Evaluating Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Workshop Applications

The Humanities Without Walls (HWW) Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshops aim to prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside the academy. Graduate students selected for this program will engage in intensive discussions with organizers of public humanities projects, leaders of university presses and learned societies, experts in the various domains of the digital humanities, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, and holders of important non-faculty positions in colleges and universities (academic administrators, student services professionals, librarians and archivists, development officers, and so forth). The next iteration of this three-week workshop will take place in Chicago in the summer of 2018. The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) offices will supply administrative support and logistical assistance. The workshops will bring together cohorts of thirty graduate students, selected in a competition conducted by the humanities centers, each of which will be responsible for recruiting applicants with broad interdisciplinary interests and with the capacity to represent a broadened vision of life in the humanities upon returning to their campuses. The expectation is that the centers themselves, by engaging with this project, will strengthen their capacity to serve as cross-disciplinary engines for the reorganization of graduate programs in the humanities.

With that in mind, you will score applicants to the HWW Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshops according to the following set of criteria:

  1. What is the applicant’s track record of academic/intellectual excellence and accomplishment?
  2. How well has the applicant communicated their reasons for wanting to participate in the workshop?
  3. How well has the applicant prepared, in terms of academic and non-academic training, for non-traditional career paths?
  4. What is the quality of the applicant as a potential representative of their home university, and of the Humanities Without Walls consortium more generally?

Each reader must score applicants according to these criteria. The scores range from 1 (low) to 5 (high):

  • 5 = Among the very best of the applicant pool.
  • 4 = Strongly deserves to be considered by the host institution.
  • 3 = Viable candidate, but lacking in one or more of the stated criteria.
  • 2 = Applicant has weaknesses throughout the scoring criteria.
  • 1 = Applicant is not competitive.

The goal is to select the four strongest candidates from your home university (during the initial internal review) or the two strongest finalists from among each university’s nominee pool of four applicants (by the Predoctoral Summer Workshop Steering Committee), as specified in more detail below. A score of 1 or 2 is not necessarily a judgment on an applicant’s competency, but rather on his or her quality and potential in relation to other strong applications. Please also remember that a low score does not eliminate applications from consideration, but merely indicates your priorities. The average scores of each application help structure the meeting, but they do not determine the outcome.

Review Phase 1 (internal candidate selection): You are reading 4–20 applications from your university to the Pre-doctoral Summer Workshop program. You need to select the four most promising candidates to submit for review and selection. Two of your four candidates will be selected to represent your university as attendees to the workshops.

Review Phase 2 (finalist selection): You are reviewing 60 applications, 4 from each of the 15 consortial universities, and determining the 2 finalists from each university who will participate in the final summer workshop cohort of 30 members.