Simons Public Humanities Fellowship


This innovative program, made possible by a gift from the Simons Family of Lawrence with matching funds from a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, gives individuals of experience and accomplishment from outside the university the time and freedom to engage with humanities-based learning for a short period before returning to their occupations. At the same time, the Hall Center and the University benefit from the presence of an accomplished leader from beyond the academy. In line with the wishes of the donor, applicants cannot hold an academic position or otherwise work at an institution of higher education.

Simons Fellows participate in the intellectual life of the university for a period ranging from one month to one semester. In consultation with the Hall Center Director and appropriate faculty, they formulate an individualized course of self-study and/or research prior to their arrival in Lawrence.  Fellows are invited to participate in Hall Center activities occurring during their residency and also to share their experiences in a public lecture at the end of the fellowship period.

To facilitate their course of study and research, and to assist with housing and other expenses, Simons Fellows will receive a stipend of up to $25,000.  The Fellow’s employer is encouraged to bridge any difference between stipend and salary and to continue health care and other benefits.


DEADLINE:  Monday, April 1, 2024 at 11:59 PM


Individuals interested in applying should submit their applications by April 1, 2024 at 11:59 PM to Hall Center Assistant Director Andrew Hodgson at

Eligible applicants are:

  • Currently employed or self-employed professionals who do not hold a higher education position at the time of application;
  • Able to pursue a residency of at least one month at the Hall Center during the academic year; and
  • Able to demonstrate a genuine interest in bringing the humanities to bear on a project they are qualified to undertake.

Application materials consist of:

  • A CV or resume, including current position and contact information
  • A cover letter detailing the proposed dates of residence, a description of the proposed project, the name(s) of faculty with whom the applicant would like to work, and the KU resources the applicant will consult while engaged as a Simons Fellow.

Interviews will be conducted with fellowship finalists during the month of May. The selection committee includes the Hall Center Director, Assistant Director, and at least one other member of the Hall Center staff as well as faculty from the humanities at KU.


Applicants should direct all questions about the Simons Public Humanities Fellowship to Hall Center Assistant Director Andrew Hodgson (

Previous Simons Public Humanities Fellows

Crystal Z. Campbell - multidisciplinary artist, fimmaker, and writer

Jancita Warrington - Teacher, advocate, activist

Tiffany Midge - Poet

Nancy Jackson - Nonprofit Organizer

David Balakrishnan - Composer and Performer, Turtle Island Quartet

Karole Armitage - Choreographer

Angela Elam - Radio Producer and Host

Henry Fortunato - Public Affairs, Kansas City Public Library

Bill Lattanzi - Science writer 

Randy Klein - Composer and Pianist 

Shirley Christian - Journalist 

Ann Hagedorn - Journalist, Author 

David Balakrishnan - Composer, Musician 

Katja Esson - Filmmaker

Von Hardesty - Author, Curator 

Derek Schmidt - Lawyer, Politician