2024-25 New Media Public Humanities Fellowship

August 31, 2023 by Sonja Johnston

The Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) is pleased to invite applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in New Media and Public Humanities (NMPH), designed to support recent Ph.D. graduates from humanities disciplines who are engaged in new media and/or other journalism initiatives to bring humanities research out of the classroom or academic monograph and into discussion in public fora and across multiple media platforms.

Deadline for Applications: November 30, 2023 at 4:00pm EST

2024 - 2025: Undergrounds/Underworlds

Undergrounds have figured powerfully in human histories and imaginations as places of alterity, concealment, exploration, and discovery; of fear, transition, transportation, and transmutation. They have also figured as spaces of hope, refuge, and fugitivity that weave them into radical traditions and visions of the future. From the Epic of Gilgamesh, through the Greek katabasis and Dante, to crime rings and chthonic gods, infrastructures and escape routes, DJs and the Dark Web: our languages are fascinated with depth. But our surface worlds depend crucially on subterranean networks of extraction, exploitation, and disposal. Now more than ever, we need to understand the place of underworlds in human pasts, presents, and futures. This JHI theme encourages proposals that examine what a descent into the underworlds might reveal.

One NMPH postdoctoral fellow will be selected for a twelve-month residency at the Jackman Humanities Institute. The NMPH postdoctoral fellow is expected to conduct active research on the theme of “Undergrounds/Underworlds” and to propose, write, and publish innovative media projects that take humanities research into the public domain.
The postdoctoral fellowship is an award of $66,275 CAD plus benefits. The NMPH postdoctoral fellowship is tenable for one academic year (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025), and the holder is expected to be in residence September 2024 to May 2025. As a residential fellow, the New Media and Public Humanities postdoctoral fellow will be provided with an office at the JHI on the 10th floor of the Jackman Humanities Building. The NMPH postdoctoral fellow will be expected to participate in activities with faculty, postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate fellows, including weekly lunch seminars and occasional other workshops and lectures.
Moving expenses are not provided. The JHI will provide an office, University of Toronto Library access, faculty mentoring, and administrative support. Teaching is not a component of this fellowship, but incumbents may apply for sessional positions in their home disciplines as available.


  • Doctoral degree in humanities, writing, media studies, or journalism completed between July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2024. If you graduated before July 1, 2014, you are not eligible to apply. If you will be enrolled as a full or part-time student during the period of the fellowship, you are not eligible to apply. If you hold a tenured or tenure-track position already, you are not eligible to apply
  • A public media record going back to at least July 1, 2022
  • The JHI-NMPH Postdoctoral Fellowship is open to citizens of all countries. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Engagement as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement
  • Doctoral candidates and Ph.D. recipients from the University of Toronto are eligible to apply
  • The Jackman Humanities Institute interprets “Humanities” as a broad category, including political theory, interpretive social science, music, and the arts

Selection Criteria

We are seeking individuals whose intellectual scope moves between formal academic research and professional journalism. The JHI is a site for interdisciplinary humanities research conversations, and we are therefore interested in candidates who have a record of publication in non-academic venues as well as an academic background in the humanities or qualitative social sciences. Selection will be based upon accomplishment according to career stage, evidence of public media engagement, and the relevance of the applicant’s interests and media record to the annual theme of “Undergrounds/Underworlds”.


  1. Apply online
  2. You will be asked to upload the following documents in your application, formatted as a single pdf file (check our FAQs below for directions on length and formatting):
    1. A project proposal that outlines a media project or series of projects centered on the 2024-2025 annual theme, Undergrounds/Underworlds, to be undertaken at the Jackman Humanities Institute (4-6 pages, maximum 6,000 words)
    2. A full resumé with demonstrated background in the Humanities that includes a full listing of both academic and non-academic publications and media endeavours
    3. A writing sample (published, non-academic preferred; an academic article or dissertation chapter may be provided if necessary)
    4. (Optional) For online samples of your work such as audio or video files, please include URL links and a brief description for each
    5. 100-word research description
    6. 100-word biographical statement
  3. You will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of two referees who can provide confidential letters of reference. Your referees will receive an automated request for their letters, which will be due on December 7, 2023.  Please ask your referees to watch for our request email.

If you SAVE your file without clicking SUBMIT, you will be able to edit your application and replace your application document until you click SUBMIT. Please submit your application before the deadline. If you SAVE, you will receive a secret number that will enable you to re-enter your application. Please record this number; JHI staff will not have access to this information.


All applications must be submitted by 30 November 2022 at 4:00 p.m. (EST). Faxed, emailed, and paper applications will not be considered.


  • Questions about the scope and expectations of this fellowship? Email JHI Director, Professor Alison Keith
  • Questions about the JHI and the application process? Email JHI Associate Director, Dr. Kimberley Yates
  • Technical questions about the application form? Email JHI Communications Officer, Sonja Johnston

FAQs About the New Media and Public Humanities (NMPH) Postdoctoral Fellowship

You MUST submit all files as a single, compiled pdf file.  This is necessary to ensure that your application will be readable.  Please do not send files that with security settings that prevent printing. Beyond that, here are some general suggestions and guidelines.

JHI receives applications from across many disciplines and from around the world. Standards vary, and we prefer not to set rigid rules in the matter. Please know that you will not be disqualified from applying if your documents do not comply with the following guidelines.

Make your documents easy to read: use 11- or 12-point type, and 1.5 or double spacing. Avoid unnecessarily complicated fonts.

  1. Project Proposal (4-6 pages, maximum 6,000 words): Explain in detail what you would like to accomplish while you are a fellow. Your project should be relevant to the annual theme of Undergrounds/Underworlds. Tell us about your anticipated goals and timeline for this project, and about the methodology that you will use to do it. It is perfectly acceptable to propose a thesis-to-book overhaul.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (as long as necessary): this is your full record of achievement, both in academic and non-academic writing. Please include all publications (both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed), research presentations, and previous public facing writing of any nature. The focus here is more on research than on teaching.
  3. Writing Sample (length varies with content): This could be a chapter from your thesis, or a published article, or an example of public-facing writing. You can include a sample of your writing or provide a brief introduction and a URL (or multiple URLs) that show your public-facing writing in your application document.
  4. (Optional) For online samples of your work such as audio or video files, please include URL links and a brief description for each
  5. Short bio and summary of project (maximum 100 words each): If you are selected, these texts will be used for publicity purposes.

Yes. You can, if you choose to SAVE but not SUBMIT your application until the deadline. If you click SAVE, you will be given a numerical code and be emailed a link. Record this code (it will not be sent with the email). You will have to enter the code to continue your application. JHI staff members do not have access to your code and cannot generate a new code if you lose it. When you are finished, remember to SUBMIT your application before the deadline.

If you receive an offer of this fellowship, it will be contingent on your having completed all outstanding doctoral work before July 1, 2024.  This means that if you apply but have not defended, we will be in touch with your Chair or supervisor to confirm your defense date (it must be before May 1) and post-defense status. If you defend and have revisions to make, you must complete them successfully before July 1.

You are not eligible to apply.  This fellowship is offered with a ten-year window of eligibility that tracks from the date when the fellowship begins on July 1, 2024.

The JHI will require your attendance at a fellows’ lunch each Thursday 12-2 from the beginning of September until the end of April (there are two weeks in December when the University will close for the holidays). If you are also teaching, please check for the dates when you must be in Toronto with your unit.

There is no funding for moving expenses. You are welcome to apply for up to two one-semester courses of sessional teaching in any unit appropriate to your field of doctoral study. Sessional job postings will appear on the CUPE 3902 (Unit 3) Opportunities web page.

For questions relating to the scope and expectations of this fellowship, email JHI Director Professor Alison Keith; for questions about the application process, email Associate Director Dr. Kimberley Yates; for technical questions about the application form, email Communications Officer Sonja Johnston.