Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship

The University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center is pleased to invite applications for Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships of $10,000 each. The goal of this fellowship is to support multidisciplinary humanities research by graduate students at Pitt and to connect them with the multidisciplinary networks of the Humanities Center. Recipients of the fellowship will participate in the intellectual life of the Center throughout the academic year following their summer fellowship, and they will share their work with the Humanities Center community. The Center is committed to creating a multidisciplinary humanities environment incorporating a diversity of experiences, identities, and disciplines, and we welcome applications from across Pitt's graduate student community.

This year, for the first time, we are calling for applications that connect to an annual theme. In 2022-23, our theme will be Breakdown. Please see our announcement of this theme here for further details.

Also for the first time this year, the Humanities Center is collaborating with the Center for Bioethics and Health Law to create a Health Humanities and Ethics Graduate Fellowship. Applicants for the general Humanities Center Graduate Fellowship may indicate that they also wish to be considered for the Health Humanities and Ethics slot. See below for specific instructions. We are very grateful to the Center for Bioethics and Health Law for the financial commitment that makes this additional fellowship possible.

Information Session. There will be an opportunity for prospective applicants to hear about the program and application process as well as ask questions at 12:30 pm on Thursday, February 17, in the Humanities Center Zoom Room.

In light of COVID-19. There is no presumption that the fellowship must involve travel. Those whose summer research plans are contingent on the ability to travel should also describe the work they would do if such travel is not possible in Summer 2022.

Eligibility. Successful applicants for the fellowship must be admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (i.e., be ABD having passed the prospectus review) before May 15, 2022, in a humanities or humanities-adjacent doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, they commit to participating in the intellectual life of the Center.

Application Requirements. Applications for a Humanities Center Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship should be submitted as a single PDF including the following sections in the following order. All applications should be formatted as follows: Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, double spaced, and they should include:

  1. A description of the research project to be completed over Summer 2022. Examples of the research project to be described can include, but are not limited to, drafting one or more dissertation chapters. The description should articulate the sources and methods to be used and sketch a timetable for the completion of the project (no more than two pages);
  2. An account of how the research project contributes to the student’s dissertation laying out for the general reader both the dissertation’s research problem and its potential impact on relevant scholarly literatures (no more than one page);
  3. A discussion of how this project would contribute to the 2022-23 Humanities Center theme of Breakdown (no more than one page);
  4. A statement of how the applicant and their project would contribute to the Humanities Center's goal of fostering a multidisciplinary humanities environment incorporating a diversity of experiences, identities, and disciplines (no more than one page);
  5. A curriculum vitae, clearly indicating any funding support received for the research project (no more than two pages);

We will request a letter of support from a referee you nominate, asking them to assess the project’s strengths, significance, and potential to contribute to and benefit from a multidisciplinary humanities environment. Your referee should almost certainly be someone from your dissertation committee (as they’ll need to assess your progress and project), but it need not be your advisor if you feel that someone else is better positioned to recommend you for this fellowship. Please let your letter writer know that this letter will be due one week after the deadline for fellowship applications.

Selection Criteria. Applications will be assessed by the Steering Committee of the Humanities Center. In that review of applications, the following criteria will be used to rank proposals, while also being mindful of the goal of creating a diverse and representative class of fellows:

  1. The clarity with which the application lays out a research project with appropriate methods, sources, and timeline;
  2. The potential impact of the dissertation overall as well as the potential impact of the research project on the dissertation;
  3. The likelihood that the project and the applicant would make a significant contribution to the theme of Breakdown;
  4. The likelihood that the fellow and the project would contribute to a multidisciplinary humanities environment incorporating a diversity of experiences, identities, and disciplines.

Health Humanities and Ethics Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship. This year, with the support of the Center for Bioethics & Health Law, the Humanities Center will provide a $10,000 summer research fellowship to support health humanities and/or bioethics research by a graduate student at Pitt. The interdisciplinary field of the health humanities, which includes the field of bioethics, employs methods and content drawn from the humanities and arts to explore questions concerning health and well-being, healthcare, and human flourishing. In addition to the opportunities and responsibilities attending the Humanities Center Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships, recipients of this Health Humanities and Ethics Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship will participate in the intellectual life of the Center for Bioethics & Health Law during the academic year following their summer fellowship.

If you wish to be considered for both the general fellowship and the Health Humanities and Ethics fellowship, then please indicate that when you apply in Competition Space.

Applicants wishing to be considered for this Health Humanities and Ethics fellowship should include a no more than two-page description of the following: (a) how their proposed project would contribute to the health humanities (and/or bioethics), related scholarly literatures, and/or health-related fields; (b) how their dissertation and/or career plans intersect with the health humanities and/or bioethics; (c) what they would plan to gain from and contribute to the Center for Bioethics & Health Law; and (d) what previous work in (or relevant to) the health humanities/bioethics they have done.

Selection Criteria for the Health Humanities and Ethics fellowship. In addition to assessing the general application relative to the general criteria, the Humanities Center Steering Committee will assess this additional two-page description and the general application in reference to the following criteria:

  1. Potential impact on the health humanities, bioethics, or health-related fields, and/or related scholarly literatures;
  2. Potential for the project to contribute to the applicant’s dissertation or career trajectory;
  3. Potential for the applicant to contribute to the intellectual life of the Center for Bioethics & Health Law;
  4. Previous work in the health humanities that supports the potential for fulfilling these desiderata.

Deadline. Applications must be submitted by Monday, March 7, 2022.

Questions. For any questions, please contact the Co-Directors of the Humanities Center, Carla Nappi (nappi@pitt.edu) and David Marshall (dlm91@pitt.edu).

Apply Now for a Humanities Center Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship