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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 2016-2017 CHI Grad Fellowship Program – July 6th Deadline

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowships offer Michigan State University graduate students in departments and programs with an emphasis on cultural heritage the methodological skills necessary creatively and thoughtfully apply information, communication, and computing technology to cultural heritage materials, address key challenges in cultural heritage, influence the current state of digital cultural heritage, and become thought leaders for the future of digital cultural heritage.

During the course of their fellowship (which lasts an academic year), students will collaboratively develop 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 archive, online exhibit, or a collaborative digital publication.

To support their work, fellows receive a stipend of $2000 per semester.  In addition, fellows have the opportunity to receive an additional $1000 stipend to continue development of their project over the summer.  As the fellows will be expected to engage with the wider digital scholarly public they will receive an additional $1000 in travel funds to attend conferences, meetings, or workshops. 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 MATRIX: The Center Digital Humanities & Social Sciences.

Fellowship Projects

The primary goal of the initiative is to provide an opportunity for fellows to collaboratively develop a significant and innovative digital cultural heritage project.  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 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 (2016-2017 Fellowship)

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellowship carries the following obligations:

  • All CHI Grad Fellows must be in-residence at LEADR for at least 6 hours each week on Fridays (part of this time will be dedicated to the fellowship program’s weekly group meeting, while the rest of the time will be dedicated to collaborative/communal work between all of the fellows)
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must commit to attending weekly meetings at MATRIX (Fridays, 1:30-3:00pm)
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must complete a series of prerequisites (including readings and technical tutorials) before the beginning of their fellowship in the fall
  • 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 12/5/2016
  • All CHI Grad Fellows much complete and launch their project by no later than 5/3/2017
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must submit their final project white paper no later than 5/8/2017
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must submit a project description and representative image for the CHI website no later than 5/8/2017

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 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) throughout the entire period of the fellowship. A primary focus of the graduate program must be cultural heritage (broadly defined).
  • must be 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 digital cultural heritage, and show potential to make meaningful contributions in the domain of digital cultural heritage and cultural heritage informatics.

How to Apply

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

  • A cover letter addressed to the selection committee
  • An up to date Curriculum Vita
  • A brief statement (3 pages maximum) discussing the applicant’s professional and scholarly goals, their interests in cultural heritage informatics and digital cultural heritage (broadly or specifically), and how the fellowship program will contribute to their professional & scholarly development.
  • A completed Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship Application Form
  • Unofficial copy of current transcripts

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

2015-2016 Application Deadline

Completed application package for 2015-2016 must be received by 5pm (EST) on July 6th, 2016