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 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.

  • 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.

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).

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Posted May 1, 2022
Prof. Nathan Nunn, Harvard Economics Dept.  seek Research Assistant
Professor Nunn seeks a RA to assit him with his research on political economy and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The initial term is 2 months and Professor Nunn is looking for candidates who can work full time and travel to the DRC.

Please see attached info. for further details about the role and how to apply.
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Posted April 18, 2022
Harvard Ctr. for European Studies
Research Assistantship Opportunity 

Please follow this link for the RA description and application: https://ces.fas.harvard.edu/opportunities/undergraduates/research-assistantships (working with historical materials).

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Posted October 4, 2021

Prof. Alexander Keyssar seeks Research Asst.

A graduate or undergraduate research assistant is needed to work with Prof. Alexander Keyssar at the Harvard Kennedy School. As of this posting, specific historical subjects to be explored are in development, but they are expected to fall within the realm of modern American political and electoral history. A qualified candidate will have some historical research experience as well as organizational skills and excellent communication abilities. Attention to detail and accuracy as well as familiarity with historical document searches and citation protocols are essential. Must work well independently. Flexible schedule based on availability.  For more info. please contact:  Scott Stackpole,  scott_stackpole@hks.harvard.edu
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Posted September 30, 2021

Research Assistant, Digital Humanities (H&LS)

The Initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery seeks current Harvard students to serve as research assistants (RAs) to support digital humanities projects.

Preference will be given to candidates with expertise in the history of race and slavery in the United States and a strong interest in online content development. Graduate students are preferred and advanced undergraduates with relevant experience may be considered. The key project is the creation of web-based content that pertains to the research of Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery. The RAs will be involved primarily in researching and annotating data and images, along with assisting in the development of a guided walking tour.

The RAs are expected to work about 15 hours per week, commencing immediately. Compensation will be based on experience. Please submit your CV, cover letter, and a list of three (3) recommenders we might contact to Dawn Ling at dawn_ling@radcliffe.harvard.edu. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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Posted September 29, 2021

Prof. Sven Beckert Seeks Research Assistant

Prof. Sven Beckert is looking to hire a history concentrator as a research assistant, for the entire 2021-22 academic year, to assist him with his research on 20th century, global history of capitalism. Interested students should submit a current resume/CV and a brief cover paragraph outlining interest to Prof. Beckert: beckert@fas.harvard.edu

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Posted September 29, 2021

Research Assistant Opportunity 

Early career historian researching William Randolph Hearst and foreign affairs seeking a research assistant to take photos of documents from various archival collections at the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming. This archival digitization project will take place over several weeks, starting ASAP. Access to a good smartphone camera or digital camera necessary. Pay rate at approximately $15/hour. Any interested candidates should contact Benjamin Goldstein:  bg2527@columbia.edu.

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Posted September 16, 2021

Research Assistant Opportunity 

An independent researcher wants to hire a student to help with a database called Comedias Sueltas USA. It's a database that includes a searchable union catalog that will eventually be a comprehensive source for locating all comedias sueltas held in U.S. academic and research institutions. She has a spreadsheet with about 650 items (with call numbers) which she would review and explain to the student. The task is to photograph the first and last pages of each item; very little data would have to be entered in the spreadsheet (mostly corrections). It would pay $18/hour and 10-12 hours a week would be ideal so that it would fit into this semester; materials are in Spanish, but knowing Spanish is not a requirement. If you're interested, contact Dave:  anddweimer@fas.harvard.edu

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Posted September 16, 2021

Harvard Ctr. for European Studies
Research Assistantship Opportunity 

Please follow this link for the RA description and application: https://ces.fas.harvard.edu/uploads/files/Student-Programs/Research-Assistantships-Uncle-Sam.pdf
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Posted September 16, 2021

City Councilor At Large Julia Mejia Fellowship Program

City Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia is a proud immigrant, and progressive woman of color. Julia won her seat by a single vote in 2019 and is now the first Afro-Latina to sit on the Boston City Council. Mejia is currently the Chair of the Committee on Civil Rights and the Committee of Small Business and Workforce Development. We are now running for re-election in 2021 and received the second highest count of votes in the September 14th primaries yesterday.

This fellowship is in preparation for the upcoming General Election on November 2nd and will give students the opportunity to learn about grassroots organizing, municipal level politics, and electoral campaigning. Additionally, fellows will be given priority consideration for Councilor Mejia's City Hall internship.

 

Here is the google link for students apply: https://forms.gle/WDaL5WuA8e1tmFJ19

 

The deadline to apply for our first cohort of fellows is Wednesday September 22nd. However late applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

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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.

Good luck!