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Center for Archival Research and Training (CART)

Frequently asked questions about the CART program.

Frequently Asked Questions




Do I have to be an expert or have specific research interests in the subject area of the collection?

While it can be quite helpful to create descriptions and other contextual information about the collection if you have experience in that research area, there is no subject expertise required to participate. We do like the fellows to have an interest in something about the collection they choose - the subject area, the organization or person(s) who created it, the kinds of materials included, the time period, etc. You’ll be working on this collection for 100 hours and then creating an exhibit showcasing the collection, so it helps to have some connection.


What if I’m a TA? Can I still participate in the CART fellowship?

Yes, most likely. Most CART fellows have concurrent TA appointments. If you have a concurrent academic appointment during the first quarter you’re in CART (Fall or Winter), you will need to get permission from your graduate adviser as well as the Graduate Dean.


How do I get permission to participate in CART if I’m a TA?

While you are applying, please check in with your adviser to see if they would approve of your participation in CART. After accepting the offer to be a CART fellow, during the hiring process, fellows reach out to their graduate adviser and department coordinator (who contacts the Graduate Dean) to get written permission to work 10 hours a week for CART.


How long should my letter of interest be?

There's no minimum or maximum word count or page length for the letter of interest. Applicants usually write 1-2 pages, but you should write enough to express your interest in the program and how participating in CART will help you in your research, your teaching, and/or your future career plans.


Do I have to be a first year graduate student to participate?

No. We’ve had first year students all the way to ABD candidates and every year in between. We recommend applicants to keep their schedules in mind when applying for CART, and make sure they have the bandwidth (and permission from advisers) to participate for 100 hours in the first quarter, plus the time for exhibit curation in the Spring. Other fellowships, teaching responsibilities, and qualifying exams tend to take up a lot of time and work - it may be best to wait a year if you plan to have large commitments this upcoming year.


I’m not available to do the exhibit in the Spring. Can I still be a CART fellow?

The exhibit is an essential component of CART, and a requirement to fulfill the entire fellowship.


I don’t have any experience curating an exhibit. Am I a good candidate for CART?

That’s okay! Most CART fellows have no experience curating an exhibit. We look for applicants who are interested in participating in the exhibit curation process, and building exhibits using digital tools. The CART Archivist and the Outreach & Exhibits Librarian work closely with the fellows in the Spring to facilitate the curation process.


Are tuition and fees covered through CART?

No. Fellows are paid hourly for the first 100 hours at $18.11 per hour, and then a one-time payment of $400 after the completion of the exhibit. (FYI - most CART fellows have concurrent TA appointments.)


Do I need to be a current student to participate in CART?

Yes. You need to be currently enrolled as a graduate student at UCSC in order to participate in the CART fellowship.


Can I participate if I’m an international student? What if I have DACA?

The CART fellowship is a student job that hires through the UCSC Career Center, so if you are able to work on campus, you should be able to participate in CART. Check with the UCSC Career Center to inquire about your current employment status.


Can I participate if I’m an undergraduate student at UCSC?

CART is currently only for graduate students, but we often employ undergraduate students in Special Collections & Archives to assist with public services, retrieving archival materials for researchers, and other archives-related projects. Be sure to contact us if you’re interested in getting involved!