Digital Scholarship at UCSC Libraries
Undergraduate Digital Research Fellowship
The Undergraduate Digital Research Fellowship is a program for undergraduate students looking to build independent digital research projects. Students are introduced to Digital Scholarship methods and learn digital skills that allow them to build original digital projects.
Learn Digital Scholarship Methods and Tools
This fellowship is an opportunity for up to six undergraduate students to engage with the Digital Humanities—learning digital tools, methodologies, and community practices in order to build a research project of their own design. During the fellowship students meet every other week for hands-on workshops and meetings with DH practitioners. Topics covered can include digital project management, text analysis, visualization, 3D design, digital mapping, and audio and video editing.
The following quarter is dedicated to building individual projects. Participants receive individual mentorship and training to build a project that reflects their own research interests. Where appropriate, we encourage digital projects to be public-facing. At the end of the Spring Quarter, students will present their projects at the Digital Research Symposium.
Mentorship and Cohort Experience
Each fellow will be paired with a Digital Scholarship Librarian who will help think through the integration of technology and research based on the skill sets involved. Students are required to apply with a faculty mentor who can help advise on the field specialty. We encourage students to work with their mentor on setting up an independent study for the project and are happy to discuss how we can support that with the student and faculty mentor.
Through group meetings, the fellow will learn as part of a cohort and receive feedback from their peers.
Fellows will be provided with $500 to support their project. Please contact email@example.com if you have questions about the mechanisms available for dispersing the financial award.
- Applications Now Open!!!-
Learn about our fellows for the 2020-2021 cohort.
APPLICATIONS DUE: November 8th, 2021
Up to 6 fellows will be selected to participate in a training and mentorship program meant to launch digitally-focused independent research projects. The fellowship includes:
We invite proposals of research projects at any stage of development as long as a clear research agenda is described and supported by a faculty mentor. Students from underrepresented communities are especially encouraged to apply.
Applications should include:
Who should apply:
For Faculty Mentors:
Application Proposals are due Monday, November 8th, 2021!
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In previous years, we have hosted fellows from a variety of disciplines including History, Anthropology, Art, and Astronomy. Projects have included creating digital collections of academic materials, examining instagram influencer culture and clothing, developing a visualization of the universe, researching local housing inequalities, creating a multimedia display of the intricacies of death and memory in Okinawa, and exploring the expression of the LGBTQ+ historical community through clothes. 2020 is the first year we did an online recorded presentation, and we are excited to have our fist project to display here! As we continue the program, we hope to continue having additional projects to showcase on our website.
Leighton Smith (he/him)
UCSC, Undergraduate, Literature/Classics
Digital Scholarship Undergraduate Fellow
For those who study Persian history and Persian languages, the Behistun Inscription has a unique, irreplaceable importance. As the longest attestation of both Old Persian and the ideology of the Achaemenid Empire, this monument to Darius I provides glimpses into everything from the fine details of the grammar and syntax of an obscure language to the grandiose rhetoric of a burgeoning empire. Nonetheless, the accessibility of this inscription has remained out of step with its paramount importance for studying the Achaemenid Empire and the world in which it existed. This presentation, “New Tricks for Old Persian,” will demonstrate the “new tricks” from Digital Humanities which can render the Behistun Inscription easier to access and read for new students of Old Persian. In the process of presenting the bells and whistles of my website, I also hope to demonstrate how this model of digitization could be generalizable to other marginal languages for the sake of curious undergraduates and researchers in adjacent fields. Finally, I will take time to acknowledge the deficiency of this website in reproducing an artificial division of monument and inscription and then imagine how a more robust digitization project could integrate both the Behistun monument and the Behistun inscriptions.
Environmental Studies, Oakes
Urban Development & Sprawl in Tokyo is my senior thesis project done in completing my degree in Environmental Studies. It is a passion project designed to understand the elements that make up the street networks that serve as a city's skeleton. This study explores Tokyo street networks at a variety of scales through the use of Geographic Information Systems and Google Earth VR Street View.
Why do I need a faculty mentor?
We request that you have a faculty mentor who can provide advice and guidance for the academic field your work is related to. Our Digital Scholarship Librarians have digital scholarship methodology background in a variety of fields, but we are not experts in all academic fields. Our request of faculty mentors is that they make themselves available to provide guidance based on the academic field you are engaging with for your project. We also request that your faculty mentor meets with both you and us once at the beginning of the fellowship so that we can all have the same understanding of the goals of the project.
Can my faculty mentor be an instructor/lecturer, or does it have to be my academic advisor?
Your mentor does not need to be your academic advisor. Your mentor can also be a tenure faculty member, an instructor, or a lecturer. Still, it is essential to remember that Instructors and Lecturers are not compensated for this level of student engagement while tenure faculty are. If an Instructor or a Lecturer agrees to be a mentor, they are doing this on their own time and are not contractually obligated to support students in this way. Please understand this when reaching out to potential mentors.
Does the research project proposal I submit have to be based on something I am already working on in a class or if it can just be a topic I am interested in researching which relates to my degree?
We don't require that your research project be related to any class you are currently taking, in part because we believe that there is often a benefit in being able to pursue research projects that are important to you. Our goal is to support those types of projects. If you want to have associated class credit, we encourage you to work with your faculty mentor to set up an independent study, as we can't offer credit through the library, but that is not a requirement for the fellowship.
Can I get independent credit for my project?
The library is unable to offer credit, but we're happy to work with any UCSC faculty member to support an independent study class that they lead. We can provide additional readings and structured activities around digital scholarship methodologies that meet their needs.
How often will I be expected to meet with my Digital Scholarship Librarian?
We have found that it's most successful if you meet with your Digital Scholarship mentor every other week, but will work with the schedules of each fellow to make sure that their mentorship needs for the project are met in a timely manner. We also try to set up a meeting once a month with all of our fellows so that you can get peer feedback and we can offer shared training (such as for digital project management). The timing and frequency of these meetings are based on our fellows' availability.
How much time will the fellowship take up?
Outside of the meetings as described above, the time you would need to dedicate to the project will depend on the scope of your specific project. Early on in your fellowship, your digital scholarship mentor will have a discussion with you about how to scope your project to meet your goals. Our goal is for you to have a completed deliverable that meets the goal of your proposed project. Past examples of deliverables include a set of data that accompanies a paper, a pilot project to test out a new digital methodology, a fully developed plan for a larger project, a completed online display, and a program developed to display data in a specific way. In some cases, the deliverable at the end of the project changes from the originally proposed project to better meet the goals.
When is the fellowship for?
The current call will begin in Fall Quarter 2021. The Fellowship will last the duration of the Academic Year ending in Spring 2022. Decisions will be made In November, at which point we'll reach out to begin working with this year's fellows.
What is a proposal narrative?
The proposal narrative should be clear and concise with the intended project activities you would like to pursue during the fellowship program. Please describe the different aspects of your project, a tentative schedule, potential tools and digital methods that you foresee will meet your projects needs and how those digital tools will relate to the academic goals of your project. We are looking to see if you can demonstrate a understanding of scholarship of your projected field and activities that support the academic goals of your discipline and how these are relevant to your project's scope and design.
What should I include in the project budget?
You can find a sample budget here which will highlight the basics of what we are requesting. It does not need to be finalized budget and we are happy to be flexible with your budget plans during your fellowship tenure.
What does the Digital Scholarship Research Symposium presentation consist of?
The Digital Scholarship Research Symposium occurs at the end of the Spring Quarter, usually in the last week of May. We are currently finishing the planning stage and will have a date soon. We request our fellows to present their project during the symposium unless it conflicts with classes or other pre-existing commitments. When the event is held in person, presenters have the opportunity to present their project on a screen in the Digital Scholarship Symposium, use Digital Scholarship equipment to present their project, or present a talk at our VizWall. The 2022 Digital Scholarship Symposium is planned to be a in person event. Participants will likely have the option between providing a long talk (15-20 minutes with questions) or a shorter talk (5 minutes). We are still finalizing the format and will communicate that information as soon as possible.
How should I apply as part of a group?
If you are submitting as a group, you can choose to submit your project either as a single application for a single award as a group or submit multiple applications for each member to receive their own individual award. We recommend option 1 for projects where collaboration is blurred, and option 2 for projects that have distinct roles for each project participant and, as a result, would benefit from additional financial support.
In either case, it is acceptable for the faculty mentor for the project to submit the form only once in support of the project. You should request that they list all the names of the individuals working on the project.