Public Fellowship Program

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The THI Public Fellowship creates opportunity for Humanities doctoral students to contribute to research, programming, communications and fundraising at companies, non-profit organizations, or cultural institutions.

This is more than an internship opportunity. Through public fellowships, students learn how the skills they’ve developed in graduate school can be employed outside the university while also developing meaningful relationships and recognizing the breadth of their expertise. For students interested in exploring non-academic career paths, this kind of experience is essential. Fellows develop an understanding of how their knowledge might be deployed for research, historical work, curatorial projects, or policy-driven pursuits and develop experience that can lead to meaningful and long-lasting careers. 

The students and the organizations they work with reflect the diversity of UCSC Humanities research and the deep commitment of our students to connect their scholarly pursuits with the public. Past fellows have worked around the world, employing their skills and knowledge at organizations as diverse as The Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities in Oslo, Norway, the Tuscon Chinese Cultural Center, the Japanese American Museum in San Jose, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.

 

Opportunities

Thanks to funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, THI now offers two different Public Fellowships:

Summer fellows work for up to 250 hours with a partner organization during the summer quarter. THI provides funding and helps create partnerships where possible.

Year Long Public Fellows commit to 3-quarter-length internships with companies, non-profits organizations, or cultural institutions. Fellows meet as a cohort throughout the year to share knowledge and gain additional skills in communicating their public work for multiple audiences. The year-long fellowship will enable students to have a greater impact on partner institutions and further develop their own interests and skills.

 

Partner Organizations

THI has developed relationships with local organizations, including those below, but UCSC students also develop and sustain their own relationships with partner institutions.

  • November 20, 2018
    THI supports Graduate Student Initiatives Focused on Public Scholarship

    Often Humanities scholars struggle to find ways to translate their scholarly research into direct, public action that engages the communities they study. The Humanities Institute, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, sponsors two opportunities for graduate students to imagine the greatest public impact for their research and Humanities training. Two concurrent programs provide funding and mentorship for graduate students to either work beyond the academy or and translate issues of contemporary social concern for the undergraduate classroom.

    November 1, 2018
    Public Fellows Spotlight: Trey Highton, Save the Waves Coalition

    I am very humbled to be a part of the initial THI public fellows cohort.  The project I’m pursuing in collaboration with the The Humanities Institute and Save The Waves Coalition is creating a digital archive of culturally significant and historically relevant surf stories.  Oral histories have been the foundation of indigenous Hawaiian history, including surfing, and the notion of ‘talk story’ remains a central component of contemporary surf culture and community.  We are at a critical moment in time wherein many of California’s, and other regions, first and second-generation surfers are passing away.  This project seeks to complement the environmental conservation of Save The Waves with a new element of cultural conservation, by creating an archive of first-hand accounts of surfers’ stories to be preserved for future enjoyment and study.

    This fellowship is also allowing me to focus more on my own research and writing to complete my dissertation, and as a new dad, have greater flexibility to support my family and spend quality time with my infant daughter. Read more >

    June 15, 2018
    Announcing 9 THI Summer Public Fellowships: Supporting Grad Students Beyond the Academy

    Nine graduate students from across the Humanities Division have been awarded fellowships to support publicly engaged summer projects. The Public Fellows program, now in it’s third year, provides mentorship and financial support to graduate students as they contribute to research, programming, communications and fundraising at companies, non-profit organizations, or cultural institutions. “This is an opportunity for graduate students to explore possibilities outside the university as they expand their skills in a non-academic setting,” noted Irena Polić, Managing Director of The Humanities Institute.

    December 12, 2016
    Scott Rappaport, “New program helps humanities grad students consider work in the public sphere

    From a Holocaust study center in Norway and a small environmental center in northern Alaska, to the Japanese American Museum in San Jose and the Santa Cruz County jail, humanities Ph.D. students expanded their horizons this year thanks to a new program started by the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research (IHR).

    The new IHR Public Fellows program provides an opportunity for humanities doctoral students to participate in research, programming, communications, and fundraising at a wide variety of non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, and companies.

  • Applications now Closed. Please check back for 2019-2020 Call.

    Year long fellows will join and contribute to a cohort of Public Fellows. Throughout the year, the cohort will meet regularly with THI staff to address challenges and reflect on their ongoing projects.

    Partner organization should be located in Santa Cruz County. Exceptions can be made for partners in the greater Bay Area if the organization is open to an ongoing relationship with THI. Consider pursuing opportunities from organizations listed below.

    Before applying, students are required to meet with THI staff by May 15 (contact info below).

    Fellows will receive:

    1. A fellowship stipend of up to $8,000

    2. Mentoring from The Humanities Institute and partner organization

    Eligibility: The student must be:

    a) Enrolled in a doctoral program in one of the humanities departments

    b) Be within normative time and in good academic standing

    c) Enrolled in at least five credits of graduate-level coursework. Students are ineligible to apply while on leave.

    d) Enrolled in the program at least through June 30, 2019.

    Application consists of:

    1) Cover Letter (1-2 pages) outlining your interests in a specific position and your qualifications (your research focus can but does not have to align with the project)

    2) Resume (1-2 pages)

    3) Work agreement – no more than one page – signed by the applicant and a dedicated mentor at the partner organization. The work agreement should address the work that has been agreed on, the timeline for the project, and its deliverables.

  • Applications now Closed. Please check back for Summer 2019 Call.

    Majority of the work should be completed during Summer 2018. Students are welcome to find their own partner organizations or to pursue opportunities from organizations listed below.

    Applicants are required to have attended the Info Session in April, or met with Irena Polic, Managing Director of The Humanities Institute.

    Fellows will receive:

    1. A fellowship stipend of up to $5,000 (for up to 250 hours of work, at the rate of $20 per hour)

    2. Mentoring from The Humanities Institute and from partner organization

    Eligibility: The student must be:

    a) Enrolled in a doctoral program in one of the humanities departments

    b) Be within normative time and in good academic standing

    c) Enrolled in at least five credits of graduate-level coursework. Students are ineligible to apply while on leave.

    d) Enrolled in the program at least through June 30, 2019.

    Application consists of:

    1) Cover Letter (1-2 pages) outlining your interests in a specific position and your qualifications (your research focus can but need not align with the project)

    2) Resume (1-2 pages)

    3) Work agreement – no more than one page – signed by the applicant and a dedicated mentor at the partner organization. The work agreement should address the work that has been agreed on, the timeline for the project, and its deliverables.

    • Trey Highton, Save the Waves [Profile]
    • Melody Nixon, The Humanities Institute, UCSC
    • Gabriela Ramirez-Chavez, UC Press
    • Wyatt Young, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
    • Aaron Aruk (History), Badge List
    • Ben Eischens (Linguistics), Pacific Collegiate School
    • Kiran Garcha (History), Cal Humanities
    • Lani Hanna (Feminist Studies), Freedom Archives
    • Erin Mariel McElroy (Feminist Studies), Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire
    • Maho Morimoto (Linguistics), Senderos
    • Stephanie Luna Padilla (Literature), Border Angels
    • Lisbet Gabriela Ramirez-Chavez (Literature), UC Press
    • Eric Sneathen (Literature), GLBT Historical Society