Training in Digital Methods for Humanists Fellowships

IPRH announces the first cycle of a three-year competition for Faculty Fellowships that support Training in Digital Methods for Humanists (TDMH), a pilot program funded by the Investment for Growth Initiative of the Offices of the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Research.

This is a mid-career faculty development initiative akin to the LAS “study in a second discipline” program. It is designed to confront head-on the challenge of equipping humanities scholars with the digital tools, computational methods and technological expertise they need to catch up with or keep abreast of changes in scholarly research, teaching, publication and communication.

The comparative absence of resources for hiring new faculty makes it challenging to refresh our research and teaching practice with new knowledge and expertise. We look, therefore, to campus experts to help humanities faculty (re-)train in digital humanities ways of knowing. In so doing, in the course of the program, we will enable a dozen faculty fellows to become proficient in digital methods. They will, in turn, help to reshape research initiatives and teaching agendas in their units in relatively quick time.

This pilot program serves as a bridge between humanists all over campus and the units (the I-School, LAS, the Library/Scholarly Commons, NCSA, and department-specific spaces) where methodological training in the digital domain is happening. It has the power to change up how humanists work and teach and in turn, to better equip them to be collaborative partners who can drive interdisciplinary tech projects as well as serve them.

Through a competitive application process, three yearly cohorts of four FTE tenured or associate-level, or higher, specialized teaching faculty will be chosen to each receive a two-course release in order to audit two undergraduate or graduate courses already on offer on campus that will allow them to develop competencies in “digital humanities,” broadly conceived. The study may take place in any campus unit.

TDMH Fellows will also:

  • be assigned a faculty mentor;
  • meet with and be guided by the TDMH Working Group and the TDMH Project Manager;
  • have access to a one-time equipment budget;
  • have one-time funding to pursue digital methods training in a summer program anywhere in the US up to $5,000 inclusive of all expenses;
  • take advantage of digital methods programming and resources on campus as directed;
  • participate in assessment and produce a final report of their experience, including accounts of how the TDMH Fellowship enhances their research and teaching; and
  • help to organize a 2021 Summer conference at IPRH, showcasing the Fellows’ experiences and accomplishments.

Eligibility and Terms

Full-time tenured or associate-level, or higher, specialized teaching faculty are eligible to apply. Awardees cannot hold any concurrent internal teaching-release awards, or external fellowships (including summer stipends). Fellows must maintain residency on campus during the award year. Fellows receive a two-course teaching release (except from direction of dissertations) to pursue their plan of study/training in digital methods. The plan for how the release will be taken (all in a particular semester, or 1-1) is to be determined in consultation with the home department EO(s), as necessitated by the planned course of study and the needs of the home unit(s). All course release must be taken during the 2018–19 academic year.

In addition to the two-course release, TDMH fellows will have access to a one-time equipment budget as well as one-time funding to pursue summer digital methods training anywhere in the US, up to $5,000, inclusive of all expenses. Fellows will have a faculty mentor and will meet with the TDMH Project Manager and Working Group; take advantage of digital methods programming and resources on campus, as directed; participate in assessment and produce a final report of their TDMH experience, including how it enhances their research and teaching; and will help to organize and participate in a 2021 summer conference, showcasing the Fellows’ experiences and accomplishments.

The faculty member’s department(s) will be compensated $16,000 ($8,000 per course) for releasing the faculty member for two courses. In the case of faculty members with two or more percentage appointments, these funds will be distributed in accordance with the department(s) that hold(s) the course assignments.

The executive officer(s) of the home department(s) must authorize the applicant’s participation in the program at the time of application (using the EO approval form).

Application Guidelines

Applications must be submitted via the online portal. Applicants will be asked to create a password-protected account, to which they can return multiple times. The application system opens November 1, 2017. No paper or emailed applications will be accepted. The online application must be completed and submitted no later than midnight on January 15, 2018. Please note that IPRH staff will not be available for trouble-shooting after the close of business on January 12, so IPRH strongly recommends applicants and referees submit their materials well before the deadline.

In addition to completing the online application form, applicants must submit PDFs of the following materials through the online system (documents should be double-spaced (except CV), and in 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins; materials that exceed the required length will not be considered):

  • A 3-page statement of purpose (no more than 1,000 words), including a list of prospective courses and explicit discussion of how the Fellowship will reshape your research, teaching and scholarly communication. The statement should include discussion of contact and consultation with prospective instructors (upload under “Statement of Purpose”);
  • A scan of the signed EO approval form, upload under “Other Supporting Document”); and
  • A brief 3-page CV (can be single-spaced, but please keep ease of legibility in mind; upload under “Curriculum Vitae”).

Deadline

Online applications must be complete and actively submitted by midnight on January 15, 2018, after which the application portal closes. All applications must be submitted via the application portal.

Deadline extensions will not be granted. The review committee will consider only complete applications. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documentation is complete and submitted before the deadline. Note that applicants must click through every section, in order to reach the appropriate screen where it is possible to click “submit.” If the portal deems your application incomplete, the submission screen will not be accessible. Please be sure to upload documents under the appropriate categories, as failure to do so can lead the system to assess your application as incomplete (and hence render actual submission impossible).

Selection Criteria

The applications will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee, who will make its recommendations to IPRH; the IPRH Director and Associate Director serve on the committee in an ex officio capacity.

Submissions will be evaluated on the quality of the proposed structured and guided plan of study, the advantage it takes of courses and resources available on campus, and the quality of the argument made for how this plan of study will enhance both the applicant's research and teaching.

Notifications

All applications will be acknowledged via e-mail. If you do not receive an email confirmation upon believing you have submitted, please double-check that you have indeed proceeded to the last screen and clicked “submit.” If you still have not received an email confirmation (and have checked your junk mail folder without finding it), please alert IPRH at IPRH@illinois.edu or 217-244-3344.

 

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Go to the application system at https://my.atlas.illinois.edu/submit/go.asp?id=1186, where you will be asked to create an account. The system opens November 1, 2017.

Questions about this fellowship may be addressed to Dr. Nancy Castro, Associate Director of IPRH, at ncastro@illinois.edu or (217) 244-7913.

Deadline: January 15, 2018