UPDATED 12/17/21

The Penn State College of the Liberal Arts and the Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk seek applications from Big Ten Alliance graduate students for a pre-doctoral fellowship focusing on digital research and Black organizing in the long nineteenth century. Up to two positions will be available for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. Applicants should hail from historically underrepresented racial minority (URM) groups or be engaged in deep and demonstrated social justice and diversity work and be involved in research that directly overlaps with the Center’s central projects. Review of applications will begin on February 15.  We expect to notify applicants by April 1, 2022. All application materials must be submitted through http://bit.ly/digblk_predocfellow_apply.

#DigBlk is a public-facing research center committed to bringing the histories of nineteenth-century Black organizing to digital life through collaborative scholarship and project-based research. The Center is home to the award-winning Colored Conventions Project (CCP), Douglass Day, and the newly launched early Black Women’s Organizing Archive. The chosen candidate will work with an interdisciplinary, cross-institutional team of 25-30 members who meet regularly on collaborative research that includes digital archive-building, crowd-sourced transcription projects, community-arts partnerships, and scholarly and digital editions.


Application Process

Applicants should have passed their comprehensive exams no later than Aug 1, 2021, and will be working with the Center 20 hours a week with no teaching responsibilities. Students who are early in the dissertation process are encouraged to apply.

Applications should include:

1) a cover letter describing the following:

i. how your research addresses movements for Black citizenship and dignity in the long nineteenth-century

ii. your interest in working with the Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk

iii. your interests or experiences in working on team-based, archive-building projects including any that use digital methods to introduce new audiences to the history of early Black organizing

iv. how you/your work diversify academic and related fields

v. how your participation would further your professional goals and development

(2) a CV;

(3) contact information (email and phone) for 2 to 3 references (one from your advisor) who can provide letters of support upon request. The selected fellow must be in residence at Penn State for the full academic year. They will be able to attend symposia and events, and contribute to Just Transformations or affiliated Center/Department events and programs.

The Big Ten Traveling Scholar Program ensures that the applicant’s home institution will continue to cover the fellow’s base stipend — and the successful applicant will enroll through this program. The #DigBlk/Mellon position includes:

  1. $10,000 stipend top off
  2. $4,500 summer extension possible for continued work following a successful program year
  3. $10,000 (total) to cover relocation costs to and from Penn State, digital training programs, and professional development opportunities.


The Big 10 Traveling Scholars Alliance includes:

Indiana University
Michigan State University
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
Purdue University
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
University of Chicago
University of Illinois
University of Iowa
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Wisconsin-Madison


If you have any questions, please email Daphney Chancy, Admin Support Coordinator, at dfc21@psu.edu.

Application Date: Review begins February 15, 2022

Review Period: February 15 – March 28, 2022

Notification: April 1, 2022