Dr. Vavrus' research interests include news media representations of gender, feminism, postfeminism, and the connections between media and the military. She is currently writing a book about gender, media, and militarism.

She is the author of Postfeminist News: Political Women in Media Culture, which won the NCA's 2003 Diamond Anniversary Award. This award recognizes the most outstanding scholarly book published during the previous two years. She is co-editor of a collection of essays, and her research has appeared in such journals as Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Political Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Communication Inquiry, Review of Communication, and Women's Studies in Communication. She also serves on the editorial boards and as referee for five scholarly journals.

Dr. Vavrus is also a member of the graduate faculty of the Critical Feminist and Sexuality Studies Studies program and the Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature Department. She teaches graduate courses including political economy of media culture, feminist media studies, qualitative methods in media studies, media and war, and feminist cultural studies and electoral politics.