Research & Employment Opportunities

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.

History 91r

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.

Instructions & Application Form for History 91r

History 92r

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 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.

  • Visit the Department’s thesis research grants page.
  • Students should also remember to check Harvard’s Summer Funding Database, which allows one to search for grants by geographical location, concentration, and area of interest.

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 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:

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
  • transcript
  • 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 ( by the deadline of Noon, Thursday, December 22, 2016



Research Assistantships

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.

Research & Employment Opportunities

Job & Assistantship Listings

Research Assistant Opportunity

I’m a PhD Candidate at Stanford completing a dissertation on American anthropology during the Second World War. I’m looking for a research assistant to help me locate and digitize a few items in the Papers of Clyde Kluckhohn held at the Harvard University Archives. It’s about 4 hours of work at $25/hour. If interested, please email


National Park Service Internship Opportunity

The John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site will open for the summer season in May 2017. We are seeking engaged students of history and museums to assist us in staffing the site, providing tours, writing interpretive media, and preparing for special events.  This is an exciting year as we celebrate the centennial of President Kennedy’s birth. We are pleased to offer an 18 week (flexible), unpaid internship for undergraduate and graduate students. For students interested in public history or engaged in museum studies/museum education, these internships offer exceptional opportunities to gain experience in the field. Please see below for a detailed description:

18 Week (Flexible) Interpretation and Visitor Services Intern Position Description:

Interns working in interpretation and visitor services will perform a variety of tasks. Interns will assist NPS staff in the day-to-day operations of the site. Duties include welcoming visitors, making tour reservations, answering phones, processing bookstore sales, introducing and showing the site film, and providing information and orientation to visitors. Interns will also conduct formal and informal interpretive tours. Interns will receive training in interpretation and then create a 30-minute, guided tour of John F. Kennedy’s birthplace based on original research. Those with fluency in a foreign language are encouraged to develop programming in a second language. Interns may also assist in the creation of interpretive media such as brochures, posters and web features. We also encourage interns to create their own projects and plan special events.

Dates: May-August; option to continue working through October
Time commitment: 10-20 hours/week
Academic Credit: Available if interested

Pay: Unpaid

Interested students should email his/her resume and cover letter to me at: or call me at 617-566-7937 with any questions.




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.

Position still active as of June 7, 2017

Positions at Houghton Library for Harvard students

Available openings are:

  • Books End-Processing Assistant
    Working with rare books, 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, 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 ( for more information.


 Job Opportunity at Boston Publishing Company

Cengage Learning, a Boston headquatered publishing company, is currently hiring for an entry-level/recent-grad position and they highly prefer to hire candidates with a history background--as a concentrator or secondary field student.

If you are seeking work (especially in the publishing or education fields), please apply online here:

Michael Feehly, a former history concentrator, Class of 2014, would be happy to discuss the company, its culture, its mission, and this particular position's opportunities for growth. (He held this position for the last year and so can speak directly to it.)  He can be reached at



Radcliffe Research Partnerships
Radcliffe Research Partnerships are a unique opportunity for Harvard undergraduate students to gain experience in research and be mentored by leading artists, scholars, scientists and professionals, who are Fellows for the year at the Radcliffe Institute.

Research Partners are paid $14ph for their time and typically work between 5-10 hours a week on a specific project, providing research assistance whilst being mentored. More information on the program can be found here – along with testimonials from previous Research Partners:
If you have any questions or would like any more information, please email Katie Boulton:
Research Asst. positions for the Tobin Project

The Tobin Project, a nonprofit nonpartisan research organization, is looking for talented and motivated undergraduates to intern/extern with this fall as paid, part-time Research Assistants.

Research Assistants will have the opportunity to engage with their research staff and gain experience assisting across a range of projects in our core initiatives on Economic Inequality; Institutions of Democracy; Government & Markets; and National Security. They are looking for students with very strong qualitative and/or quantitative research skills and strong writing skills.

For more information please visit their website:
and/or email: