Michael J. Price Lab for Digital Humanities

Mellon Mid-Doctoral Fellowships

Mellon Mid-Doctoral Fellowships

2020-2021

OVERVIEW:
The Price Lab announces a new program of mid-doctoral fellowships in digital humanities. Intended for students who have completed their coursework and are entering their 3rd or 4th year of study in a humanities doctoral program at Penn, these fellowships will place a one-year “pause” on the normal sequence of advancement within the student’s department while extending the standard level of doctoral funding (stipend + benefits) for an extra year. During the fellowship year, recipients will be relieved of any teaching, TAing, exams, or other normal responsibilities within their department, instead devoting the time to activities and research with the Price Lab aimed at helping them gain skills and experience in technologically innovative research. Upon return to the department, they will resume the normal support arrangement in GAS without any loss of regular graduate funding. If for example a student spends year 4 as a fully funded mid-doc fellow at the Price Lab, they will still have two years remaining of the standard 5-year funding package when the fellowship year is over. And after those two further years, they will still be eligible without prejudice for final-year completion fellowships.

ACTIVITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF FELLOWS:
For 2020-21 we are offering three fellowships. Each fellow will be attached to a specific project team, and will work with that team for the equivalent of approximately 15-20 hours a week for 10 weeks, either in the summer, during the academic year, or some combination of both. Depending on the fellow’s interests and skills, the project they work on may be managed by the Price Lab and its DH Specialists, or based in the Penn Museum’s new Department of Digital Records, Archives, and Publications or at the Kislak Center. 

One aim of the program is to foster projects in the public humanities that make humanities research and/or Penn’s unique collections accessible to non-specialists and promote public understanding of and appreciation for the humanities. We will be especially interested in candidates whose own research connects with one of these public-facing projects. Our hope is that their work on the project -- which might continue in some form after the fellowship year -- serves to strengthen their scholarly profile and position them for successful launch of a professional career.

All mid-doctoral fellows will participate in the Price Lab DH research seminar throughout the academic year. They will also take part in two week-long Price-Lab supported “project sprints,” one in the fall and one in the spring. These periods of intense, supported work will enable fellows to make rapid progress on individual projects of their own design. Fellows may also take the opportunity to design digital assignments and/or facilitate workshops in the Price Lab and the Penn Libraries.

NOMINATION AND APPLICATION PROCESS:
Current second- and third-year doctoral students in humanities departments are eligible to apply. Interested students should send a CV and a letter of application of no more than 1000 words describing their interest in the fellowship and any previous experience with digital humanities to: Stewart Varner, Managing Director of the Price Lab (svarner@upenn.edu). Along with their application, students will need to solicit a letter from their advisor attesting to their suitability for Price Lab support, and a brief letter from the graduate chair of their department verifying their academic good standing and completion of coursework. Both of these letters should also be sent directly to Stewart Varner (svarner@upenn.edu). The strongest candidates will be those who have demonstrated an interest in some area of digital humanities and are developing a dissertation proposal that lends itself convincingly to the use of digital research methods. The application deadline is January 30th. We encourage prospective candidates to speak with their advisors and graduate chairs well in advance of this deadline; they should also feel free to contact the Price Lab to tell us about their interests in DH and/or to obtain additional information about the fellowships or the selection process. Fellowship offers will be made by mid-March. We hope to assemble a diverse cohort of fellows who come to digital humanities research from a range of backgrounds, perspectives, and disciplinary homes.

QUESTIONS:
Please direct any questions to Stewart Varner, Managing Director: svarner@upenn.edu

MidDoc