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Winter 2023 Mellon-Rackham Public Engagement and the Humanities Program

Call for Applications

Rackham is accepting applications from doctoral students in the humanities to support learning and feedback around their publicly engaged humanities projects. The Mellon Public Engagement and the Humanities Program will bring together a cohort of humanities graduate students to connect, learn, and advance a project in the realm of publicly engaged humanities scholarship. The goals of the program are to:

  • Connect with an interdisciplinary community of students interested in advancing publicly engaged scholarship (see examples below).
  • Provide a space for graduate students to share and receive feedback from peers around their publicly engaged humanities projects.

Students will receive a $2,000 stipend and must be able to attend 4 online cohort meetings on the following dates from 1pm – 2pm during the Winter 2023 Term:

  • January 27
  • February 10
  • March 24
  • April 14

Students accepted to the program are also encouraged to attend other Public Scholarship events and programs being planned as a part of this initiative.

Who is Eligible to Apply

Graduate students at any stage in their studies in any humanities or humanistic social sciences field interested in advancing their publicly engaged humanities projects in collaboration with their peers.

Graduate student preference given to those who have participated in one or more of the following Rackham Public Scholarship Programs:

  • Institute for Social Change
  • Engaged Pedagogy Initiative
  • Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship Program
  • Public Scholarship Grant recipient
  • Mellon Public Engagement and the Humanities (2019, 2020)


  • Excitement and openness to publicly engaged humanities work.
  • Participate in monthly cohort meetings.
  • Make progress on your plans for a publicly engaged humanities project that connects your research to public audiences and/or community-identified needs (see examples below).
  • Share a final plan, next steps, timeline, or outcomes for your project at the end of the semester (will vary depending on where you are at with your project).

How to Apply

Please submit the following by December 5, 2022:

  1. Statement: Please describe the publicly engaged humanities project you are currently working on or would like to develop during the program (1,000 words or less)
    • How is the project connected to your scholarship and/or research?
    • What do you see as the project’s goals or outcomes?
    • Who is the audience for your project?
    • What steps will you take to advance this project during the Winter 2023 semester?
  2. A short letter of recommendation or endorsement to participate from a faculty member (does not need to be your advisor/chair). The letter or endorsement should be sent to by the deadline.
  3. Short C.V. or resume

Application material should be submitted using this form.

Examples of Public Humanities Projects

We define public goods and publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities broadly: products or services that are provided without profit to all members of a society. Examples might include exhibits, oral histories, archives, audiovisual projects, community engagement projects, K-12 focused projects, public programming endeavors, etc. Projects should be designed primarily to engage one or more specific publics or communities beyond the academy. They should be aimed at reaching beyond your fellow faculty, scholars, and colleagues on campus.

For examples of publicly engaged humanities projects at colleges and universities, see the database sponsored by the National Humanities Alliance, Humanities for All.