Undergraduate Fellowships

Applications are accepted March and April for six residential fellowships. Undergraduate fellows hold carrels at the JHI, and research and write an Independent Study on a topic of their own choice under supervision by one of the year’s 12-month Faculty Research Fellows. A 1.0 FCE course credit for this Independent Study is awarded by each fellow’s home unit. Fellows also receive funding and travel support.

JHI Undergraduate Fellows receive one of six award titles which are assigned to incoming fellows on the basis of their program of study:

  • James Fleck Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Jukka-Pekka Saraste Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Dr. Jan Blumenstein Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Zoltan D. Simo Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Milton Harris Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Dr. Michael Lutsky Undergraduate Award in the Humanities

More details, eligibility, selection criteria and a link to the application form will be made available when the 2022-23 call opens in March 2022. For up to date information about the Undergraduate Fellowships, check our Announcements, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter.

JHI Undergraduate Fellowships FAQs

What is this fellowship?

The JHI Undergraduate Fellowship is an opportunity to pursue an Independent Study of your own choice while you study in an interdisciplinary research centre for a year.

Would I be working on my own project, or contributing to my supervisor’s research?

This is your own project. Your supervisor will help to guide and evaluate your progress, but it is your work, not theirs. You should check out the research they do to help you to choose the person who will be the best match for your idea.

What am I expected to produce?

It’s up to each student and supervisor to work out the details, but in general, most fellowships result in a 30-minute presentation and an original paper of about 40 pages. Some projects may take other forms if it seems appropriate.

Am I actually living in residence at the Jackman Humanities Institute?

No—in this case, residential means you will work on site, but not live there.

What does the JHI provide?

You will have access to the Institute 24/7, and you will hold a secured carrell. The JHI also provides printing and copying, Wi-Fi, and a catered lunch every Thursday. You can book meeting spaces, and the JHI will arrange for you to have graduate-level borrowing privileges at the library. You will also receive a $1000 award, a title, and limited travel funding.

What is the purpose of the JHI, and where do undergraduate fellowships fit in?

The heart of our work is interdisciplinary research—you’ll have the opportunity to learn from scholars in a lot of different fields, and probably, to study with a supervisor who was trained in a different subject from your own. You’ll be a member of a Circle of Fellows who are doing research at faculty, postdoc, grad student and undergrad student levels, and who come from all three campuses, multiple divisions, and who use different methods to do research. You’ll all be doing projects that are related to the Annual Theme, and you’ll learn a lot from each other.

What is the Annual Theme?

The Annual Theme is a set of ideas and questions that reaches across disciplines. It brings people together to talk and think and share research from different perspectives. Everyone who holds a JHI fellowship in your year will be doing research related to this theme.

Can I apply for the JHI Undergraduate Fellowship if I have done Scholars-in-Residence, or vice versa?

Yes—neither opportunity is exclusive of the other. The applicant pool, eligibility, and experience will be different in each program.

Who is eligible?

Full-time students in the humanities and qualitative social sciences, and students in second-entry professional programs at undergraduate level who propose a humanities-focused project.

Do I need a specific GPA to apply?

A minimum grade point average of 3.7 for your current-year course work is required.

Can I apply if I am in my second year now?

Preference will be given to students who will be in the final year of their program during the fellowship year; it is possible to do this fellowship while you are in your third year, but it will be easier if you are in your final year.

How do I get a reference?

The application form will ask you to provide a name and email for an instructor at the University of Toronto. You should contact this person to ask them if they are willing to be named; tell them what you are applying for, and what the deadline for their reference is (it will be one week after the deadline for your application). When you apply, the JHI will contact them to request your reference.

What should I use for my writing sample?

The purpose of the writing sample is to show how well you write. It doesn’t need to be on the annual theme or written for one of the incoming faculty research fellows, but it should be a humanities or social sciences essay that you are proud to have written. Please choose whatever you consider to be your best work.

Should my proposal include citations?

Space is limited. Focus on the idea you want to explore and name the books that are major influences. Explain what you want to do, how, and why it is important. Be sure to link your proposed project with the Annual Theme.

How will I get the Independent Study credit?

The JHI does not award degrees, so you will negotiate with your home unit to be placed in its Independent Study course for credit. We’ll help you through this process. The mark in this course will be generated by your JHI faculty supervisor as a reflection of the work you do on your project.

What are the typical outcomes after a JHI Undergraduate Fellowship?

Most (about 60%) JHI Undergraduate Fellows go into graduate study, usually in MA programs, and then into PhD programs. Many receive funding for their studies. About 20% go to law school and eventually enter legal practice. The rest pursue a wide range of careers when they graduate: as writers, poets, teachers, public policy makers, musicians—there is even one practicing MD.

What are the JHI’s Annual Themes for the next few years?

  • 2022-2023 Labour
  • 2023-2024 Absence
  • 2024–2025: Undergrounds/Underworlds
  • 2025–2026: Dystopia and Trust

Check out the detailed descriptions of our Annual Themes.