THINK Research Fellowship

This Fellowship aims to:

  • Provide students an opportunity to intellectually engage with a variety of subjects across the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences.
  • Facilitate topical, conceptual, and even abstract connections across disciplines.
  • Promote critical thinking about different forms of research, scholarship, and creativity, and about research methods.
  • Develop students’ ability to communicate to a broad audience.
  • Increase students’ awareness of research funding structures and processes.

The Fellowship supports University of Pittsburgh undergraduates who conduct an independent research project, participate in an interdisciplinary weekly seminar in which Fellows present and discuss their projects, and attend a series of faculty talks, workshops, and panel discussions. The fellowship awards a stipend of $1000; in addition, it requires students to register for 1 credit of research. Please note that if the 1 credit pushes a fellowship winner over 18 credits, with special permission the Fellow may register for this credit in a later term.

Awards will be divided evenly among arts/humanities, natural sciences/professional schools, and social sciences disciplines. The student Fellows must be able to attend a weekly student seminar (Tuesdays, 9:30-10:45AM OR Fridays, 4:00-5:15PM). In addition, all of the Fellows are expected to attend the Honors College's Friday Faculty Talks and events (2:00 - 2:50 p.m.). While a small number of faculty will be pre-selected to speak, THINK Fellows will have an opportunity to invite speakers for talks, workshops, or even interviews (Students who are unable to attend these sessions because of a schedule conflict will not necessarily be eliminated from consideration, though they are strongly encouraged to make room for them in their schedule, if possible; if this is not possible, they will be offered an alternative way to make up for missing the talks.)

Student Seminar

Tuesdays: 9:30-10:45AM

Fridays: 4:00-5:15PM

The weekly seminar will give students the opportunity to share their research with one another through both class discussion and via TED-Talk-style presentations. Unlike, talks given to departments, these must be accessible to a broad, general audience and mostly free of jargon. Because the interdisciplinary interactions that occur in the seminar are paramount to the Brackenridge Research Fellowship, every effort will be made in the selection process to ensure there is an equal distribution of disciplines.

Q&A will follow each presentation, with an emphasis on questions that bridge students’ disciplines.

While discussion will be primarily student driven, faculty and staff from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences will also be present to pose questions, prompt conversation, and bring their unique perspective to the discussion.

Next Application Deadline

Monday November 5, 2018 at 5:00PM

Who may apply

Undergraduate students on the Oakland campus who have identified a faculty member or appropriately qualified graduate student who has agreed to work with them during the Fellowship. The fellowship is open to students from any field and any class, including freshmen as well as seniors.

Selection Criteria

Projects may be analytic or purely creative. THINK supports any form of research, scholarship, or creative work that is appropriate to a student’s discipline.

Fellows are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Their academic record
  • The quality and coherence of their proposal (Is it understandable to someone outside their discipline?)
  • The originality and promise of their proposed projects
  • Their interdisciplinary interests and potential to contribute to the interdisciplinary community of students in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and applied disciplines

While all types of proposals are strongly encouraged, special consideration will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary in nature (crossing the boundaries of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences).

It is important to remember that unlike many other research proposals this one must be written in a manner that is understandable to a broad, non-expert audience, and therefore use minimal jargon.

* A note to undergraduates at the early stages of research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences: While the THINK fellowship is primarily for students with fully developed projects, there are also spaces reserved for students in the earlier stages of the process. In an effort to promote budding researchers in the humanities and social sciences, each semester a portion of spots will be reserved for students at the very early stages of research. These spots are intended for students with little to no prior research experience. Fellows are encouraged to work with a graduate student (or faculty mentor) who teaches them the research methods of the field and assists them in conducting their individual research projects. If you are applying for one of these spots, please be sure to check “Yes” in the section of the application asking whether you are applying for a “Bridge” researcher spot.

How to apply

In consultation with the sponsoring faculty member the student must submit an application according to the instructions via the link below. All application materials must be received by the date specified above. The UHC will evaluate the proposals, and all Fall Term applicants will be notified of the decisions within roughly 30 days of the application deadline.


The Awards

Each successful applicant will be awarded $1000 for carrying out the proposed project. The funds are directly credited to the Fellow’s student account as a stipend; therefore, a student must be registered for courses during the term for which the fellowship is awarded.

Application materials required (detailed explanations of each item can be found in the application instructions above:

  • A Project Proposal
  • A brief Statement of Interest in the Community
  • An up-to-date Academic Transcript
  • A Letter of Recommendation from your Faculty or Graduate Student Mentor

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all materials mentioned above and to ensure that the mentor’s letter of recommendation is submitted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Please Remember

Application materials must be submitted by the deadline stated above. For more information, please contact Jason Sepac (

Students are welcome to discuss their proposals with UHC advising staff and/or Jason Sepac prior to the formal submission.


List of Fellows

2017 Fall Term Brackenridge Fellows

2017 Spring Term Brackenridge Fellows

2016 Fall Term Brackenridge Fellows

2016 Spring Term Brackenridge Fellows

2015 Fall Term Brackenridge Fellows