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 & 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.


Posted August 16, 2017

Research Assistant at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies

Occupying Paris:  1968 and the Spaces of Protest

A research assistant is sought to aid in the research for and execution of an exhibit to be held in the Jacek E. Giedrojć Gallery at CES.

The student would conduct research on sites of protest and “occupation” in Paris during the May 1968 movement, to serve as background for an exhibit to take place in Spring 2018.  The exhibit “Occupying Paris” would leverage the spectacular collection of Paris 1968 posters held at Harvard’s Houghton Library.  The exhibit would "map" out the spaces of protest, more or less along the Seine, from the Renault factory down river to Nanterre, to the “Beaux Arts” atelier where so much of the “art” of protest was created, to the Sorbonne, etc. The student would need to conduct research on each site of “occupation” or “protest” as well as the posters that were produced in relation to that site, both for the purposes of the captions that will accompany the posters on the wall and for, we hope, a kind of “exhibit catalog.”  In effect, the student would be an assistant curator of sorts and his/her name would appear in public acknowledgements associated with the exhibit.

Skills required:  High proficiency in reading French; good organizational and research skills; interest in 20th-century French history preferable; visual media orientation or appreciation an extra plus. 

The timeframe for the work would be all fall semester (starting as early as possible) and into the early spring semester, with possibility of extension to other projects after the launch of the exhibit open.

To apply, complete the application here:


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 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


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 ( 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.