are expected to be in the early stages of their academic or professional careers. Candidates must be within four calendar years from receipt of their highest degree at the time of the application deadline. The appointment is not a tenure-track faculty position.

Appointment Dates

PRW Fellows are appointed for one academic year. The appointment begins on August 16, 2024.

Award: Compensation/ Benefits

Fellows will receive $66,560 in annual compensation, including fringe and health benefits. Fellows are eligible for participation in the University's health, dental, and life insurance programs. Each Fellow will receive a research stipend of $2,000 per fiscal year for research-related expenses. Each Fellow will receive a one-time relocation allowance of $3,000 and a $1,000 travel stipend to attend conferences.

Application Materials and Submission 

Apply online at USC Careers (REQ20146373).

Application documents must be submitted as a single PDF file of moderate size; the maximum file size is 20MB. Submission Deadline: May 1, 2024.

Applicants should emphasize their expertise, research interests, teaching experience, and accrued work in diversity, inclusion, and social impact; they should articulate how engaging with the Archive of Paul R. Williams aligns with their independent interests as designers and/or scholars.  

  • LETTER OF INTEREST (1 page max);
  • CURRICULUM VITAE (6 pages max);
  • STATEMENT OF RESEARCH INTEREST, addressing intended research and its social impact (2 pages max);
  • TEACHING STATEMENT outlining teaching experience (2 pages max);
  • PORTFOLIO OF CREATIVE WORK (10 pages max) and/or WRITING SAMPLE (paper, article or chapter); and
  • 1 RECOMMENDATION LETTER and 3 REFERENCES. Letter should be sent directly from the recommender to Kay Chang. References may be listed in Letter of Interest or CV.

For questions, please contact Kay Chang ([email protected]). 

USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting [email protected].


Apply online at USC Careers (REQ20146373). 

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