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Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship Program

Administered by the Department of Anthropology, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship Program provides Michigan State University graduate students who have a scholarly interest in cultual heritage with support to develop vital skills with key technologies and tools, explore fundamental topics in digital cultural heritage, and build a significant and innovative digital cultural heritage project.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 CHI Grad Fellowship Program – May 8, 5pm EST

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowships offer MSU graduate students the skills to creatively and thoughtfully apply digital methods and computational approaches to cultural heritage collections, materials, data, questions, and challenges.  

While the first half of the fellowship is focused on workshops and collaborative development work and technical experimentation, the overall organizational focus of the fellowship is the development (either individually or collaboratively) of a significant and innovative digital cultural heritage project. Projects might include (but are certainly not limited to) a serious game, a mobile application, a digital exhibit, a digital archive, or a collaborative digital publication. The project must also have a significant public component.  To support their work, fellows will receive a stipend of $2000 per semester. In addition, fellows will have the opportunity to receive an additional $1000 to expand their project during the summer. Fellows are expected to engage with the broader digital cultural heritage community at workshops, meetings, or conferences.  In order to support this, fellows can receive an additional $1000 in travel funds. While applicants may have previous technical experience, such experience is not required to apply.

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship program is generously supported by the Graduate School,  The College of Social Sciences, The College of Arts & Letters, The Department of AnthropologyThe Department of History, and The Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures.  The Cultural Heritage Initiative is administered by the Department of Anthropology in partnership with LEADR and  MATRIX: The Center Digital Humanities & Social Sciences.

Fellowship Projects

The primary goal of the fellowship program is to provide an opportunity for participants to individually or collaboratively develop a significant and innovative digital cultural heritage. It is very important to note that there is no single mechanism by which fellows will come to these projects. If applicants have an existing idea for a specific project, they are welcome to include that in their application statement. If applicants have an interest in a platform or technology (but no specific project in mind), they are encouraged to include that in their application statement. If fellows do not have a particular project or platform in mind, they will work with members of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative in order to define a suitable project.

Responsibilities (2019-2020 Fellowship)

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellowship carries the following obligations:

  • All fellows must complete a series of technical tutorials in advance of the start of the fellowship in the fall of 2019.
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must be in-residence at LEADR ( from 9-3 on Fridays (during the academic year).  Part of this time will be dedicated to the fellowship program’s weekly group meeting (1:30-3pm), while the rest of the time will be dedicated to collaborative/communal work between all of the fellows)
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must write at least 1 substantive blog post per month on the CHI Website
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must submit a project proposal no later than 12/6/2019
  • All CHI Grad Fellows much complete and launch their project by no later than 5/1/2020
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must submit their final project white paper no later than 5/8/2020
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must submit a project description and representative image for the CHI website no later than 5/8/2020

Those students who are not able to meet these obligations should not apply.


In order to be eligible to apply for a Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship, applicants:

  • must be enrolled and be in good academic standing in a graduate program at Michigan State University (either at the Masters or Doctoral level). A primary focus of the graduate program must be cultural heritage (broadly defined).
  • must be enrolled (and remain enrolled) full-time in the year for which they are applying.

Awards will be made to individuals who demonstrate academic achievement, are committed to a career that embraces the application of digital methods and computational approaches in cultural heritage, and show potential to make meaningful contribution to the domain.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following materials in order to be considered:

  • A cover letter addressed to the selection committee
  • A current copy of their CV
  • A brief statement (3 pages maximum) discussing the applicantʼs professional and scholarly goals, their interests in the application of digital methods and computational approaches in cultural heritage (broadly or specifically), and how the fellowship program will contribute to their professional & scholarly development.
  • An unofficial copy of current transcripts
  • A completed Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship Application Form 

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered

Application packages must be submitted electronically in PDF form to:

Ethan Watrall
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Associate Director, MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences

All questions or inquiries must be directed to Ethan Watrall

2019-2020 Application Deadline

Completed application package for 2019-2020 must be received by 5pm (EST) on May 8, 2019