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Plant Humanities Fellowships

Available to advanced graduate (post-generals or third-year MLA) and recent graduate (PhD or MLA) students. Provide nine months of research and professional development opportunities for early-career scholars who wish to build their skills in the use and integration of digital tools and special collections into their future research and teaching. Awards are for an academic year. Apply by November 1.

Apply here At a Glance Applicant FAQ

Dumbarton Oaks has received a major award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch, in partnership with JSTOR, a new initiative in digital Plant Humanities.

Fellowship Terms

Dumbarton Oaks is a research institute, museum, and historic garden affiliated with Harvard University. The institute has an established program devoted to garden and landscape studies, a world-class research library, and a rare book collection that has particular strengths in horticultural history, landscape architecture, chorographical and travel literature, and botanical illustration.

Building on the Global Plants Initiative and in partnership with JSTOR, Dumbarton Oaks will develop a new model of integrating digital humanities with scholarly programming. Through an interactive design process, Dumbarton Oaks and JSTOR will produce a digital tool whose aim will be to describe and contextualize primary and secondary sources on the cultural history of plants. This tool will feature content developed by interdisciplinary teams of Dumbarton Oaks Fellows and researchers; it will be scalable, interactive, and capable of delivering new scholarship through visually compelling storytelling. 

To advance the Plant Humanities Initiative, Dumbarton Oaks offers two annual Plant Humanities Fellowships that provide research and professional development opportunities for advanced graduate students (post-generals or third-year MLA), recent PhD graduates (PhD conferred on or after June 30, 2017), and recent Master of Landscape Architecture graduates (MLA conferred on or after June 30, 2017). Plant Humanities Fellows will receive structured training in the digital humanities; undertake research in the Dumbarton Oaks special collections; contribute to the identification of priorities for digitization and bibliographic description; and develop content for the digital tool in close collaboration with JSTOR Labs. These Fellowships are of particular interest to early-career scholars who wish to build their skills in the use and integration of digital tools and special collections into their future research and teaching.

We seek candidates with a strong interest in undertaking directed research in a cross-disciplinary and highly collaborative digital humanities environment. Preference will be given to candidates with research interests in botany, medicine, landscape, and the environment. Previous experience working with special collections is an advantage, although Fellows will receive training and support from Dumbarton Oaks’ professional staff.

Two fellowships will be awarded for the duration of the academic year (September 14, 2020, to May 7, 2021). During this time, recipients are expected to be in residence at Dumbarton Oaks and to devote themselves full-time to the Plant Humanities initiative under the direction of the Principal Investigators, without undertaking other major activities.

The Fellowships include a stipend of $35,000; housing on the Dumbarton Oaks campus (or a housing allowance); access to all Dumbarton Oaks scholarly resources; lunch on weekdays; and the health insurance contribution from Dumbarton Oaks. (Successful applicants from the greater Washington metropolitan area will not be offered housing.) Plant Humanities Fellows will also benefit from the exceptionally vibrant scholarly community of Dumbarton Oaks.

Deadline: November 1, 2019. Apply here.