Humanities Engage fosters experiential learning and immersive experiences for doctoral students across our arts and humanities programs in support of our mission to reimagine doctoral training, deepen and broaden all students’ intellectual and professional development, and make Humanistic careers across all employment sectors visible, valued, and viable.
This strand of our Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded project supports immersives that Ph.D. students devise with host organizations of their choice. To offer students maximum flexibility to integrate immersives with their individual programs of study and dissertation research, this program supports experiences designed collaboratively between a student and a prospective host organization that cannot pay, or cannot fully pay, graduate interns (e.g., non- profits, small start-ups, public sector institutions, etc.). These experiences can range from short-term micro-consultancies to multi-month projects. Students are also eligible to apply for funding from this program to support unpaid advertised internships with non-profit or public-sector organizations and that start in accordance with the timeline listed below.
Students can propose in-person, hybrid, or fully remote immersives; the feasibility of any in-person components would be assessed in accordance with the University’s standards and guidelines and the host organization’s health and safety protocols.
- Eligibility: DSAS Humanities Ph.D. students.
- Timeline: Immersives can start after funds are awarded and stipulated requirements have been completed. Immersives must be completed by the end of the semester for Spring 2021 graduates or by June 30, 2021.
- Humanities Engage expectations: Contribute at least one blog post to the project website, no later than one month after the immersive begins. Submit a reflective essay on the experience for the project website within two weeks of completing the immersive. Participate in cohort activities. Help co-mentor subsequent cohort.
Students are responsible for reporting taxable stipend payments and for remitting any tax due to their local taxing authority.
For international Ph.D. students to be eligible, they need to be approved for CPT (Curriculum Practical Training) through OIS and their Department must have internship credits available for the student to register.
Students are eligible to apply for stipends in the amount of $1,000 (minimum commitment: 50 hours), $1,500 (75 hours), or $2,000 (100 hours) per academic year. If funding is received from a prospective host organization, the program will pay for the difference between such outside funding and a maximum of $2,000 (100 hours commitment). Students are eligible to apply for funds toward one project at a time. While we encourage all eligible students to apply, priority will be given to students who have not previously received any Humanities Engage grant. There is no guarantee that the requested stipend amount will be awarded.
As part of their discussions with prospective host organizations, students should seek co-sponsorship to the maximum amount possible. Students securing partial funding allows us to stretch our resources to enable a larger number to benefit from these opportunities. Providing evidence of discussions or negotiation with organizations (e.g., email correspondence), even if not yielding co-sponsorship, will be looked upon favorably by the selection committee.
Identifying and Approaching Organizations
For examples of organizations that have previously hosted students, please see the Humanities Engage Funding Awardees page.
The below websites can also help with finding organizations that may have the capacity to collaborate with you virtually to develop a project that would impact their mission:
If you would like to discuss your internship search in general or a specific possible opportunity, please reach out to Dr. Marques Redd, Senior Director for Graduate Advising and Engagement for the Humanities. Contact him first especially if you plan to approach local Pittsburgh organizations so that he can help orient you to pre-existing contacts and liaise appropriately.
See also these tips on finding internships.
Applications will be reviewed, and grants awarded, on a rolling basis and as long as resources last.
To pitch your immersive, please provide the following materials in this order and in a single .pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org:
A. Cover Letter (2 pages max) addressing these key points:
- An overview of the project you are proposing. We look for projects that are specific and well- defined. Specify the scope, method, proposed timeline, and intended outcomes. If proposing an in-person or hybrid immersive, include a brief paragraph specifying whether and how you would adapt your plans if in-person activities were to be severely restricted or not viable.
- What relevant conversations have you had with your host organization? How do how you plan to bring a humanistic perspective to the host organization and how do you anticipate your project will impact the organization’s mission?
- How does your project draw on your graduate academic work to date, and how would it advance your academic and your professional goals?
- Budget: committed hours; amount of co-sponsorship from host organizations and/or evidence of discussions; requested Humanities Engage stipend amount.
- Expected date of graduation.
B. Brief and current CV (2 pages max)
C. Brief letter of support from host organization detailing its commitments (including project summary, role of the PhD student, explanation of how specifically a humanistic prospective will be valuable, supervisory and mentoring arrangements, access to relevant systems and materials, anticipated outcomes). Please specify a co-sponsorship level or why no funding is being provided.
D. Brief letter of support from primary Ph.D. advisor. (Note: This letter can also be sent directly from the faculty member to email@example.com.