Call for Applications: 2015 Humanities Without Walls Consortium Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop

Pre-Doctoral Application Portal

The Humanities Without Walls is a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 15 major research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond. Based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional partners include the Chicago Humanities Festival office, and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at UIUC. The consortium’s initiatives include the creation of summer workshops for pre-doctoral students in the humanities who wish to explore careers outside the traditional tenure-track academic system.

We invite applications for fellowships from pre-doctoral students to participate in a three-week intensive, residential summer workshop for individuals who are working towards but have not yet received a PhD in a humanities discipline, and who are considering careers outside the academy and/or the tenure-track university system. The summer workshop will instruct students in the various ways they can leverage their pre- existing and developing skill sets towards the pursuit of careers in the public humanities and the private sector (also sometimes referred to as “alt-ac” careers). Familiarity with the vital connections between academic and public worlds can also enrich traditional scholarly endeavors.

Guest speakers, including leaders from the non-profit world, the private sector, federal and state government offices, public media, arts administration, NGOs, and more, will make daily presentations to workshop fellows. Field trips to relevant sites will supplement the instruction that takes place in the workshop.

Graduates from the workshop will emerge with a network of contacts in a range of professional realms; a significantly broadened sense of the career possibilities that await humanities PhDs; a cohort of “alt-ac” fellows from whom they may draw support and advice; and a set of resources aimed at helping them advance into the various realms considered under the broad rubric of “the public humanities.” Each graduate will also receive a certificate of completion upon graduating from the summer workshop.

Where: Chicago, Illinois. Most weekday workshop events will take place at the Genevieve and Wayne Gratz Center at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St (at N. Michigan Ave.). Some will take place at sites in and around Chicago.

When: Summer 2015—July 20th through August 7th. The workshop will take place all day, five days/week for three weeks. Optional events will be scheduled for weekends during the workshop.

Eligibility: All applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral degree-granting program in a humanities discipline at one of the HWW consortium institutions. Applicants may be at any stage of their doctoral work, but they cannot have already received the doctoral degree. Ideally, applicants will have completed some coursework towards the PhD, and they may have been advanced to candidacy but are not yet finishing their dissertations.

Fellowship Award: Each fellow will receive a $4,500 stipend intended to cover travel to and from the summer workshop, housing, and most meals and all incidentals. From out of this stipend, fellows will be expected to arrange and pay for their own travel and housing. A range of affordable housing possibilities will be made available to fellowship recipients for the three-week period of the workshop. All fellows will be expected to attend the entire workshop for the entire three weeks in order to receive their certificates of completion.

Application Requirements:

  • A completed application cover sheet
  • A narrative of no more than 1,000 words explaining the applicant’s intended career trajectory and addressing the following questions:
    • Why do you want to attend the workshop?
    • What are the most important pieces of information you want to walk away with?
  • A 2-page cv; and,
  • Two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from the applicant’s primary advisor/dissertation chair; both should emphasize the applicant’s fit for this workshop.

Application Procedures:

  • Letters of recommendation should be submitted to the applicant’s HWW center by November 1st, 2014, at 5:00pm CDT. (For contact information on each HWW campus, please see the contacts section of the Humanities Without Walls website).
  • Applicants should prepare and submit the rest of the required application materials to their respective HWW centers by November 1st, 2014, at 5:00pm CDT.
  • Center directors will nominate four finalists from the applications they receive, compile the applications and recommendations, and submit them using the online application portal ( by 5:00 pm CST on December 1st, 2014.
  • Center directors must submit the required application materials, including the two letters of recommendation they have received, via the portal as a single PDF file.
  • Announcement of fellowship awards will be made on or around January 30, 2015.

More information about the Pre-doctoral summer workshops will be posted as it becomes available.

Pre-Doctoral Application Portal

Download 2015 Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop Application Cover Sheet

Pre-Doctoral Workshops Selection Criteria