CHI Grad Fellowship

4The Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship Program 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 fellowship, which spans an academic year, involves workshops, 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 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 $2500 per semester. In addition, fellows will have the opportunity to receive an additional $1000 to expand their project during the summer.  While applicants may have previous technical experience, such experience is not required to apply.

Framing Cultural Heritage

The focus of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship Program is the application of digital methods and computational approaches within cultural heritage.  In its focus, the program leverages the definition of cultural heritage commonly used by UNESCO:

Material culture (artifacts and objects, monuments, structures, landscapes, etc) and intangible cultural attributes (oral traditions, language, ritual, social practices, traditional knowledge performing arts, cuisine, etc) of a group, community, or society that are transmitted intergenerationally, used and maintained in the present, and preserved for future generations.

The fellowship is interested in both tangible and intangible cultural heritage.  Students whose work or interest in the fellowship is driven by this particular framing of cultural heritage are encouraged to apply.

Responsibilities (2024-2025 Fellowship)

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellowship carries the following obligations:

  • All CHI Grad Fellows must attend the weekly meeting on Fridays from 1:30-3pm in LEADR (Old Hort 112) .
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must be in-residence at LEADR for 10-3 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 complete a series of prerequisites technical tutorials before the beginning of the fellowship in the fall. Failure to complete these prerequisites by 8/23 will result in the fellowship offer being withdrawn
  • 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 at the end of the fall semester
  • All CHI Grad Fellows much complete and launch their project by the end of the spring semester
  • All CHI Grad Fellows must submit all final reporting materials after the launch of their fellowship project

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 their work must be cultural heritage (as defined above).
  • must be enrolled (and remain enrolled) full-time in the year for which they are applying.
  • must demonstrate positive progress in their graduate programs.

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, and show potential to make meaningful contributions in the domain of digital cultural heritage.

How to Apply

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

  • A cover letter expressing their interest and introducing their motivations for applying.

  • A current copy of their CV
  • A brief statement (3 pages maximum, double spaced) discussing the applicantʼs professional and scholarly goals, their interests in the application of digital methods in cultural heritage (broadly or specifically), and how the fellowship program will contribute to their professional & scholarly development.
  • An unofficial copy of current transcripts

Incomplete applications will not be considered

Applications should be submitted using the following form:

Please note, the application submission form requires that all users login with their MSU account.   If you encounter a “You need permission” message, make sure you are logged out of your non-MSU google account.  Please be sure to read and follow the direction included on the form about file naming.

Any questions can be directed to Ethan Watrall (

2024-2025 Application Deadline

Applications for 2024-2025 must be received by 5pm (EST) on May 15, 2024.