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.
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 September 13, 2021
Harvard Economics Professor Hiring RA in Development Economics
Professor Nunn at the Harvard Department of Economics is looking to hire a part-time research assistant to assist him with his research on social and economic organization in precolonial sub-Saharan Africa. The initial term is 3 months and Professor Nunn is looking for candidates who can work 20 work hours per week. For more info., please see attached pdf from Nathan with further details about the role, pay, and how to apply.
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: email@example.com
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?
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.
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.