While the Department’s curriculum provides all concentrators with hands-on, small-group instruction in historical method, many students may wish to have an even more individualized research experience at some point during their undergraduate careers. The History Department currently facilitates four kinds of independent research experience for Harvard undergraduates: (1) term-time independent study, known as History 91r; (2) term-time work with faculty on research projects, known as History Lab or History 92r; (3) summer research grants for students planning to write a Senior Thesis; and (4) Research Assistantships with faculty members.
Juniors and seniors who wish to pursue an independent course of study with a faculty member may apply to enroll in History 91r. Ordinarily, students must have already taken at least one regular course in History that would provide background for their special reading and research. Each History 91r will have its own requirements, as the instructor in each case sets them. But they must include at least the following: (1) a thirty minute oral examination at the end of the course, given by the instructor and one other member of the Department; and (2) a paper at least ten pages long, submitted to the instructor and graded by him or her. A bibliography of all reading in the course and a copy of the paper must be filed in the History Undergraduate Office at the end of the term before the Director of Undergraduate Studies will forward the grade to the Registrar’s Office. A 91r may not be taken pass/fail.
History Lab offers History concentrators and other students a chance to spend a semester working with History faculty on faculty research projects. Outcomes will include familiarity with a range of digital tools for research and data visualization and insights on how to design and execute a major research project. Students will be assessed on the basis of blogs and presentations of research assignments. Consult http://dighist.fas.harvard.edu for more details.
Summer Thesis Research
It is not necessary to conduct summer research in order to write an excellent senior thesis. Many students do, however, choose to take advantage of the many generous thesis research grants available to visit libraries, archives, and historic sites around the world. The History Undergraduate Office holds a meeting every December for juniors interested in applying for thesis research grants, introducing them to the process. The Tutorial Office also maintains a comprehensive database of Harvard grants available to our senior thesis writers and sample grant proposals that have been successful in previous years.
Harvard Oxford Summer Internship in Medieval Archaeology
Harvard Oxford Summer Internship
in Medieval Archaeology
One or two research internships will be awarded to Harvard undergraduates to accomplish an important scholarly mission in Europe this summer. Under the general supervision of Dr. Helena Hamerow, Professor of Medieval Archaeology, Oxford University, between mid-June and July 30, the intern(s) will work on the archaeological excavation of an important Roman and early Anglo-Saxon site for one month; following weeks will be spent processing and archiving findings. Additionally, students ordinarily have one or two weeks to visit archaeological sites and museums in the UK and to do their own research. Based in Oxford’s Institute for Archaeology, the summer interns will meet and work with archaeologists, have opportunities to visit sites and excavations on their own initiative, and perform an invaluable scholarly service to the broader archaeological and historical community. By the very nature of their work, they will be exposed to some of the leading scholars in England, and gain unique insights both into a new and rising field, and into the academic and other aspects of life in a major intellectual and cultural center abroad. The successful interns will need some background in medieval studies and/or archaeology, and some basic understanding of scanning, databases, and general computer skills, as well as the ability to conduct independent work within a foreign institutional and academic environment. Previous Medieval Archaeology Internship winners consider their Harvard-Oxford internship one of the highpoints of their College experience.
The Harvard-Oxford Summer Medieval Archeology Internship bears no independent funding but you may qualify for support from other funding sources. The Funding Sources Database http://www.funding.fas.harvard.edu/ contains information for all Harvard College funding opportunities. Additionally, you can go straight to the Harvard Office of Career Services (OCS) Harvard-Run International Program funding page for information and application instructions: http://ocs.fas.harvard.edu/harvard-run-international-programs.
Please note that the deadline for their application is 4.30pm, Wednesday, February 8, 2017.
Students will find their own lodgings. The successful applicant(s) should plan to arrive at Oxford by June 22nd. At the conclusion of the summer, interns will submit a three-page report to Professor McCormick on their experience.
To apply for the Harvard-Oxford Summer Medieval Archeology Internship, submit by Noon, Thursday, December 22, 2016:
- personal statement of why you should be chosen for the award (1 page maximum) and why this is an important opportunity for you; please specify the foreign languages you can speak and/or read
- list of relevant ancient and medieval studies and archaeology courses you have taken
- letter of recommendation from a Faculty member or Instructor who knows you and your work well
All application materials for the internship should be submitted to Professor McCormick c/o Lisa Lubarr (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the deadline of Noon, Thursday, December 22, 2016.
Research & Employment Opportunities
Job & Research Assistantship Listings
History faculty members often look for eager and qualified individuals to help them conduct research and prepare for their courses, and in many cases they find good matches among the student body. For students, the chance to be a Research Assistant is one of the best ways to sit at the elbow of a practicing historian and learn the disciplinary techniques and standards that make one's classroom experience come alive, and which can contribute to writing a stellar senior thesis.
Many faculty hire research assistants from among the students who take their classes, but some seek them by posting job announcements with the Department or the Student Employment Office (SEO).
- See research & employment opportunities below
- Visit the Student Employment Office’s jobs database.
- Consult research assistantship listings on the websites of affiliated departments and centers on campus, such as the Center for European Studies.
- Check out Radcliffe's Research Partnership Program for research opportunties working with a Radcliffe Institute Fellow
Posted November 9, 2017
Summer Employment Opportunity – The Concord Review Summer Program
The Concord Review, a history journal that publishes History papers of secondary students, is seeking job candidates for its summer program. The summer program is a 2-week intensive workshop that provides guidance for high school students in writing high-caliber, in-depth history research papers. It is seeking history graduates to serve as an Assistant Instructor ($3,000 for a two week course) and undergraduates to serve as Resident Coaches ($2,000) both plus expenses.
During the program, students attend interactive group classes, have individual meetings with the instructors, attend a question and answer session with past authors, work in research and writing sessions, visit historical sites, see documentaries on various topics in history, and read past Concord Review essays.
For more information about the Concord Review and its summer program please visit: http://www.tcr.org/summer
Interested History graduates and senior undergraduates should contact Will Fitzhugh, Founder, The Concord Review at email@example.com.
Posted November 3, 2017
A lawyer from the Boston area is looking for an undergrad to help conduct some part time research on Mass politics. The ideal candidate for this research is someone who has previous campaign experience and is interested and engaged in local MA politics. The work involves some analyses of districts in Massachusetts in terms of local leadership and issues of importance to them. This position would be paid.
Interested candidates should forward a resume and/or brief statement of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also feel free to direct any questions there as well.
Posted October 17, 2017
Prof. Quito Swan, scholar from Radcliffe's Research Partnership Program (mentorship and research for Harvard College students), is seeking a research assistant. Prof. Swan's research focuses on exploring how the ideas of Black Power and the African American Civil Rights movement influenced South Pacific women and men engaged in their struggles for self-determination across Vanuatu, Papua, Fiji, New Caledonia and Australia during a period of decolonization. For more info., please see below.
The pay is $14.00/hr, and students love the program for the chance to work alongside accomplished Radcliffe fellows and the flexibility of the working hours.
To apply, follow this link: https://ces.fas.harvard.edu/opportunities/undergraduates/assistantships
Posted September 11, 2017
**Research Assistance Opportunity**
Joshua Simons, graduate student in the government department, is looking for paid research assistance to develop and deepen an ongoing project. The project seeks to shed light on the ‘future of work’ debate by looking a little less at the future and a little more at the present and past. As such, the student will be assisting in identifying, arranging and potentially conducting interviews with workers in a range of jobs, from farming to bioengineering.
You will need good project-management skills, to juggle a range of ‘leads’ and ongoing conversations. A good knowledge of the institutions and organisations, political and social, which shape America’s economy is helpful. And an interest in people and their stories is essential. Hours are very flexible, and can depend on the student’s weekly workload, but will never be more than eight per week. Pay will be $16 per hour.
Interested? Contact email@example.com for more information.
Posted August 24, 2017
Research Assistant for Professor Smail:
Professor Dan Smail is seeking an undergraduate assistant who can contribute research to two ongoing projects this fall. The first project requires the student to explore the use and discussion of narratives in historical writing between 1990 and the present. Using keyword searches in the full-text database of the American Historical Review, the research assistant will produce graphs or tables of word counts and identify and analyze important articles in past issues of the journal. The goal is to determine how historians have used or thought about narrative. This project may also require smaller, related research projects; the results will be integrated into a paper he is delivering at a conference in November. The second project will involve a survey of historical literature related to the subject of the global history of debt, indebtedness, and poverty. One of the goals of this project is to help Professor Smail design a future undergraduate seminar on the deep history of debt; elements of the research will also figure in a paper he will be delivering in late November. The student should anticipate weekly meetings with Professor Smail and will be expected to submit regular research reports of his or her findings.
Skills: Very good organizational and research skills; experience writing historiographical reports and annotated bibliographies; interest in the history of history; ability to juggle several projects at once.
Timeframe: 3–5 hours per week during the fall semester.
Posted August 16, 2017
Harvard Student Research Partnerships
The Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program matches students with leading Radcliffe Institute fellows: artists, scholars, scientists, and professionals. As a Harvard College student, you can be part of a research program that students have called “rewarding,” “unique,” and “amazing.”
Students may apply now to be a Radcliffe Institute research partner during the 2017–2018 academic year.
Applications are due by Friday, September 1, 2017.
View descriptions of 2017–2018 research partnership opportunities
Questions? Contact the Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-495-3798.
Posted August 16, 2017:
History Prof. seeks Research Asst.
Professor needs 10-15 hours of work, to be completed between now and mid-September, making digital maps and diagrams from an already constituted Excel database of some 2500 visitors to Vesuvius in the 19th century. Experience of working with a digital mapping program like Tableau necessary. Please contact John Brewer Eli and Edye Broad Emeritus Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences, CalTech and an Associate of the Harvard History Dept at jbcaltech at yahoo.com
Posted August 16, 2017
Positions at Houghton Library for Harvard students
Available openings are:
Books End-Processing Assistant
Working with rare books and theatrical materials, preparing them for addition to the Houghton collections.
Manuscript Materials Sorter
Working with archival collections, sorting letters, photographs, ephemera and other rare materials.
Rare Books Assistant
Working with rare books, inputting data and preparing lists of materials.
All three positions allow students to come into contact with unique rare materials—some never-before seen—and assist permanent staff in making these treasures available to students, faculty and independent scholars.
All positions are listed on the SEO website, and students may also write directly to Lewis Day (email@example.com) for more information.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Posted June 7, 2017
Conduct Oral Histories for Summer 2017
Stages of Freedom, a non-profit organization located in Providence, Rhode Island, is conducting an oral history project centered on the people who lived in University Heights. They are looking for two dedicated students who can assist with the oral interviews of approximately 300 people.
Payment is $14 per hour, and 20 hours per week is needed for the entire summer.
If interested, please call Ray Rickman, Executive Director of Stages of Freedom at 401-421-0606.
Listings for Summer Opportunities
Summer opportunities abound for history concentrators. Many choose to spend at least part of one summer either conducting research or participating in an academic program. If you are a junior interested in grants for summer thesis research, please visit our page dedicated to this subject and mark your calendars for our annual fellowships meeting on January 30, 2018, where the ADUS and DWF will discuss how to make your grant application as strong as possible. Harvard's Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT): https://apps2.registrar.fas.harvard.edu/carat and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships are also terrific resources.
Even before thesis research, many opportunities exist for concentrators to spend their summer abroad. Some of these academic internships are quite specialized, such as the opportunity to work at Dumbarton Oaks, a research library that specializes in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies; Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, offers a similarly focused internship program. Closer to home, concentrators interested in early America might want to check out the summer internship at Old Sturbridge Village, and library enthusiasts might be interested in the Junior Fellows Summer Program at the Library of Congress (application due January 26, 2018). Other programs offer more general opportunities for summer research, such as the Harvard Center for History and Economics' summer travel grant to Cambridge University, or the many classes offered around the world by the Harvard Summer School—keep in mind that any history courses taken with Harvard History faculty can be counted towards concentration credit!
History concentrators also of course spend their summers in positions completely unrelated to their academic work as they try to figure out what to do after college. We not only support this, we highly encourage it! As you begin to look for these opportunities, use all the resources available to you, including the experiences of your fellow concentrators. The earlier you start planning for the summer, the better, and the staff at the Office of Career Services can help you with your search, interview prep, resume feedback, etc.