Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Research Fellowship

About the Fellowship

These semester-long fellowships support undergraduate researchers in the arts, humanities, and social sciences who are at the early stages of their academic careers. Indeed, they are intended for students with little to no prior research experience. Additionally, they facilitate mentorship with a current graduate student (or a faculty member if that student's department does not have graduate students). Accepted fellows are paired with a mentor based on mutual research interests. Mentors teach students the research methods of the field and assist them in conducting their individual research projects. Both the undergraduate fellows and their graduate student mentors receive a $500 award for their interactive work during the fall 2017 semester. The fellowship has been designed to provide research experiences early in the academic careers of students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.


In the interdisciplinary spirit of programs like the Brackenridge Research Fellowship, the program also aims to expose students to a range of perspectives and research by facilitating a weekly 1-credit seminar in which students will present their research to one another and attend research presentations by graduate student mentors. Class time also will be devoted to crafting and workshopping future project proposals for programs like the Brackenridge Research Fellowship and other relevant research opportunities.

The fall 2017 seminar will be held on Fridays at 4PM. Students awarded the fellowship will be required to enroll in this 1-credit seminar.


Students are required to meet privately at least twice per month with their mentor. Mentors are expected to work with students to develop strong research methods and to suggest relevant readings, opportunities, and resources. For students accepted in departments in which there are no graduate students: we will make every effort to pair you with a graduate student in a related area. We encourage applicants in these disciplines to indicate their preference in their application materials. If you have a mentor in mind, you may indicate this in your application. 

End Product

By the end of the semester, a student are required to produce some formal record of the work he or she has done. This could be either a piece of writing (including creative projects) to submit to an undergraduate journal or a significant draft to be continued during a future semester. In addition, the student will produce a project proposal for future research.  

Application Deadline

The online application must be completed and a faculty letter of recommendation must be received by Friday, March 24, 2017by 4PM.

Who may apply?

A student must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be enrolled as an undergraduate student on the Oakland campus
  • Has completed or is currently enrolled in at least 1 course in his or her area of research at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Earned at least 12 credits at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Has had NO prior formal research training in the area of intended research (e.g. research fellowships or independent studies, paid or for credit). If you have done research in Physics, for example, but now want to research a topic in Art History, you are still eligible. 
  • Has a 3.25 cumulative GPA (You will not necessarily be disqualified if your GPA is below 3.25, but if it is, please take a moment in your statement of interest to address it.)
  • Has declared or plans to declare a major in the area in which he or she wishes to perform research or has demonstrated substatial interest in the area in some other way (MUST BE a discipline in the arts, humanities, or social sciences)

How to Apply

By March 24, 2017 at 4PM, applicants must submit:

  • A statement of about 500 words identifying and explaining your interests and motivation.
  • A proposal of about 500 words for the type of research project you'd like to pursue. Please review the guide questions here before writing your proposal.

Please copy and paste your responses rather than typing them directly into the form. Please DO NOT include any special formatting such bullet points, headings, etc. If it is necessary to include an image, video, or sound, please include a link to the content in your proposal.

  • A letter of recommendation directly from a faculty member emailed to Jason Sepac at

The Award

Each applicant and his or her research mentor will be awarded $500 each in recognition of their interactive work during the semester.

Interested in being a Mentor?

Please fill out this form and we will be in touch with you this summer.

Important Note: All pre-doctoral fellows and international students are NOT permitted to serve as mentors due to payroll restrictions.


If you have any questions regarding the fellowship, please contact Jason Sepac (