Call for Applications: Career Diversity for Historians Faculty Institutes

Applications due April 17

In its next phase, the AHA's Career Diversity for Historians initiative will enable up to 20 departments to implement the programming and activities developed by the AHA and its collaborators over the last several years. In particular, we have gained the following insights during the pilot phase of the initiative:

  1. Preparation for careers outside the academy fundamentally overlaps with preparation for 21st century careers inside the academy, both professorial and otherwise.
  2. Learning to be a professional historian cannot be separated from learning to teach history, including engaging with scholarly literature on history education.
  3. Only 1 in 6 history PhDs pursue careers as faculty at R1 institutions, despite the fact that most graduate programs are designed with this career outcome in mind.
  4. The experiences and learning opportunities that best prepare students for careers inside and outside the academy should be integrated into the curriculum rather than be defined as external or supplemental.
  5. The first step towards reconsidering a PhD program should be articulating its purpose.  A department can choose to align purpose with actual outcomes, aspirations, both, or neither.  But the choice should be intentional.

Career Diversity Graduate Fellowship

In order to enable departments to apply these insights to their graduate programs, the AHA will select up to 20 departments to host Career Diversity Graduate Fellows during academic years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.  Each Fellow (an ABD graduate student who will essentially hold an assistantship in higher education administration) will work with a team of faculty (the chair, director of graduate studies, and at least one other tenured faculty member) to develop programming and courses that apply the lessons of the pilot phase.  The AHA will subsidize the Fellow's stipend ($7,500 per year), provide an operating fund to each selected department ($8,000), as well as funding for the Fellow and faculty to travel to orientation and workshops. Additional money will be available to fund collaborative work across institutions. Applications to host a Career Diversity Graduate Fellow will be due from departments in early 2018, and further information on how to apply for these grants will be available in late 2017.

Career Diversity Faculty Institutes - APPLY NOW

In order to prepare departments to write strong proposals and to be ready subsequently to use the AHA's funds productively, the AHA invites PhD granting departments to participate in a preliminary series of faculty institutes. These institutes will help faculty develop their applications in collaboration with like-minded colleagues from other universities and allow them to explore in depth the lessons of the AHA's four pilot sites and other initiatives related to Career Diversity. The institutes will be held June 8-9, 2017 in Washington, DC, October 19-20, 2017 in Chicago, and at a workshop at the AHA annual meeting in Washington, DC in January 2018. Participants will be able to access online webinars and/or receive other on-line support over the summer and fall of 2017. Successful applicants will receive full funding for one faculty member to attend each institute. Participation in the faculty institutes is mandatory in order to apply for the grants that subsidize the stipend of the Career Diversity Graduate Fellow.

To participate in these preliminary institutes, please indicate your department's interest and commitment to participate online, via Interfolio. Applications to participate are due April 17. Pending final confirmation of scheduling, submitting an application commits the department to send a representative (one faculty member) to the June institute, the fall institute, the annual meeting workshop, and to participate in summer webinars/check-ins.  The same individual does not have to attend all of the meetings. Travel to participate in the institute is fully funded.

Please direct questions about the initiative and applications to the faculty institutes to Emily Swafford, AHA manager of academic affairs, A webinar on the initiative and the application process was held March 15 and is now available online: view at the bottom of this page or on YouTube. Additional webinars may be scheduled depending on demand.

As part of the online application, the AHA asks potential participants to complete the following survey. The answers will be used for screening applicants only if we receive more than 40 proposals. The survey is not an evaluation of past work. Rather, it is to stimulate engagement with the lessons of the AHA's previous work on Career Diversity for Historians and the initiative's goals moving forward. Previous experience with issues related to Career Diversity for Historians is not required in order to participate in the faculty institutes.  

  • Names of faculty to be involved in the project. These must include the chair, director of graduate study, and one other tenured faculty member.
  • Participation in the faculty institutes is designed to prepare faculty to guide a Career Diversity Graduate Fellow in coordinating the implementation of some combination of the following activities. The first step is to survey the department, university, and community for potential resources (financial, organizational, etc) and relationships that could support these activities. For each bullet point, please outline 1) what resources exist or could be requested to support these activities, 2) what partnerships or existing relationships (including names and/or job titles) could support these activities.
    • Create links to career and alumni offices, centers for teaching and learning, and other appropriate units such as humanities centers
    • Create on-campus internships, moving toward an assistantship model, if possible
    • Develop programming to expose students to different teaching environments
    • Assist faculty in organizing/redesigning a departmental pedagogy course that includes an engagement with the scholarly literature on history education
    • Assist faculty in organizing/redesigning a departmental professionalization course that shifts from the current emphasis on the transition from graduate student to "academic professional" (in the mode of research scholar) to the kinds of values and skills required for careers inside and beyond the professoriate
  • Are there activities beyond what is outlined above that the department already engages in to support graduate education along the lines of Career Diversity? (Previous experience with issues related to Career Diversity for Historians is not required in order to participate in the faculty institutes.)
  • Are there activities in support of Career Diversity that you or your colleagues have envisioned but not been able to implement?
  • Are there other resources or experiences within the department, university, or community that have not already been articulated?
  • In the pilot phase of the initiative, the AHA and its partners all found varying types and degrees of resistance and support from graduate students, faculty, and administration. What type and degree of support and/or resistance do you anticipate from your department's graduate students, faculty, and administration? If you have survey data or other information to back up your anticipation, please make that clear.

Bringing Career Diversity to Your History Department: a free webinar on upcoming faculty institutes

Featuring Emily Swafford; held March 15, 2017