The Humanities Center provides funds each semester during the academic year (Fall, Spring, and Summer) for two faculty members in humanities fields to hire undergraduate research assistants. The total award amount is $1,200 for each faculty member. Student research assistants are paid $12/hour, so this award covers 100 hours of research assistance. Funds are available for a single semester, and those funds not expended during the semester cannot be carried over to the next semester.


Full-time faculty with tenure-track or lecturer appointments in humanities departments. Student research assistants must be full-time undergraduate students during the semester or summer of the assistantship. If a student is employed under a separate work study grant, s/he must not work more than 10 hours total per week. At this point, graduate students are not eligible to serve as research assistants using these funds.

Use of the Award

The student’s work may include research project-related clerical jobs, library research, bibliographic development, editing, and/or analysis (if appropriate). The funds will be used for hourly wages paid to the student, at a rate of $12/hour. Any other expenses, such as travel, are not allowed. These awards are intended for scholarly research assistance only and may not be used for the development of teaching or pedagogical materials, unless there is a clear and justifiable scholarly reason for it. 

It is the responsibility of the awardee to locate and hire the student assistant on the basis of his or her qualifications, to supervise the student, and to submit a one-page report at the end of the semester describing the type of work the student performed, whether or not it was helpful, and any problems that were encountered. The student also must submit a one-page report offering comments on the experience. Both reports should be submitted to the Humanities Center within one month of the conclusion of the award period.

Hiring of Research assistants shall be done in coordination with the faculty member’s home department administrators. The Humanities Center does not help the faculty member in the hiring process. It is necessary to set up a job posting in the Student Employee Portal describing the job and pay level.

Criteria for evaluation

Awards will be made on the basis of the quality and promise of the applicants’ research projects, past accomplishments, and work plan for the research assistant. In addition to explaining how an applicant’s research project will benefit from having a student research assistant, applicants should also explain how the student will benefit the faculty member.

Application process

Faculty members should fill out the undergraduate research assistant application (PDF) which includes a brief description of the research project(s) for which a student is requested, a brief description of the student’s proposed duties, and the signatures of the faculty member and department chair. A 2-page CV is also requested.

A faculty member may receive an award only once every two years.

Submit application to


  • Fall semester assistant, deadline May 15
  • Spring semester assistant, deadline December 2
  • Summer assistant, deadline March 30