• Home
  • Application Instructions

Applied Humanities Summer Fellows

Deadline: Monday, February 27, 2017 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 2017 (students may apply to any number of agencies):

Kansas State Historical Society (6425 SW Sixth Avenue, Topeka, KS 66615). The KSHS is seeking a graduate student with strong research skills to help develop a new special exhibit "Incarcerated in Kansas." The exhibit is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018 at the Kansas Museum of History. The graduate student will conduct original research on a variety of topics, including but not limited to, people incarcerated for a cause (i.e. Carry Nation), cow town justice, the death penalty in Kansas, the history of major state and federal prisons in Kansas and their infamous prisoners (Lansing Correctional Facility, United States Prison at Leavenworth, U.S. Army Disciplinary barrack at Leavenworth), POW camps in Kansas in WWII, prison art, and prisoners of war held in foreign countries.  The student will identify important artifacts, photographs, documents, and other primary sources from the Society's collection to use in the exhibit.  Since this is an exhibit, the student needs strong interpretation skills, a strong interest in museums, exceptional research and writing skills, the ability to think visually, good interpersonal skills, and adequate 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 on the development of Pop-Up Humanities events in Topeka. The intern will spend the summer of 2017 preparing for the launch of this new program direction and will research, write, plan, coordinate, and implement up to three innovative, short-term "guerilla" humanities events highlighting history and literature. The intern will work on additional humanities council directives too that could include the grants program and the Water/Ways Smithsonian traveling exhibition partnership. The selected candidate will possess exceptional writing and research skills, strong communications skills (phone, email, and in-person), the ability to think creatively, good 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. 

Kansas Jewish History Project (1031 Vermont Street, Suite D, Lawrence, KS 66044). This project seeks a motivated graduate student to help edit, layout, and prepare for publication an encyclopedia of Kansas Jewish history. The book is intended as a general reference work with entries based on rigorous research yet aimed at a general audience. The project is affiliated with Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. The selected candidate will work closely with the project director and general editor in revising and editing entries, preparing the work for publication, choosing images for publication and obtaining image rights, checking facts and sources, editing bibliographies, and communicating with contributors, historical collections, and the publisher. This fellowship will provide hands-on experience in editorial work, manuscript preparation, and publishing. The selected candidate should be interested in bringing the humanities to a general audience, and possess an aptitude for research, writing and editing, strong communications skills (email and telephone), plus the ability to think creatively and have an eye for a good story.

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 projects produced through the Arts and Humanities Programming Department. Responsibilities will include (but may not be limited to):

  • Assisting department staff with obtaining image rights for current exhibitions in development;
  • Installation and/or de-installation of in-house exhibitions;
  • Research and development of bibliographies for humanities and visual arts exhibition projects;
  • Condition reporting of exhibition artifacts; 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. Spanish language proficiency a plus but not required.

Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (6400 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO). The Independence Avenue Community Improvement District seeks an observant, collaborative, and solution-seeking humanities graduate student who would enjoy the challenge of working directly with a certain sector of humanity - namely those individuals who might be defined as "vagrants" and cause a range of nuisance issues - that is hindering the redevelopment of Independence Avenue, a vibrant and reviving multicultural commercial corridor in the Historic Northeast section of Kansas City, Mo. The selected applicant will prepare profiles to separate individuals with medical and psychiatric issues from those with criminal issues, and work with appropriate social service agencies to develop a comprehensive approach for addressing vagrancy on Independence Avenue. Successful outcomes will include an increase in the perception of pedestrian safety and a reduction in the nuisances resulting from the behavior of these individuals. Position reports to the District Manager.

Kansas City Public Library (14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, MO 64105). The Library is seeking a graduate student to contribute to the development of a collaborative online encyclopedia project, The Pendergast Years: Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression, 1918-1941. Modeled after a multiple award-winning website (Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865, www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org), the Pendergast Years will integrate original scholarship from professional historians; a digital repository of correspondence, photographs, artifacts, and other audio-visual objects digitized materials 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 for the Pendergast Years website, including short biographies or profiles of places and events; and identify links between written content and the digital repository, incorporating 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: digital asset management, metadata creation, OCR, 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.

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area (200 W 9th St., Carnegie Building, Lawrence, KS 66044). Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area seeks a special project coordinator to work on the development of a traveling exhibit on temperance and alcohol in mid-19th century eastern Kansas and western Missouri. This work will build upon a timeline and bibliography developed by a previous Hall Center fellow in summer 2016. The exhibit is intended to explore mid-19th century attitudes about temperance and alcohol within the context of differences in attitudes over the slavery question along the Missouri-Kansas border region. The coordinator will be responsible for the production of an exhibit that meets the following criteria: developing a well-researched exhibit outline on temperance and alcohol in eastern Kansas and western Missouri; drafting final exhibit text for at least one exhibit segment; expanding an inventory of images to accompany the exhibit; and enlarging a bibliography of primary and secondary resources that support the exhibit topic. The selected candidate will possess excellent research skills; excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills; organizational and analytical skills; project management skills; ability to set priorities and manage time while meeting deadlines; and attention to detail. The position reports to the managing director of Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area.

Lawrence Public Library (707 Vermont St., Lawrence KS). This position offers a motivated graduate student the opportunity to work with Lawrence Public Library's Information Services Department and its Local History Room. The selected candidate will have the unique opportunity to participate in growing Digital Douglas County History, our online local history portal, to curate and digitize materials from our local history collection, and to create a social media campaign to highlight local history resources. The library seeks an individual who is a self-starter with exceptional research and writing skills, a strong interest in Lawrence history, the ability to think visually, 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 Curriculum Vitae as a PDF or Word file.

5. 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 Acting Director Sally Utech (4-7823; sutech@ku.edu).

Upcoming Hall Center Events
Follow the Hall Center


KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
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