Public Humanities Fellowships

Spring/Summer 2021

Established in 1976, the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) fosters advanced study and research in a broad range of subject areas. We are multi-disciplinary and multi-faculty orientated. We support research in traditional Humanities disciplines such as languages and literature, history, religious studies, philosophy, as well as in philosophical and historical aspects of the social sciences, arts, sciences, and professional studies. The humanities are not conceived as a specific group of academic disciplines, but as forms of study that examine what is human – typically guided by literature, history, social and physical settings, artifacts, visual and performing arts.

Deadline and term

Applications have now closed for the current competition.

May 1, 2021

The term of the fellowship is Spring/Summer 2021


The Public Humanities refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw on the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (e.g., history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly defined outcomes that benefit the public. With this new program, the CIH seeks to place Humanities doctoral students into local community and/or cultural organisations. Students will be paid through designated scholarships.

There are three main goals:

  1. to provide each selected graduate student with an opportunity for acquiring new kinds of knowledge, experience, and professional relationships in a non-academic setting
  2. to provide the partner organization with a highly skilled graduate-level humanities student to work on a partner-specified project in spring/summer 2021 for 12 weeks (at no more than 20 hours/week)
  3. to cultivate strong collaborative networks for supporting arts, culture, and/or social justice in our communities.


To be eligible as a Public Humanities Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, University of Calgary, you must be enrolled as a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a humanities discipline during the year immediately preceding the appointment. Graduate students in Ph.D. programs can participate in internships related to the transferable skills they develop in their academic programs. Fellowship opportunities do not need to directly connect to a graduate student’s area of research.

Application procedure

Scholars outside of the traditional humanities disciplines should make clear the humanistic orientation of their project.

Applications must contain:

The resume should summarize academic projects and achievements, work experience, skills, and university and community involvement. You may find it useful to look at the following handbook if you are wondering how to frame your skills for work in a non‐academic setting.

The cover letter should be no more than 3 pages (12 pt, double spaced) and address the following questions:

  • What draws you to the CIH Public Humanities Program?
  • Which specific position are you applying for and why? How would it fit into your graduate career trajectory? (If you are interested in more than one of the roles, we recommend you provide a separate cover letter for each, emphasizing how your skills make you the best fit for that position.)
  • What specific strengths, experiences (academic as well as non‐academic), and achievements make you a strong candidate for the specified position?
  • Is there any other relevant information you would like to share with the adjudication committee?

We seek two letters of reference, preferably from academic referees who are familiar with (and can speak to) your graduate studies trajectory, recent relevant achievements and experiences, and suitability for a Public Humanities Fellowship. Letters of reference for public humanities candidates should be sent directly to the CIH by email to Referees should be informed exactly which positions you are applying for, but only one letter per candidate is required; referees do not need to provide a separate letter for each role you are interested in.

  •  One letter must be from your supervisor (or prospective supervisor for students early in their program). This letter should also affirm that this project aligns with your program of study and does not conflict with your ability to complete your degree requirements.
  •  The second letter may be from an academic or non‐academic reference (i.e. a  representative of a community organization for which you worked or volunteered, if the experience is directly relevant to the position for which you are applying).