News | 7 April 2022

CFA: THI Graduate Public Fellowship with Reality Labs


Deadline: April 18th, 2022

Award: $15,000 

The Humanities Institute is excited to announce a new Graduate Public Fellowship opportunity for PhD students at UC Santa Cruz to work with Reality Labs. THI Public Fellowships create opportunities for Humanities students to contribute to research, programming, communications, and other activities at non-profit organizations, companies, and cultural institutions. Students gain first-hand experience learning about positions outside of the university that build on their studies in the Humanities and give them professional training, while, at the same time, organizations benefit from students’ assistance and academic expertise. Public Fellowships foster positive collaborations between campus and broad communities and demonstrate the value of a Humanities degree for a range of careers.

About the Partner: At Reality Labs, we’re building computing devices to make people feel closer. This includes Oculus and Portal products, AR and VR software and content, and research and development labs. We are pushing technological boundaries with these services, and are committed to building them with privacy and responsible innovation in mind.

Learn more about the privacy strategy team: Reality Labs’ Principles for Building the Future

Position Description:  

This is a summer project for an advanced PhD student (post-QE) with expertise in the Humanities to build a taxonomy of the technologies—and their uses and impacts—imagined in diverse global speculative and science fiction cultural texts, from Octavia Butler to Borges and Black Panther to After Yang. By examining the advanced technologies imagined in “futurist” (Afrofuturist, Latin@futurist, Sinofuturist, etc.) texts and the ways they work, this project will present an archive and analysis of diverse cultural works that share different visions for building the technologies of the future.

Fellowships Dates: The THI Public Fellowship with Reality Labs will run from July 5th until September 2nd, 2022. The fellow will primarily work remotely with the Reality Labs team for approximately 300 hours during the summer. 

Award: $15,000 summer fellowship


  1. PhD students need to be engaged in Humanities research in a graduate program at UC Santa Cruz. Students from outside the Humanities Division will be considered if their scholarship connects to the project. 
  2. PhD students must be in good academic standing and within normative time. 
  3. This is a position for students who have advanced to candidacy (post-QE).
  4. Applicants must be enrolled in at least five credits of graduate-level coursework and enrolled in their program at least through Fall Quarter 2022. Students are ineligible to apply while on leave.
  5. PhD students with a background in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and Feminist Studies are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Application Process:

Please submit your application materials online by April 18th, 2022. THI will share top applications with the Reality Labs team, who will set up interviews. One person will be selected to develop a Public Fellowship work plan with the Reality Labs to be approved by THI. 

Application materials include: 

  1. A cover letter (1-2 pages) outlining your interests in the specific position and your qualifications. 
  2. A resume (1-2 pages).
  3. A signed form from the department Graduate Director stating that you will be within normative time and in good academic standing during the 2022-2023 Academic Year (Download Form here).


*PLEASE NOTE: You must be logged into your Google account to use this application form.

Questions? Please contact Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell, Research Program Manager at