• Home
  • Application Instructions

Applied Humanities Summer Fellows

Deadline: Friday, March 9, 2018 11:59pm


The Hall Center's Applied Humanities Summer Fellows program supports exceptional and well-rounded PhD or MA students who demonstrate the ability to make outstanding contributions in their chosen humanities or social science disciplines and are interested in both interdisciplinary studies and community outreach.



The Hall Center is partnering with local non-profit organizations to appoint Applied Humanities Summer Fellows. Fellows will work with a humanities-oriented community organization on a project that blends humanities research and dissemination methodologies with community outreach and education. Fellows will receive $3,000 for 300 hours of work, generally 30 hours a week for 10 weeks (mid-May through July), with a humanities-oriented community organization. Specific schedules will be determined by the intern and the agency. Travel expenses may be added to the stipend based on the chosen intern's home location and the internship location.

The following opportunities are available to Fellows for Summer 2018 (students may apply to any number of agencies):

Kansas State Historical Society (6425 SW Sixth Avenue, Topeka, KS 66615).  The Kansas Historical Society is seeking a graduate student with strong research skills to help develop exhibits at the Kansas Museum of History. The museum is in the process of planning new exhibits for its 20,000-square foot main gallery. This is a multi-year project. The research topics include but are not limited to Native Peoples, emigrant Indians, town development, immigrants and settlers, businesses, ranching, cowboys and cattle trails, Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War, reform and reformers, and equal rights.  The graduate student will conduct original research on one or more of these topics and write a storyline that will eventually become the exhibit script. The student will identify important artifacts, photographs, documents, and other primary sources from the Society's collection to use in the exhibits.  The student needs strong interpretation skills, a clear interest in a museum career, prior experience working at a museum, exceptional research and writing skills, the ability to think visually, and effective time-management skills. The student will report to the Museum Director.

Kansas Humanities Council (112 SW 6th Ave, Suite 210, Topeka KS 66603). This position offers a motivated graduate student the opportunity to work autonomously as well as collaboratively as a Program Assistant for the statewide public humanities organization in Topeka. The intern will spend the summer of 2018 conducting research on the impact of public humanities in Kansas, assisting with publications, assisting with grants research and assessments, compiling donor information, researching and developing materials for an upcoming partnership with the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, and implementing Pop-Up humanities concepts, and other duties as needed. The selected candidate will possess exceptional writing and research skills, strong communications skills (phone, email, in-person), the ability to think creatively, strong time-management skills, and an interest in learning more about hometown humanities. The position works in downtown Topeka with some offsite travel and reports directly to the Executive Director. 

Mid-America Arts Alliance (2018 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64108). Selected applicant will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and learn about the exhibition development process for upcoming traveling exhibitions produced through the Arts and Humanities Programming Department, including NEH on the Road and Exhibits USA. Responsibilities will include (but may not be limited to):

  • Assisting department staff with obtaining image rights for current exhibitions in development;
  • Assisting in development and/or organization of program guides for humanities and visual arts exhibition (bibliographies, speakers, educational materials, etc);
  • Installation and/or de-installation of in-house exhibitions;
  • Assist in preparing materials for exhibition orientations; and
  • Assistance with documentation of out-bound touring exhibitions.

 Skillset should include: research skills, organizational skills, attention to detail, interest in exhibition development, ability to work independently and in a team, strong communication skills (written and verbal).

Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (6400 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO). This fellowship offers a career-minded and creative graduate student the opportunity to work autonomously as well as collaboratively in a Project Coordinator role with the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (IA CID) offices and its surrounding community along Kansas City's Historic Northeast on Independence Avenue in the summer of 2018.  In this capacity, the graduate student is requested to coordinate a series of wall mural installations that will culminate in a final exhibition, and would be expected to facilitate the entire project from concept to completion.  This project would include identifying willing business owners along the Independence Avenue corridor to participate by offering the space for the murals, locating artists for each of the wall murals, and then developing a final showing of the wall murals to coincide in a larger marketing campaign to drive community engagement utilizing existing IA CID initiatives and efforts.  The Project Coordinator is expected to be accountable for all research leading up to the wall mural installations, manage all marketing over the course of the project, as well as possess excellent time management and communication skills.  Currently existing wall murals in the community would provide further insight to the selected graduate student for what is expected of the IA CID vision as well as the ethnic diversity of the area.  The graduate student will report directly to the CEO of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Kansas City Public Library (14 W. 10thSt., Kansas City, MO 64105). The Library is seeking a graduate student in American History, American Studies, Museum Studies, African American studies, or related field to contribute to the development of our ongoing digital projects on the history of Kansas City.Potential projects for the fellowship may relate to the Pendergast Years: Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression, 1918-1941 (www.pendergastkc.org), the multiple award-winning Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865 (www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org), or www.KCHistory.org. These projects incorporate original scholarship from professional historians; a digital repository of correspondence, photographs, artifacts, and audio-visual objects from regional archives; digital features such as GIS mapping and timelines; and content for educators at a secondary or higher level.

The graduate student primarily will be expected to conduct original research; write historical content such as short biographies or profiles of places and events; and incorporate audio-visual material in a creative manner. The student will have the additional opportunity to receive an introduction to technical skills relevant to the burgeoning field of the digital humanities, such as digital asset management, metadata creation, transcription, and best practices for digitization projects.The successful candidate will employ skills that include an exceptional and engaging writing style geared toward public audiences, creative historical interpretation, time management, and an ability to work both independently and collaboratively with the project team. The student will report to the Library's digital history specialist. 

Kansas City Museum (800 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64105) The Kansas City Museum seeks a Curatorial & Exhibitions Coordinator to create content for special interpretive exhbiitions and programs.  The coordinator will be repsonsible for working with Museum staff and curators to:research and write content for exhibition interpretive panels and object lables; conduct and transcribe oral history interview; prep and install collection objects for display; and create educational public programming to complement exhibits. The coordinator will aslo support the process of installing exhibition.  The coordinator reports to the Executive Director.

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area(200 W 9th St., Carnegie Building, Lawrence, KS 66044). Freedom's Frontier seeks a Special Project Coordinator to create content for self-guided thematic tours within Freedom's Frontier heritage sites in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. As a 41-county, 32,000 square mile region, exploring the historic landscapes, sites and museums within Freedom's Frontier could be a daunting task for the average traveler. The coordinator would create content for self-guided thematic tour brochures within the heritage area. The coordinator will be responsible for crafting well-researched descriptions of tour stops that are aimed at a general audience.  The Special Project Coordinator reports to the Managing Director.

Lawrence Public Library (707 Vermont St., Lawrence KS). The Lawrence Public Library seeks a motivated graduate student with an interest in public history and digital humanities to assist with the ongoing development of Digital Douglas County History, our online local history portal, through the coordination of a series of community digitization events. By creating opportunities for community members to share their stories and artifacts without having to give them up, and to shape the context in which those artifacts will be presented, these community digitization events will create a more complete and inclusive record of the histories of our community. The selected applicant will promote the digitization events to a broad cross-section of our community, participate in digitizing materials and collecting metadata, and ensure the addition of the digitized materials to the Digital Douglas County History site. The library seeks an individual who is a self-starter with exceptional research and writing skills, a strong interest in Lawrence history, an attention to detail, great interpersonal skills, and an ability to manage their time to ensure completion of the project by the conclusion of the 10-week fellowship. Position reports to the Library's Information Services Coordinator.


Eligible applicants will:

1.  Be currently enrolled KU graduate students in any humanities or social science discipline who have successfully completed at least one semester of full time coursework toward an MA or PhD degree;

2.  Demonstrate a high level of motivation, including the ability to work independently and establish and achieve goals; and

3.  Have the ability to do humanities research and to write cogently and with economy.



Applied Humanities Summer Fellows are required to:

1. Fulfill the terms of their agreement with the community partner.

2. Submit a brief report to the Hall Center detailing the work they completed and explaining how this experience will further their research and/or career aspirations in the humanities.  The report is due within 30 days of completion of the fellowship work.



All application materials must be submitted through the Hall Center Competitions Portal.  Paper submissions will not be accepted.  For an application to be verified as complete, and thus forwarded for committee review, applicants must:

1. Create an account or log in to an existing account.

2. Select the Apply Now button next to this competition. 

3. Complete the Application Form in the Portal, which includes 5 short answer questions.

4. Upload a one-page Cover Letter explaining which fellowship opportunity you are most interested in and why.

5. Upload a Curriculum Vitae as a PDF or Word file.

6. Ensure the receipt of two original letters of recommendation in English, including one letter from a departmental officer who can certify that the applicant is currently enrolled and has completed at least one semester of fulltime coursework toward an MA or PhD.  Reference letters should address the applicant's interest in the public humanities, ability to work independently, and writing skills.

All reference letters must be submitted via the Hall Center Competitions Portal prior to the application deadline.  Applicants will submit the names and email addresses of referees via the portal. This submission will generate notifications and instructions for the referees, allowing them to submit their reference letters electronically.  Applicants will receive a notification email when a referee has completed a reference.  Applicants may also log into the system at any time to see if a reference letter has been submitted. 

Applicants should submit the names of their references well before the application deadline to allow sufficient time for the preparation and submission of the letters.  References will not be allowed to submit letters after the application deadline has passed.

No extraneous materials will be considered.



The criteria for selection is determined by each community partner, and is dependent upon the particular work required during the internship period.


Community partners review applications and select candidates for interview, in consultation with the Hall Center Director.  



Applicants should direct all questions about the Applied Humanities Summer Fellows Competition to Hall Center Interim Associate Director Sarah Bishop (4-7823; sarahbishop@ku.edu).

Follow the Hall Center
RT @HughesCenter _KU: Join us on tomorrow for @HughesCenter _KU & @lawrencelibrary 's Diverse Dialogues: "Birding While Black" w/ @1blackbirde

Upcoming Hall Center Events
Follow the Hall Center


KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times